8 Best Chess Lessons From A Grandmaster

Reviews / By Andrew Hercules
chess lessons from a grandmaster

Sometimes a good chess course is all you need to level up your game. When you are a beginner trying to learn chess, it can be quite a challenge to find the right mentor and coach to guide you along your chess journey.

That is why in this article, I have decided to compile a list of the best chess lessons from a grandmaster. The name of this grandmaster is Igor Smirnov and he has played a significant role in the development of my chess skills and many other players around the world. 

Out of the the many awesome chess lessons created by Grandmaster Igor Sirnov, I will have to say my #1 recommendation to you if you are a beginner is The Grandmaster’s Secrets. This course contains some of the most key ingredients and tips that will help you get better results in your chess games.  Just click this link to check it out

Who is Grandmaster Igor Smirnov


Igor Smirnov is an international grandmaster and chess coach. He holds a Master’s degree in Psychology. He created Remote Chess Academy which is a company that has helped many students around the world get better at chess.

This brilliant mind has developed lots of chess lessons, books, articles, webinar and training courses that has helped thousands of beginner students break the 2000 rating barrier. In this article we shall be listing his 8 best chess lessons that have definitely been instrumental in his student’s success as well as my own chess development. 

Here are the 8 best chess lessons from a grandmaster

  1. Crushing The King
  2. Your Winning Plan
  3. The Grandmaster’s Secrets
  4. An Endgame Expert
  5. Self Taught Grandmaster
  6. The Grandmaster’s Opening Laboratory
  7. Attack & Win
  8. The Secrets of Strong Players

Best Chess Lessons From A Grandmaster

Chess Lesson #1: Crushing The King

The attack is an art that every chess player should master. When we play a chess game it is very important to have the ability to start an attack in order to win the game. Many students have the problem on how to start the attack and deliver the final blow. They do not know how to provoke a weakness into his opponent’s King.

In this course, GM Igor Smirnov together with CM Tryfon will teach you the strategies and tactics of attacking. At the end of this course you will have all the necessary abilities and understanding in order to start a successful attack against an opponent of any level!

Is this course right for me?

The course is suitable for beginners and intermediate level players, but it will be helpful for advanced level players, too. Even if your ELO is 1900+, this course will help you improve your attacking skills and you’ll learn some new things.

If you want to improve your attacking skills and boost your chances of success, then this course is for you.

Attack from the opening

An attacking player will strive to create an attacking positions and relevant elements from the opening they play. You should be able to create the advantages needed to ensure the attack is successful.

Learn the concept of ‘Friends elements’ and how they can help you to deliver the crushing king attacks.

Become a great attacker

If you solve a lot of tactical puzzles, you will be able to find combinations during the game, but in tactical puzzles you do already have a superior position and you just need to deliver the final blow.

But in real game you are not sure how to create such a position. This course will help you to achieve this.

The hotspot concept

GM Smirnov’s ‘Hotspot’ concept unites many rules and ideas about the attack.

The simple concept summarizes all the attacking plans and the typical ideas discussed in the course and helps you to apply for yourself in your own practical games.

Powerful Practical tasks

It is necessary to put the received knowledge into practice. There are 7 practical tasks (over 100 games) in this course which will help you to understand and remember the ideas of the course better.

The training program has a detailed explanation on what and exactly how you should do the practical tasks.

What you will learn from the course

  • How to plan an attack?
  • What pieces should I include in the attack?
  • How can I get an attacking position?
  • How to set the target for my attack?
  • How to find the right attacking moves?
  • How to finish the attack?

Click here to get “Crushing The King”

Chess Lesson #2: Your Winning Plan


What You Will Get From The Course

  • Important generalities about a chess strategy.
  • What exactly is “a chess understanding” and how to develop it?
  • 3 types of situations when you should attack on a side
  • What Grandmasters do, when they can’t find the right plan? (4 concrete ways)
  • When should you compose a plan?
  • Which plan is the best in most positions?
  • When to move pawns and when to avoid pawn moves?
  • When you should play vigorously and when you should not hurry up?
  • Practical part comprising 12 tasks

Chess is inherently a strategic game. That’s why strategic skills are the most important thing in chess. They allow you to understand what you should do in any position. Chess players usually call it “a chess understanding”.

The course “Your Winning Plan” gives you an integrate system of a middlegame planning . Using this unique method you will be able to find the right plan in any position.

