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Powerful Ideas in Chess ( Part 2 ) by GM Igor Smirnov

In the previous issue we were talking about “the most powerful ideas in chess”.

I’ve told you why many players don’t have chess progress despite their continuous trainings. It happens because they try to learn many complex ideas and can’t apply them practically afterwards. That is why reading numerous books often doesn’t help.

Last time I asked you to perform one task (to play against a computer and to use the defensive ideas I gave you). Those who tried to perform this task found that it is almost impossible to do it practically. Here are some feedbacks:


“I did calculate but did so wrongly, also the position was complex and I felt paralyzed by the complications that arose on the board.”


“It’s so difficult to find good endings to couter the computer.”


“I understood which ideas I used (from your list) only after the game 🙂 ” (Smirnov: It means that you used the rules you are familiar with (already!). Thus you didn’t use the rules I gave you.)


I received a lot of feedback and I can say that all the people weren’t able to apply the defensive ideas from the previous lesson. Some people just used a few ideas they were familiar with; other people just lost the game. What does it mean?

It means that the usual way of chess learning is ineffective. Chess players try to read books to collect some abstruse rules. I’ve collected these rules already (to save your time) and gave them to you. Even after that you were not able to apply them.

Here we come to another question: “So what do you really need?” I gave you the answer in the previous issue. You need to have some SIMPLE PRACTICAL rules and you need to AUTOMATIZE them. Applying the same rule as martial arts masters, you should train 5 actions 1000 times. Then you will really automatize the necessary skills.

Perhaps you are wondering what are “the simple practical rules”? Here is one example: After every move of your opponent ask yourself “what is he going to do next?”. I told you this rule in the lecture “How to Prevent Blunders?”.


Some players (weak players) think that such simple rules are “for amateur players”, “not serious”, “obvious”, “they know it already” and so on. In fact a rule HAS TO BE SIMPLE, otherwise you will not be able to apply it. Also you do NOT need 100 rules, because no one can think about 100 things at the same time.

That’s why the last rule I gave you is much more powerful than the whole list of the rules from the previous issue.

That’s why I mainly include simple practical advice in
my complete chess courses.
These are the simple rules on the Grandmasters’ level (and there are no inconsistencies here!).

Here is some customer feedback.


“Dear GM IGOR,

I am quiet happy to mention that your video of
“The Grandmaster’s Secrets” helps me lot on understanding the Chess.

Really, I am very much clear how to think in the Strategic & Tactical position variations. The 2 vidoes of “How to play the Chess game” is very much useful. Mainly I can say the tactical video (lesson 1.2) is much more clear and easy to apply in our tactical positions…

As you said , I too was collecting lot of Chess books. It’s true that pointless knowledge never helps.

Now I plan to go for your “How to Beat GM” material.

with more confident in Chess


“Yes, we are planning to study your video courses. Even my son’s ICC coach told me that you have enlightened his way of improving chess, and rekindled his love for chess.” Hong Min


“hey GM!

not replying does not mean i am ungrateful to your help……its aiding me in the right track..
at times i do not know why i delay my self to purchase one of your courses, but hey i am so confused to which i should get first?”


I receive similar questions very often, so here is my answer. Generally I created separate courses about different topics. Thus you may study any course.

However, I recommend you to start from the course “The Grandmaster’s Secrets”. This is the most essential course, which will give you a good base for great progress.

My dogs are waiting for a walk, so I have to go now 🙂

GM Igor Smirnov

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