Successful Experience

Comments: 34

During the last months we’ve been working on developing a new opening course. This work takes all my time, and that’s why I haven’t published any new free lessons recently.

Nevertheless, I just want to say “Hi!” to you 🙂 , and to ask how things are going at your end. You are welcome to let me know about your recent chess achievements in comments below.

By the way, in the comments area of the recent article “5 Tips Taken From the Best Chess Course”, (link) one student shared his successful experience. I’d like to paste our little conversation here. If you read it carefully, you’ll notice a lot of useful practical advice.

Aindas: I think it is time to share with you guys and our teacher my success in a recent, very strong for me, tournament.
I played on the 3nd board for the Greek team championship and i scored 8 out of 9! It is my best ever achievement (for now…:O) The average rating of my opponent’s was 2100. I gained 55 rating points at this tournament. There I  employed something new for the first time in my chess life.

I decided to focus on chess solely. I didn’t care if the player in front of me was a 5-year-old child or Garry Kasparov. My aim was to play the board!

Before each game I was warming up with easy exercises for about 5 to 10 minutes.

And I kept thinking of the sayings of the old masters such as: a) I play against the pieces (Gligoric); b) I believe in good moves (Fischer); c) My aim is to play 40 good moves (Smyslov); and d) I don’t lose. I win or I learn (unknown :O)
The psychology lessons helped me a lot and I owe very much to our teacher who made me look at chess in a different way.

GM Smirnov: Congratulations! This is an awesome result!
What is your performance rating for this tournament? It’s an indicator of your potential (of what you should achieve!)
Let me bring up a little hint: it’s quite easy to find the right path; it’s a lot harder to STAY on it.

Aindas: My rating performance for my last tournament is 2449! And all this thanks to you Igor!

I understand the hint you mention above, because I have experienced it with the thinking system you taught us! I was quite amazed when I read about it for the first time. Just after that I participated in a strong tournament, where I beat an international master in a very nice game and drew against another with an exchange down!

But then something happened to my mind and I was finding it hard to follow. Then I recalled the advice you had given us: “you should improve your thinking system all the time”! It is hard work but it pays off! So yes, you are right. It is very hard to stay on it! But I try hard and read your lessons time and time again.

And I should add again that your psychological lessons help us very very much! I try to get a philosophical attitude to the game and this has helped me a lot.

Note: spelling of comments is corrected by our editor.

First, I’d like to thank Aindas for sharing his successful experience!

The easiest way to progress
is to adopt the successful techniques of more advanced players.

From this point of view, our community is an extremely powerful resource! By analysing the progress of thousands of my students, I can detect what techniques do work well. And that’s why I often publish successful experience of different players.

Now let’s be more specific. What conclusions have YOU made based on the above feedback? What new techniques can you adopt in YOUR practice?

In the next lesson I’ll provide further explanations, but your independent consideration is very important as well.


I’ve prepared several interesting positions from the recent tournaments for you. Test yourself!

Vitiugov – Swiercz
White’s turn

White has a material advantage, but the position is still tight. How would you handle it?


Hendrickson – Chakraborty
White’s turn

White’s position is very active and he has a couple of tempting checks. Which continuation is the most powerful?


Nikolic – Grandelius
White’s turn

Black’s last move 13…Ne4 mixed things up completely. Can you sort it out?

If you don’t know how to open chess games in *.pgn format, please read this FAQ: LINK

P.S. You are welcome to place your comments below.

Comments: 34

Comments 20

  1. I can not wait for the new course, and I expect to be a very strong course on the subject of openings as usual…Thanks very much our teacher GM Igor Smirnov

  2. Igor, it is very hard what you are doing with your chess lessons, mostly because you became the private chess teacher for a 1600 rating player as well as for a 2400 one. And we all know different chess rating players “see” chess in a different way. Sure we all may use and learn something from your free lessons r courses, but I feel (at my 1800 rating) the need to have a private coach that will help me (and only me) to go easier the the steps I need to climb up to my maximum potential rating, That is why I was wondering if you have the time to give private lessons as well, to have a look at my past games, to listen to my own problems and finally to advice how to improve my weaknesses and sharpen even more my highest chess skills?
    Thank you for all!!! Please advice,

    1. Igor course self taught grandmaster is really great , it explain how to train alone , how to analyze you’re own games and much more , it’s much cheaper then a chess coach.

