Your Top Chess Questions, Answered
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Your Top Chess Questions, Answered

From starting a game to achieving success – all your questions answered
4.6 (14 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
96 students enrolled
Created by Igor Smirnov
Last updated 12/2015
Price: $35
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 3 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Students will be able to learn and implement powerful recommendations from a Grandmaster's own experience
  • Students will get answers for the most common questions in chess from starting a game till overcoming Psychological problems
View Curriculum
  • It is recommended to read the book 'Promoted Pawn: My chess journey' before enrolling into the course but not mandatory

The course ‘Your top chess questions, Answered’ contains detailed answers to the questions posed by RCA students after reading the book A promoted pawn: my chess journey. The course is designed in such a way that even those who have not read the book can easily understand it.

Apart from answering questions, GM Igor Smirnov explains how you can implement key ideas in your games, with hand-picked examples from top games. He also explains how he faced certain situations when he was at the beginner stage.

Some of the key points you will learn in this course:

1. How to get maximum benefit when training with a computer?

2. What is the universal approach and how to utilize it in your game?

3. Opening skill development process

4. The very powerful technique to train your attacking and anti-blunder skills

5. How to progress in chess when you are an adult?

6. How to open the opponent’s position?

7. Psychological barriers in chess; how to overcome them?


The course contains eight video lessons and three text lessons. In each lesson, GM Igor Smirnov answers one question from an RCA student. The course also contains interesting examples, tips, and recommendations on various topics, which you can implement in your own games right after completing it.

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone can take this course we have covered this topic from beginner to expert level.
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Curriculum For This Course
11 Lectures
3 Lectures 25:20
  • All of the modern chess engines are very strong, so you can play your game against any software you have, but how do you use it properly to train your opening skills? In this lecture, I show you the method I followed to train my opening skills, which have also been tested by many of my students.
  • Student’s question: “You advise us to practice openings against a computer. Exactly what computer do you recommend for this and what is the process?”

Learn more about this topic with my free course “Chess Training Plan for Rapid Improvement" (

Preview 11:19

  • In this lecture, a student asks me how to start a chess game. This is actually quite a good question and one worth addressing. In this text lesson, I show you what the universal approach is and how to utilize it in your games.



Igor I think the book you have written is excellent. Particularly for younger players I think.

The interesting point you make about becoming an attacking player by playing openings which are aggressive and attacking is a fair one. However, you make the point that you should open the game with 1,e4 as you need to obtain open and aggressive positions from the get go. I however, tend to agree with IM Shereshevsky who thinks that in general the only way is forward with 1,e4 and as a matter of principle you have to play aggressively such as playing the Open Sicilian etc the only problem with such an approach is you leave yourself open to pre-game preperation and you have to have quite detailed opening knowledge.

Korchnoy considers both 1,d4 and 1,e4 are of equal merit but prefers the closed position because they offer more scope for the strategic player. In addition Shereshevsky thinks 1,d4 is the better opening, as white has multiple choice of opening strategies suitable to the style and temper of the chess-player. By playing 1,d4 he feels that playing the Closed set-up's the development of positional/strategical play more so than 1,e4.

Now I am not trying to compare both of you as trainers because I have no doubt you are both excellent. But I would like to get your own opinion on why you did not follow the path of Shereshevsky?

How to Start a Game?

  • In this lecture about openings, I explain why I recommend combining learning about openings with enhancing other necessary skills. The lesson also explains the skill development process in brief.
  • Question: “The main point is to combine learning an opening while enhancing the necessary skills to master it, as applied to the system under study. What is your view about this training approach? Do you recommend it?”
Proper opening preparation
Critical Chess Skills
2 Lectures 33:57

In this lesson, we discuss very powerful techniques to train your attacking and anti-blunder skills.

Learn more winning techniques with my course “Self-Taught GM" (

Students Question:

If you are to train a group of aspiring chess players (ages 8-12 from your country), can you enumerate the most important skills you'll guide them to master to become very strong players?

I have provided my personal top list below and feel free to ass/modify as you would recommend.





