Saturday, 28 June 2014

Fundamental Endgame Principles: Win More Games

Please note that the special offer will expire in 1 day. Sunday 29 of June is the LAST day when you still can take advantage of our Special Offers:

You may read more about these Special Offers here
Today, you can learn an article written by Yury Markushin specially for the students of our Remote Chess Academy. It’s called “Fundamental Endgame Principles: Win More Games“.
Written by Yury Markushin 
Endgame is the part of the game which if improved can lead to a major rating boost for a majority of pre-master level players. However, most players do not pay specific attention to this stage of the game and do not invest their time into developing it. Don’t make that mistake in your chess.
Understanding of the basic endgame principles will not only improve your results in the games against equal strength opponents, but will also give you a serious weapon that can be used against both weaker and stronger players.
What that means, is that you will win almost all of the games against a weaker opponents in the endgame and will hold your grounds against a much stronger opposition. I have compiled a list of the most important endgame principles that will help you to win more games.
1. Activate your King early
Activating your King in the early stage of the endgame is probably the most important principle that many players overlook. How many games were lost in equal material ending just because one side was wise enough to activate the King a few moves before his opponent did?  Millions.
A simple rule of thumb is to activate your King at the early stage, as soon as it will not place the King under an immediate danger. Many players believe (quite incorrectly) that the King should only be activated in King and Pawn ending when there are no pieces on left the board.
This is not the case in most of the games. The King can be used as a powerful weapon even with the rooks and minor pieces present on the board.  In the example below even though the rooks are present on the board, both sides should activate their Kings.
D1White to move
2. Passed pawns must be pushed
Many players know about the importance of creating passed pawns. However, it stops there. When a player creates a passed pawn he just leaves it alone and starts planning something else, shifting his attention to the other side of the board. You should always remember that the passed pawn possesses an imminent treat for your opponent.
The closer the pawn gets to the end of the board, the more valuable it is. A passed pawn on 7th rank may easily be worth a Rook. On the diagram below you can see the simplest example it may be the case. The rook must be sacrificed for the pawn to avoid queening.
D2White to move
At the same time a passed pawn deep inside the enemy’s territory is usually weak if not supported by other pawns and/or pieces.
Therefore, the passed pawns must be pushed and protected!
3. Exchange pieces when you up in pawns
Just imagine you’re a pawn or two up in the game. What kind of endgame would it be easier to win: two pawns + King vs. King or two pawns + King + 3 other pieces vs. King + 3 other pieces?
The answer is simple and obvious. Of course winning the King and Pawn endgame is a better option if you’re up in material.
In the position with 3 other pieces on the board, you’re risking to get checkmated even before starting to push your pawns. These extra pawns are far less valuable in middle game positions, than in the endgame.  In the diagram below, white is two pawns up, therefore they should exchange pieces to realize their advantage.
It can be easily achieved via 1.Re8+ Rxe8 2.Qxe8 Rxe8 3. Rxe8+ Kh74. Rxh8 +-
D3White to move
Here are the two rules to remember:
I. If you are up in pawns, exchange pieces
II. If you’re down in pawns, exchange them off
4. Double check your calculations
Endgame is the most straightforward part of the game in terms of calculation simplicity. There are not many pieces and pawns on the board, making it possible to calculate deep variations, sometimes until the pawn promotion or some other decisive event.
The price of a mistake significantly increases in the endgame since a single wrong King move, lost tempo or pawn can quickly lose the game. Therefore, it is necessary to double check your calculations to avoid these unfortunate accidents, called blunders.
5. Place your Rooks behind passed pawns
In the rule #2 we already talked about the importance of passed pawns, that they must be pushed and most importantly supported. The best way to support an advance of the passed pawns is by placing a rook behind it.
Since the pawn will move through a file and the rook controls the files very well, it makes perfect sense to support a passed pawn with a rook. Also the rook placed behind the passed pawn won’t be obstructing the promotion square (as in the case of the rook in front – bad idea).
D4Correct way to protect the passed pawn
placing your rook behind your opponent’s passed pawn works equally well to prevent queening.
6. Place your pawns at opposite color squares to your Bishop.
This is a somewhat counter-intuitive rule. Most players would think that placing the pawns on the same color squares as your Bishop is a safer bet since the Bishop can protect the pawns. However, this is incorrect because it would obstruct the Bishop and reduce the available space needed for maneuvers.
In the example below white has a dark squared bishop therefore; he places his pawn on the light squares locking the opponent’s pawns on dark squares. Not only white obtained more space for his bishop, but also created some targets.
D5Correct placement of pawns
Remember that the correct placement of pawns in the endgame is on the opposite color squares than your Bishop. However, if your opponent has a Bishop you want to obstruct it. That can be done by setting up a pawn chain on the same color squares as the opponent’s Bishop, if possible.
7. Play actively
Playing actively is a very important principle of chess in general which can be applied to the endgames in specific.  For example, activity of the Rook or a King in the endgame can well compensate an absence of a pawn. While playing passively and defensively in the ending where you’re down in material is a guaranteed lose, by playing actively you can change the game around and swindle away with a draw or even a win.
8. Keep your Bishop pair
It is a no brainier that a bishop pair is strong in the middle game, but in the endgame it becomes a devastating force, especially in somewhat open positions. Keep your bishop pair until the endgame, and you will most likely win that ending!
Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule, where the two knights or a knight and a bishop can be a better pair than the bishops. But these are very rare and only happen in locked up positions or with the knights (that for some reason cannot be exchanged off) located right in the heart of your position, next to the King.
Generally speaking, the bishop pair is the whole pawn better than two knights or a knight and a bishop.
9. Avoid weakening your pawn structure
Pawns do not go backwards. Before making a pawn move, especially in the endgame, think twice how would that affect your pawn structure. You also need to be careful with advances and exchanges since it can lead to weak, doubled or delayed pawns. Pawn weakness is that small advantage or disadvantage that can make or break your game.
Unless it is absolutely unavoidable try not to weaken your pawn structure, to have a better endgame chances.
10. A rook on a seventh rank is worth at least a pawn more
A white rook on a seventh rank (or a black on 2nd) is an incredibly powerful weapon. Not only it cuts off your opponent’s King from fully participating in the game, but also it can be used to very efficiently pick up the pawn since they are totally unprotected from the back.
A general rule of thumb for an endgame initiative is to place your rook on the seventh rank to create a lot of trouble for your opponent. Check the position below. The white rook on the 7th rank completely dominates the position.
D6The rook on 7th rank is very strong
These are some general rules and principles that should be used in most endgame situations, and if applied correctly will improve your endgame performance. However, the rules are not unbreakable. In every position you should use your judgment and evaluation of positions skill to decide what rule is applicable and what not.
The Chess WorldIf you liked this lesson then you should check our FREE Ultimate Endgame Tutorial: 10 Must Know Endgames Step-by-Step
P.S. If you enjoyed the article, please, write your comment below.
P.P.S. Let me remind you that our Special Offers will expire in 1 day. If you’d like to use them, please, do so now: LINK