      I train alone with igor smirnov courses 🙂

  3. Great article , wow amazing that u work on a new course when it is finish I will buy it , only you’re courses give me real improve , take your time 🙂 and thank u so heaps for anything !!!!!!!!

    you’re courses are fun and no boring they are great fantastic easy to understand , for a non English speaker like me 🙂 you’re chess system is different and it 100 % work

  4. Can you give us a rough time line or approximate date as to when the new opening course will be available?

  5. You’re bonus lessen and material are always also very helpful , I like you’re first openings course very much why ? Because u give great lines and some unknown lines in the practical part , and U did much work for us in the course , so that we only need to read your cometary and study the games.

  6. Dear mr Igor .. What is the difference between the Grandmaster’s Openings Laboratory And the new courses about Opening ?!

  7. Hi GM Igor,

    1. Can you please tell us approximately when the course will release and the cost. Then we can prepare.

    2. Isnt it possible to upload .pgn files directly without making them zip first ?


  8. I am very happy to have your news again Igor. I find very interesting and instructive the discussion between you and the student. Thank you also for the exercises. My chess game become better every day because I discover new things and I change systematically my system of thinking. You can win a chess game with a simple positional advantage (e.g: the control of an open file, the possession of a strong square…). It is not necessary to find the best move every time. But you must know what is your advantage and the disadvantage of the opponent. Secondly once you create a weakness, you must know how to exploit it. However I have some problem to resolve a lot of work to make. It is difficult to make a choice when the position become tactical, because you have a lot of threat and you don’t know what is the best way. In addition it take me a lot of time to make a choice. It is hard to win a winning game.

    1. It’s great to know you are progressing steadily!
      In complex positions it’s especially important to have a clear system of thinking (although it’s important all the time of course).
      As for the efficient calculation, it’s covered in “Calculate Till Mate”.

  9. the new opening course is just for to update you’re opening repertoir and is good 🙂 positional understanding is the key !

    1. 2 months past and no more information about new opening course.
      When wil we have information about it ?.
      When will it be finished and available ?

  10. Hi Igor, thx for your great free Lessons via youtube – your tips are high-level and your presentation-style makes much fun! – there already so much free information that i need a couple of years to apply it all, … so my question is – why should i buy then your course when i got the main – messages already ?!

  11. Hi Igor again, i was on and looked your rating of 2500 elo what u have achieved in 2008 – I was surprised that u discontinued your carreer since more then 4 Years as a young potential player – hopefully u would continue!, … so that we can also watch your Games against other GMs …. kind regards

  12. During several years I’ve been combining my activity as a player and as a teacher. At some point I realized that this situation doesn’t allow me to have focus and to do my BEST in each of these directions. So I made my choice.
    I know it seems strange to abandon competitive chess when you are a young GM and have a lot of potential to grow 🙂
    At the same time now I have a lot of successful students all around the globe and I’m happy about it.

    1. But I see you pointing out mistakes of even supergrandmasters! So I would really love to see you playing professional chess. Will you never come back to professional chess??

  13. Dear Igor,
    Thank you for your courses.
    I’m planning on buying the course on positional understanding and of course the new opening course. Thanks to you for the first time I have a provsional Fide rating of about 1800. It was cool how everyone applauded me after the game. I hope the new openings course has lots of explanations on the lines that White of Black can play.and a recommended line against each.I’m not a high rated player yet so I’d like line that are easy to play and other recommended lines for higher
    rated players..
    I’m a loyal custome who, appreciates your expertise and interest in helping players of all levels.
    Thank you for making a quality product.

    1. My best congratulations with your achievements! I’m sure it’s only a beginning and you can go much further.
      Thanks for your sincere appreciation and for your suggestions!

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