5.Positional sacrifice


7.Transformation of positional factors

8.Transition from the middlegame into the endgame


10.Realizing an Advantage

Top skills in chess

In this lesson, we discuss the following topics:

- How to gain new chess skills?

- Active learning (practicing chess often)

- Training games (playing lots of training games on computer)

- Imitation (learning techniques/strategy from your favorite player)

- System of thinking (whenever you learn new information, you have to incorporate it into your system of thinking) (Learn more about the system of thinking in my course "The Grandmaster's Secrets" (

- Anti-blunder technique

Students Question:

1.It sometimes seems to take longer than expected to gain a skill. Do you have any other tips about how we can speed up the process of implementing a skill?

2.In every game I try the Anti blunder technique, but I always fail to do so (sometimes on move 40, but mos of the time after a few moves)

Can you somehow train this skills?

Gaining chess skills & anti-blunder training
Chess for Everyone
3 Lectures 14:39

In this lecture, I answer an interesting question from one of my students.

"I have a child that is three years old and I want to teach him chess when he becomes four.

How did your father explain to you about the movement of the knight, which is difficult to explain to a young child?"

Chess for kids.Visualization training

In this text lesson, I explain how to progress in chess when you are an adult.

“If someone starts seriously studying chess at age 25, using a chess coach, studying all courses, playing tournaments, and in general spending many hours each day studying and working in chess consistently, do you think, in your honest opinion, that it is possible or probable that someone like that could reach master level in 10 or 20 years? It appears that history basically shows that this seems to be an impossible situation, as it looks like every present Grandmaster started while young.

Maybe master is attainable, since Grandmaster seems to be impossible . Do you know of any reasons why this is the case? Or do you know any examples of real people who have become Grandmasters or even masters but didn't start until they were adults?”

How to progress in chess, when you are an adult?

In chess, men are usually stronger than women ; but it’s also no surprise that the number of professional women chess players is growing constantly.

This lecture answers one of our student ’s questions: “ Along GM Smirnov's journey, either as a young player or a coach, has he seen any particular challenges for girls who wish to play chess? If so, does he have any illustrative stories or advice for young girls?”

Chess for Females
Boost Your Advancement
3 Lectures 49:49

We analyze one of our student’s questions. “To open the opponent’s position, there are only three ways:

1. Forced moves

2. Pawn moves

3. Sacrifice

Is this true?”

Also you will learn:

1. Why do we need to open the position?

2. How to open the opponent’s position?

How to start a successful attack?

It is very difficult t o combat your existing habits, for psychology plays a vital role here. This lesson explains about the psychological problems every student faces in their chess journey.

Question: “In the new book, you make frequent reference to the role psychology can play in the development of chess players.

What are the most common psycholo gical problems or barriers your students face and how do they overcome them?”

Learn more about Chess Psychlogy in my book 'CHAMPION PSYCHOLOGY – A BOOK FOR FUTURE CHESS CHAMPIONS'

Psychological barriers in chess; how to overcome them

In this lecture , we discuss:

1. What is the difference between a chess player and a chess coach?

2. How can Carlsen play so well, consistently?

3. What has made him a world champion?

And more…

Question: “Could you describe, to the best of your ability, what you think forms the gap between yours and Magnus' chess skills?

What would it take for you to get into the top ten?

Have you ever thought about becoming world champion?”

Discover more about Carlsen and my chess journey in the below products:

A Promoted Pawn: My chess jouney (

Press your opponents like Carlsen (

How to become the world top player (Magnus Carlsen analyzed)?
About the Instructor
Igor Smirnov
4.4 Average rating
572 Reviews
11,605 Students
7 Courses
International Grandmaster, Chess Psychologist and Author

Igor Smirnov is a chess Grandmaster, Chess Coach, and holder of a Master's degree in Psychology.

He's the founder of the “Remote Chess Academy" company that has helped thousands of students worldwide to improve their chess results.

GM Smirnov has developed lots of chess video lessons, articles, webinars and training courses, including the famous courses “The Grandmaster's Secrets", “The Grandmaster's Positional Understanding", and “Calculate Till Mate".