January 1, 2016

Happy New Year and release of new course

  • Grand Master Igor Smirnov, Chess Coach, Author and Publisher.
  • First, on behalf of the entire Remote Chess Academy (RCA) team, let me wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year, and continuous improvement both in chess and in life.
    Happy New YearI hope you have set new goals to be accomplished 2016 – to increase ELO rating, beat titled players, win strong tournaments, attain norms… and you can expand the list if you want to. :)


    As promised, I have a nice surprise for you – we have released a new course “Think, Plan and Win”, which contains my seminars that were held in India during October and November.


    What’s in “Think, Plan and Win”?


    As I said, the course contains my seminar videos, along with additional tips and lessons from me. I conducted several seminars in India during my visit:


    • The Right Thinking in Chess (Chennai)
    • Time to Win (Thrissur)
    • Smirnov Gambit (Thrissur)
    • The Art of Planning (Vellore)


    Note: even though the video lesson, the “Smirnov Gambit”, is available on our YouTube channel, most of the lines covered in this course are not presented in YouTube. Several games with key variations and ideas from the “Smirnov Gambit” (in PGN files with detailed explanations) are included in the course for you.

    GM Igor Smirnov's seminar in IndiarAdditionally, I’d like to mention one important note. The seminar “The Art of Planning” is yet to be added to the course – it will be added in the next few days.


    I’d like to be completely honest with you. We work to ensure TOP QUALITY in a product, and that’s why production of the lecture “The Art of Planning” is taking a bit more time than expected.


    Another major factor is that for your convenience when studying the course, we had to remove the local Indian language translations of my explanations given during the seminar. This process has also caused a lot of extra work.


    However, you can already purchase this new course now before the special offers period ends. Yes, you can already purchase the course with a 20% discount which will be valid until Monday, 4 January. That’s the main reason why we’ve already released the course – so that you can make use of the special offers! :)
    20% discountUse the discount code “20off” when making your purchase. If you don’t know how to use a discount code, please see here. Remember that you can also get a FREE premium video for every course you purchase until 4 January! :) You can find more details about our holiday offers here.


    While the seminar “The Art of Planning” is being processed, you can purchase the course now and watch my other lectures. Once we add the remaining seminar, we’ll inform you about that here on our site and in newsletters.

    Note: if you have attended my seminar(s) in India, click here to find out how you can get the course.

    So hurry up and grab this “hot” course now with a huge 20% discount!
    Think, Plan and Win

    <<Get the course now>>

    P.S. You can watch the preview video of the course here. Don’t forget to make use of the exciting special offers which will be valid only until Monday, 4 January. You can find all details about the special offers here.
    • ayush

      thanks igor smirnov a lot you are just so much for this great present.

    • Day_Dreamer

      Hi GM Smirnov, All the best for you and RCA team for 2016!
      I have my 1st question for the new year. It’s about the title of chess combinations book (given to students in Russia) where the exercises (1001 or so) are stipulated as white/black to move for each puzzle. I found it very helpful when doing exercises as warm-up and anticipating opponent’s resources. Unfortunately, lend it to someone and failed to get it back. “Ablenkung” is one of the first theme discussed if I remember correctly. Hope you can help to identify it. Thanks in advance ;-)

      • Igor Smirnov

        Hi, and thanks a lot for your nice wishes! In RCA we’ll surely make every effort to prepare new cool things for you over the course of 2016. Let me wish that you have a wonderful year, both in chess and in all other spheres of life!

        I’m sorry, but I’m not sure what book you are talking about. I’ve seen tons of those tactical puzzle books, and frankly all of them look pretty similar. Good luck in your research, but don’t worry if you can’t find it – just take any other book with puzzles :)

        • Day_Dreamer

          I’ve spent a great effort but to no avail. The Art of Combination by Maxim B. & 1000 Combinations came close but not the one i’m looking for. At any rate, wondering it will be great if RCA team can come up with a digital book focused on special positions (or actual game fragments) with white/black to play for each diagram. This will ensure chess students to learn attacking moves and at the same time anticipate opponent’s response in one important position. Just a thought, thanks again!

          • Igor Smirnov

            Thank you for the suggestion! I’d love to know if other students support it, but I’ll certainly take it into consideration in any case.

            • ayush

              thanks igor you are just great.

            • sammy joshua

              Dear Igor smirnov, Belated happy new year. I like the new course a lot (top chess question answered). I always surprise by your deep understanding of chess game it reminds me a bible quotation who will win the favor of God will gain knowledge consistently keep doing good kepp providing deep knowledge to us God bless you when i study them thoroughly i was able to grasp ur deep ideas deeply of course it take deep study

            • Igor Smirnov

              Hi and thanks a lot for such generous assessment of my work and the efforts of our RCA team! I’m happy to know the lessons were useful for you. Taking into account your serious attitude towards learning, I’m sure you’ll achieve wonders.

              Also, I’m pleased to know you enjoyed the recent course “Your Top Chess Questions, Answered”. I’ve being working hard to prepare it in time, and to make this New Year present to you and other students :)

              Could you write your feedback about this new course in Udemy, please? You may click the “rate” button at the top-right corner (on the web-page with lessons), and write a few words. It will take 1 minute of your time only, while I’ll appreciate it a lot. Thanks beforehand!

