GM Smirnov Answers Students' Questions (PART-2)

P.S. Your comments are always welcome! You can write it below.

  • JustMe

    I’m not even a 2100 and even I think the h and g-pawn thrust were bad. He took too long to play …a5 and white got in b4! early, taking Na6-Nc5 off the table. Why not 8…c6 or even 8…Nc6? 10…Nbd7 looks fine. Are you sure he’s 2100 …f4? looks like a big mistake he just weakens and doesn’t have enough piece support to embark on his attack. 13.fxg5 and black just has an isolated g-pawn and no defending pawns. The Smirnov pawn sac to win the queen was just killer. I noticed so many tactical puzzles with a g6-f5-h7 kingside structure. If 2100s misplay the Dutch like that I may as well go for mainlines as white instead of the Manhattan Gambit (if 1.d4,f5 2.Qd3,d5 3.g4,fxg4 4.h3,g3) or if a Leningrad then 1.d4,f5 2.Nf3,g6 3.h4,Nf6 4.h5,Nxh5 5.Rxh5,gxh5 sidelines.

  • Farkas Ürdüng

    Dear everyone,

    I play chess just as a hobby. I don’t view it as competition, but some sort of mathematical exercise. I mainly focus on programming and I find the thinking system of chess intriguing.
    I’m quite inexperienced yet, I don’t know (let’s say) any openings and all the traps and tactical ideas that come with it, but I’ve been told my moves are not of what a beginner would make. I’ve only started playing chess since 2012 December.
    The past months I’ve played someone who’s style was to tense up situtations but would always take first. He attacked in the opening and knew how to use his pieces together. I often fell for opening traps and the like.
    I’ve got an account on ( and have been using its Chess Mentor feature to improve my understanding, I’ve reached 1900+ rating in it. (Though I feel it’s a bit too much since it always gives hints and doesn’t deduct that many points from what you’d get at the end.)
    I haven’t played many games either.
    My question is: How should I improve my knowledge the most effective way?
    Also, I’m still a student and haven’t made any money yet, so I’m looking for free material.

  • showkat

    Thank you sir…………

  • Stuckat2100elo

    Dear Igor,
    It seems to me, that the biggest problem for us older players is unlearning bad habits/thinking. Yes, we can learn new things easily, but the new knowledge/skill set, still tends to be corrupted by past learning. Is it possible to escape this trap?

  • sam

    dear igor,
    i just wanna ask what is the advantage of moving pawn from d2 to d4 over moving pawn from e2 to e4 in first move???
    is this makes any great difference??

  • Jorge

    Dear Igor,

    I would like to know why can somebody fail a lot of chess problems
    This happened to me at, I lost 25 problems in a row, droppig my rating from 1927 to 1781, right now my rating is 1854
    How could that happen?

    • Ron


      While that’s a big variance I get the same fluctuations. It largely depends how “chessy” I’m feeling. I play on FICS (the free internet chess server) and depending whether I’ve had caffeine, am tired having just woke up in the morning, or done warm up puzzles prior to playing my practical ELO has a fluctuation of well over 150, which is much greater than the expected RD (rating deviation) predicted statistically. And if I’d drank a couple beers my variance is even greater, both for the good and bad but generally for the bad. I believe its part of being a human rather than a machine engine. I’m a man, not a stockfish, lol. We are simply at the mercy of our biochemistry, much more than we like to admit. I’d wager that if you play with the same mental alertness and physical conditions your variance would be more in line with your RD as predicted with standard statistical methods, as mine is.

      Best regards, Ron

  • Garry

    Dear Igor, Thx for your great chess-videos and pgn’s – your open-minded and friendly style is very informative and entertaining at the same time and ensures easy learning. – For me its a exciting task to watch and optimize my chess-thinking as you suggest and support – I
    also made very good results with your 1b3 and …1b6 system in my chess-club and local championship. Chess becomes more and more fun for me since i discovered your web-presence this summer. Thx a lot again Igor!

    • RCA_moderator

      Thanks for your nice words, Garry!

      Manuel / Student Support Officer

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