The Bryan Smith Method 01 and 02 – GM Bryan Smith

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Master Method Series #15

American GM Bryan Smith believes there are just a few factors that really make the difference in becoming a top player. He calls them “The 4 Pillars of Chess Strength”.

In this course, Bryan helps you climb each of these 4 pillars: calculation, intuitive understanding, concrete knowledge and psychological factors.

Study hard and, by the end of the 14½ hours, you will be a razor-sharp, mentally tough competitor, ready to conquer any challenge.

Covering topics rarely found elsewhere such as the Kotov syndrome and how to sense a tactical weakness, The 4 Pillars of Chess Strength is essential material for any competitive player.


Intro: “The Four Pillars of Chess Strength”

  1. Calculation
    1. Straight Line Calculation
    2. Advanced Calculation
    3. The Two Sides of Calculation
    4. The Kotov Syndrome
    5. Forgetting About the Opponent
    6. Assumptions
    7. Overlooked Candidate Moves
    8. Tunnel Vision
  2. Intuitive Understanding
    1. Prophylactic Thinking
    2. Physical Space
    3. The False Attack
    4. Time Advantage
    5. Open-File
    6. Harmony
    7. A Positional Operation
    8. A More Effective Piece
    9. Two Bishops
    10. King Position in the Long-Term
    11. Chess Sins
    12. Positional Sacrifice
    13. Sensing a Tactical Weakness

    Extra: Etudes and Entertainment

    1. Koskinen-Kasman
    2. Etude by Kubel
    3. Etude by Moravec
    4. Etude by Platov
    5. Another Etude by Kubbel
  3. Concrete Knowledge
    1. The Spanish as White
    2. The King’s Indian as Black
    3. The Nature of Specific Endgame Knowledge
    4.  Shouldering
    5. Pawn Endgames: Space Advantage
    6. Pawn Endgames: Triangulation
    7. Pawn Endgames: Breakthrough
    8. Pawn Endgames: Promotion Tactics
    9. Opposite Colored Bishops
    10. The Battle of Minor Pieces
    11. Activity in the Rook Endgame
  4. Psychological Factors
    1. Critical Games
    2. Optimism and Pessimism

Master Method Series #25

GM Bryan Smith is back, teaching the skills that will turn you into a Master of Sacrifice!

Sacrifices are powerful ways to secure the win, but they carry a degree of risk. If you want to smash through your rivals’ resistance and win spectacular games, safe in the knowledge that your sac is sound, this is the course for you.

In 14 hours of lessons, Bryan teaches a new way to look at sacrifices that will open your eyes to exciting, creative possibilities in nearly any position.

Sacrifices on the kingside, queenside, intuitive sacrifices, positional and defensive sacs – it’s all explained clearly and in detail in this masterclass.

You will learn what makes each type of sacrifice work, how to time them and follow them up.

The result: you become a highly trained Master of Sacrifice!


Part 1: The Art of Sacrifice

  1. a) Direct attack:
    1. Centralization and king position
    2. Attacking the Sicilian
    3. Queenside Attack
    4. Multiple sacrifices
    5. Sacrifices of Mikhail Tal
    6. Opening Lines
    7. Removing the Fianchettoed Bishop
    8. Sacrifice to Gain Time, Open lines
    9. Gaining an Outpost
    10. Development
    11. Long-term intuitive
  2. b) Positional factors
    1. Color Control
    2. Positional pawn sacrifice
    3. Exchange Sacrifice for Solidity
    4. The Sicilian Exchange Sacrifice
    5. Line Clearance
    6. Passed pawns and centralization
    7. Purely Positional Exchange Sac
    8. Mobile Passed Pawns
    9. Connected Passed Pawns
  3. c) More effective forces
    1. Pawn Sacrifice by Keres
    2. Turning the Tide
    3. Blockade
    4. Pieces against Queen
    5. Centralization

Part 2: Defending Against the Sacrifice

  1. a) Defense of the king
    1. Beautiful Defense
    2. Giving Back the Queen
    3. Patient Defense
    4. Defense with the King in the Center
  2. b) The Great Balance – Defense and Counterattack
    1. Balance of Defense and Counterattack
    2. Declining
    3. Returning Material
    4. Accept or Decline
    5. Sacrifice for Defense
    6. Questions of Material

Additional information

Weight 1.5 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 7 × 2 in
Running Time

30 hours



Production House

2 reviews for The Bryan Smith Method 01 and 02 – GM Bryan Smith

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    John Manning

    Bryan is very thorough in reviewing every aspect of the games that he presents. The material in both 1 and 2 is especially well thought out to give what I believe is a complete course. If you really like going over games in great detail so that you can improve on the finer aspects of your game, then Bryan is the perfect GM to learn from! What I like about this series is that it is very easy to follow and Bryan is very patient as he goes over the games and variations! TOP NOTCH!

  2. Rated 5 out of 5


    The thing I like about Bryan’s videos is that he explains his thoughts in such a clear and easy to understand way. The section on how he calculates and his thought process is the most valuable hour you’ll spend learning chess. He does a very good job of laying out what chess knowledge needs to be concrete (specific lines), and when you can get by knowing general plans and ideas. I’d say this is the best master method, along with the Naroditsky and Shankland methods. Perfect for class B and above player looking to get to the next level. Actually, it’s great for a new player looking to understand the thought process of a great player as well.

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