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Greatest Chess Moves of 2014

Today you’ll see one of the most exciting chess moves ever played. Moreover, you’ll learn a couple of practical rules about a king safety, pawn storms, opposite-side castles and much more.

You can download the whole games used in the video here: LINKgreen-fancy-line-hiPlease, be reminded that the following Special Offers will expire very soon, on the 29th of June.

You may read more about these Special Offers here
P.S. If you have Spanish-speaking friends, please, share with them the following info about our new Spanish lessons: LINK

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

RCA Packages and Feedbacks

In the Remote Chess Academy, we always take in account our student’s wishes and needs. Recently, many of you asked for a translation of the courses in Spanish. That’s why today I am proud to announce to you that we have translated three of the courses into SPANISH.
You can read about it more HERE
I recently created three different packages:
  • The Beginner’s Package – it will help recent chess players to get very strong foundations and to be ready for the competition.
  • The Intermediate Package – where you’ll learn how to build a good plan and how to master endgames, and receive the best training materials.
  • The Advanced Package – for advanced players who plan to become a chess Master.

The Quick Jump package for beginners is guaranteed to give you a solid foundation to the aspiring new chess player.


  • The Grandmaster’s Secrets ($57)
  • The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding ($139)
  • The Grandmaster’s Openings Laboratory ($53)
Actual Total price = $249
RCA Package price = $199
You save = $50 (Discount)
This package will give you a solid foundation for the future quick progress. Chess will become a much easier game for you to understand.
You will rush through the beginner level quickly, and will beat all your current opponents easily.
Please, don’t be deceived by the words “beginner package”. Many of modern titled players don’t have this fundamental knowledge. And that’s why they stuck in their progress.
Any advanced materials will NOT help you without a firm base. Having a deep understanding, however, will ensure your Quick Spurt!

Get The Beginner’s Package now

There’s a stage in your chess progress when you can’t leap forward anymore. Instead you should be persistent and have a steady growth.


