My 10 birthday photos that will make you smile!

Comments: 23

First, let me remind you of the special 30% discount I’m providing you with on all RCA products to celebrate my birthday (on 28 Oct.) Use the coupon “bday” and enjoy studying our courses. If you don’t know how to use a coupon code, please see here.
GM Igor Smirnov birthday special offers

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Let me also remind you that we’ve created a new bundle called “Middlegame Expert Package”, which contains three of our best middlegame courses. You’ll save more than $150 USD (including the 30% discount) on this package. The offer will be valid only till Tue. 1 November. Find more details here.
designThis article is going to be written in a “sit back and relax” style. As I said, it’s my birthday time and I’m happy to share my positive mood with you! 🙂


1. I would never have imagined that this year would start like this for me. My friends woke me up at midnight and presented Indian national costume to me and my wife.
GM Igor Smirnov India2. At that time, I was conducting my seminars in India. I was shocked to see the HUGE interest in chess in India!
GM Igor Smirnov Seminars in India3. Wondering if Carlsen or Karjakin is the better chess player? No way! This guy defeated Carlsen in a simul (and drew against me in one!):
GM Igor Smirnov Simul4. You can read this article, as well as all the other lessons and RCA courses; thanks to the hard work of the entire RCA team. Many of my colleagues are Indian and I was very happy to meet them in person.
RCA Team5. The release of my first printed book, A Promoted Pawn: My Chess Journey, happened … in a hotel room 🙂 The book production required lots of effort (you can see that on our tired faces …)
GM Igor Smirnov Promoted Pawn6. After India, I visited my students in the United Arab Emirates. And yes, I was given national costume once again. 🙂
GM Igor Smirnov UAE7. You might have heard that “chess is a model of war”. So in Moscow, I tried to advance my chess skills using military methods. 🙂
GM Igor Smirnov Military8. Do you know that “the king becomes extremely important in an endgame”? I talked to him and he confirmed this rule! 🙂
GM Igor Smirnov chess9. In Slovenia (a small country near Italy), a tour guide asked me: “Who is the current chess champion?” I answered: “Carlsen”. The guide replied: “Wow, he is currently in our museum.”

GM Igor Smirnov photoIt turned out that the guide had misunderstood the “Carlsen” name and thought I was referring to a hero in a famous Swedish fairytale – Karlsson. 🙂

Karlsson10. Finally, here’s an unusual chess puzzle for you. It’s from the museum of illusions in Hong Kong. Can you spot what is wrong with this picture?
chess puzzle illusion

Comments: 23

Comments 18

  1. Thank you for sharing the most interesting and fun photos with us!

    The picture above shows boths sides (top and bottom) of the board at the same time because of the curve in dimension. Chess pieces on opposite sides of board. (Parallel universe? 😉 )

  2. Belated Happy Birthday Igor and a long healthy, wealthy, prosperous life for you and your family 🙂 Keep presenting the gr8 chess courses as always. Nice pics!

  3. cool pics just awesome to see this dear igor sir you are doing great india there is a lot of interest of chess since anand became world champion and Gm ramesh who had achived his title in 2002 and opened chess gurukul in 2008 he produced nearly 40gms and lot of chennai.

  4. “Pawn moves in the opening can be good only if they prepare pieces development.”
    So queen’s gambit is an incorrect opening? And the idea of pushing the c pawn in d4 openings to c4/c5 is also bad because we should instead develop? 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 and now Nf3 is the best move simply because it follows principles of least active piece and max activity and the fact that it blocks the c pawn is irrelevant? Your principles are slighlty suspicious. Could you explain this problems, Igor? Thanks in advance. 🙂

    1. Hi Lovro,
      Thanks for this interesting question.
      GM Igor has a busy schedule so let me give my unprofessional opinion.
      C4 on move 2 fights for the center control. This is also an important and basic rule in the opening.
      Chess is a very complex game and it is extremely hard to generalize and create rules.
      But without rules it will be difficult to find a path to proceed. So the rules are like guidelines in Chess.
      And there are always exceptions.

      Prasaadh | Support Officer

    2. Hi Lovro,

      It’s good that you strive to analyze the principles and apply them methodically!

      As other guys already replied to you in their comments, chess is a very complex game. You can create a list with hundreds of chess rules, which will cover most of the situations (still there will be exceptions) – but how will you apply it practically?

      Based on my own experience, and the experience of thousands of my students, the principles you find in the courses do work. True, it generalises and simplifies the situation a little. It will NOT be enough for you to following the principles from “The GM’s Positional Understanding” course to become a 2600+ player. However, following the principles can help you beat your current opponents, and gain +300 rating points (which happened to many students already).

      Finally, if you run a computer engine, after 1.d4-d5 engine gives equal evaluation to 2.Nc3 and 2.c4. So, 2.Nc3 is a perfectly fine now. Similarly, in Ruy Lopes (1.e4-e5 2.Nf3-Nc6 3.Bb5 etc) – computer prefers Nc3 to pawn move c3.

      Often times in an opening White plays moves that are NOT the best objectively, but helps avoiding simmetrical positions, where draw is a more likely result.

      I can write much more explanations but this will only confuse you. Just follow the principles you study in the courses instead and you’ll win many games. “Just do it!” 🙂

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