Wednesday, 10 December 2014

How to play an opening?

Firstly, we are now sending the newsletter from another system. We tried ourbest to keep all of our contacts from our database, but due to some technical problems, some of them might have been lost.
  • If that’s the case, please accept our sincere apologies and we kindly ask you to subscribe to our newsletter: LINK
  • If you are still getting our newsletter, that’s cool and nothing needs to be done. :)
Currently, we’re conducting a competition “Christmas Day Bonanza” – Games Festival (LINK), where you your skills in finding the best game in a given topic and your ability to understand the position and annotate the same will be judged.
Since some of our students asked for more time to submit their games, we’reextending the last date for entry/submitting games to 15 December:)
If you didn’t know about this competition till now, then this is the 2nd chance forYOU. You have 5 more days to submit your annotated games!
Don’t miss this great opportunity! More info about the event, prizes: LINK
Let me start the lesson with a question. Do you know what determines yourWIN/LOSS in a chess game?
Whether you win or lose is determined by your:
  • opening preparation
  • middlegame skills
  • endgame technique
It’s quite obvious that the opening phase is MORE important, because if you don’t play it well, you will lose before you can demonstrate your middlegame/endgame skills.
Then, here’s the next question you need to think about – how do you play an opening properly?
In order to play the opening properly, a lot of people believe that one should just study a lot of opening variations and typical ideas/tricks.
Although this is partly correct, there’s actually a huge hole here. Let me give you an example.
White’s turn
Above, we see the starting position of the Scheveningen variation of the Sicilian Defence. What move can White play here?
Almost anything! For instance: Be2Bc4g3Be3f4g4Bg5f3Qf3 and the list goes on.
Do you really need to study all these lines? Of course NOT!
The opening stage lasts for 15-20 moves and on every move both opponents can play around 10 different logical moves. Ultimately, this generates many thousands (perhaps millions) of variations.
Obviously, there’s no way for us to analyse and remember them all.
Therefore, we should learn the most logical moves only. For example, in the Scheveningen variation, Black certainly should know some theory in the main lines, like 6.Be26.g46.Be36.Bc4.
But what about other possible options for White? Should Black learn the lines arising from 6.Bb56.Nb36.Qf36.h3, etc.?
 NO! You can’t learn it all anyway. If you dig too deep in your opening study, you will not have time for mastering other vitally importantskills: calculationtacticspositional play, etc.
Therefore, there can be two situations in an opening:
  • You play a theoretical variation based on your home preparation.
  • Your game turns into a sideline or your opponent surprises you with an unexpected move. An unknown position appears and you need to find correct moves by yourself.
These two situations will happen equally often. Again, let’s be realistic. You can’t learn all possible opening variations – it’s an unworkable aspiration.
FINAL CONCLUSION: how do you play an opening successfully?
  •  You need to choose the right opening variations (your opening repertoire) and learn the NECESSARY lines within them.
  • You need to know the general rules/principles of opening play and how you can find correct moves in unknown opening positions.
If you’ve watched the video I published a few years ago, “Professional Opening Preparation” (LINK), that’s good for you!
Regarding the opening variations – there are a lot of existing chess books/DVDs about virtually any opening you can think of.
Some of these tutorials are even pretty good. However, there are still some problems here:
  • Studying various opening variations takes a lot of your time.
  • As we’ve already discussed, you can’t learn everything anyway.
  • Your opponents have access to the same tutorials you have.
  • There are opening tutorials about all possible opening variations and you don’t know what will work best for YOU.
As for the general rules/principles of opening play – this topic is almost completely missing!
Yes, there are some well-known opening rules like “develop pieces”“fight for the centre” and so on, but these are very basic rules. Even beginners know such ideas and, in many positions, they simply cannot help you.
Let me emphasise this with another example.

White’s turn
Above we see a very popular variation of the Ruy Lopez. How should White play here?
As you can see, the basic opening rules don’t help here. For example, it is true that“we should fight for the centre”, but he’s already fighting. So what should he do? :)
Most modern openings lead to complex positions, where you need to use moreadvanced rules. Surprisingly, this topic is almost completely missing in opening tutorials.
So what is the solution?
To overcome these difficulties, I recommend you to study the opening courses I’ve prepared for YOU. You’ll find solutions to all these questions in the courses
  • GM’s Opening Laboratory – 1 (LINK)
  • GM’s Opening Laboratory – 2 (LINK)
Some of my students have already studied these courses. Moreover, after studying them, they had some questions and sent them to me. Therefore, I have answered them all in the BONUS pack (LINK).
If you really want to have SUCCESSFUL opening play, I recommend you to buy theOpening Bundle which has both parts of the Opening Lab course, including theBONUS pack.

<<Get the Opening Bundle NOW>>

In this case, you will get both of the courses and the bonus pack for just $143 andSAVE $33 – DISCOUNT!
P.S. We’re nearing the festive season – Christmas and New Year. As usual, there will be some huge OFFERS and DISCOUNTS for you. :) Stay tuned for the updates.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Translated Courses


Now get more GM Igor Smirnov's courses in other languages - TRANSLATED!

GM Igor Smirnov's Translated Courses!

Anand VS Carlsen 2014 - Highlights

NOW is the FINAL reminder for you to sign up for the upcoming webinar,“My Thinking System”which will be conducted by ME on Saturday 6 December at 3 P.M. GMT (check timings here: LINK). Join now: Standard or Premium
RCA’s Special Offers in honour of reaching 1 MILLION views on YouTube have finished!
Celebration offer
Thanks everyone for your support! Most importantly, let me congratulate all theWINNERS:)
Below is the list of students who got a free course from RCA:
  • 1. Vikas, India
  • 2. Lim, Singapore
  • 3. Mahen, Pakistan
  • 4. Francesco, italy
  • 5. Jose, Brazil
  • 6. Rosauro Gordon, Philippines
  • 7. Antonio, Italy
  • 8. Gerardo, Argentina
  • 9. Leonardo, USA
  • 10. Per Ivar, Norway
For privacy purposes, we state only the first name of the winners on the website. All winners were contacted. In addition to that, other students have got a free webinar!
Congratulations to all WINNERS! I’m sure you’ll enjoy your prize! :)
For those who missed this event, please don’t be upset. You can take part in our future events, including the “Christmas Day Bonanza” (LINK). :)
We’ve also prepared a video for you explaining the event. Check it now here: LINK
NOTE: The last date for entry for the “Christmas Day Bonanza” is 10.12.2014, so you have a period of less than a week. If you really want to win BIG PRIZES, you need to start collecting the games and annotating them at your very BEST LEVEL! For details about the event, click here: LINK. Good luck! :)
We all witnessed a great World Chess Championship match this year. It was truly atough competition for the players and Carlsen has justified the odds.
Therefore, your ‘favorite’ guest coach of RCA, IM Valeri Lilov, has prepared avideo for YOU, where he explains the highlights and the critical and instructive situations of the recent World Championship match.
Watch the video now.

Finally, let me remind you that we’re conducting a survey as we’re planning to provide RCA branded products for you. For instance, a T-shirt that has the RCA logo on it can be added to our shop.
But not only that, we’re planning to provide many products for you. And that’s why, you need to let us know what you want by taking part in the survey: LINK
You might get a T-shirt like this one in the future. :)
RCA t-shirt
P.S. I have an idea to visit Austria in the coming months. If you live in this country – please, send me an e-mail to We might get a chance to meet personally :)