            • sammy joshua

              Dear Igor Smirnov, Thanks for nice words. personally i dont like to give feedback on websites because they put my name all people out there see my name i dont like it i like that cat Approach cats always do there works silently thats why i always share feedback directly to u because i want u to know that i always i am happy about ur work. it very hard to decline your words because i respect u a lot if u still want me to share my feedback there i will do it for u please let me know
              sammy joshua
              with love

            • Igor Smirnov

              Hi, and thanks again for your nice words!

              Chess is a wise, royal game, and we should take pride of studying and playing it. If we don’t spread the word about chess, then who will do it??? If we don’t spread the word, chess, unfortunately, will never become a really prosperous sport.
              In light of that, I would really appreciate if you (and all other students) leave their feedback in Udemy.

            • sammy joshua


    • Michael

      Dear Igor, thank you for the answer to my question. It was very helpful and clarified a lot for me. Now I will be able to analyze my games and others easier, so this really helped me. However I did run into a semi-weird “technicality” issue. In the course “Self taught GM.”, you give a very nice, comprehensive explanation on studying chess, however, I got confused on a “misunderstanding” by me in the explanation of what to study. For example, in +300 spurt, we automate are thinking system of base strategic principles and basic calculation skills. This is a part of the GM’s secret’s. However the other part of preparation against an opponent is not talked about until the last lesson in “Breakthrough.” Also, I noticed the course “How to beat G.M.’s” is split and several of the lessons are recommended throughout the training system (logically). This leads to the question when I am studying a certain part of the training plan, should I only study the part of the courses that correspond to the learning block (to include reading, video’s, and practical part)? If this is so, or if I am wrong and should study it wrong, and you could help me again, I would be grateful. Thank you for everything, it means a lot, and happy new years.

      P.S. If it is the second way, when exactly should I study “How to beat G.Ms”?

      • ProfessorX

        Michael, It seemed you (really?) bought all of GM Smirnov’s courses, that’s great! I know the answer to your question but it will require great detail and effort to satisfy. I see one problem though and no offense, you can’t be a GM in a day…and studying the courses bits and pieces will confuse you more. Good luck!

      • Igor Smirnov

        Hi Michael,

        Firstly, it’s great to see your serious approach to chess study. This will ensure your good progress in long term, that’s for sure.

        In reply to your question, let me suggest that you study the courses as a whole, BUT don’t stop at this point. After watching a course you familiarize yourself with the ideas; it’s still a long way to go to develop those skills and incorporate them into your regular play – it requires a lot of training and repetition.

        While reviewing the courses again, you don’t have to study the whole thing, and may focus on the areas that are more important for you at the moment. Here’s when the training curriculum will help.

        Also, understanding the proper curriculum ensures that you understand the right path of your chess progress, as oppose to skipping from one random skill to another – I’ve described how that problem happened to another student Ram here:

    • Michael

      Dear Igor
      Many thanks for your kind words and helpful tips. I have already started studying your amazing courses. I am full steam ahead and ready and eager to continue the studies. So I started studying one of my games and during my analysis , I came to a position where I analyzed pretty deeply, but could not come to a full conclusion.
      I thought about this decision for a while. First I thought in general. Black is more active and enjoys an extra piece. He also has 2 bishops advantage. I this position, I played b4 to keep the tension and try to control the b2 square (because of back rank weaknesses.) When I analyzed it later. 2 computer engines showed me the move Be7 which is even stronger (by a lot). Then after line a3 Bg5+ Kb1 Rd2 Rxd2 and Bxg2 and now all of Black’s pieces will be active (or on the next move Rd8).
      My question is this then, since I have studied some of your courses(like calculate till mate) you encourage me to calculate only forcing moves FORWARD (on to oppoent’s half of board.) So how could I find a move like this (that goes back, but is CLEARLY the best )during a real game (or without assistance of computer engine) in analysis.
      I also ask if I find another similar situation in like this and I can not come up with a clear conclusion about a move that is the best, how can I help myself remedy this sad situation.
      If you can possibly find the time to help me, it would mean a lot to me. Thank you and have a nice day.
      Thank you,

      • Igor Smirnov

        Dear Michael,

        In the very most of the cases following the principles works the best. Indeed, at times there might be exceptions. But don’t bother yourself with this now. First and foremost you need to study the rules and automate relevant skills. Only after that, when you come to advanced level, it will be the time to start studying exceptions.

        Anyway, thanks for the question! It’s quite a huge topic, and I can’t answer it here in a comment. I’ll keep this topic into account while planning future lessons.

      • Sri

        I analyzed the same position with computer assistance
        And Houdini also recommends Be7 ( the best move in position according to it )
        But the second best line is Bxb2 . And you can see the difference in valuation of both variations is not so much.You can easily spot the move Bxb2 which is also easily winning.

        How you can spot the move ? ( Here you may not even calculate variations as you are already piece up)

        As you may already know GM Igor Sir always recommends to check for forcing lines ( check,captures,attacking moves) when there is contact between pieces

        I guess Bxb2 is more practical move than Be7 since exchanging pieces when you are up in material is a well-known strategy

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