Thursday, 24 July 2014

The Webinar and Students’ Questions

Students have sent me a lot of questions about the webinar, “The Art of the Endgame”, which will take place this Sunday (27 July). Hence, I’ll answer them all right here.
1.     What’s the point of the webinar? How does it differ from a video lesson?
During a webinar, you have communication with a coach in live mode. I’m telling you the tasks, while you can ask your questions. This is real TRAINING, which develops your SKILLS. Hence, you’ll be able to improve your chess strength properly during the webinar.
A video lesson or a text article provides some information to you. Any chess player can find tons of information about a chess game on the Internet. So what? Has this overabundance of content made you a strong player? Probably not.
Information does not affect your play. Only a new SKILL can do so.
2.     Will you provide a recording of this webinar later on?
Yes, but it will be provided ONLY to the participants in the webinar.
At the same time, of course, it’s a lot more useful to take part in a webinar, rather than to watch its recording later on. Again, you should get the full benefit from the TRAINING that will improve your SKILLS.
3.   I don’t have any specific questions or problems for the endgame. Should I still participate?
The participants in the webinar have a unique chance to submit their games. I’ll analyse them and will help the participants to improve.
However, it’s OPTIONAL to provide your games. If you have no specific questions, you may still take part in the webinar. You’ll improve your endgame skills as well as your overall chess understanding (because the endgame is pure strategy).
4.     Why is the webinar paid?
1)    Firstly, let’s be realistic. Do you really believe that a certain GrandMaster would spend his time and effort to share his secrets with potential competitors? :)
In 99% of the lessons out there, the authors tell you WHAT moves were played together with the eventual sidelines. So what? This does not clarify their real secrets: exactly how they find such moves while playing a game.
Imagine that somebody shows you how a car moves but does not teach you HOW to drive a car (how you can do so yourself). :) This is an analogy to what you get in most of the free lessons on the Internet.
2)    Secondly, in the case of free lessons, nobody has a real motivation for them. A student knows that this is just “another free lesson from the Internet”. An author does not feel any responsibility, because this is his free lesson (his gift). Obviously, under such poor circumstances, the results will be poor as well.
Based on my many years’ experience (both as a student and as a coach), I know that paid lessons are MUCH more effective.
In the first (free) webinar I held, there were around 200 participants. That’s a lot of people and I could not allocate my attention to everyone’s personal needs. This time, I’ve set a relatively large entry fee. Hence, there will be a small group of students and I’ll be able to provide my full support to everyone.
5.     How will the webinar’s information differ from the course “An Endgame Expert”?
If you have studied the course “An Endgame Expert” – good for you! You are already way beyond most other players of your level. Now it’s time to go forward and achieve greater goals!
The webinar will be based on the STUDENTS’ needs and questions. I’ll analyse your games and will show you what’s wrong and how to get better. That’s quite a unique chance for you!
The webinar, “The Art of the Endgame”, will take place on Sunday 27 July at 5p.m. BST (that is London time – you can check it here: LINK)

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

2nd Webinar : The Art of the Endgame

Golden opportunity to end your endgame troubles

I am happy to announce that I will be conducting the second webinar on Sunday 27th July at 5 p.m. (17:00) BST – London time (you can check it on this LINK).
The topic of the webinar, “The Art of the Endgamewill be confined to “ENDGAMES ONLY”.
Since places are limited, please hurry up and register!
Participants may send me one or two games in .pgn format, with their comments and questions or troubles related to the endgame onlyI will explain and clear your doubts.
During the webinar each position will be analysed on a first come, first servedbasisHence, you should sign up for the webinar as early as possible!
NOTE: This is optional to send your games or questions. If you have no specific questions, you are still welcome to join the webinar!
The first webinar was conducted on 6th July 2014 on the topic “The Art of Defence in Chess”. The response and interest shown by the students were overwhelming and fascinating.
 Also Get the ENDGAME EXPERT chess course now - HERE
The entry fee for this webinar, “The Art of the Endgame”, is $20 USD. After you have registered for the webinar, you’ll be given the chance to submit your games and questions. Since places are limited, please hurry up and register!
NOTE: The registration for the webinar will be closed 2 hours before the start of the webinar.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

How to finish a game - Part 1 Queen vs Rook

As you know, I held a WEBINAR on Sunday 6 July, and it was a great success! After that, many students asked me to do another one. That’s why I’m glad to announce to you that I will hold a NEW webinar soon, probably at the end of July (between 25th and 30th). In the next few days, I’ll give you the final date. This date will be the result of the SURVEY below, so you must complete it.
Here you’ll find the Survey:Participate Now!
Today I’ll show you a new video made by Manikandaswamy, entitled « How to finish a game? » where you’ll learn how to play an endgame queen v rook encounter. This video is the first one of the series and we will put up the other videos soon.

