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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses? (Read 52693 times)
rosshickers
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #36 - 01/31/18 at 15:12:10
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some of them are free for me it seems worth starting with them
I'm just in the process of studying, I'll write about the results
  

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kingbadger79
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #35 - 01/06/16 at 01:12:53
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I have and am going through a lot of his courses. Usually they are only a few hours long, and a bit over priced. If you're going to buy any of his courses, the best one is calculate till mate. It was completely worth it. I would not recommend the course Self taught grandmaster because there is not enough information to justify the cost. Grand masters secrets is the next because it truly summarizes all his courses with the exception of his endgame course. I am reserving comment on that course because I have not went through it yet. I do own it though. As I read the other reviews, I was a little annoyed. You have to compare apples to apples. Are Aagaard's books better at teaching chess calculation and attack? Of course!! you will also take a year to get through them and do a lot of positions before you even get to the point where you know what you should be using practically. If you compare Aagaard's 2 volume attacking video to his books grandmaster's prep: attack and defense and the two volume Attacking Manuel, the video sucks. As a companion though, it can save you a lot of time and give you more as you work on the positions. As far as videos and stuff you can apply quickly to your chess training. It is an awesome way to get there if you have the money. If you want to understand the concepts in depth go Aagaard. I do both. Btw, The Secrets of attacking chess by Marin is better then Aagaard's books anyway!!lol
  
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #34 - 03/20/15 at 15:19:59
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Heisman is a sketchy character.

He lwctures at my chess club regularly and its the same thing over and over again.

$85/hr is more than what Yasser Seirawan charges for in person lessons at St. Louis.

I took an in person lesson with him and asked him what the best move in the position is and he said "I dont know what does the computer say?"

That was my first and last lesson from him.
  
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Stigma
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #33 - 03/09/15 at 18:32:34
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I agree with Ametanoitos on the chess psychology "book" - it's a huge disappointment, almost a joke. I still think Smirnov has some good stuff - I really liked the first course I bought ("Self-taught Grandmaster"), and a lot of his free videos for subscribers were good, at least in the past (I haven't watched them for some time). Maybe the strategy is to use good free content as a bait to sell mediocre expensive content!?

He has some sound and interesting ideas, but the general problem with the courses seems to be way too little actual chess content, certainly given the high prices. I already have a big chess library and am happy to use databases and online resources, so for me good training methods is more valuable than even more positions and games. The same was the case with Hendriks' Move first, think later btw. – many of the ideas are right on the money (in my opinion), but the actual chess content, taken as training material, is underwhelming.

I really admire the efforts of authors like Aagaard, Dvoretsky and Nunn to base their books as much as possible on new and painstakingly analyzed material instead of rehashing the same old favorite examples. It's just that I already have too many of their books that I haven't worked through yet!
  

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Paul Brondal
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #32 - 03/09/15 at 14:26:58
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Ametanoitos, I totally agree with you that a book by Aagaard, Dvoretsky and so on is more valuable than a limited video lecture. I have many books from QC and having worked hard with them has definitely raised my chess level considerably. In my opinion, one of the best chess books ever written was Aaagaard's Practical Chess Defence and the Grandmaster Preparation series as a whole.

You may then ask why on earth I could think of buying two videos and I'm not so stupid to believe that seeing a video will change very much. Going through a QC book can take +100 hours and of course you are rewarded for your hard work. Sometimes seeing videos is a nice and different way to learn new material. For example, Schandorff's great books on 1. d4 take a long time to go through. Watching an opening video with a duration of some hours may give some good ideas, extra motivation and so on. In the weekend, I watched Smirnov's "How to beat titled players" which is definitely not revolutionary but not either bad. I have also bought "Calculate till mate" and will watch it soon. I'm looking forward to comparing it to Aagaard's Calcuation book from the aforementioned series. I could imagine that it can be compared with the Quality Chess Puzzle Book versus the Tactical Trainer at chess.com where the two just supplement each other perfectly.
  
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #31 - 03/07/15 at 14:42:03
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Cargo Cult Science meets Chess Improvement
  
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Ametanoitos
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #30 - 03/07/15 at 09:01:35
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His latest book "Champion Psychology" is just bad in my opinion.

First note: Smirnov has a master in Psychology. From where? I found nothing at his web page and nothing after a Google research. If you have a master from a university usually you state that university, while SMirnov doesn't even state where and when he got his psychology diploma first.

Second note: he reffers to statistics and several other garbadge as "truths". When you do this, and you have an academic experience, please cite the relevant sources so that everyone else can take you seriously.

Third note: 29 USD for 112 pages (which are essentially less than 100) with big letters where you get much much much more for psychology and practical chess by getting any book by Rowson (10-times more content, much mower prize) or "Secrets of Practical Chess" by Nunn.

Fourth note: Teaches about "practice over theory" when he gives only 8 chess examples (!!!) consisting of "one-move desicions" in a 112 pages book where he touches lots of practical issues? Come on...

