Effective Training

Comments: 24

I have received a lot of feedback from you guys about the new course, “Unlocking the Grandmaster’s Mind” (LINK), both in comments and via our support. Thanks a lot for sharing your opinion! It’s important for me to know it.

Some students have enjoyed the new course, while others were unhappy that it was not done by me. Let me elaborate on this issue.

Well, of course, I’m very glad that my courses are so useful for you. Thanks for all the nice words you’ve written to me about it! I’ll definitely keep working on new lessons to support your chess advancement.

At the same time, I would NOT recommend that you limit yourself to my coaching solely. Every coach has his own areas of specialization.

For instance, recently we conducted the webinar by GM Dlugy about blitz play. Maxim is an extremely strong blitz player, who used to be on the top level for decades. Even though my online blitz rating is 3000+, it was very interesting for me to learn from GM Dlugy’s webinar.

Not too long ago, I invited GM Oleksienko, who is a true endgame expert, to conduct the webinar about rook endgames. Again, even for me, it was useful to review those rook endgame positions once again. I’m sure that for you it would be even more useful, as you might not have been aware of those important positions.

To conclude this idea, every coach has his strong side. You can learn the best practices from various teachers and therefore make “a super player” out of yourself! 🙂

It’s pleasant for me that you consider me as the best coach. Even if that is the case, why should you limit yourself to my coaching solely?

I have a very tight schedule. When I undertake private lessons, I can provide a dedicated, high-quality training to five students only.

Developing a new course requires several months of my hard work. It might take even longer, because I have other duties as well.

All in all, I’ll certainly continue creating new tutorials for you. I enjoy this work and am happy to support my students. Nevertheless, I can’t release new stuff that often. It will happen rather rarely, unfortunately.

At the same time, I do understand your disappointment with other coaches. They usually miss the key element – a system of thinking. BUT you don’t need it anymore, because you’ve already learnt it from my courses! You use only one system of thinking while playing a game; you don’t need more than one, right? 🙂


What you should do is:

  • Continue practising and mastering the system of thinking presented in my courses (for instance, in “The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding” (LINK)).
  • While learning other tutorials, keep in mind that any rules you face are only more specific examples of the principles of item 1. Then you’ll learn new rules freely, while keeping your main system of thinking.

Apply this method to the new course, “Unlocking the GM’s Mind” (LINK), and you’ll learn a lot of useful stuff!


<<Get the course now>>

Let me emphasize the importance of the practical part of this course. It’s NOT something additional! It’s the CORE element of the course. This is where you train and develop new skills. Just watching the videos will give you only about 30% of the overall effect. You need to perform the practical part diligently to obtain a full 100% effect.

By the way, talking about “Unlocking the GM’s Mind” specifically, the games from the practical part are HIGHLY instructive and useful. They were selected by the RCA team and I’ve enjoyed them myself very much. To conclude this point: study the practical part seriously – do NOT skip this step!

There’s a minor technical hint I’d like to share with you, additionally. Being a non-native English speaker, I know that at times it’s hard to understand live speech (in a foreign language). That’s why I always provide a text version of video lessons presented in my courses. I strongly recommend that you use it, especially if English is not your mother-tongue.

Otherwise you may go through the videos quickly, not fixing everything in your mind.

While observing text, you can do so slowly, paying attention to theimportant rules (highlighted by another colour). Therefore, you’ll remember things much better.

I’m wishing you an effective learning experience and nice victories! As usual, you are welcome to send any of your questions or feedback to me via our support (LINK) or in comments below.

To end this post, let’s test your skills in two interesting games played in the “Gibraltar Chess Festival”. It’s a really impressive open tournament that is now taking place in the United Kingdom.

Nakamura – Topalov


White’s turn

The two favourites in the tournament – Nakamura and Topalov – faced each other in the 6th round. White has the material advantage, but how to realize it most effectively?

Please think hard yourself first. You’ll find a link to the solution below.

Yu – Vazguez


White’s turn

It’s amusing that in the second top game of this round, the White player has used the same motif to score a victory. Can you find it?

Of course, you should not just offer a move but calculate the lines until the end.

Once you are ready – check these two commented games here: LINK

P.S. If you enjoyed the article, please ‘like’ it by clicking the buttons on the left.
Comments: 24

Comments 24

  1. GM Smirnov, Thanks for this useful article. I would also like to share with you and my fellow students how your lessons have helped me. I recently watched your webinar on the system of thinking.

