Developing Relationships with One’s Chess Pieces

Developing Relationships with One’s Chess Pieces

I’m back from the holidays and am seriously studying chess, again.  I previously left off with GM Igor Smirnov’s course The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding.  You can read about it HERE.  I have completed watching lesson 4 but need to continue reviewing it until I completely understand everything.  What I do have, is a better understanding of the relationships between pawns, pieces and myself.

When I first started chess I had an infatuation with the bishop.  It seemed to me that the movements were easy to understand and predict.  This next part might be a bit strange but I also felt it possessed an admirable elegance and gracefulness.  In the beginning, this was the piece I loved, while I struggled with not getting whacked by my opponents knights and never used my rooks correctly.  Then it happened, my game started improving, I began playing higher rated players and I just couldn’t hang.

After evaluating my games, I realized that my biggest issue (because I have countless chess issues) was that I wasn’t developing my bishops correctly.  I was like wait, what?!  I thought that the bishop was the one piece I was developing to perfection but no, it was back to the drawing board.  I had no idea what to do and honestly, I’m still at the not sure what to do point but I’m working on it.  I watched GM Smirnov’s FREE video lesson Breaking stereotypes Part – 1  and now I know what not to do.  My plan is to finish studying The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding, then begin GM Smirnov’s next course in his RCA Beginners Package, The Grandmaster’s Openings Laboratory and all the while continuing to play on chess.com.  I think this plan will greatly improve my bishop issues and build my understanding of the relationships between the pawns, pieces and myself.  So at the end of the day, I now love my Queen. 🙂

~Michelle

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Understanding the Grandmaster’s Chess Secrets

Understanding the Grandmaster’s Chess Secrets

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…

~Michelle

Chess, In The Beginning…

Chess, In The Beginning…

My beginning that is…

This is a short story of My personal chess beginning, from the last week in October 2016 to December 11, 2016…

Why chess?  To be honest, I needed something to do.  My daughter wanted to begin playing chess seriously and so I thought, why not.  I started studying a course she owned, The Grandmaster’s Secrets by GM Igor Smirnov.  His principles and theory, in general, made so much sense.  However, I had never played chess.  I knew how the pieces moved and had a general idea of what one wanted to accomplish during a game.  The most powerful thing about the course was this…  he sternly advises to study this course and NOT move on until you completely understand every lesson.  So, I studied and studied and studied and studied and I started to learn more and more.  It was the perfect course to begin building a strong chess foundation.  Now, I just need to become perfect at it.  Only recently have I been able to even play and understand an entire game.

To begin practicing my newly found skills I started playing on chess.com.  You can find me there at michelleistanish.  My first games were against the computer set at a beginner level.  Eventually, I got the courage to play other people.  At the time of posting this I have completed five games, 3W – 2L – 0D and My rating is 1015.  My next move to further my learning is to play more games, study the games I lost and continue my GM Smirnov studies.  I’m currently studying his course The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding.  I will have additional updates soon.

Happy Chessing,

~Michelle