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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses? (Read 52696 times)
LostTactic
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #21 - 11/11/12 at 11:33:26
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I've done his opening course and I have to say I thought it was a complete waste of money. He calls the King's Indian and Caro-Kann bad openings. And says the only reason players win with these defences is because they're stronger than their opponents. Can't comment on his other courses though, as after this I didn't think it would be worth buying anything else from him.
  
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trw
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #20 - 11/11/12 at 02:11:17
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Stigma which courses did you do?
What was the one had calculation/strategy/automatic thinking and the training concepts in it?
  
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Gerry1970
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #19 - 11/06/12 at 18:46:41
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Hello Stigma:

Thanks very much for your candid response. I gave up chess over 2 years ago and moved on to other gaming systems. Now I am thinig of coming back.

One of my biggest problems previously was being very tied to my rating, or at least the idea of improving at chess. I do love learning though.

I have some thinking to do! Again really appreciate your response.

Gerry
  
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Stigma
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #18 - 11/06/12 at 14:58:41
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Hello Gerry.

The honest answer has to be "no". I believe the only fair way to judge is by results, and I've had a few good tournaments but also one really bad one that canceled out my previous rating gains.

The program has changed my idea of what a good training process should be though: Focus on one isolated skill at a time, and train it (to a higher level) until it becomes more or less automatic. In the past I've spent too much time trying to do a bit of everything, with little progress.

In theory I'm in the middle of a month of heavy calculation training right now, but finding it hard to find the time from day to day. Life has gotten in the way this past year, and I've also spent most of the little time I had for chess playing instead of training, in a far-fetched (and failed) attempt to qualify for a higher class in my national championship.

Excuses, excuses! Smiley It's like with any chess book: If they just stand pretty on the shelf it doesn't really matter how good or bad they are, they won't have an effect either way.
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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Gerry1970
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #17 - 11/06/12 at 04:44:25
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Hello Stigma:

Over a year later, I am very curious what you think of the course now. Has it changed your chess in a positive way.

Thanks,

Gerry
  
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Stigma
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #16 - 06/29/11 at 14:42:16
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TopNotch wrote on 06/27/11 at 20:43:27:
Often it is not the message that is in question but the veracity of the messenger. And for levels between beginner to 1800 I stanby my observation that there is little difference between Smirnov and Heisman, except maybe psychological.

Nothing Smirnov says is new or secret or presented in some mind blowing innovative way, the main problem is that many students refuse to listen to and apply the principles being taught to them by their instructors, but somehow still blame them for their failure to improve their game.

Regards,

Tops Smiley

I don't know why you would bring up Heisman. I love his teaching techniques and use some of them myself, but they work mostly for a lower-rated audience, as you admit yourself. To get anywhere near master, Heisman's approach just involves too much thinking (algorithms and safety checks) at the board - instead those basics have to work automatically to get anywhere near 2300. Smirnov is very clear on the importance of automaticity; you could say it's the very foundation of his approach.

One other mistake that is easy to pick up from almost any instructional writer is the "balanced" training schedule: You need to work on endgames, openings, attack and defence, strategy, calculation etc. to get good, right? So people naturally reckon that they should work on a little bit of this and a litte bit of that. But then none of it is likely to stick. Now I don't want to give too much away, but I've never seen anyone else being as explicit about avoiding this trap as Smirnov is.

And in fact when I think back on my improvement journey, the books that really helped me were ones I read from cover to cover, with virtually no other chess content in-between to distract from the formation of new patterns and skills. I've done this with a strategy book, an endgame book, a few tactical puzzle books, and several opening books, but always felt a bit guilty that my training wasn't more varied!

Of course, over longer time frames (months, years) one should still strive to work on all parts of one's game.
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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Stigma
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #15 - 06/29/11 at 14:32:10
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Mythos wrote on 06/21/11 at 04:15:41:
I bought Smirnov's "How to beat titled players" a few months ago, and I think his chess content is OK. His marketing strategy is a bit sleazy, so I was skeptical at first, but he does deliver. One annoying thing I experienced was the large number of conflicts the accompanying files (especially the .swf files) had with my firewall and antivirus software. Some were even flagged as malware. Anyone with this problem?


