Here’s how it all started… I needed something new in my life and was like… “Oooh, chess is what I need to add to my Life Resume.” I had never really played chess but I knew how the pieces moved. It was important, to me, to begin playing without developing tons of bad habits. My daughter owned GM Igor Smirnov’s course The Grandmaster’s Secrets. She thought he was amazing and so I started studying.
The first lesson begins with the advice to study this course completely and NOT move on until you understand everything. Wow, I quickly realized how much I didn’t know. I struggled through the opening lessons. I thought I would never understand anything about a middle game. The end game was much easier. Mostly because by this time, I at least knew a little about chess and the lack of material on the board came as a relief. I followed GM Smirnov’s advice, learning each lesson completely. During this time, I was only able to play one partial game with my daughter. I got so lost in the middle game and didn’t want to continue just pushing my pieces around. Then it happened… the studying was over.
This course is so amazing. I understand the principles of chess and have developed a very strong foundation to build upon. I felt confident enough to play a game or two. I began playing on chess.com. You can find me there at michelleistanish. My first games were against the two beginner computer levels. Eventually, I started to win every game. I then had the courage to play against real people. I won my first three games. My rating was increasing and the games started getting difficult. After five games, 3W – 2L – 0D and a rating of 1015, my next move was to continue playing, review the games I lost and study GM Smirnov’s next course The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding. As I continued to play and my games increased in difficulty, I was able to realize my most pressing issue. I didn’t have a strong understanding of the Order of Operations(Chess Principles). So, once again I started studying.
Currently, I’m on lesson three of The GM’s Positional Understanding. I have watched this lesson twice and plan on watching it at least two more times. I’m finally beginning to understand the trickier parts of the Order of Principles. Happy chess times were here again but then I realized I need to calculate deeper… ouch. Obtaining the discipline to increase the number of calculations is painful but that’s a topic for another post. I’m currently testing out my new understanding by playing additional games. The process is going slow but I’m learning so much. I’m giving myself a week to get through this phase. I must go now and continue my chess education. Stay tuned…