In my last post, I was studying GM Igor Smirnov’s course The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding to develop better relationships with my bishops and various other pieces. You can read about it HERE. Since then, I have completed the course and it has made an enormous difference in my playing abilities. Not only did it help me with my bishop issues but I was also pleasantly surprised at how much I learned about pawns. With this new knowledge, I was able to increase my rating but then it happened, again. I started struggling in games played against higher rated players. This time, the problem was my Endgame.
The endgame, to me, was daunting. It was slow and the board seemed like nothing but an endless bunch of empty spaces. I needed to change my endgame attitude so, I started studying GM Smirnov’s course An Endgame Expert. WOW! Once again it was just what I needed and once again, it was chock-full of amazing information. There are a total of 8 lessons in this course. I have completed only three of them but what a difference it has made. I like to study a bit and then practice everything until I have a solid~ish grasp on the new concepts. At the time of writing this, I have completed 50 games on chess.com and have obtained my highest rating of 1156. You can find my current stats HERE. I also feel that I’ve reached a good place to resume studying. I will soon begin Lesson 4, How to use your pieces in an end game. I took a quick look at the lesson and it seems to have details on using whatever pieces you have preserved or are stuck with. This is just what I need. That’s all for now.
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.
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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…
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.