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

Gaining a Grandmaster’s Chess Positional Understanding

Gaining a Grandmaster’s Chess Positional Understanding

Less than a week ago, I gave myself one week to better understand the Order of Operations(Chess Principles), you can read about it HERE.  I’m one day early but I think that I have developed a good understanding and now just need to work on perfecting it.  This material was gained only from lessons one through three of GM Igor Smirnov’s course The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding.  There are a total of seven lessons, a few bonus lessons and many practical tasks to complete.

I have moved on to lesson four but have yet to complete it. All I can say, at this time, is OMG and WOW!  So far it’s Pawns, Knights and Bishops, Oh My.  I didn’t even realize the presented material was something to be known.  The information is beyond helpful and arrived just when I needed it most.  Since I haven’t made it through the entire lesson, I have no idea how long it will take to complete.

I’m continuing on my journey; studying, playing and evaluating.  During my studies I have continued to play games on chess.com.  At the time of writing this, I have completed 11 games, 7W – 4L – 0D and have a rating of 1048.  This is an amazing journey and I’m so excited to be on it.

~Michelle

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