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Chess Abilities – by Grandmaster Igor Smirnov

In the previous issue I’ve wrote that 95% of players underestimate their chess abilities. Let’s think why it happens.

People forecast future results based on their past experience. If you didn’t get great chess results during the last years, you can’t believe that something will change suddenly. It’s definitely logical, but not exactly correct.

Yes, if you keep making your usual training, you will keep getting similar results. HOWEVER, you can change the way you think/train/play! Then you will get unexpected results! I give you such examples regularly. Here is one more:


I can say that I’m one of those people you described as learning to acquire vast knowledge about chess but never did reached the higher level of defeating stronger player! My training is haphazard and not solid.

But after learning your course and doing some of the task you prescribe, my whole perception and thinking of playing the game became more clearer and exact. Planning and finding my next move is easier now because of your direct and simple principles that govern my thinking how to play tactical and how to play positional.

The time spent on answering the what, when or where during calculation is shorten because you teach us to focus on very particular points instead of the countless possible variations that only a computer mind can solve…


It’s important to mention one thing: you need to be ready for CHANGES (in your thinking process). It’s hard, but possible. And it’s a necessary factor for your sudden great results!

In the end I’d like to share with you one of my favorite dictums. Marcus Aurelius stated this about 2000 years ago 🙂

Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also.


GM Igor Smirnov

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