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Chess Talent – by Grandmaster Igor Smirnov


In this issue I’d like to discuss chess TALENT.

You know I receive lots of e-mails from my pupils, customers etc. Quite often people write something like:

“I think I have not enough talent to become 2200/2300… player”.

I’ve always been wondering what you mean. Could you formulate/explain it clearly?

Let me try to clarify your idea. It looks like this:


There is a group of the best, dominant people. They are better than others “by default”. And there is a mass of “seconds” people (you are inside of this mass). This mass is doomed from the start. Their efforts will not change the situation anyway.


Is that what you mean? (By the way, it’s a fascist ideology.) I guess no. Then let me give you my definition of a chess talent:

You say “chess talent” when you see another person, who plays chess better than you; and you can’t explain why it is so.
Am I right? 🙂


If you can’t explain this situation, I’ll help you. I’ve trained a lot of different pupils from different countries, from 6 to 65 years old, from poor students till one sheikh.

I can tell you this: all these pupils had pretty similar problems. The solutions were quite universal as well. So let’s NOT overestimate a value of chess talent.

Perhaps you know what Einstein said about it:

“Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work…”

Your chess progress depends on your training (mainly on HOW you train).

If you trained incorrectly during many years, then your progress is quite little. However, it’s NOT a matter of talent.


I gave you A LOT of feedback from my other pupils. You can find it in every page of my web-site; I publish it in e-mail lessons regularly etc. Thus you know many success stories. Do you really think that all those people have some unique chess talent? 🙂 Don’t you think there are too many geniuses around you? 🙂

Perhaps not everyone can be a world champion. Here you really need chess talent and favorable circumstances. However, everyone can reach at least 2300-2400 rating. It’s just a matter of a right training.

Many people have done it already, and you CAN do the same.


I explained how to train effectively in the course:
“Self-taught Grandmaster”.

Also it contains a detailed training program. This will bring you on the right track and will lead to high chess achievements.

I have received some feedback about the last course already. Perhaps it’ll be interesting for you.



I can’t resist to buy your last course. Your ideas are very new in chess teaching and I want to compliment you for the great work you made! The course has also a very nice graphical design.

… and … (concrete techniques are hidden) to change habit are strong ideas for chess from comportamental psychology (PNL!) and no one that teach chess have them in his bag.

Best regards from Italy.



Just finished watching the video lessons of your new course Self-taught GM. Once again a great work on your part!

Thank you very much and more power!

Archie R.


It is 3 in the morning and I am still reading the new chess course. You are very good in writing and I really enjoy this all!

I hear for first time about …(techniques are hidden). Really impressive!

The other really important thing with this course is that it gives to us the theory and the knowledge, which we need to learn in different levels. The difficult think is not to find the material. The difficult thing is what and when we must learn something.

Aggelos K.
GM Igor Smirnov

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