  • Your Winning Plan ($69)
  • An Endgame Expert ($98)
  • Self-taught Grandmaster ($129)
Actual Total price = $296
RCA Package price = $241
You save = $55 (Discount)
Don’t underestimate its value! Even a very small 1% improvement a day, will bring you awesome 365% improvement in a year!
Here you need to pass “the chess school” and get a comprehensive knowledge about chess. You can’t move forward without it.
Studying this intermediate package will keep you on the right track and will ensure your steady growth.

Get The Intermediate Package now

This Package is aimed for people with an advanced chess level who are seeking to become a chess master!


  • Calculate Till Mate ($149)
  • How to Beat Titled Players ($69)
  • The Grandmaster’s Opening Laboratory -2 ($98)
  • You will get ‘The Grandmaster’s Opening Laboratory -2 Bonus pack” worth $25 absolutely free.
Actual Total price (Including Bonus pack) = $341
RCA Package price = $279
You save = $62 (Discount)
Weak players make a lot of mistakes and it’s not that hard to beat them. But how can you overcome an equal or even a stronger opponent? This is a tough question for most of intermediate players.
Strong opponents are well familiar with common tactics. They know opening lines just as good as you (if not better). They follow all classical strategic rules: exploit weak squares, fight for an open line etc. So how can you overcome them?
Standard knowledge is not going to help you anymore. Here you need something really powerful.
You need to play highly tense, dynamical games. You should sort our complications better than your opponent. You must start a BIG FIGHT and wrest a victory!
This advanced package will help you beat strong opponents, and get to the TOP level.

Get The Advanced Package now

The advantage of these packages is that you’ll get a huge discount (between $50-57).

As you know, our goal is to provide quality courses for our students and to see their improvement. I am receiving lot of positive feedback from them, and today I will share some of this with you.
The first one’s from Garry from Austria, who has gained a huge rating increase in his last tournament:
“Hi Igor,
It’s Time to thank you for your professional and also amusing chess-teaching. I had a great time during the Austria – championship within the last 6 months.
Within the 12 rounds I won 10 games, only 2 draws (repetition traps) 0 defeats, and my rating increased 130 Elo just in 12 games. Last week my team got the title already 2 Rounds before the End. There are a lot of good chess-sites in internet, but yours – is definitely THE BEST one. Serious chess-learning could be very hard, but with your motivating and fresh manner it’s a pleasure – THANK YOU”!
The second one was sent by Larry Remlinger:
I am ecstatic about your products!…so far I have GM Positional Understanding, Winning Plans, and Endgame Expert…I love everyone of them!..I like the teaching method (in depth explanation of principles with concrete examples, ongoing review of principles/ideas expressed, conclusions).
Amongst his many chess skills GM is also extremely sensitive to the listener and works very hard to promote the understanding of the principles he discusses. I am very grateful and wish I had learned these principles when I was a boy.
Kind Regards and many thanks,
Larry Remlinger”.
And the last one I will show you today is from Jonathan:
“At my peak I was an 1800 player who often beat 2000+ players and often lost to 1400 and lower players (hence my rating in between the extremes!). I worked hard for ages but never improved my rating or my consistency, which lead me to quit for years.
GM Smirnov’s courses revolutionized chess for me. I can’t put it any other way. I see the chess board differently. Looking at my old games is comical, I don’t play much chess right now as I’m currently studying his courses, so I can’t give you my current rating as a comparison. I CAN say, though, that I beat a 2000 player fairly recently, even after my break from chess, and I’ve started drawing against Fritz (well, lots of losses, but not 100% losses either).
GM Smirnov instead focuses on a few principles, which if you understand will then lead to the most important aspects of a position, and ultimately the best move. Lesson 3 of GM’s Positional Understanding is a perfect example: he analyzes a game between two world champions using just his principles, and everything seemed clear and even obvious. Indeed, after watching that, I was hooked, and I’m slowly studying all of his courses one by one. I’ve learned more useful and usable knowledge in GM Positional Understanding than all the other books I’ve read in the last 10 years put together.
Someday I’ll be master strength, and it will be because of Igor Smirnov. That’s my firm belief and conviction”.
I get lot of feedback every day, but it would take me too long to share all of these messages with you. But I encourage you to send me your feedback and it will be a pleasure to read it and reply to you.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Spanish Courses and Special Offers!

