Self-Taught Grandmaster

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GM Igor Smirnov
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Chess Training Program: Self-Taught Grandmaster by GM Igor Smirnov

“Why do Some Players Play BETTER Than Others?”

Self-taught Grandmaster
Self-Taught Grandmaster – GM Igor Smirnov

Really, why? A lot of people play and study chess. However, only 1-3% of players have really good achievements (titles, prizes…).

What is different about this successful minority from the rest?

It is NOT a matter of talent. I have observed thousands of different players, and I can state it with confidence.

Yes, you need to have chess talent for the highest chess achievements (over 2600-2700 rating). However, anyone can become a titled player and get 200-300 rating points.

It depends on your TRAINING.

At the same time, I know a lot of players who study chess 8 hours a day (more than many GMs) but don’t have any real progress.

Thus, the major factor here is not how much you train, but HOW you train.

Here we come to one of my favorite topics – an effective chess training program.

Lack of Chess School.

“Education in chess goes on in a most haphazard fashion.” – E.Lasker

There is no system of education in chess. There was a system in former USSR (and it gave great results), but that has long passed.

Chess players study chess randomly. Nobody has an effective chess training program. Nobody really knows what and how to study. Most chess teachers are just a bit more experienced players. They also do NOT know what you really need and how to help you.

A chess player (or a chess teacher) is a job, and the same applies to all other professions, it requires a special system of preparation.

For some strange reason, many chess players don’t understand this. They think that it is enough to buy some chess books, to read them, to have some practice, and “voila” – you are a strong chess player.

What if doctors (let’s say surgeons) start using the same method of learning? Luckily, they don’t do it. Otherwise, they would sometimes cut off something by mistake.

What is the Solution?

In order to progress in chess, you need to not just train, but to train the RIGHT things. You need to have a chess training program (training plan), which will give you a comprehensive system of chess knowledge. You need to acquire the necessary skills at the right time.

Also, you need to use EFFECTIVE chess training methods, which REALLY gives you improvement.

It is my intention to help you with this purpose; I have developed a special course just for that“Self-taught Grandmaster”.

About the Author:

Self-taught Grandmaster
Garry Kasparov is presenting the 1st prize to Igor Smirnov “Kasparov’s Cup-2009”.

Igor Smirnov is an International Grandmaster from Ukraine, currently rated 2507 Fide.

He is also a Chess Coach and holds a Master’s degree in Psychology.

GM Smirnov has developed numerous chess lessons, articles, webinars and training courses, including the famous courses that have helped many players of all levels improve their chess skills and break their barriers to climb up to higher new levels.

Is this course for me?

If you want to progress in chess, BUT you:

  • Live in a small city.
  • Don’t have a chess coach.
  • Don’t have a lot of time for training.
  • Don’t have an opportunity to play in strong tournaments regularly.
  • Want to get MORE benefit out of your training.

Then this course is exactly for you!

We have combined the successful experience of:

  • Former USSR chess Schools.
  • My own playing and teaching experience
  • Psychological knowledge about human brain functioning (and effective learning)
  • Thousands of my pupils.

Now you can get the most effective chess training methods, which have proved its high efficiency.

GM Igor Smirnov will show you WHAT to do, HOW to do it and what MATERIALS you should use. You will get a clear guide, a clear map for your chess progress.

“You Have a Firm Guarantee”

One of the biggest problems concerning chess teachers and authors is a lack of responsibility. Many chess teachers (authors) do NOT care about your progress. Your chess results may not change or even go down – no one cares.

Every professional must have responsibility for his work! Everyone! Except for many chess teachers and authors. That’s why they are NOT really interested in helping you.

Someone has to break this tendency. That’s why I give you a firm guarantee. If you study the course “Self-taught Grandmaster” and perform all the practical tasks – you will get chess progress.

Chess course “Self-taught Grandmaster” also contains a practical part.

The practical part will help you to turn your knowledge into practice. After a performing of a special set of training tasks, you will really get the appropriate SKILLS. This way you will get better in chess right after studying the course.

The practical part of the course contains:

Self-taught Grandmaster20 special training tasks – Including special anti-blunder training, rational time distribution training, tactical training and many more…

200 commented games and puzzles – Here I will explain to you in detail the Grandmasters’ way of thinking. Thus you will be able to copy it and to get the same GMs’ results!

Detailed Instructions about What and How you should train – It will help you to train yourself properly and to achieve an optimal outcome from the program.



Chess course “Self-taught Grandmaster” contains these materials:

  • A comprehensive training program.
  • 142 minutes of video lessons.
  • Text versions of every video lesson.
  • The best training techniques and materials.
  • 20 special training tasks.
  • 200 commented games and training puzzles for your training.
  • Important material for printing.
  • My database of 100 000 computer games.
  • The answers to all your questions about chess training.
  • All the programs necessary to use the course properly.

