28 Oct 2012

Happy Birthday GM Igor Smirnov


Chess Strike wishes International Grandmaster and Chess Coach Igor Smirnov a very happy birthday!

And not only that, there is 20% Discount in his all courses. So hurry up and get them!

The Grandmaster's Openings Laboratory : http://chess-teacher.com/opening#oid=1096_2_csb

The Grandmaster's Positional Understanding : http://chess-teacher.com/understanding#oid=1096_11_csb

Hurry up! And grab the 20% Discount courses!

And also read his nice post here : http://gmsmirnov.com/birthday-cake/

Thank you!

26 Oct 2012

What obstructs 95% of players? (part-2)

Hello friends, 

So our GM Igor Smirnov continues his post on "What obstructs 95% of players?" with his second part!

Here it is......
In the previous issue we been talked about the typical problems many chess players have. You may want to refer to the previous issue here: LINK
In short, people read A LOT of chess books, but the benefit is MARGINAL at best. Why does this happen?
I’ll tell you something seemingly easy, yet it will have a tremendous effect!
There is a HUGE (I mean extremely HUGE) difference between reading andstudying. Unfortunately most players don’t fully understand this, so let me explain this difference in detail:

1.     Time:

How much time do you spend reading a book? Anywhere from a few days to as much as several weeks. Thus reading can be quick.
Studying a text book can take a month or a lifetime!  I’m not exaggerating. For instance studying a religious book can take a lifetime, and even then you may still not fully understand it.
This is closely connected with the next item:

2.     Repetition:

Once you have read a book, you never read it again. It seems boring and unnecessary.
When you study certain material, you try to implement it in your practice. In this case you’ll need to repeat the process several times to make sure you understood completely how to proceed.
Once you’ve applied this knowledge in a practical application, you will develop new questions. You will then need to study this material again to find solutions to your new questions.
This process may occur many times until you finally get 100% effect out of this knowledge (book).

3.     Your activeness:

When you read a book or watch a video, the author of this material is active. He prepared some materials and is providing them to you. You go over this material however, by yourself, without really do anything active. This is passive learning, much the same as when you watch a new Hollywood movie – you are a passive viewer.
When you study something, you are independently active. You try and develop solutions yourself, and only after that will you compare your ideas with the author’s ones.
You try to understand every author’s idea. If you don’t understand something – you don’t skip it, but study the material over and over again until insight comes to you.
You try to understand and remember everything. After that you go and try it in practice. You may fail, but you keep trying until you train this new skill enough to get good results.
To study requires one to be very active.

4.     Level of difficulty:

As you may have guessed reading is easy. That’s why most of people like it so much!
You read something, you feel like you should be getting smarter. You digest a ready-made material with little or no effort required from you. This comfortable situation makes you feel good because it is not difficult. Studying is much harder. Here you have to face your weaknesses, admit them, and then put hard efforts to confront them. You need to spend a lot of timeand effort, do unusual things, and develop new habits. Inwardly you have to admit that somebody is smarter than you in this area, which is painful for a lot of people.
Reading is entertainment. Studying is a hard work.

5.     Memorizing:

A few months after you read something, you only remember the most general ideas from this material.
Let’s create a little test. Have you studied any of my paid courses? Do you remember the titles of each video lesson? What rules were presented in each lesson? How many practical tasks were presented in this course?
If you only study my free lessons on this blog, do you remember the lessons you’ve read 2 months ago? What were we talking about then?
Unfortunately most people can only give very general answers. It means you have NOT studiedthese lessons.
When you study something seriously, you won’t forget it later because it is learned. It becomes a part of your nature, your new habit.
In many countries people shake hands after a meeting. You never forget to do this. You don’t need to write it in your notebook it is automatic and becomes a habit.
Studying develops new habits. Reading develops… nothing.