In the Remote Chess Academy, we always take in account our student’s wishes and needs. Recently, many of you asked for a translation of the courses in Spanish. That’s why today I am proud to announce to you that we have translated three of the courses into SPANISH.
In honour of this nice event, there will be 15% DISCOUNT for these three courses (both for the English and for the translated versions) during the next few days, till Sunday 29 June.
Just indicate your discount coupon ESP while placing your order and it will cut 15% off the price automatically.
You can see the detailed instructions on proper coupon usage here: LINK

COURSE #1: The Grandmaster’s Secrets“:

In this course, I will give you all Grandmaster secrets and tell you how to study, how to learn in the right way, how to avoid blunders and inform you of many topics based on my own experience. I put 15 years of my experience into one course, with interesting and amazing videos.
Get the English version here: LINK

In chess, the opening stage is primordial and it’s important to be good during it if you want to have a successful middlegame. Strong players are very well prepared in this part of the game and they generally come into the middlegame with an advantage. That’s why, with this course, I can give you the chance to be prepared like a Grandmaster and to get a complete opening repertoire.            
Get the English version here: LINK

COURSE #3: How to Beat Titled Players“:

Lots of amateurs think they don’t have a chance against titled players. But they are totally WRONG! That’s why, in this course, I’ll show you how to master the five weapons in chess and how to defeat titled players.
 Get the English version here: LINK

But this is not the only good news: if you already own a course, you can buy a translated version of the same one for only $7. For example, if you own an English version of the course, “The Grandmaster’s Secrets”, you can get its Spanish version for just $7.
If you are interested in getting an additional language pack, please go here: LINK

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Spanish Courses


RCA has launched 3 of its chess courses in Spanish language!

The courses in Spanish are -

1) Grandmaster's Opening Laboratory

2) How to beat titled players (GMs)

3) Grandmaster's Secrets

It GREAT isn't it! So now you can get these courses.

1) Get Grandmaster's Opening Lab (Spanish) - El Laboratorio De Aperturas Del Gran Maestro

Good Luck!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Lesson about WEAKNESS and Take part in a Webinar with GM Smirnov

Recently I carried out a SURVEY First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who participated!
Your feedback and suggestions will help us to make Remote Chess Academy even more useful for you!
Quite a lot of students expressed their wish to talk to me directly and to ask their questions. Therefore, I’m going to conduct my first live WEBINAR (“Internet seminar”).
This is a chance for you to clarify your questions and to get my personal support.
I’m not sure about the date of this event yet; I’ll need to work out the technical side first. Anyway, I’ll try to prepare everything quickly and to carry out the Webinar in the next week or two. Don’t miss this event!
And now lets go to the lesson!
Today we’ll discuss a really important chess topic: WEAKNESSES. In a game, it’s important to create weaknesses in your opponent’s position if you want to win. But, at any level, it’s never easy to find the best way. That’s why today we’ll see how to do so. 
There are two important questions:
  • What is a weakness?
  • How to create it?
In this lesson, we’ll see how to find those answers and how to put them into practice.
To illustrate it, we’ll use an example a game played between Carlsen and Anand in the Tal Memorial one year ago.
Before we begin, please try to find the best move in the position below.

Below is a analysis board. Paste this FEN code in the specified box (FEN box) 

FEN code - r2q1rk1/pbpnbppp/1p6/3p4/3P4/P3P1P1/1P1BNPBP/R2QK2R w KQ - 0 12

The above code is for the above position. You can also see the game from the beginning. The moves are there below.

After pasting the above FEN code, drag the pieces by seeing the following moves and then you can see the game!

