How GM Igor Smirnov helped win a game against a Grandmaster

Comments: 6

First, let me remind you of our new chess opening course, the “Bogo-Indian Defense” (LINK) and the special offers.
bogoYou can get a 30% discount (you save about $6) on the course by using the discount code “bogo30”. This discount will be valid only till tomorrow, Friday, 14 August.
bogo30Note: if you don’t know how to use a discount code, please see here: LINK

Additionally, if you already own my course “The Grandmaster’s Opening Lab – 2” (LINK), you will get the course “Bogo-Indian Defense” with a massive 50% discount. We have already contacted the buyers of “The GM Opening Lab 2” offering the discount.

If you still did not get our message or you changed your contact details, please contact us (LINK) and we’ll be happy to provide you with the 50% discount.

designSome people have asked me if my courses work and if they are effective. I think that the best way to answer that is with the feedback from those who have studied them. 🙂
successAbout two months ago, one of my students won a tournament by absorbing and applying the knowledge he had learnt from my webinar. If you’ve missed it, you can read the whole story here: LINK

Following that, I heard from another student recently about his ‘success story’. And I’m very happy to share this with you:


Dear Igor, I recently played a rapid tournament and I probably scored the best result of my life, finishing in second place in a tournament that included a few GMs and IMs.

fightIn the last round, I won a key game, beating a GM! I would like to share my thoughts during the critical position and how your teaching helped me win that game. 🙂

On move 23, the following position was reached with White (me) to play:

Ocantos – Slipak, 2015


Game position: White to move

Here the first move that came to my mind was the aggressive 23.Nxh5+!?.

The time rate was 7 minutes plus 3 seconds per move, so I had to make a quick decision. The critical line that I started analyzing was 23…gxh5 24.Nf5+ Kg6!?


Analysis after 24…Kg6: White to play

Black challenges White and tries to hold his position together by defending h5. Here, two possibilities came to my mind. The ultra-aggressive 25.Bxf4 exf4 26.e5 !? – opening lines against Black’s king at any cost.


Analysis after 26.e5: Black to move

On seconds thought, I realized that the knight on f5 is not a knight, but an “octopus” as the great GM Garry Kasparov used to say. 🙂


It simply dominates too many squares! Even a quiet move like 25.Nxd6 comes to mind:


Analysis after 25.Nxd6: Black to move

Here, White has two pawns for the piece and Black has a very passive bishop on a8 (hitting against a “wall”) and an open king. I learned from Igor’s great course “The GM Positional Understanding” (LINK) how important activity of pieces is, and that helped me asses this quickly. By understanding the general position, I saved a lot of time in double-checking tactical details.

In this case, I can hardly call 23.Nxh5+ a piece sacrifice! Fortunately, I had a third thought which was the most important and the one that made me win the game. 🙂

I remembered the preview video of the course “Unlocking the Grandmaster’s Mind” (LINK). At around minute 5.50 (see that video here: LINK), your exact words – that during a practical game, “you don’t have time to calculate all those lines accurately” – resounded in my head.

This FREE lesson gave me the confidence to make the move 23.Nxh5+ fairly quickly, based on understanding rather than impossible calculation. I suggest watching that lesson because the information is just too powerful!!
successMy opponent, a Grandmaster, finally rejected my piece sacrifice at the cost of a pawn. I managed to win another pawn and win the game. Once again, I want to say that what really made the difference was having that key knowledge that I was lacking before it was provided by you.

Thanks, Maestro!

You can see the full game here: LINK


Firstly, please accept my heartfelt congratulations on your recent success! Your game against GM Slipak was not just a victory, it was a total demolition! 🙂

Your best achievements show your TRUE POTENTIAL in chess. If you were able to beat a GM in such an impressive manner, it proves that you can do so in the future, too!

Ocantos – Slipak, 2015


Game position: White to move

In addition to all the valuable ideas you’ve provided in your comments, let me highlight an extra point. Apart from the chess value (that we try to prove by calculating variations), there are two other elements to consider:

  • Practical aspect: it’s easier to attack than to defend. After you play that 23.Nh5 sacrifice, there’s a good chance that your opponent will start thinking longer and will appear in time trouble.
  • Psychological aspect: by playing such bold moves, you crush not only opponent’s position but his self-confidence, too. You demonstrate that you don’t fear your opponent, even though he’s a GM. You play for a win. You play the move your opponent overlooked. This makes your opponent feel frustrated and he may start playing badly.

successThat’s how former world champion Mikhail Tal won so many games. This time you’ve made your perfect shot!

There’s an important lesson about defense you can learn from this game, too.


Black’s turn

Should Black accept White’s sacrifice? What do you think?

  • If Black refuses to take the knight, he’ll end up with material deficit and destroyed position. This is a certain loss.
  • If Black grabs the knight, he may be mated soon. On the other hand, if he is not mated, Black will end up with an extra knight. You see, it is a double-edged sword.

confusedChoosing between a certain loss and an unclear position, you certainly should choose the latter. There are two good ideas worth reminding yourself of during a game:

  • The only way to refute a sacrifice is to accept it.
  • If you are going to suffer, at least do so for a reason. Grab some material as compensation.

Manuel, let me congratulate you once again on your 2nd place in a tournament, obtained by such an impressive victory over a GM in a decisive round!
winFinally, thanks for sharing your game and experience with us! I enjoyed the game and your comments a lot, and I’m sure the other students will like these, too.

P.S. guys, if you enjoyed the game, please provide your feedback in comments.
PPS: if you have your own “success story” or simply a nice game you played – feel free to share it. I’ll be glad to publish it.
Comments: 6

Comments 5

  1. Very nice,, I will say to those people who question our teacher lessons: Please you calm, our teacher did not tell that the intention of his studies to we become world champions ( help it in my opinion), but is intended to help those who do not understand even how move their pieces flawlessly … to increase their passion and love for chess and therefore the deployment of chess in the world’s largest please some grateful,,,,God bless our teacher GM Igor Smirnov…

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