Yes, on the course I bought my virus program went right ahead and quarantined his main "menu" program! I didn't want to take any chances by de-quarantining it, but luckily I could still run the components individually.
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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TopNotch
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #14 - 06/27/11 at 20:43:27
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Blue Flaneur wrote on 06/21/11 at 04:14:20:
TopNotch wrote on 06/21/11 at 03:45:32:
Old wine in a new bottle, i've listened to some of his lectures out of curiosity, and while they are sound, what he teaches is no different or better than you get from any good instructor for say beginner to 1800 level. Dan Heisman, for instance, is probably just as effective for the beginner to 1800 crowd, but psychologically the GM and IM title in and of it self is a very powerful marketing tool to attract potential students.

That said Smirnov's courses seem easy to follow, logical and systematic, couple that with his GM title for creditbility and you have a winning formula [Perhaps].

Tops Smiley    




I disagree. I think his base strategic principles and calculation methods are used by most GMs but they aren't ever expounded upon explicitly in books.

I think a person can create a good algorithm without smirnov but I never really looked at it that way until I saw his courses. I never really knew how to find excellent candidate moves.

I had a game this weekend that was really awesome. A lot of people gave me compliments and I just smiled because I knew that Smirnov helped me greatly. It was against an IM who beat me the last time we played. Revenge was really sweet.


Yes people often disregard sound advice unless it's coming from FM,IM or GM's, coming from anyone else it's white noise. Glad u found a good algorithm for finding candidate moves, we humans like to refer to this as a good thought process, which many good players have expounded on this forum in detail already, sorry u missed it.

If students doubt the expertise of their instructor it often hampers their development. It's like a customer going into a Bank of America to cash a cheque issued on a Barclays Bank account and the teller explains, 'I'm sorry sir/madam we do not cash other bank cheques, the customer is outraged, throws a fit and asks to see the Manager. The Manager comes and explains I'm sorry sir/madam we do not cash other bank's cheques, and all of a sudden the customer understands perfectly and goes on his merry way.

Often it is not the message that is in question but the veracity of the messenger. And for levels between beginner to 1800 I stanby my observation that there is little difference between Smirnov and Heisman, except maybe psychological.

Nothing Smirnov says is new or secret or presented in some mind blowing innovative way, the main problem is that many students refuse to listen to and apply the principles being taught to them by their instructors, but somehow still blame them for their failure to improve their game.

Blue Flaneur would you mind posting the game you referred to.

Regards,

Tops Smiley
  

The man who tries to do something and fails is infinitely better than he who tries to do nothing and succeeds - Lloyd Jones Smiley
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #13 - 06/21/11 at 04:56:36
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Blue Flaneur wrote on 06/21/11 at 02:54:46:
I think Smirnov's courses are amazing. In my opinion they are the best chess courses ever made. Some of my chess acquaintances don't think much of him at all. They say things like, "he's good but I don't see what is so special about him."

I feel like I am going to be a grandmaster in the next two years using his teachings as the foundation of my game.

The greatest thing about Smirnov is his advertising tactics. It's so over the top and sometimes the videos look kinda cheesy so I know lots of players won't take him seriously. What he teaches could save patzers from a life of understanding nothing. I was once one of those patzers but now I know how I need to improve (make my thinking process automatic, fashion a nice, sleek algorithm, and kill fools in the endgame).

I am glad he isn't popular or publishing books because his info is so good and useful that I don't want my competition to have it.


Good for you maybe, but bad for Smirnov. The ridiculous advertising and website most likely cost him a lot of potential sales.
  
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Blue Flaneur
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #12 - 06/21/11 at 04:32:23
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I've seen all of his courses. The only one I didn't like was the opening course. All the others were excellent.
  
