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Your Goals in Chess – Part 2 – by GM Igor Smirnov

In the previous issue we’ve been talking about your past achievements and future goals in chess. I gave you 3 tasks:

1) Make a summary (analyze your chess progress in the past year).
2) Set your chess goals for the next year.
3) Think about the question “How to make your future training (progress) more effective than it was previously?”

I hope that you have performed the first 2 items. Now you know what you want to achieve. Thus you can create a serious plan for your chess development.

There is one important point here however. It is not enough to train regularly. Do you remember Pareto’s principle? 80% of your efforts bring you 20% of results. You can spend a lot of time on chess and get very little progress. Unfortunately it happens with most chess players.

At the same time you have a great alternative: you can focus on those 20% of your efforts, which bring you 80% of results. Therefore your progress will be greater and faster.

Here we come to the 3rd item: “How to make your future training (progress) more effective than it was previously?” It is the key point for your future success/failure. Therefore let’s talk about it in more details.

Here is the answer:

You Should Imitate Successful Players.

It is a great mistake to try to find your own way. I’ll give you a specific example. You want to create a good opening repertoire. What do you do? You start thinking about it and you start testing different openings and so on.

However, it is a mistake! Thousands (maybe millions) of chess players have thought about it already. They have tested different openings. They spent many years on extensive training and practice. And they came to the final conclusion already. Now you can skip this long way and take the final conclusion immediately!

That’s why you do NOT need to think. You need to imitate successful experience.

I’ve told you about an opening repertoire, but the same idea is right for other things as well.

I can tell you that 95% of players have similar problems. Therefore your problems in chess are typical. A lot of players have experienced these problems; and some of them have found the solutions!

You don’t need to make all the mistakes by yourself. I’ll continue the example with an opening repertoire. Look at the top players. They all play the same opening lines; while every weak player has his own, unique, losing openings 🙂

You do not need to reinvent the wheel. It is not creativity; it is just stupidity. An importance of creativity is overvalued these days. Imitation is often simpler, faster and more effective.

Let me show you some customers’ feedback.


I gained 237 points since starting your course in August. Thank you!!



In September of this year I bought your video courses,
“Grandmaster Secrets”, Grandmaster Openings Lab and Your Winning Plan. I took two of our pupils from the high school and taught them the principles I learned in your courses.

The result is Melvin won gold in the u/20 team. Breyton won silver in the u/18 team. It was the South African Junior Chess Championships. It is a prestiges national event for juniors in South Africa. This is the first time our children from Greenpoint won medals at the SAJCC.

It was always a dream of mine that we win medals at SAJCC. Can I take this opportunity of thanking you for sharing your knowledge with us, without you it would not be possible to have achieved all this success.



I receive a lot of such e-mails regularly. A lot of customers report about 200-300 points rating increase in several months! Such results seem unbelievable. Do you know what the secret is? They don’t invent the wheel, but imitate successful experience instead.


In the end I’d like to give you a task.

goals in chess

White: Kg1, Qb3, Rd1, Rf1, Bc4, Be1, Ne2, pawns:a4, b2, c2, e4, h2.
Black: Ke8, Qf3, Ra8, Rh7, Bc8, Be3, pawns: a7, b7, c6, e5, g5, h5.
White’s turn.

Your task is to find the right move and to calculate it until the end. Of course you should test yourself (not your computer).
You will get the answer below.

GM Igor Smirnov

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Flip Board: Press F-Key (or click e7 or d2 on top) Select a game: Click on grey bar

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