Friday, 11 July 2014

How to play against the Fianchetto variation of the King’s Indian Defence?

Fianchetto BishopToday I will show you a new GUEST article entitled “How to play against the Fianchetto variation of the King’s Indian Defence?”
It was written by the famous commentator from Bosnia and Herzegovina, IM Jasmin BEJTOVIC.
Jasmin will show you, in many examples and analysis, how to play against this opening and he’ll share his SECRETS with you.
How to play against the Fianchetto variation of the King’s Indian Defence?
There are many ways to play against the King´s Indian Defence and one of the most popular is to fianchetto the king´s bishop on g2. This system was never the main weapon in the hands of players with the White pieces, but it has always had the reputation of a very solid system where White wants to keep Black´s activity under control, before taking active operations.
After Boris Avrukh´s book Grandmaster Preparation 1.d4, part two, the Fianchetto variation suddenly became the main weapon against KID.
Some of the very experienced KID players had gone so far that they played the system with c6 and d5 (transforming to the Fianchetto variation of the Grunfeld Defence) when playing against White´s fianchetto.
As I always played this opening against 1.d4, I (and many other KID players) was under pressure to find a way to fight against the Fianchetto variation that also can pass the test of time, and all of a sudden I met the Fianchetto variation regularly.
In this article, I don’t want to create a complete repertoire against it (as it is simply not possible because of the length of this article) or to advertise the strongest continuation against it. My intention is quite simple and moderate: I want to show the readers one of my games (and some reference games), in which I shall explain some new ideas and theoretical novelties, while also pointing to the possibilities that should be analysed separately.
This game was played at a high level (my opponents were GM Milan Drasko and in the reference games, GMs Vladislav TkachievJuri DrozdovskyAllan Stig Rasmussen and IM Jonathan Hawkins), and I was (un)lucky that the game was not published in any database.
However, the times when I played 100+ rated games per year is behind me, so I don’t see any point in not sharing these games with a wider audience.
Therefore, let´s look what Black can play against the Fianchetto variation of the King´s Indian Defence. I shall purposely ignore the possibilities of transforming into other openings (Benoni or Grunfeld Defence).
One system for Black is (after more or less obligatory moves 1…Nf6 2…g6 3…Bg7 4…0-0) 5…d6 and 6…Nbd7. Here Black wants to play e7-e5. The details of this variation can be found in the book Grandmaster Repertoire on King’s Indian Defence by GM Kotronias.
The other is the Panno system (this system is recommended in Bologan´s book about the King´s Indian Defence) with 5…d6, 6…Nc6 and later on Black plays either a6-Rb8 or the quick e7-e5.
I played this way in some of my games and even if I had quite good results, this variation was never appealing to me.
The third possibility is to play 5…d6 and 6…c5.This is the variation I want to write about.
There are two possible ways for White to play against it and, as I experienced in my practice, players with White are often not aware of these (even those with the highest titles).
Variation Number 1
Variation - 1
1. d4, Nf6 2. c4, g6 3. Nf3, Bg7 4. g3, 0-0 5. Bg2, d6 6. 0-0, c5 7. d5
Variation Number 2
Variation - 21. d4, Nf6 2. c4, g6 3. Nf3, Bg7 4. g3, 0-0 5. Bg2, d6 6. Nc3, c5 7. d5
Notice that in one variation, White develops his knight on c3 and that in the other variation, he chooses to castle.
Anyway, in both variations there are three possible strategies for White.
He/She can:
  • Exchange on c5, with the idea to take advantage of the extra tempo in a rather symmetrical position.
  • He/She can advance d4-d5 and play for a space advantage.
  • He/She can maintain tension in the centre and play 7. Nc3 (or 7. 0-0 in variation number 2), and here we can see that both variations (Number 1 and Number 2) lead to the same position after seven moves. After 7…Nc6, White has two possibilities: 3A) exchange on c5, which usually leads to the same positions as an exchange on the previous move; 3b) 8.d5 and after 8…Na5,this leads to the position that can be reached via the Panno variation and is heavily analysed and played.
