myschkin: July 8, 2008 at 4:04 pm (chess, interviews)
so i just finished a game, i’m walking around the chess hall in my bathrobe and i see Dan Heisman, the guy who wrote all those novice nook articles that helped get me into chess. i ask him for an interview, and he agrees!!!! he was quite good natured about it all, there was a constant humor and genuine goodness coming from the guy. he gave thought to my stupid questions and answered them seriously, and his smile, which never left his face, was 100 percent sincere.
here is the interview….
chess loser: mcdonald’s or burger king?
Dan Heisman: well, i just read a book by mcdonald, i don’t know any good chess players named burger king, so i will say mcdonalds.
cl: what 3 chess players, living or dead, would you have over for dinner to talk and hang out with?
Dan Heisman: i’d like to say Donald Byrne, my coach, he passed away and i’d love to have him back, but let’s say Fischer, because he was controversial. But the young fischer, the 20 year old fischer. kasparov, he is always outspoken, and …(here he really thought for a while, considered morphy since there is so little written about him) let’s say Keres.
cl: is chess taken too seriously?
Dan Heisman: well, everything is at sometime. if it’s your living, you need to be serious, but there are some people who are not quite grand masters who take it too seriously. it’s a game.
cl: how do you deal with losing?
Dan Heisman: losing should be a learning experience. it’s better to lose and learn a lesson than beat someone with a four move mate, not learn anything, and still play badly.
cl: how long can you hold your breath?
Dan Heisman: one minute and ten seconds. well, i used to anyway, now maybe….47 seconds. i hope no one challenges me on it.
he had a train to catch, so i thanked him profusely and he went on his way. what a genuinely nice, super cool guy. heisman is clearly and solidly one of the “good ones” in the chess world, and we should all be thankful we have him.