20 Aug 2016

Review by a former world number 5 chess player

First, let me remind you of the amazing special offers we’ve provided you with to celebrate the launch of the course “Winning the Middlegame”.

There is a huge 30% discount on the course, which will be valid until Sunday, 21 August. Just use the coupon “middlegame” and that will save you about 36 USD! If you don’t know how to use a discount code, please see here.
Winning the Middlegame

Another great offer is that the first 150 buyers of the course will get my premium video “How to win a won game?” completely FREE! :) We’ve already made more than 100 sales and we’re about to hit the 150 mark and there are only a few more spots left – therefore, hurry up and purchase the course now to be among the first 150 buyers.
You can purchase the course by going to our launch page here.

Moreover, you can purchase the “combo offer” – get “Winning the Middlegame” and “Your Winning Plan” together for just $149 instead of the normal total price of $178 – you will save a huge 29 USD!

Enhance your winning skills and improve your overall strategic understanding with these two courses.
comboVisit the launch page here and you will see this offer after clicking “Order now”.
designIf you are wondering about the quality of my courses and might have any ’trust issues’, I’d say that’s very common. :)Indeed, there are lots of tutorials and courses out there but not all of them are of sufficient quality to help you IMPROVE YOUR game.

Some of our students have shared their feedback about our courses with us (and you can find a lot of this here), which is really helpful for chess players who have never heard of us or those who are not sure about the quality of our paid products, as I said above. That’s why, today, I’d like to share a review by someone special, GM Jaan Ehlvest:)

About GM Jaan Ehlvest:
GM Jaan EhlvestJaan Ehlvest is an Estonian chess player who was awarded the title of Grandmaster by FIDE in 1987 and named Estonian sportsman of the year in 1987 and 1989.

Since 2006, he has represented the United States. He was briefly a world top-10 player when, in 1991, he ascended to the number 5 slot on FIDE’s official list with an ELO rating of 2650.

Recently, he studied my premium video “My Thinking System“, then wrote a review of it and also spoke about my teaching methods. I’m overwhelmed by his message and am very happy to share it with you. :)

Dear chess friend,

My name is Jaan Ehlvest. I was one of the top tournament players during 1988 till 1991 when I finished the World Cup tournament series only behind Kasparov, Karpov and Salov.

Nowadays I am a devoted chess coach. I am one of a very few former elite or todays GMs who have a degree from college. I studied psychology and because of that I was very keen to listen to Igor Smirnov’s webinar about how to think in chess.

Igor is not the first who has tried to find a simple algorithm for novice players to help them think like a Grandmaster. Soviet GM Kotov wrote a book a long time ago “Think like a grandmaster”. Other authors like Silman are also trying to cover this subject. Usually they have too serious a theoretical background which is difficult to apply in practice.

Talking about Smirnov’s concept – it is more practical. I like that he has a lot of examples from practical games. You must follow the best brains, if you are talking about the decision making process in chess. Igor gives good examples using unconsciously the induction and deduction method in chess. The material is presented in a logical hierarchy and must be easy to understand for both the very beginners and the advanced players. Igor however is warning the audience that this is only the beginning. Which is the case in chess, as you need long hours to study even a simple concept.

I myself used some of the materials presented by Igor on Youtube and I was a very satisfied costumer. He covers the subject thoroughly from start to finish. This is probably his only weakness, because I think the webinar should be shorter, like one hour. I would recommend this webinar to serious chess aficionados and I am waiting the follow up of this subject.

Jaan Ehlvest

Thank you very much, Jaan, for your warm words and detailed review! :)

I believe that this review by a former world number 5 player about my courses and teaching methods is very useful for everyone and specially for students who haven’t bought any of my courses yet and still have many doubts about them. 

Therefore, I strongly recommend you to study my course “Winning the Middlegame”, which contains a single system of how you should play the middlegame – and lots more. You can go to the launch page here and grab the course with amazing offers!

P.S. If you have started studying the course (or finished it), please leave your impressions in the comments below. That would be very helpful for other students as well. Thanks in advance. :)

18 Aug 2016

Launch of “Winning the Middlegame”

Today is the day – the much-awaited course “Winning the Middlegame” is released today! :) This course was born after we conducted a survey a few months ago asking about YOUR needs and suggestions for our next course.

Most students requested a course on middlegame and pawn structures. As always, we’re meeting your needs and are proud to present to you this course. It contains very powerful and instructive lessons on pawn structures, and a single system of how you should play the middlegame.