My intention is to focus on positions described under Number 2.
Drasko,Milan (2474) – Bejtovic,Jasmin (2413)
[E60] Neum BiH-chT1 (4), 21.06.2011
[Bejtovic Jasmin]
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.0-0 [4.d4 0-0 5.c4 d6 6.Nc3 c5 7.d5
Here is the position with the knight on c3 (instead of a short castle). 7...e5!? This is what Black can do in order to equalise. Notice that the move from the game 7...b5 is not possible. 8.0-0 (8.dxe6 Bxe6 9.Ng5 - this is how White can try to punish Black´s play immediately. In the main game, you can see why this method is not possible if the knight is still on b1. 9...Bxc4 10.Bxb7 Nbd7 11.Bxa8 Qxa8
In this position, Black has full compensation for sacrificed material. My intention is not to analyse this position in depth, so I will just leave one reference game:Grigoriants, S. (2562) - Mamedyarov, S. (2646), Abu Dhabi, op 15th 2005, (6) 0-1) 8...a6.
This move is not mentioned in Boris Avrukh’s book GM Repertoire. My idea is to play b5 in the style of the Volga Gambit: 9.a4 (9.Ne1 b5 10.cxb5 axb5 11.Nxb5 Ba6 12.Nc3 Nbd7 © Drozdovskij, Y. (2608) - Bejtovic, J. (2404), 5th Xtra Con Open 2010, (1) 1-0) 9...a5!
That is the whole idea. Black provoked a4 and now is ready to close the position on the queenside. It is not possible to make any progress there (in Avrukh’s repertoire, White combines his play on the kingside with a b4 break). 10.e4 Na6 11.Ne1 Nb4= Rasmussen, A. (2510) - Bejtovic, J. (2382), Politiken Cup 2010, (9) ½-½].
4…0-0 5.c4 c5 6.d4 d6 7.d5
[7.Nc3 Nc6 8.dxc5 dxc5;
7.dxc5 dxc5 8.Ne5 – White can include an exchange on c5 before Black plays Nc6, so he has the possibility of this knight jump. 8...Nfd7! 9.Nd3!? HawkinsJ. (2499) -BejtovicJ. (2385), 119th CH-SCO 2012, 2012 (9.4) 1-0(9.Nxd7 Qxd7!=) ].
Now, when the knight is not on c3, Black can play the same as in the Volga Gambit. [7...e5 – this idea is completely wrong now... 8.dxe6 Bxe6 9.Ng5 Bxc4 10.Bxb7 Nbd7 11.Bxa8 Qxa8 12.Na3!±].
8.cxb5 a6 9.bxa6 Bf5!? 10.Nfd2
[10.a3: I played one very interesting game in Cannes recently. My opponent wasGM Vladislav Tkachiev and he felt that he was in some kind of preparation for me, so he has already spent a lot of time here. He came up with 10. a3!?. The game continuation was:  10...Nxa6 11.Nc3 Ne4 12.Nxe4 Bxe4 13.Nd2 Bxg2 14.Kxg2 Nc7 15.Nc4 Ra6 16.e4 Qa8 17.Qd3 f5 18.f3 fxe4 19.fxe4 Rxf1 20.Kxf1
I had a feeling that I had done everything right, so that I could count on equality here. However, his threat is Bg5 and then Kg2 and Rf1, with a healthy extra pawn. That´s why I needed drastic measures: 20...e6 21.dxe6 Nxe6!? (21...d5!? I calculated this to equality, but I chickened out and played a safer move, 22.exd5 Nxd5 23.Qe4 Ne3+! 24.Qxe3 Bd4 25.Qb3 Qh1+ 26.Ke2 Rxe6+ and Black is at least not worse.) 22.Ne3 Ra4 23.Nd5 Rd4 24.Qe2 Rxd5 25.exd5 Qxd5 26.Be3 Nd4 27.Bxd4 Bxd4 28.Qe8+= Tkachiev, V. (2637) - Bejtovic, J. (2407), Cannes winter open, (3) ½-½].
10…Nxa6 11.Nc3 Nb4 12.Nc4 Bc2 13.Qd2 Bb3 14.Na3 Bxd5 15.Nxd5 Nfxd5 16.Nc4
This position is known in theory and the evaluation was slightly better for White. I found a very interesting idea that leads to very promising position for Black [16.Bxd5 Nxd5 17.Qxd5 Rxa3 and Black is better].Variation
[16...e6,this was played by most players.16...Nb6,this version of the exchange sacrifice proved to be insufficient. 17.Nxb6 Qxb6 18.Bxa8 Rxa8 ² Nikolic, P. (2676) - Ramirez Alvarez, A. (2507), Corus-B, Wijk aan Zee 2005, (4) ½-½].
17.Bxa8 Qxa8
Black has full compensation. I have very extended analysis of this position, but because of limited space I will only say that Black´s ideas are connected with Rb8, Nc6-Nd4 (when pushed by a2-a3 and Rb1), and Rb3….It will reduce White´s possibilities, so Black can put further pressure on White’s position with Qa6 or Nd5.
18.Ne3 Ne6 19.a3 Rb8 20.Rb1 Qe4 21.axb4
Drasko gives back material in order to finish his development.
21…Qxb1 22.Nd5 Bf8
Black is little better, but as it was a team competition and a draw with Black on the first board was enough for my team, I offered a draw – which was accepted by my opponent  ½-½.
P.S. Your comments are always welcome. It helps us to encourage more guest authors.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