Video Lessons

1. Introduction 00:08:00
2. The Best Time For a Planning 00:09:00
3. How to Compose a Winning Plan 00:20:00
4. Specific Rules For an Open Center 00:08:00
5. Specific Rules For the Closed Center 00:10:00
6. Specific Rules For the Static Center 00:06:00
7. Specific Rules For the Pawn Center 00:11:00
8. Specific Rules For the Dynamic Center 00:08:00
9. Two Universal Keys 00:08:00
10. How to Realize Your Winning Plan 00:15:00
11. Grandmasters’Secrets of Planning 00:39:00

Click Here To Get “Your Winning Plan”


Chess lesson #3: the Grandmaster’s Secrets


Every chess player wants to improve himself and make progress, however, one of the biggest problems is to understand how to do it.

The usual ways of training give very slow progress and even sometimes these are completely ineffective. Did your RESULTS become better after reading a chess book? The usual (and very sad) answer is “No”.

During my chess career as a player and as a coach, I have thought about an effective way of learning all the time. That’s why I decided to develop a chess course “The Grandmaster’s secrets”.

With pride I can say that this course will give you only the concrete skills (no more pointless knowledge!).

I have created my special system of chess education, based on the psychological principles of effective learning and extensive chess practice.

The course contains not only my experience, but also experiences from a lot of my friends: Grandmasters, trainers and other chess players, who helped me perfect the course! Many thanks to you guys! Now the course contains a lot of recommendations, which were taken only from SUCCESSFUL PRACTICE. The effectiveness of my teaching system was proven by my own practice and the results of a lot of my pupils.

What will you get from the chess course “The Grandmaster’s secrets”?

  • The correct thinking method which will allow you to find the best moves in any position.
  • A concrete guide on what and how exactly you should study to become a strong player.
  • You will know how to use all the knowledge which you already have to finally get concrete results.
  • An account of experiences and practical recommendations from a lot of successful players (Grandmasters).
  • How to prepare for tournaments, how to prepare for the game and so on…
  • You will know how to learn chess effectively.
  • You will stop making blunders.
  • You will be able to calculate variations quickly and precisely.
  • You will know how to create an opening repertoire properly.
  • You will save years of effort and get fast progress.
  • You will fully understand the psychological factors necessary for success in chess.
  • You will avoid the typical mistakes in chess development, which nearly all chess players make.
  • You will get a great advantage over your opponents.
  • You will know many Grandmasters’ secrets.
  • And many other things…

Click here to get “The Grandmaster’s Secrets”

Chess Lesson #4: An Endgame Expert

Endgame cover


Do You Want Chess Books to Publish Your Games As Examples Of Outstanding Endgame Play With a Crystal Clear Style of Playing?  (somewhere between Capablanca and Karpov)

With the course “AN ENDGAME EXPERT” this will definitely become your reality!

How to win in modern chess?

Today everyone has access to huge chess databases. Everyone can learn plenty of opening lines and numerous ‘typical’ middlegame positions. Any chess player can prepare something against you using powerful computer programs. So the problem is – how can you win?

In a chess game you should attack an opponent’s weakest square. Likewise in a preparation you should “attack” an opponent’s weakest side.

Hit in the WEAKEST point!

The majority of modern chess players do NOT have a real (deep) strategic understanding. They can attack and use tactics. However, even titled players are often weak in strategic positions. Computer engines can show you the move, but they cannot EXPLAIN it. That’s why players know how to play, but don’t UNDERSTAND it! So, how do we use our opponents’ low level of chess understanding to our advantage? You should go into an endgame!

An Endgame Is A Clear Strategy!

Endgame books mainly analyze theoretical positions. However, in 95% of situations, you will reach a practical endgame position with many pieces still on the board. An endgame theory can NOT help here (whereas a strategic understanding will!).

That is why learning thousands of theoretical positions will NOT help. I say:“Leave this titanic and pointless work to your opponents!”

“An Endgame Improvement” Amplifies Your Positional Play Automatically.

This all has to do with a strategic understanding.

Remember the famous endgame masters: Capablanca, Flohr, Smyslov, Karpov, Kramnik… They all have a crystal-clear caliber of playing. They all almost never make mistakes. They all almost never lose games in the opening.

Their deep strategic understanding prevents them from making mistakes! They attained this understanding while perfecting the endgame skills!

That is why Capablanca recommended to start learning chess from the endgame phase! Endgame expertise bears positive influence on all other parts of your game as well.

What You will learn from Endgame Expert

  • It gives you ALL you need to know about any endgame.
  • It gives you a step-by-step algorithm of thinking, which allows you to find the best move in any endgame position.
  • My experience shows that serious students obtain 200-300rating points after learning from my chess courses.
  • It shows you how endgame Masters think and how they come to the right moves.
  • Thus, you will be able to imitate an endgame Expert’s thinking process and achieve the same great results!

Click here to get “An Endgame Expert”

Chess Lesson #5: Self Taught Grandmaster


Why do Some Players Play BETTER Than Others?

