GM Igor Smirnov Answers Students’ Questions from the Live Event (Part-2)

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A few days ago, I shared with you the first part of my live stream on 7 November, celebrating the 8th anniversary of the Remote Chess Academy. Also, I answered the unanswered questions from the event. If you missed it, you can find it here. Today I’ll answer the rest of the questions that were left unanswered, and most importantly, I’ll share with you the second part of the video. 🙂
Q8:Hi, my question is, can an old player become a Grandmaster?” – Richard Suárez


Yeah, why not? Every human can become a grandmaster and there is no age limitation… If you are planning to become a professional football player on your 50 and compare to 20 years old guys, then I guess that it could be optimistic. However, chess is a mind game, and if you are focused on your goal, then I’m sure you may achieve it one day! 🙂

Q9:How can I improve my endgame?” – Phan Bá


The endgame is a completely different stage of the game compared with the middlegame, thus it has its own rules. In the endgame, you should remember that it is important to promote your pawns in order to get a new queen and activate your king in the center. I recommend you to study the courses “Endgame Expert” and “Practical Endgames”.

Q10:To what extent, should we rely on our intuition?” – Kusum Lata Sharma
intuition chessAnswer:

Intuition is a very good ability and we can rely on it, especially on fast games. However, when you play games with longer time control, then you should use your calculation abilities. Intuition may help you find the first moves, but you need to calculate accurately in order to be sure that your chosen move is the best one in the position.

Q11: “How to calculate long variations?” – Banel Andrews


Korchnoi used to say that the better player you are, then the fewer moves you need to calculate. 🙂 In general, there is no need to calculate very long variations every time. But to understand what your plan is and how to achieve it, first of all, you need to find the candidate moves; your intuition, chess knowledge and understanding will help you do that. After that, you need to calculate every line in order to find a very specific conclusion: i.e. you will win or you can achieve the draw.

Calculation is like running. As much as you train, so you will become better. For that reason, I suggest you to play games with classical time control and make exercises at home.

Last but not least, it’s very important to calculate and analyze everything by yourself, and after that, check your calculations with the computer.

Q12:I need your advice on Kan and Taimanov Sicilians, I struggle playing White against these systems” – Chaitanya Kapoor


I published my detailed opening repertoire on the course “GM’s Opening Laboratory”, so I suggest you to study this course. 🙂

Q13:Is playing with a computer the same as playing with a human opponent?” – Jeff Toshey
chess computer vs humanAnswer:

No, it’s not the same because computers are not making mistakes, and definitely, they have different chess style compared with humans. However, it’s very useful to play against the computer in order to strength your chess skills and improve your game in general.

Q14:I am really starting to like the b3 opening I’ve seen… what do you think about it?” – Eric Ortega


It’s a very interesting opening system and many of your opponents will not know what to do. Thus, you may prepare it very well and it will definitely offer you good results.

With that, I’ve answered all the unanswered questions. 🙂 Now, you can watch the second part of the live video below:

how to analyze chess games

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