You can find more information about this new course and grab it by visiting the launch page:
Winning the middlegame

Now let’s come to the most amazing part – special offers! It’s a tradition of RCA to provide you with great offers to celebrate the release of a new product, a new book of mine or something really huge. :)

Special offer #1:

I’m providing everyone with a huge 30% discount on the course – this will save you about 36 USD! Use the coupon “middlegame” while making your purchase. If you don’t know how to use a discount code, please see here.
30% discountThis is a limited-period offer. The discount will only be valid from today until Sunday, 21 August (inclusive). Get “Winning the Middlegame” with this huge 30% discount by clicking the button below:

Special offer #2:

We would like to treat our regular and loyal students really specially. :) Therefore, we have decided to provide the first 150 buyers of the course with my premium video “How to win a won game?” completely FREE!

To complement our new course and even to help YOU get a more winning attitude after studying it, we’re providing you with the premium video “How to win a won game?”
How to win a won game
All you need do is hurry up and purchase “Winning the Middlegame” immediately, in order to be among the first 150 buyers.

Note: we will contact the first 150 buyers as soon as we hit 150 sales, at the email address used for purchasing the course.

Additionally, I’d like to highlight a couple of important things here:

  • We have several thousand students all over the globe. So this offer will go pretty quickly – simple math. :)
  • Second, pre-registrants for the course were already informed (a few hours ago) about the launch and provided with a higher discount on this course. So some of our students have already purchased the course and the countdown to the first 150 buyers has already started.

countdownTherefore, you really need to be quick and purchase the course now if you want my premium video for FREE.

Note: if you have pre-registered for the course (and, by the way, congratulations on that!) but did not hear from us yet, please check your junk mail or spam folder. Sometimes our messages get caught there. And to avoid this happening, you should add our email address to your address book.

Special offer #3:

Another great offer is that we will provide “Winning the Middlegame” and “Your Winning Plan” for just $149 instead of the actual total price of $178 – you will save a huge 29 USD!

Enhance your winning skills and improve your overall strategic understanding with these two courses.

Note: click on the link to the launch page and, after you click “Order now”, you will be able to purchase this “combo offer”.

P.S. Once again, let me remind you that the 30% discount is a limited-period offer (LAST DAY is Sunday 21 August), so don’t miss it! And, by the way, you can watch the preview of the course on the launch page:)

What exactly should you do in the middlegame?

 GM Smirnov's Recipe

Now, let me ask you a question: what EXACTLY should you do in the middlegame?

Well, in the opening stage, it’s pretty simple – you choose the right opening for you, memorize the opening variations and just play them. Later, you reach a complex middlegame position with plenty of possibilities and have this big question in front of your eyes: what am I to do next?
what next
Suggestion: if you don’t know the best chess openings or how to pick one for yourself, learn from our lesson here.

If we think about this deeply, it’s not that you don’t know what to do. You might remember many rules and ideas on chess; that’s why, in a practical game, you have a hard time choosing what EXACTLY to do in the middlegame?

Let me give you a practical example. :)
middlegame chess
White to play

Imagine you are playing with the White pieces in the above position. The opening stage is just finished now and this is a typical middlegame position. How would you proceed?

Should White place his bishop(s) on a better diagonal? Should he manoeuvre the e2-knight with Ng3-Nf5? Can White bring his rooks to the open file? If so, which one – the c-file or e-file?

That’s a lot of possibilities, right? So, how to figure out the best one? That’s why I’ve prepared a lesson where I’ll provide you with one simple yet very powerful and must-know rule about middlegame plans. :) I’ll also share with you the complete middlegame play system.

Watch the video lesson below:

6 Aug 2016

Magnus Carlsen wins a very important game against Anish Giri

My good friend and experienced chess coach Aggelos Kesaris (from Greece) has prepared a nice article for you. This is a review of the great victory by Magnus Carlsen in the recent super tournament in Bilbao (Spain).
Magnus Carlsen vs Anish GiriEven the strongest players in the world have an Achilles heel – a weak point. It can be a player whom they find difficult to beat. Carlsen’s Achilles heel was Giri. There was always some tension between the two players since they have played 15 games in classic time control and all ended in a draw apart from the first one, which Giri won with the Black pieces. Thus, Giri had an important psychological advantage.

On another occasion, the World Champion won a super-tournament. His loss in the first round, against Hikaru Nakamura, motivated him to play fantastic chess. He managed to beat the rest of his opponents and won the tournament afterwards.
Bilbao Chess 2016

Carlsen, M (2855) – Giri, A (2785)
Bilbao ESP Bilbao ESP, 22.07.2016

Carlsen vs Giri
White to play

Can you find the strongest move for White?


Carlsen is happy to sacrifice back the pawn in order to place his knight on the solid d4. He can transfer it there via f3.

21…Nxe5 22.Qg3 Bd6 23.cxd5 exd5 24.Nb3 Qxc2 
Carlsen vs Giri
White to play

25.Nd4 Qc8 26.h5

White gains additional space and is cramping Black’s kingside more and more. Black is a pawn up but should pay the price for a lot of weaknesses – on b6, d5, f5 and g7. Please note that the White rook cannot abandon the 1st rank because of Qc1+ and Ng4+.