    Since watching that video and thinking about how to apply it I have had the following results. ( I have always been a class C player at best). I have made a draw with a player rated 300 points above me. I lost a game to a master but it was a long hard fight and afterwards the master told me that I was really tough for my rating. In my online blitz games I have begun to beat players in my own class that I used to struggle with.

    All that I have done differently is to follow the instructions in the thinking system webinar strictly.

    Your methods work. Thank you.

    1. Hi William,

      Thank you for the excellent feedback! We love to read stories like yours and see how our students are improving if they implement the correct ideas. Keep it up!

      Best regards,
      Silvestras | Student Support Officer

  2. I wish GM Smirnov can address the confusing topic: which areas should I study first such as endgame or middlegame or openings or other?

  3. Hi All,
    I stumbled into a stunning quote that in my personal opinion quite fits with a certain stage of chess training/improvement:
    “We try to do what we cannot, and do not do what we can.” (JG Bennett)

    What do you think
    Best Regards!

  4. Mathew, it depends on your current level.

    Generally speaking, you should start from openings, because if you play it badly, you will not have a chance to play a middlegame or an endgame 🙂

    However, the most important aspect is your proper system of thinking, which allows you to detect the best move in any stage of a game. That’s why I always recommend to start from the courses “The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding” or “The Grandmaster’s Secrets”: https://chess-teacher.com/product/the-grandmasters-positional-understanding/

    1. dear igor ,one of my friend had bought the course unlocking grandmaster mind and he says that the course is not very interesting dlugy only explains line he doesnot explain anything!!!!!he only going to the line very fast.he doesnot explain the viewers how to think like a grandmaster.please remake this course again .practical part of the course are not helping so much!!!!.what is happening in remote chess acadmey.????????A grandmaster like dlugy comes explains lines and lot of theoritical line like a super computer.and he doesnot give the thought processs??????????????

    2. I beg you igor i request you please make this course or improve it with your video lessons the first time my friend had to regret because of maxim dlugy .all your courses are too fantastic but this one is not…….

    3. THIS dlugy is mad grandmaster he take away my friends money.my friend take interest in your every course and that inspiration allow him to buy your course.but that maxim dlugy is worst coach….he is not explaining the core of the position from which the game is revolved…..how maxim dlugy is so rude to us????

    4. dlugy is a intruder to rca..mr igor he just wants to earn money from your courses and one old saying is that”INTRUDER MUST BE KICKED AWAY”.SO HE SHOULD BE KICKED AWAY FROM RCA FOREVER!!!!!!

  5. MAXIM DLUGY PLAYS CHESS LIKE A TRAINED MONKEY.GUYS ……AND THIS GRANDMASTER WHO HIMSELF CANNOT UNDERSTAND CHESS THAN HOW CAN HE TEACH CHESS TO US?????he knows lot of theoritical variations .he remembers it and he reproduces the positon like that in the board…this is not chess training.it is a training of a joker who plays role in a circus and maxim is our trainer and we are jokersssss

  6. maxim dlugy even doesnot expalins how to find forcing moves,how to complicate the position .what is meant by candidate moves?????he doestnot explain the advanced ideas like igor smirnov ???so what he is doing in rca????? are you guys are sleeping????did you guys want that you are spending a lot of money in buying courses and webinars like my friend and you want that your progess must stuck on one level???please give me the answer???

  7. this guy maxim dlugy has worsened your course.he doesnot explains thoughts of the grandmaster.,he doesnot explains anything like you did in your previous courses???????????

    moreover he doesnot give proper system of thinking during games he just he sees the lines in his paper like d4 nf6,c4 e6,nc3 like that and he plays this on the board not explaining anything.i repeat twice igor didnot explain anything

    1. Hi Ayush,

      Thank you for your feedback. We have noted it, there is no need to repeat the same over and over again. This is a place of friendly communication, not spam.

      Best regards,
      Silvestras | Student Support Officer

  8. What’s happening with RCA? First they started to associate with horrific teachers like Lilov, and now they make courses that are far away from Smirnov’s concept?

    Time to evaluate guys..