6.     Free/paid:

Not always, but often you can get reading material for free. More often than not you have to pay for your study course materials.
There is some good news for you here. I’ve been an active chess coach for the past 7 years. During this period I’ve charged $ 0 (in other words helped for free) and as much as $ 100U.S per hour. I’ve noticed an interesting thing: the more the student pays, the better results he/she gets.
I always try to do my best, so my coaching is the same but the students’ ATTITUDE is very different.
For instance, those who paid a lot never come late to the lessonFree students sometimes even skip the lessons.
Those who made serious investments write down all important information. Some of them even use a voice recorder so as to repeat the lesson later on. Those who paid little never do.
After an expensive lesson, a student always performs his home tasks (even when it seems unnecessary for him).
In the same way you will probably eat the dish if you paid a lot for it in a restaurant (even if the dish looks unusual for you). It seems silly to pay for something and then not use it. We avoid making silly things.
After a free lesson a student decides by himself which tasks to perform and how. So he distorts the training and doesn’t get any real results.
All in all when you pay for something you take it much more seriously.
That’s why some tricky guys download tons of free chess materials from the internet, but their real progress is miserable. It’s just fair.

7.     Effectiveness:

After you study something new, you can take a qualitative leap forward. You develop new (more effective) skills. You change (improve) your way of playing. You start getting unusually great results.
After reading something, you feel good. You may be enthusiastic. But when it comes to practice – nothing changes. You still get the same results as before. This upsets you. You want to bring your mood up again and… you start reading another exciting book…
Now that we have discussed this topic in great detail, it’s time for you to ask yourself “Am Ireading or studying chess materials?
Be honest with yourself. Be objective and take all criteria (your results) into account.
P.S. Have you enjoyed this lesson? Share it with your friends by using the buttons below.

So it is really another fantastic post! Please share your comments below!
Thank you!

21 Oct 2012

What obstructs 95% of players?


I have read another impressive article from our GM - Igor Smirnov in his blog,

The post is about "What obstructs 95% of players?". Read that article below....


There are literally millions of chess books and tutorials that are available to us these days and all chess learners study from this same pool of material.
However, only a very small group of players (less than 5%) will experience any significant progress. The majority of players (95%) will unfortunately experience only slight advancement, or worse, no progress at all.
How to deal with such a sad situation? There are 2 typical approaches:
1) The 1st group of players is a little confused and ask themselves the question (or send the question to me :) ), “Why am I not progressing despite all of my desire and efforts?“
If you are in this group, please, accept my congratulations – you have very good chances for improvement!
2) The 2nd group of players prefers to believe in what they want to believe. They think that they are “experienced,” “advanced,” “experts” or that they “know all the chess basics already,” etc.
However, there is a well-known refutation proverb, “If you are so smart, then why are you so poor?” In regards to chess, this proverb basically translates to: “If you know so many things about chess, then how come your rating is so low?
In reply to this obvious question, this 2nd group of players will start providing various lame excuses such as:
“ I’m a good player, but only have problems with tactics (or opening repertoire or anything else)”.
I don’t want to memorize opening lines, because I like creativity.
I have problems with concentration, and sometimes make blunders.
Being under the delusion of their “advanced” level, such people produce a lot of lame excuses for their poor practical results.
They also start blaming chess books, authors, teachers, etc.  OK, maybe a certain book was bad, but it’s quite unlikely that all of them are bad, right? So maybe the problem is not there?
All in all, if you are a 2000 rated player and honestly believe that you’ve learned all of the main strategic and tactical motifs – you are in this 2nd group.
In this case, I wish you good luck, because there’s nothing else that can help you.
Yes, I’m not here to say pleasant things, but to tell you the REAL situation.
Now let’s get back to the 1st group of people who wonder, “Why am I not progressing despite all of my desire and efforts?
Please, think about this question. I’ll give you the answer in the next lesson, but in the meantime your independent thinking is very important. Perhaps you’ve learnt A LOT of chess books (or other tutorial materials). Why didn’t it bring you A LOT of a progress?

So that's really a nice one, isn't it? You can also share your comments here!

Thank you!

17 Oct 2012

Chess Puzzle - 87

 White to move and White is Siegbert Tarrasch. Can you find an incredible checkmate combination for Tarrasch?