The price.

The first training block already gives you approximately 300 rating point increase in 3-4 months! A lot of my pupils achieved this result already. The training program consists of 4 blocks.

Important: This product works natively with Windows computers. If you would like to use it on a Mac you will either need to install Bootcamp with a copy of Windows or run the software using a Windows virtual box such as Parallels or VMWare.

Additional information



This course provides a complete road map from beginner to Grandmaster. Videos are mostly instructions about how to study chess rather than chess games or strategies. The course presents a three-step process. Step 1 will bring a quick 300 FIDE rating progress in your games following attacking methods. Then Step 2 will take you to a strong player level. Step 3 will make you titled player. Author provides 200 annotated games in practical section and also provides a database of computer chess games to learn from. At many places, this course refers GM's other courses and other writer's books or other websites.


Windows Platform




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Chapter List

Chess course “Self-taught Grandmaster” contains the video lessons.

Lesson-1: “How to Use Your Brain Effectively”.

In this lesson, Igor Smirnov will give you the essential knowledge: how your brain works. Then you will understand how to study chess effectively. More specifically, you will learn:

  • How the brain works and how to use it effectively.
  • The general principles of effective study.
  • It will help you to improve ANY skill (NOT just chess skills) effectively!
  • How to get the MAXIMUM benefit from your chess training.
  • How to coach yourself (and other people) well.
  • The common mistake of chess players, which prevents them from getting a real benefit out of their chess knowledge.
  • The main problem in teaching chess; the main problem in learning chess.
  • What is the main goal of chess training?
  • How to get (and automate) new chess skills.
  • What is the fastest way for chess progress?

Lesson-2: “The Best Training Techniques.”

Here Smirnov will share with you the most effective training methods in chess. They will make your study effective and your progress constant.

  • How to digest chess knowledge easily.
  • 2 main training methods in chess.
  • The key idea of the Botvinnik-Kasparov chess school.
  • The MOST POWERFUL idea concerning chess training.
  • How to study chess alone?
  • How to get benefit out of blitz games and tactical puzzles?
  • When should you participate in tournaments?
  • The exact tools and programs for successful training.
  • And many other useful tips…

Lesson-3: “Get The Best Out Of Books, Games, Computer And Other Training Tools.”

In this 3rd lesson, GM Smirnov will tell you how to use different chess training tools effectively. I will give you exact instructions, so you will understand clearly how and what you should do. Also, you will know:

  • A plan for analysis of other players’ games (for printing)
  • A plan for analysis of YOUR own games (for printing)
  • The best FREE program for chess databases.
  • How to develop your chess understanding.
  • How to get a REAL benefit out of chess books.
  • Where to find the HIGHEST quality chess games.
  • How to get huge chess databases for free.
  • How to get GREAT value from your training games?
  • The best chess engines (and how to get them for FREE).
  • The common misunderstanding of chess players concerning tactical puzzles.
  • What is the best way to improve your tactical skills (99% players don’t know it).

Lesson-4: “Your Chess Training Program.”

In the next few lessons, GM Igor Smirnov will tell you WHAT to study. I will give you a complete training program from the beginner to expert level.

In this lesson, we will analyze the 1st block called “ 300 Spurt”. It means that from the start you can get about 300 rating points relatively quickly. It works for players under 1700 and sometimes even under 2000 rating.

After this training block you will:

  • Overcome blunders.
  • Start playing well CONSTANTLY.
  • Beat weaker opponents easily.

Lesson-5: “Chess School.”

This training block will make you a good intermediate player. I’ll tell you the main problem of self-trained players (and how to overcome it).
You’ll know exactly how (and why) stronger players win against weaker opponents.

The bottom line is this: your chess results will become STABLE. This is a necessary factor for your further chess development.

Lesson-6: “High School.”

Your next goal is to become A STRONG player. This is why you will now go to the “High School”. Here you will learn:

  • What is the main difference between a strong and an intermediate player?
  • You will get a list of topics that you need to master (for printing).
  • I will recommend you some good books for this level.
  • We will fix your chess weaknesses.
  • You will improve your opening knowledge.
  • You will develop your special style of playing.
  • And you will improve your planning skills.

The “High School” makes you a strong player and you will probably become a titled player after that.

Lesson-7: “Breakthrough!”

After studying “High School” you will become a strong player and start taking part in strong competitions. Then you will be faced with a new problem: How to beat strong players?

 You will get the necessary advanced (extra) skills in this block.
  • Also, Smirnov will tell you:
  • What chess books are worth learning?
  • What if I only have a limited amount of time for chess training?