    1. dlugy is not explaining anything in that new course ????my friend bought that course he saw 2 lessons but even he doesnot know how to think like a grandmaster?????dlugy is horrable guy

    2. chess is a game of thinking and improving thinking process.this dlugy man is come to rca to earn money from igor smirnov and nothing else he doesnot explain anything about chess game …he just only showing the theoritical lines and suggestion that was given to him by alexander beliavsky and garry kasparov???what that bullshit is doing here.he is a intruder.he must be kicked away from rca…


    4. even i doubt that maxim dlugy has to study igor coures once again like us because he himself doesnot know smirnov famous rule”THE PRICIPAL OF MAXIMUM ACTIVITY”

  9. Hi Igor.

    I was one of the people who left feedback saying I was disappointed with the latest course after debating whether or not I should. In the end I decided to go ahead otherwise you will not know there is a problem. I’m not sure why you have concluded that those of us who left uncomplimentary feedback did so simply because you didn’t create the course. If that was the case I would not have purchased it. You have also spent a generous amount of time advising us at not to rely on you solely for our chess training. I can’t speak for others but you’ll be delighted to hear that the majority of my chess training is not yours. For example I am currently studying Aagaard’s attacking manual 1. The fact that this book was not written by you in no way discouraged my decision to use it and neither was my decision to purchase a course by GM Dlugy.

    No offense intended but saying we are not happy just because it was not from you is a straw man argument. It misrepresents what most of us are saying because it is far easier to reply to this than what was actually said about the product. I’m grateful you have taken time from your busy schedule to reply to us but it would have been even better to have addressed our specific criticisms.

    I should also add that I completely respect your right to sell anything you wish and if your next course is of this quality I’m sure many people will still buy it. I am merely giving my opinion as a student and if you don’t accept my criticism that is your right.

  10. Hi Angus,

    Thanks for your opinion! I always appreciate informative feedback.

    I’m sorry if I haven’t addressed your comment specifically. I must take into account all students’ messages. You’ll be surprized to know that pretty often they are opposite. Some students can report 200-300 rating points raise, while others can claim their money back – all about the same course! 🙂

    Now I can see a similar situation with the new course. Some students like it, others (like you) dislike the videos of Dlugy, some dislike Dlugy’s voice or the fact that the course was not created by me solely. I’m aware of all these issues, and I have an idea on how to make everyone happy. I’ll announce it little later.

    It’s great to know about your comprehensive attitude towards chess training. Keep it up!
    Let me emphasize once again, and recommend that you perform the practical tasks from “Unlocking the Grandmaster’s Mind” course. Based on the experience of many students, I’m 100% sure that those who perform the practical tasks obtain much better results from the course.

    Thanks again for your feedback, which is always welcome, and good luck in your chess battles! 🙂

  11. Hi, igor I have recently bought the new course and I already have some of your older courses. I thought that you did a much better job explaining chess techniques than maxim dlugy (no offense) but I enjoyed it anyway. Moving on, I didn’t really find the new course helpful. I have bought a lot of your older courses and thought that they where all great! I have studied them seriously. And igor, maybe you can make your next course on how you focus in your next course. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Lance,

      Thank you for the feedback on the new course. We will consider your ideas about the next course, I will pass the suggestion to Igor.

      Best regards,
      Silvestras | Student Support Officer

  12. Igor
    pl,igor I want you to answer the question
    I have all your courses
    I want to ask about selftaught gm
    in that I wish to ask which book you
    recommend for strategic elements
    in tactis along with calculate till mate which book is good
    for attack which book
    for endgame is silman endgame is good
    which is more effective way to train
    playing more tournament or training home through guess gm game move and playing against computer
    as I live in small town I dont get to play many tournament but aspire to become master

    thank you

    1. Hi Raju,

      Well, you’ve asked a lot of questions. I can’t answer them all in details here, but here are a few hints:

      1) If you have the course “Self-taught Grandmaster” – just study it thoroughly. It contains the answers to many of your questions.

      2) I’m going to recommend some good books in the near future. Stay tuned.

      3) Both playing tournaments and your learning is important. Try to play in tourneys at least once in 1-2 months, it would be enough.

      4) If you live in a small town and don’t have enough “chess surrounding” – it’s especially important for you to interact with higher level players. You may follow this website, talk to other people via comments, study the courses “The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding” and/or “The Grandmaster’s Secrets”.

      I’m wishing you the fastest progress!

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