Or here is the direct link - LINK


{I am going to explain some concepts about weaknesses in the following game.
Relativity of a weakness, the principle of double weakness, and a typical
question that you may ask to yourself. What is the real weakness?} 1. d4 Nf6 2.
c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Nge2 {The idea is to play a3 and be ready to
respond Bxc3 with Nxc3. If black does not take on c3 this knight can go to the
good square f4.} d5 6. a3 Be7 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Bd2 {White wants to keep the
tension between the knights and don't define the kingside} Nd7 9. g3 b6 10.
Nxd5 exd5 11. Bg2 Bb7 12. Bb4  {This move is a very original concept of
Magnus Carlsen. The idea is that after 12... Bxb4 13.axb4 the b4 pawn is a
"relative weakness" because it will be to attack. While the "c" and the "a"
pawn are more real weaknesses in adition to that the d2 bishop does not
control any important square while the e7 bishop controls the dark squares
that are in general weak into the black's position} (12. O-O {Was of course a
normal choice}) 12... Nf6 (12... Bxb4+ 13. axb4 Qe7 14. Qb3 Nf6 15. O-O $14) (
12... c5 13. dxc5 bxc5 14. Bc3 Nf6 15. O-O $14) 13. O-O Re8 14. Rc1 c6 {Sooner
or later black was going to be forced to play this move. This is a weak pawn
and we are going to talk later about this.} 15. Bxe7 Rxe7 16. Re1 {Probably
right now you does not understand this move. But the real idea is that
according to Carlsen's plan this was the natural position for the rook. And he
does not want to define the other pieces} Qd6 17. Nf4 Bc8 18. Qa4 {Attacking
at the weak pawn} Rc7 19. f3  {Principle of double weakness! here we can see
that usually just one weakness is not enough to make the opponent's position
collapse. Sometimes it is. But usually is not. The times where it is not we
must create another weakness in order to make our opponent's defense as
thought as possible} Be6 20. e4 dxe4 (20... Qd7 {Was a better defense} 21. Nxe6
Qxe6 22. e5 Ne8 23. f4) 21. fxe4 {Now black has to be careful about white's
center and about the c6 pawn.} Qd7 22. d5  {Concrete calculation! White is
trading 2 weaknesses for just one (as you will see in the game) But the
resulting weakness can't be defended.} cxd5 23. Qxd7 Rxd7 24. Nxe6 fxe6 {
Everything seems more quiet for black but...} 25. Bh3  {The e6 pawn is a
chronical weakness. And after the capture of this pawn. The e pawn is a killer
passer.} Kh8 26. e5 Ng8 27. Bxe6 Rdd8 28. Rc7 d4 29. Bd7 {Concepts we learned
(or reviewed) in this game. 1. The relativity of a weakness 2. The principle
of double weakness.} 1-0

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Karpov’s Prophylaxis

Today, for the first time, we’ll present you with a video from a guest trainer and we’ll ensure more cooperation with guest players in the future.
It’s important to say, we don’t use our guest trainers haphazardly and we publish only high quality lessons from strong trainers.
The first video, made by the famous coach IM Valeri Lilov, is about Karpov’sPROPHYLAXIS.
In this video, you’ll see why PROPHYLAXIS is very important and always present in chess.

Chess Courses from GM Igor Smirnov - or click any of the above pages to get your desired course!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

The art of Defence in chess

GM Igor Smirnov is back with another great article! Lets go!
Today we’ll see how to DEFEND in chess.
But firstly, I would like to talk to you about an important subject. We have created a survey for our students and this is the opportunity for you to give us your wishes and needs about future lessons.
It is very important to participate in this survey. Thanks to your wishes, we’ll develop our new lessons and training tools according to YOUR needsWe need your opinion to create tomorrow’s tools.
Here you’ll find the Survey:Participate Now!

Now we’ll go to the theme of the day: DEFENCE
The position below was played in a game between Iturrizaga Bonelli (2635) and Alvarez Marquez (2410). This game is very interesting, because Black has lots of attacks and White has to stay in defence.
Iturrizaga – AlvarezIturrizaga- AlvarezWhite’s Turn
In this position, it’s White to move. Now you are Iturrizaga Bonelli and you have to find the best way to defend this difficult position. Take your time, if you don’t want to give Black the opportunity to checkmate you.
How would YOU play in the position from the diagram? Don’t leave without posting your answer!
16...Ng4Black is ready to play Qh4. White should be extremelly careful now; otherwise he risks to get mated in a few moves. 17.Ncxe4! White starts bringing his forces towards king-side. In order to withstand opponent's attack on a certain flank, you should have equal quantity of defenders on this side of the board.17.g3 is giving an escape path to White's king, and it's possible as well. However, in this case Black still can continue his attack. Qxc5Black needs to bring his queen to h-file, and now he's ready to play Qh5. Perhaps White can defend, but it's not an easy task. 17...Qh4 18.Nf3 "Offense if the best defense". White is attacking Black's queen and is bringing 1 more defender to the king-side. Qh5 19.Neg5!This is the move Alvarez missed; the knight is going to h3, closing h-file and defending the entire position. The manoeuvre c3-g5-h3 is a great example of calculation and defence. Be5+ 20.Nh3 Bf5 21.Qe2 Be4 22.Bxe5 Nxe5 23.Nfg5 Now Black is simply a piece down and he resigned. Being under attack you should be extremelly careful, and calculate all eventual attacking moves of your opponent. 1 mistake can be decisive, and you don't want to make it!after 23.Nxe5 Black has prepared a tricky mate! Qxh3+ 24.Kg1 Qxg2#