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 training.

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 a 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 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 training methods, which REALLY give you improvement.

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

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 my course is exactly for you!

What is the point of “Self-taught Grandmaster”? I 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 training methods, which have proved its high efficiency.

What You Will Get from the Course “Self Taught Grandmaster”

  • Combined Experience of Former USSR chess Schools.
  • Psychological knowledge about human brain functioning (and effective learning)
  • 20 Special training tasks and 200 commented games and puzzles.
  • My own playing and teaching experience.
  • The practical part will help you to turn your knowledge into practice.
  • Detailed Instructions to train yourself properly and to achieve an optimal outcome from the program.

Click here to get “Self Taught Grandmaster”

Chess Lesson #6: The Grandmaster’s Opening Laboratory


Opening preparation will considerably increase your chances of success.

Every chess player wants to improve himself and make progress, however, one of the biggest problems is to understand how to do it.

The usual ways of training give very slow progress and even sometimes these are completely ineffective. Finding a GOOD chess coach is also a huge problem. During my chess career as a player and as a coach I have thought about an effective way of learning all the time.

That’s why I decided to develop a complete chess course; Introducing our top selling chess course “The Grandmaster’s Openings Laboratory”. With pride, I can say It will give you a complete opening repertoire on the GM’s level and will make your pre-game preparation extremely effective!

What you will get from the course

  • The selection of the most instructive games (over 600 best games for all the openings).
  • You will study the opening quickly and effectively.
  • The practical part contains 35 opening lines for your complete opening repertoire. The material is presented considering every opening.
  • A complete powerful opening repertoire on the Grandmaster’s level.
  • These games will help you to realize better standard plans and ideas of an opening.
  • The detailed instructions about what and how exactly you should study.
  • I have already selected all the best lines and have analyzed them. So you will study only the NECESSARY information.
  • It will guarantee that you will study the course properly and will get the best effect.

Click here to get “Grandmaster’s Opening Laboratory”

Chess Lesson#7: Attack & Win


The attack is the main way to win in chess. Pretty much everyone loves to attack, and the main question really is: How can you attack effectively? Playing attacking chess against a strong opponent is not an easy task. That’s why the majority of amateur chess players prefer to play safe defense rather than double-edged offense.

In this course, Grandmaster Igor Smirnov reveals how to spot the preconditions necessary to launch an attack. This course is designed to be a step by step tutorial which will convert you into a strong master of attack.

Video Lessons

Lesson 1 – Activity (initiative) Leads to Attack 00:17:00
Lesson 2 – Finding Attacking Moves 00:20:00
Lesson 3 – OPEN UP: Uncastled King 00:17:00
Lesson 4 – OPEN UP: Remove Pawns of a Castling 00:18:00
Lesson 5 – Weak Squares, Outpost 00:16:00
Lesson 6 – Strong Center, Central Thrust 00:17:00
Lesson 7 – Time 00:21:00
Lesson 8 – Have More Pieces in the Attack 00:13:00
Lesson 9 – Practice 00:19:00

Click here to get “Attack & Win”

Chess Lesson #8: The Secrets of Strong Players

The main idea of the course is to show the 9 main differences between players at the beginner and advanced level. This shows a clear blueprint for elevating your chess performance to the next level.

GM Igor Smirnov selected several most critical differences between the amateur players and the master level players. Throughout this course, you will see how they work in different examples, you will be able to train them yourself; and therefore, you will be able to apply this new knowledge right after watching this course.

Powerful Practical tasks

It is necessary to put the received knowledge into practice. There are 8 practical tasks (over 50+ games) in this course which will help you to understand and remember the ideas of the course better.

The training program has a detailed explanation on what and exactly how you should do the practical tasks.

Video Lessons

Introduction: The MAIN Secret that Differentiates Strong Players 00:25:30
Secret #1: Which Plan to Choose When There’s no Attack? 00:21:00
Secret #2: How to Find the Right Moves all the Time? 00:20:00
Secret #3: The Most Common Mistake of Amateur Players 00:19:00
Secret #4: Understanding the Games of Top Grandmasters 00:14:00
Secret #5: When You Should Start Attacking (and When It’s Premature) 00:17:00
Secret #6: How to Avoid Blunders? 00:21:30
Secret #7: Planning in a Middlegame (Most Players’ Pain Point) 00:13:30
Secret #8: How the Favorite Idea of Amateurs Is Just Wrong 00:16:00
Lesson-9: Step-by-Step Guide for a Practical Game 00:20:00

Click here to get “The Secrets Of Strong Players”

Andrew Hercules

Hercules Chess, launched in 2020, is a website that teaches you about chess. We started as a chess blog and became a chess training platform in early 2022.

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