The Chess Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding

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GM Igor Smirnov
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Positional Chess Strategy: The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding

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Why do STRONGER players play better than the average club player?

Why is it that they WIN games and tournaments almost ALL the time… and some players can’t even keep a positive score?

The answer obviously is this:

Stronger players have a better understanding of positional chess strategy!

No, they don’t just calculate variations. Strong players don’t just memorize opening lines. They don’t just look for tactics every move.

What sets really strong players ahead of the pack is their deep and clear understanding of the game.

This clear understanding allows them to ‘JUST KNOW’ the right move!

With their deep positional and strategic understanding guiding them like a compass, strong chess players can tell the right plan and ideas and KNOW the RIGHT move ALL the time… without breaking a sweat!

The PROBLEM With Modern Club Players.

Modern club and tournament players do NOT understand positional chess strategy. They can only envy the positional and strategic understanding of old-school masters like Capablanca, Steinitz, Nimzowitsch, Rubinstein, and others.

Sounds unbelievable?

Well, consider this. Modern tournament chess players spend LONG hours on:

1) Training their tactical skills and combinative eye by solving hundreds or even thousands of tactical exercises.
2) Studying and memorizing sharp opening lines. They even buy monthly chess opening publications to keep them up-to-date with the latest theory.
3) And when it comes to playing, they love positions that allow them to attack.

At first sight, it seems there is nothing wrong with it… until the average tournament player encounters someone stronger, someone, who UNDERSTANDS chess better and deeper than they do.

The time they spent on opening preparation, honing tactical skills, and attacking technique ALL go out of the window when they encounter a position that requires clear positional and strategic UNDERSTANDING.

The stronger player SLOWLY but SURELY outplays them, snuff out their counter chances, and ultimately, brings the point home.

I’m not saying that training your tactical skills, attacking technique, preparing for openings, etc. won’t bring you anything. Yes, they will improve your game. You may win a game or two in fine style.

However, to break through the small league… the elite circle of REALLY strong players, you need to take your UNDERSTANDING of chess to a DEEP and CRYSTAL CLEAR level.

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

About the Author:

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.

What is the Solution?

To get that qualitative leap in your chess development, you need to go beyond studying tactics, opening lines, etc. You need to have a clear and deep understanding of positional chess strategy.

And to do just that, I have developed the course:

“The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding”

If you…

  • Want to make GREAT progress in chess but don’t have 8 hours a day to spend on training.
  • Want to clear up ALL of your QUESTIONS in chess.
  • Want to WIN MORE games and tournaments.
  • Want to get that MASSIVE increase in rating points.
  • Want to keep your level of play in GREAT shape ALL THE TIME.

Then you will surely LOVE this course!

Is this course for Me?

The Grandmaster’s Positional UnderstandingWith the Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding you will…

  • Understand everything about positional chess Strategy. With this, you will understand how to play REAL chess and how to think during a real game!
  • Reveal the SECRETS of REALLY strong players: the most important strategic and positional rules that enable them to demolish the opposition.
  • Show you how strong players of the past and present use these important strategic rules in their games and win even against the strongest opponents.
  • Hand-hold you and train you so that you will UNDERSTAND chess at a very deep level and make sure you are able to apply this understanding in your games… ALL THE TIME!

After careful study of The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding, you will FINALLY have what it takes to be one of the VERY few (about 1 to 3 percent) STRONG chess players and play the game at a VERY high level!

YES, The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding isn’t just informative. It’s NOT just a theoretical discussion of positional play and strategic understanding. This course is ALL about the MOST important strategic and positional rules and, more importantly, it will show you how to apply these in your games!

With the heightened UNDERSTANDING of chess, you will make that QUALITATIVE LEAP FORWARD in your chess development. And to make sure the lessons stick, this course comes with a Practical Part.


FREE Bonus Pack ($49 value) - Click here to learn more!


Price: 49 USD
FREE of charge!

These bonus lessons cover:

  • The answers to all typical questions of my students about the course “The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding”.
  • A deep look at most typical mistakes of chess learners. And more importantly, an in-depth discussion on how to get rid of these game-breaking errors.

This will help you:

  • Clear up all your doubts (questions) about the main course.
  • Help prevent you from making these common mistakes.
  • Get rid of all of the obstacles that keep you from making progress in chess!
  • Get the MAXIMUM benefit and the biggest progress out of the main course “The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding”.

What’s Inside The Bonus Pack?

  • 5 extra lessons, including 1 text lesson and 4 video lessons (70 text pages 85 minutes of video).
  • Text version of the lessons (available for printing) – suitable for learners who get the most out of reading.