GM Igor Smirnov's Webinar - The Art Of Defense In Chess

On Sunday 6th July, I made a live WEBINAR, and I would like to thank all students who were present. But it was not easy for everyone to be present, or maybe you want to see it again to understand it better. That’s why I have recorded a video of this event on the theme « The Art of Defense in Chess » and you’ll have the opportunity to review it again and again without limitation.
In chess, it’s important to know how to defend against any attack; that’s why I’ll show you many examples and teach you how to react in those types of situations. You can start the lesson by clicking on the video below, and you will learn many great techniques from top players’ games with my complete analysis.

I have created a pgn file of webinar games for you: Link
This formula seems to be working very well and gives you the opportunity to interact with me live, and it provides a better quality to the lessons. That’s why, in future, I’ll make MORE WEBINARS for you. So don’t forget to check the website, our social networks or the newsletter if you want to stay informed of those events.

Friday, 4 July 2014

How to join my Webinar

On Wednesday, I told you about an upcoming WEBINAR. It will take place tomorrow Sunday 6th July at 4p.m.(16.00) BST – London time (you can check it on this LINK ).
Initially we planned to make 100 seat available. However, this limit was occupied within few hours. Hence we expanded, and now 500 STUDENTS CAN JOIN!However, you still should hurry up, or your place will be taken away by other people!


Join now!

This webinar, on the theme « The Art of Defence in Chess, » will last one hour and will give you a UNIQUE chance to have a live chat with me and the opportunity to provide all your questions and get my help.

For those who can’t come to the webinar, I’ll publish it later; but the main point is to be here LIVE and to participate in it like an ACTOR and not just a spectator.
In the following VIDEO, you‘ll see how to join the webinar on Sunday. That’s why you must watch the video if you don’t want to have any technical difficulties tomorrow.

I hope to see you tomorrow, Sunday at 4p.m. (16.00) London time, because it’s always important for me to communicate and exchange with all my STUDENTS.
As you probably know, we are now very active in Social Media and are posting a lot of unique content and lessons there. If you haven’t joined us there yet, then this is the time to do so and to check our FREE content.
Facebook PageLINK  Google+ PageLINK Twitter PageLINK

Take Part in GM Smirnov’s Webinar

Today I’ll talk about a very important event you have to note in your calendar: I’ll be organising my first Webinar on Sunday 6 July, at 4pm BST ( it’s London time, and you can see it HERE ).Webinar
But do you know what a Webinar is? This is like a conference but on the Internet, and you will have the opportunity to chat with me during it and ask me whatever you want – live! This is important for you, because you can clarify all your questions, and get my personal help.
In this webinar The Art of Defense in Chess you will learn:
  • Practical tips for finding proper defensive moves (even in blitz games).
  • How to play against attackers.
  • How to avoid blunders and annoying losses in superior position.
  • And much more…
This event is special since it is my first Webinar; and for this special occasion, the Webinar will be completely FREE. Don’t miss this unique opportunity!
You don’t need any special equipment to attend. Just register for the webinar below, and come online on Sunday at 4pm (London time).
NOTE: the quantity of sits is limited to 100 attendees. Therefore only the first 100 registrants will be able to attend. Sign up NOW, until your sit is taken away by another student :)

I hope to see you in my Webinar, and I look forward to talk to you soon!
green-fancy-line-hiTo end up this post, try out your skills in an exciting position from the recent game
Here it may seem like Grischuk blundered: that nothing can go wrong with 12…e4. In fact, Aronian thought this way and played 12…e4. Your task is to calculate the consequences and determine who is winning here.
After you have come up with your solution, you may see the commented game here: LINK