First, let me remind you of the special 40% discount that I’ve provided you with on the latest releases – “Killer Endgames” by GM Nick Pert (LINK) and “Killer Grand Prix” by GM Gawain Jones (LINK). Use the coupon “simon40” when making your purchase.
If you don’t know how to use a discount code, please see here: LINK
Additionally, you’ll get a FREE RCA premium video when you buy the above-mentioned products. You will get the premium video “Intuitional Rook Endgames” by GM Mikhailo Oleksienko (LINK) for FREE if you purchase “Killer Endgames”.
If you purchase “Killer Grand Prix”, you will get the RCA premium video “Chess opening disaster” by IM Alex Kundin (LINK) for FREE.
I mentioned to you that I supervise the whole process when a lesson/course is being prepared by our guest coaches and partners. Therefore, today I’d like to share with you my own review of “Killer Endgames” and “Killer Grand Prix”.
GM Igor Smirnov’s review of “Killer Endgames”
From time to time, students ask me: “What are the theoretical endgame positions I need to know?”
The problem is, there is TONS of endgame theory, and obviously you can’t remember it all. At the same time, there are SOME fundamental positions you must know. It’s like a ‘chess alphabet’ – you can’t really play without it.
You play an endgame at the conclusion of a game (sorry for such an obvious statement :)). Often, you are short of time and have to play quickly. Therefore, good knowledge of must-know endgame positions is a great help.
I didn’t develop a course of my own on this essential knowledge simply because it already exists (“Endgame Expert” – LINK) and I don’t want to duplicate this work.
That’s why I wholeheartedly recommend to you the course “Killer Endgames” (LINK) made by GM Nick Pert. It covers all the fundamental endgame positions you MUST know.
He starts from the simple 1000-level positions and then increases the difficulty gradually. I enjoyed the explanations and the examples.
On a negative note, this information is not unique. There are lots of endgame books that cover whatever topic you wish. If you are hard-working and diligent enough, you can study it on your own. For instance, Sergey Karjakin, who is currently one of the top players, studied the whole series of endgame encyclopaedia when he was a kid.
Frankly, I wasn’t so diligent, and it was a bit boring for me to study all those theoretical positions. That’s why I enjoyed watching the “Killer Endgame” course. The video format is entertaining and you can learn everything you need in 4+ hours.
I would recommend “Killer Endgame” to players below 2000 FIDE rating who wish to study required endgame knowledge quickly.
It’s especially helpful if the endgame doesn’t seem too exciting for you and you haven’t studied it that much in the past.
Those who are hard-working and diligent can save money and study endgame theory from related books or videos. Be ready to allocate a considerable amount of time to it, though.
GM Igor Smirnov’s review of “Killer Grand Prix”
Let me start with the opening itself. The “Grand Prix Attack” is characterized by White’s move f4 in the Sicilian. The most common route is 1.e4-c5 2.Nc3-Nc6 3.f4.
Grand Prix Attack against the Sicilian
Usually, I don’t recommend playing sidelines against the Sicilian Defence because they violate fundamental chess rules. For example, in the Alapin variation (1.e4-c5 2.c3), instead of development of his pieces, White makes a pawn move which blocks the normal development of his queenside knight.
Similar ‘errors’ occur in other sidelines of the Sicilian. That’s why I recommended the main line of the Sicilian in my course “The Grandmaster’s Openings Laboratory” (LINK). It’s the best option indeed. However, it has one practical disadvantage – you have to learn A LOT of theory.
Now let’s come back to the Grand Prix Attack. Frankly, it violates the chess rules as well: instead of playing f4, White could have developed his pieces (which is the main task of the opening stage). However, it does have several strongpoints:
- It lets you play the Grand Prix Attack no matter what Black plays. Hence, you narrow down your learning of the Sicilian to a minimum.
- It provides you with a crystal clear, and very effective, plan for attacking Black’s king. Hence, you have a good idea of how to plan an opening and the subsequent middlegame position.
- Black doesn’t have a clear plan to play. Even strong players at times get confused and crumble quickly.
Therefore, I do recommend that you play Grand Prix Attack as White.
It works especially well against players below 2200 FIDE. Their planning and defensive skills aren’t that high, making it hard for them to face this type of position. In quick games (blitz), playing attacking lines and gambits is very much recommended. Grand Prix would be suitable, too.
Let me also say a few words about GM Gawain Jones – the author of this course. Although Grand Prix is popular at club level, top Grandmasters use it only rarely. GM Jones, rated around 2650, is one of the few strong GMs who has been playing Grand Prix successfully at the top level.
Additionally, he is an attacking player and Grand Prix suits his style very well. To conclude this review, GM Jones seems to be one of the world’s main experts in this opening line.
Frankly, I was a bit sceptical about this course when I started watching it. I prefer the main lines of the Sicilian, and GM Jones is not a very famous author. However, I changed my mind after watching the course. GM Jones explains the variations and plans very clearly. I enjoyed it a lot.
The Grand Prix Attack deviates from the main line; therefore, it goes against the basic opening rules slightly. However, it does have a few strong advantages: easy to study, clear and an effective attacking plan.
I do recommend studying this opening course. It will be especially suitable for attacking players, for blitz games and against opponents below 2200 FIDE.
Note: the special 40% discount (discount code “simon40”) applies to the following premium videos and will expire on Monday 31 August:
- “Killer Endgames” (you save about $6 in total) – LINK
- “Killer Grand Prix” (you save about $8 in total) – LINK
- “Play like Tal” (you save about $8 in total) – LINK
- “Middlegame Pawn Structures” (you save about $12 in total) – LINK
- “Killer Dragon” (you save about $12 in total) – LINK
- How to use a discount code? – LINK