Suggested: The advantage of space in chess enlarges your influence over the board and provides options that can be exploited tactically and strategically. You may like to learn about the “Space Factor” by clicking here.

26…Qd7 27.Rb1 Bc7 28.f3!
Carlsen vs Giri
Black to play

How many moves ahead do you think one top grandmaster can see? Do you have a clear answer to that question? No one, even the super-grandmasters themselves, can reply clearly to this question.

Prophylaxis is an action, a technique, that strong players use in order to prevent something bad. We use prophylaxis when we clean our teeth. There is no need to wait until they start to rot before going to the dentist, am I right?

Carlsen can see Black’s next moves. Black queen would like to go on f7 and then capture the pawn on h5. Meanwhile, White would like to activate his rook. Perhaps he would like to place it back on a rank and go to a6. After this brilliant f3 move, the Black queen on h5 cannot give check on d1. Please note that the knight on e5 doesn’t have access to the g4-square.

28…Qf7 29.Ra1 Bd6 30.Ra6 Qxh5 31.Rxb6! Nc4
Carlsen vs Giri
White to play

Suddenly, all Black pieces are misplaced. Observe how Black’s queen and knight are restricted. White is threatening the bishop on d6. It cannot go to c7 because the rook can continue to threaten it.

32.Rxd6 Nxd6 33.Bxd6 Rxe3 34.Be5 Qg6 35.Qf4 Re1+ 36.Kf2 Ra1 37.Qd2!
Carlsen vs Giri
Black to play

Note: you can see this position on the board in the starting picture of Carlsen and Giri

This is another cool, multi-purpose move by White. First things first, White is preventing Ra2+. At the same time, the rook cannot retreat to a5. White’s next moves are Ne2 and Nf4. White would like to regroup, reorganize his pieces and start attacking the weak center pawn on d5. Black has material superiority but White has more active pieces and potential targets on d5, f7 and g7.

Suggested: You may like to learn about the piece coordination and maneuvering from our lesson here.


Black is in time trouble and in difficult positional choices. Yes, even the strongest players in the world can crack under heavy pressure.

38.Nxf5! Qe6 [38...Qxf5 39.Qxd5+ Kf8 40.Qxa8++-]


White has total domination in the center and more active pieces, so he can start the direct attack. Right now, White is threatening checkmate. The Black pieces are not well placed, so tactics help White. The bishop is taboo because of the discovered attack.

39…g6 40.Nh6+ Kf8 41.Ng4 Ke8 
Carlsen vs Giri
White to play

42.Nf6+ Kf7 43.Nxh7 Ra4 44.Qd8!

This is the final, killing blow by White. White is threatening checkmate on f8. Again, Black cannot capture the bishop on e5 because White will play queen f8; and after Ke6, he can create a double threat on e8, winning the rook on a4.

44…Ra2+ 45.Kg1
Carlsen vs Giri1–0

The checks are over. Black cannot give check on a1 because the bishop controls this square. Black cannot capture the bishop because White can win the queen after a long and forcing continuation. Can you find it? :)

Please think actively about the last diagram (if Black plays 45…Qxe5). When you are ready, you may like to check the answer by downloading the game with detailed comments from here.
designFinally, if you don’t know about the author of this lesson, Aggelos Kesaris, you can find his photo below:
Aggelos KesarisCurrently, he is preparing some cool chess lessons for you as he is the Academy Manager of RCA. :) He is from Greece and he has helped me a lot in creating our upcoming course “Winning the Middlegame”. Feel free to write in the comments below about this article and share your views.

Talking about the new course, don’t forget to pre-register now so that you will be notified a few hours before the course launch, and you will get BETTER SPECIAL OFFERS than those who don’t pre-register! 

Winning the Middlegame – Teaser and Pre-Registration

A few days ago, I informed you that our upcoming course will be called “Winning the Middlegame” and is about the middlegame and pawn structures. Today, I am excited to keep on sharing more information about the course! :) You can find the cover image of the course:Winning the middlegameTo give you more details about the course, we’ve published the teaser video on the course today!   You can watch the teaser video below:

I hope you liked the video. Feel free write your impressions of the teaser in the comments section of the video (or here), and please share this information with your friends to let them know about this informative course.designAnd most importantly, the pre-registration for the course is OPEN now! By pre-registering yourself for the course, you will be notified a few hours before the course launch, and you will get BETTER SPECIAL OFFERS than those who don’t pre-register! :)   This is a unique opportunity for you to get a higher discount on the course – so click on the link below to pre-register now!Pre-register

P.S. Did you like the cover image and the teaser video? How excited are you about the new course? :) Stay tuned for we’ll release the course soon!