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trw
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #11 - 06/21/11 at 04:16:52
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Blue Flaneur wrote on 06/21/11 at 04:14:20:
TopNotch wrote on 06/21/11 at 03:45:32:
Old wine in a new bottle, i've listened to some of his lectures out of curiosity, and while they are sound, what he teaches is no different or better than you get from any good instructor for say beginner to 1800 level. Dan Heisman, for instance, is probably just as effective for the beginner to 1800 crowd, but psychologically the GM and IM title in and of it self is a very powerful marketing tool to attract potential students.

That said Smirnov's courses seem easy to follow, logical and systematic, couple that with his GM title for creditbility and you have a winning formula [Perhaps].

Tops Smiley    




I disagree. I think his base strategic principles and calculation methods are used by most GMs but they aren't ever expounded upon explicitly in books.

I think a person can create a good algorithm without smirnov but I never really looked at it that way until I saw his courses. I never really knew how to find excellent candidate moves.

I had a game this weekend that was really awesome. A lot of people gave me compliments and I just smiled because I knew that Smirnov helped me greatly. It was against an IM who beat me the last time we played. Revenge was really sweet.


which courses have you done?
  
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Mythos
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #10 - 06/21/11 at 04:15:41
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I bought Smirnov's "How to beat titled players" a few months ago, and I think his chess content is OK. His marketing strategy is a bit sleazy, so I was skeptical at first, but he does deliver. One annoying thing I experienced was the large number of conflicts the accompanying files (especially the .swf files) had with my firewall and antivirus software. Some were even flagged as malware. Anyone with this problem?
  

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Blue Flaneur
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #9 - 06/21/11 at 04:14:20
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TopNotch wrote on 06/21/11 at 03:45:32:
Old wine in a new bottle, i've listened to some of his lectures out of curiosity, and while they are sound, what he teaches is no different or better than you get from any good instructor for say beginner to 1800 level. Dan Heisman, for instance, is probably just as effective for the beginner to 1800 crowd, but psychologically the GM and IM title in and of it self is a very powerful marketing tool to attract potential students.

That said Smirnov's courses seem easy to follow, logical and systematic, couple that with his GM title for creditbility and you have a winning formula [Perhaps].

Tops Smiley    




I disagree. I think his base strategic principles and calculation methods are used by most GMs but they aren't ever expounded upon explicitly in books.

I think a person can create a good algorithm without smirnov but I never really looked at it that way until I saw his courses. I never really knew how to find excellent candidate moves.

I had a game this weekend that was really awesome. A lot of people gave me compliments and I just smiled because I knew that Smirnov helped me greatly. It was against an IM who beat me the last time we played. Revenge was really sweet.
  
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trw
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #8 - 06/21/11 at 03:57:06
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TopNotch wrote on 06/21/11 at 03:45:32:
Old wine in a new bottle, i've listened to some of his lectures out of curiosity, and while they are sound, what he teaches is no different or better than you get from any good instructor for say beginner to 1800 level. Dan Heisman, for instance, is probably just as effective for the beginner to 1800 crowd, but psychologically the GM and IM title in and of it self is a very powerful marketing tool to attract potential students.

That said Smirnov's courses seem easy to follow, logical and systematic, couple that with his GM title for creditbility and you have a winning formula [Perhaps].

Tops Smiley    




I disagree (at least when it comes to Heisman). I'd learn more about chess by lighting the money on fire.
  
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TopNotch
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #7 - 06/21/11 at 03:45:32
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Old wine in a new bottle, i've listened to some of his lectures out of curiosity, and while they are sound, what he teaches is no different or better than you get from any good instructor for say beginner to 1800 level. Dan Heisman, for instance, is probably just as effective for the beginner to 1800 crowd, but psychologically the GM and IM title in and of it self is a very powerful marketing tool to attract potential students.

That said Smirnov's courses seem easy to follow, logical and systematic, couple that with his GM title for creditbility and you have a winning formula [Perhaps].

Tops Smiley    

  

The man who tries to do something and fails is infinitely better than he who tries to do nothing and succeeds - Lloyd Jones Smiley
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