Very very very bad opinion about Smirnov from me and not only from this product. Also i think, lots of people who are "impressed" have never read a proper positional chess book, say Dvoretsky, Yusupov, Aagaard, Silman as mentioned, Seirawan (Winning Chess Strategies comes to ind for beginners) or even Pachman and/or Euwe. It is the same old thing about paying too much about something, expecting too much about something and then simply refusing to see the reality....
  
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #29 - 03/07/15 at 06:47:05
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Smirnov is a good chess player, but even a better salesman!

I have many of his courses. In the beginning I was impressed. Typical his courses contains about 5-10 pages of theory plus exercises. The theory is OK, but I don't think you can teach everything of a broad subject, just in a few pages, even if there are exercise to do.

For example the course "Grandmaster Secrets" is a basic course about positional play. If you compare this with Silman's excellent book "How to Reassess Your Chess", containing 600+ pages, about the same subject. Do anyone believe Smirnov's 10+ pages of text is good as Silmans book?! Silman's book also contains many exercises with a big comprehensive answer section.

Many want to be a better chessplayer, but also want a quick solution. Smirnov, a great salesman, says it's possible.

I have now joined Nigel Davies's Tiger Chess, which in my opinion, is a much better choice. He don't promise unrealistic things.
  
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Paul Brondal
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #28 - 03/06/15 at 07:41:12
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Last night, I bought Smirnov's package "Reaching the Top" containing "How to beat titled players" and "Calculate till mate". When I have looked at them, I will give a short review here. Got the package from onlinechesslessons.net which is a  sympathetic site I find. I got some adds for Smirnov's courses including a free webinar, which was quite nice, from Damian Lemos. I wrote to Damian to ask for a Smirnov course for advanced players and he recommended the above package.
  
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #27 - 11/12/12 at 15:00:38
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It is important also to develop a feeling of when it is important to spend some time calculating and when it is not.

As Aagaard puts it in a book on calculation I am currently reading (words to that): you should take quicker decisions when lots of calculation is not necessary (i.e. avoid being a perfectionist OTB) and in this way save precious time in order to use it at the right moment (when you really need to calculate).

Well, one may say that the same holds for strategic decisions as well, but additionaly, you can (and should imo) use your opponent's time to think strategic concepts in the position.
  

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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #26 - 11/12/12 at 14:23:48
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I think harder than calculation long lines or precise lines is just evaluating the end of each line AND comparing it to your alternative.

Many times I have seen the best continuation and calculated it correctly... but either incorrectly assessed it or decided wrongly that the alternative option was better.
  
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Stigma
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #25 - 11/12/12 at 12:13:48
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dre wrote on 11/11/12 at 23:36:43:
Calculating long lines is hard, but in most cases this is not necesary. In most cases it is enough to see 2-3 moves ahead. Precise calculation is more important than seeing many moves ahead.

I see this argument a lot, but if it's meant to discourage training long calculation it's simply wrong.

When you're trying to reach a higher level, everyone you play might be good at calculating short lines precisely. So when everyone plays at a high level, you try to find any small edge you can. Calculating long lines well can be one of those small edges. If it only matters once every 5 or 10 games, it's still worthwhile.

Having said that, I work on precision as much as length. Not to mention seeing and evaluating the end positions clearly - without this calculation is virtually useless. Btw. a main motivation for my work is to calculate faster/more efficiently, hoping to reduce time trouble - I'm trying to kill two birds with one stone.
  

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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #24 - 11/11/12 at 23:36:43
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Stigma wrote on 11/11/12 at 12:49:41:
trw wrote on 11/11/12 at 02:11:17:
Stigma which courses did you do?
What was the one had calculation/strategy/automatic thinking and the training concepts in it?


It's all here in the thread you know... But if you can't be bothered to scroll: I bought the course "Self-taught Grandmaster".

I have let it influence my training plans quite a bit. The course doesn't deal much with calculation per se (he has another one for that), but I realized when looking at the course that I should work hard on calculation for a while to the exclusion of almost everything else.

This may well be his best course. I also very recently bought "How to beat titled players"; it has some good ideas but imho should have had a lot more actual chess content to justify the price.


Calculating long lines is hard, but in most cases this is not necesary. In most cases it is enough to see 2-3 moves ahead. Precise calculation is more important than seeing many moves ahead.
  
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trw
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #23 - 11/11/12 at 16:24:29
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Thanks, I did read the entire thread and just because you bought something doesn't mean you watched it you know. Many people buy books that just end up straight away on their shelves.
  
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Stigma
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Re: Any opinions on Igor Smirnov's training courses?
Reply #22 - 11/11/12 at 12:49:41
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trw wrote on 11/11/12 at 02:11:17:
Stigma which courses did you do?
What was the one had calculation/strategy/automatic thinking and the training concepts in it?


It's all here in the thread you know... But if you can't be bothered to scroll: I bought the course "Self-taught Grandmaster".

I have let it influence my training plans quite a bit. The course doesn't deal much with calculation per se (he has another one for that), but I realized when looking at the course that I should work hard on calculation for a while to the exclusion of almost everything else.

This may well be his best course. I also very recently bought "How to beat titled players"; it has some good ideas but imho should have had a lot more actual chess content to justify the price.
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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