“This Is GREAT, Igor! BUT How much?”

I’m sure that’s the question you are asking right now. Being a unique… one-of-a-kind course, I could easily put a price tag of hundreds of dollars for “The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding” and it would still be a BARGAIN! After all, you are going to get the mental tools used by Grandmasters and chess professionals like me.

However, I want it to be as affordable as it could get. TODAY you can grab “The Grandmaster’s Positional UnderstandingBONUS pack for a low price here at the price. (That price may go up at any time)

Now, let’s be realistic: the price is a little higher than most chess books, databases, etc. out there today. But did those books and training courses give you the SIGNIFICANT and QUALITATIVE LEAP FORWARD you are looking for?

I don’t think so. Or, you can hire a chess instructor online for more or less 3 hours of coaching. BUT would 3 hours be enough to make a HUGE impact in your game?

I’m sure you know the answer. So why would you spend your time, effort, and money on things that don’t really improve your game? With this course, you will gain that SIGNIFICANT and QUALITATIVE LEAP FORWARD… and I guarantee that!

The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding

“The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding” Contains All You Need For Playing At The NEXT LEVEL

  • Info-packed video lessons oozing with practical advice (200 minutes).
  • The text version of every video lesson (for printing).
  • 234 special tasks and games for your training to make those lessons stick.
  • The special “Mind Maps” and other KEY materials for printing.
  • Detailed instructions about WHAT and HOW exactly you should train.
  • It’s NOT just theory! It comes with concrete examples, with commentaries, about how exactly you should apply MY recommendations.
  • 5 bonus lessons, including 1 text lesson and 4 video lessons (70 text pages 85 minutes of video).
  • Text version of the bonus lessons (available for printing) – suitable for learners who get the most out of reading.
  • All answers to your questions.
  • All the programs necessary to use the course properly.

“Are you ready to make a BREAKTHROUGH in your chess development? Do you want to be within the ELITE circle of REALLY strong players who ‘JUST KNOW’ the right moves… the right plans and WIN almost ALL the time?

If YES is your answer, just click the “Add to cart” button and let’s get your training started!”

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


Course type

Positional Chess, Recommended for people with current FIDE strength of 1200-1900 looking to reach 2200-2500 level.


Windows Platform



William's take on the course

This course takes a chess player's positional chess understanding to a very high level. It consists of 7 video lessons. First three lessons provide a new framework of positional chess to be kept deeply in your mind to reach high levels in tournament chess. Lesson 4 is the longest one on "Pawn Structures" and explains almost everything about pawns in chess. Lesson 5 is on "How to use your one bishop effectively". GM Igor Smirnov puts all his knowledge and experience in producing a masterpiece chess lesson on bishops. Lesson 6 is on "Bishop Pairs". This lesson describes why a bishop pair is so precious. Lesson 6 also discusses the eternal question "Bishop vs Knight". GM Igor clearly describes why Bishop is better than knight in most chess situations. However, in some specific situations knight is more powerful than bishop and how to avoid such situations in case you have a bishop and opponent a knight. Lesson 6 also compares bishops with other chess pieces. Lesson 7 is the concluding one enhancing the overall framework by discussing other chess pieces. The best part of this course is live examples selected to demonstrate the positional concepts. GM Igor keeps you on toes while demonstrating the positional concepts actually working in high level games. And the exercises (234 in total) are of very high level. For most beginners/ intermediate players (1200 – 1900 FIDE ratings), this course is the best route to reach advanced levels (2000 – 2500 FIDE ratings or IM/ GM titles). After going through this course, a chess player can clearly understand why a GM has made a certain move in a game. Well ! you can say that other chess courses and books also discuss these positional themes but what we have found that GM Igor Smirnov explains them with a lot of clarity and his examples are accurate and to the point. The framework presented in this course looks like a mathematical one where in each situation an exact move can be found out based on positional rules. Overall, he provides a complete system of positional thinking in this course which you can actually use in tournament chess. – NM William Stewart


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Type of Video


Production House

Chapter List

Chapter Outline:

  • Lesson 1: “Positional Understanding”.
  • Lesson 2: “A Look At The Positional Principles”.
  • Lesson 3: “Step-By-Step Guide For Practical Play”.
  • Lesson 4: “Strategic Elements – Pawn Structures”.
  • Lesson 5: “How To Take Charge Of Your Future”.
  • Lesson 6: “Bishop And Company”.
  • Lesson 7: “Other Chess Pieces And Important Rules”.