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Secret of Success in Chess – by Grandmaster Igor Smirnov (UKR)

Hi, I am GM Igor Smirnov,
I constantly receive feedback from my pupils. That’s why I can easily see who gets better results and why.

One of the major characteristic features of successful players is their SERIOUS attitude towards learning.

There is a huge difference between educational and entertainment materials.

–> When you read a book (or watch a film etc) for your leisure – you read it once, have some joy and forget it. That’s OK, because you achieved your purpose.

–> When studying educational materials we automatically use this method too. However, this method is not suitable for learning. Probably you will have joy, but not the positive practical results.

When you study the chess material (book, video etc) for the 1st time, you familiarize yourself with new ideas. You are far away from a real understanding still! You can’t understand something deeply until you have PRACTICED it for some time.


Here is a mini-plan for proper studying of new chess material:

  • 1. Study it. Here you familiarize yourself with this information.
  • 2. Try to apply it practically. Now you will REALLY understand what the author talked about. Of course you will also face some unexpected problems/questions.
  • 3. Study the material again. This time you will understand the material much better and will notice some new useful ideas. Also you will find the answers to your questions (from the 2nd item).
  • ———————————————–>

    Maybe you think that your chess training is serious enough. Then I can tell you one thing. I receive quite a lot of questions about my training courses. 95% of these questions were answered in the course already! However, people overlooked it, because they did NOT study the material SERIOUSLY.

    I can’t resist from quoting my student’s e-mail, which I received a few minutes ago:


    “Hello Igor,
    I hope everything is well with you. I really enjoy your Breaking Stereotypes series. I was happy to see the first one about playing h3, I had asked a question about it during your recent survey.

    I am now going through the 300-spurt stage of your self-taught GM course. I was a 1300 player for 10 years and now reached 1600 in about 6 months. My next goal is 1800.
    Kind regards,


    That’s what a SERIOUS study can give you!

    Here is another feedback:


    “Everytime I read the lesson I understand something new. So I realized that italian chessplayers MUST know GMS, and the work to translate will help a lot of people to improve their game.


    This man is translating the course
    “The Grandmaster’s Secrets” to Italian language. He learnt these materials many times already. Pay attention to the 1st sentence of his e-mail.

    GM Igor Smirnov

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