International Chess Day

Comments: 703

Today, July 20th is the 88th anniversary of the founding of FIDE in Paris, France in 1924.

Since 1966, July 20th has been celebrated, by chess players from all walks of life, all over the globe as International Chess Day!

And if you are one of them, let me tip my hats off to you.

Chess helps us to:

Sharpen our mind-skills and always keep them in the best condition!

Enjoy the game and reward ourselves with positive emotions that no other sport can!

Travel around the world while participating in different tournaments.

Get new friends (the smartest and most creative friends to be precise).

And even make a job from your hobby, and get paid for something you would gladly pay for by yourself! 🙂

And let’s not forget: it strengthens your character, hones your self-discipline, persistence, planning and many other important skills that we need in life. I’d dare say that if more people would play chess, the world would be a better place. 🙂

Keep moving forward guys and bring out your full potential in our beloved 64-squared game!


There are many ways to win in chess battles.

If that way is not suitable for you 🙂 , let me give you some other important hints.

Rule Of 1%

Imagine that you need to stump a tree and you only have an axe in your hands. What would you do? Obviously, you need to strike that tree a couple of times before it goes down. There are 2 important lessons we can learn here, however.

–> You need to do things over and over again.

It’s just impossible to finalize this task at one fell swoop. At the same time it’s easy to accomplish it with little BUT many and repetitive efforts. So it’s important to keep making those little steps regularly.

Really, imagine how you would strike down a tree with just an axe…doing it the old fashioned way. It may not fall on Day 1. Maybe not on Day 2 or Day 3…BUT it will fall if you keep at it. That’s for sure.

–> Yes, you may not see any visible results for quite a long time. BUT you will get the job done if you persist. You can count on that!

 It’s very important not to lose sight of you goal and keep the motivation and desire…the fuel for your success…burning and going.

Keep in mind the “Rule Of 1%”. If you make even a very little improvement every day, nothing more than a percent, that translates to raising your game by 365%. Ultimately, this will raise your results by 3-4 times in a year.


Have Fun!

We live in a goal-oriented world (which is especially true for Western countries). When we are so focused on all those goals, ratings, titles, trophies, and what not, we can easily forget one very important thing. And that is to have fun and be happy whenever you sit down and play chess!

Chess is a game. Treat each tournament as a new exciting adventure. Take joy from the process of playing and learning. Significant positive results will just come naturally.


Remember Anything Is Possible!

All the time, you will encounter some critics and so-called “realistic” people. They will say “you can’t”, “you are too old/young”, “you don’t have enough talent” etc.

Those guys do not believe in themselves. This is the key problem. And they try to share their own doubts and lack of self-confidence with you.

Just keep in mind that it’s not about you; their lack of self-confidence is their problem.

Also it’s useful to communicate or read about successful players. It’s hard to reach something practically if you haven’t planned (imagined) it in advance. The easiest way to imagine something is to have a real example in front of your eyes. That’s why I often publish stories/results of my students.

Recently I’ve uploaded some feedback here (scroll down until you get to the “Customer feedback” section – you’ll see photos there):
One guy defeated an opponent 1200 rating points higher than him!  🙂  Indeed, anything is possible 🙂

Well, before I get carried away, I’ll cut this short. Have a happy International Chess Day!

Comments: 703

Comments 16

  1. I thought I would leave an inspiring story for those like me that are over 60 and still hope to become a master. Oscar Shapiro. He loved chess all his life and was very involved in chess clubs in Washington DC. Always a good player but never a master. Then finally at the age of 74 he managed to get the USCF Master title. I hope to follow in those footsteps. As Igor says, never think it is impossible. Just keep trying and studying.

    1. Hi Ray, I am 58 with the same goal.I always like to hear inspiring stories like this. Now, with clear guidance from GM Smirnov, we will make it if we never give up. Another famous teacher said, “The only way to lose is to give up.”

  2. hvala gospodine smirnov. ovo je predivan tekst. sa vasim savetima sam stekao samopouzdanje a ovih dana i titulu FM. stvarno mnogo za kratko vreme koliko se druzimo. srdacan pozdrav vasa kresojevic

  3. Thank you for your advices my GM Igor Smirnov. First of all I wish you to have a happy day. I learned a new thing and it help me to play better chess. I have discovered, that I like to play strategically and very slow with manoeuvres. I don’t like when There are tactics in begin of the game. I prefer firstly to castle. I like when there are tactics in the end of the game. For this reason I prefer closed position. I like for exemple the style of T. Petrossian. He builds is position and then he attacks.

  4. First of all I’d like to thank GM Smirnov for the kind message.

    I’m 51 (soon will be 52) and I share the same dream as Mr. Ray Wagner. And I firmly believe it is possible. All we have to do is put our efforts on that. After many years of struggling with all the chess material I bought (books, videos, magazines, etc), I finally found GM Smirnov’s courses. He is not a magician, there are no secrets in his courses, but there is sound guidance, if we follow them we would walk, step by step, towards being better players and eventually able to achieve master strength. What we have to do is work hard following what is outlined in GM Smirnov’s courses.
    I have this as my inspiration for working toward my chess goals:”We are what we repeatedly do, excellence, therefore is not an act but a habit” (Aristotle)
    Although GM Smirnov doesn’t use these exact same words above, he makes it very clear that we have to work hard, and the gives us the directions, methods, exercises and a lot of incentive.
    Thanks again, GM Smirnov, for the message and for your way of teaching.


  5. Thank you very much GM Igor. I did not know that 20th July was “I” day of Chess. A great piece of information for me. Although yesterday I was busy mostly without chess!!!! Better late than never.Today I shall celebrate it. Thank you again……. Arijit Kundu

  6. Thanks for your chess lessons. Just our of interest, 1% improvement every day is 1.01^365 = 3780% improvement per year because it is cumulative 🙂

  7. Hi Igor and everyone , , I’m the guy who defeated player rated 1200 higher, so it’s really true. I jus finished a tournament this past weekend and I earned 2nd place. I was very surprised not winning first place. anyway, the money I won pretty much paid for all of GM smirnov courses…again. Thanks again Igor

  8. thanx alot mr.Igor. i realy get important tips from you. i would like to know how i can reshape the way i calculate candidate moves. im a player who would look for say 2 (maximum) then analyse the first,then without thinking twice, i play it coz it is the obvious move.i know its stupid and has costed me games!!

  9. Hi Igor,
    First of all, I would like to thank you for your superb teaching method that enables me to understand chess deeper than before. I would like you to know that after buying and studying your Winning Plan and GM Positional Understanding courses, I was able to deeply understand chess and learn more (particularly the games of my chess hero, Tigran Petrosian) and it took only a month (YES A MONTH!) after I studied your GM Positional Understanding course that it started to manifest in my game. This is when I went home for my R&R, I joined and bag the championship for the Executive Chess Swiss Tournament (6w,2D,0L) in our country. I was able to beat all of my seasoned opponents who are known master calibres by using your STRATEGIC PRINCIPLES only. They just can’t believe how they’ve lost to me since I was an unrated nobody. Though, at first I was very worried because my opening repertoire were not polished yet, however your STRATEGIC PRINCIPLES proved to be very POWERFUL and EFFECTIVE. I can’t believe to myself that I won the championship! This win will inspire me more to study chess deeply using YOUR METHOD. Again, thank you very much for your help and I dedicate this championship cup to you.
    Joshua – Philippines

  10. Pingback: El único deporte que floreció durante la pandemia y por qué es tan importante – RED SOCIAL CÓDI

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