What is Your Plan?

Comments: 31

Can you imagine a sea captain who tries to reach a distant land without a map? Can you imagine a motorist driving with closed eyes? Of course not.

If you want to achieve a certain distant goal, you need to have a map that will show you the right way. This relates to your chess goals as well.

Most players study chess rather haphazardly. They watch the videos that look nice, and read books that are popular or seem good to them.

I have to confess that I used the same way till… International Master level! This was my terrible mistake. Luckily, after that I met a good coach. Then I realized that I’m going, but I’m going nowhere…

Chess teaches us strategic thinking. You’ve probably heard that you must have a PLAN while playing. And it’s better to have a bad plan than not to have any plan at all.

It would be wise to use this rule while playing chess and in other situations as well.

So here’s my question to you:

What is your PLAN for chess progress in 2013?

I’ll give you some hints in the next issue, but I’d like that you think about it by yourself first.

A plan should contain:
+ your overall goal;
+ steps/stages of moving towards that goal;
+ schedule of training.

If you have a PLAN it doesn’t guarantee your success, but gives you a chance for it.
If you don’t have a PLAN you have almost an absolute guarantee of failure.

Give it a try. And remember: it’s better to have a bad plan than not to have any plan at all.

What is your PLAN for chess progress in 2013?


To conclude, I’d like to give you 2 cool puzzles. As usual, your task is to find the best move and calculate the resulting variations.

Topalov – Dominguez
White to Move
White’s turn

Central squares are usually very good for a knight. This time, however, White’s centralized knight is suddenly trapped! Can you see any way to escape?


Anand – Nakamura
White to Move
White’s turn

Black puts pressure over the c-file and is trying to develop a king-side attack. What should White do?

After you come up with your solutions in both games, download the commented games here: LINK

Comments: 31

Comments 31

  1. “it’s better to have a bad plan than not to have any plan at all”. As usual , excellent advises from our teacher…thanks so much,,,,

  2. Bonjour Monsieur Igor,

    Quand allez-vous créer de nouveaux cours en français?

    J’ ai acheté le premier cours en français.

  3. it just sucks.. people have things in their mind and not letting know to other people .. they are just secrets .. hope , i will one day know it … it’s not just all about hard work , and it’s not any miracle too , playing level at 2800 … it’s just all about some very standard and specific self training methods .. i am gonna find it and let every one knows … for sure …

  4. Thanks Mr. GM Igor Smirnov. Well, according to your question, My plan and goal in this year is to become a very good chess player and to learn all tricks of chess. Well, have a great day.

  5. Igor Smirnov Sir Please give us SMART Plan to reach the GOAL because I think If any body want be success they should have GOAL not only desire Difference between Goal and Desire GOAL should be SMART Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time-bound.

  6. hi.thanks for nice video lessons..and articles.. i play around 1900-2000 but i can not improve myself..what should i do? :)) thanks..

  7. You’ve made a very good note about goals and plans! Sometimes people answer “my plan is to become a strong player”, but it’s a goal (not a plan).

    Thanks a lot for your grateful attitude! Your thanks motivates me to keep putting efforts in making new lessons for you! Your donations are highly appreciated: http://chess-teacher.com/donation

  8. I was waiting a new year’s plan lesson :O). U always give us one every new year. Your lessons are really helpful. We like them and we need them. So thank from the bottom of my heart dear chess teacher Igor Smirnov. Wish u the best of your goals for this year. Take care.

    1. I’m glad you remember the past lessons as well! 🙂
      You know, planning is not a 1-time thing. That’s what we need to arrange and keep in mind all the time.
      Thanks for your appreciation!

  9. Did you just say you made it to International Master with no plan? Wow! I think I will ditch my current plan and start going without one!

  10. Hi Igor Smirnov! I tried to pay through my Bank VISA Debit Card but the message showing ‘Failed to authorize: Do Not Honor’ please inform me any other methods to make payment to you. Due to festival holidays will take 3 days to contact bank manager for my issue.

  11. Chess in this time is much harder then before chessbase have now let’s check 🙁 all the opening lines all the chess analyses are now online in a big database , and it keep update all the time , easy access for everyone who use chessbase , they not need to have Houdini or are a strong computer anymore 🙁

  12. hie Igor
    I am in Zimbabwe and would like to purchase the full package of your Grandmaster training programme. I cannot use the mastercard option that is available on your site. Can I make a telegraphic transfer and send you proof of transaction. You can then post the material to Zimbabwe after payment reflects into your account. your charges must therefore include postage costs. Please advise.


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