About This Course

Level Up Your Chess is a course aimed at players from an advanced beginner to an intermediate level who, like the vast majority of players, when they started in chess, progressed quickly and reached a certain level, reaching a plateau in their chess career.

This course aims to answer the very common (yet hard to answer) question:  How to get better than most chess players?

The course is divided into 6 sections with a total of 26 lessons and a practical part with 50 exercises. Each section by itself is ENOUGH to level up your chess!

The Main Way to Improve Your Chess Game

I’m going to share with you my best training strategies that you need to know in order to level up your chess!

Unfortunately for many players that have studied for years, and sometimes for their entire lifetime, on a certain level they just can never breakthrough. It cannot be like that and shouldn’t be like that…

How do I play the opening when I’m out of my knowledge and I don’t know the opening theory?


What to do after the opening stage has finished? When you develop your pieces, what do you do next?


Boring? Ask Magnus Carlsen how much he enjoys winning on the endgame!


How Should I Study Chess?

A lot of times, people who study chess, without getting too much progress, simply conclude that they don’t have that “magical” chess talent.

However, there are specific reasons why some players PROGRESS rapidly within months and others get stuck for years!

This course will help you progress smoothly and achieve GREATER progress, compared to what you could have got in the last years.


As a chess coach, with decades of experience, dealing with hundreds of students personally and thousands of students over the Internet, I can tell you the MOST important things that make your chess progress.


It is necessary to put the received knowledge into practice. There are 6 practical tasks (over 50+ games) in this course, which will help you understand and remember the ideas of the course better.

The training program has a detailed explanation on what and exactly how you should do the practical tasks.

Igor Smirnov

About the Author

Igor Smirnov is a chess Grandmaster, Chess Coach, and holder of a Master’s degree in Psychology.

He founded the “Remote Chess Academy”, a company that has helped thousands of students worldwide to improve their chess results.

He has developed lots of chess video lessons, articles, webinars and training courses, including the famous courses “The Grandmaster’s Secrets”, “The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding”, and “Calculate Till Mate”.

Learn Anywhere, Anytime and on Any Device

The courses can be accessed on ANY device (even non-Windows devices).

Video lessons, chess games, exercises, documents, all are there for you.

You can study RCA courses online or download them.


158 Lessons

Video Lessons

Lesson 1 – Why You Are Bad at Chess
Lesson 2 – Use it! Don’t Lose It!
Lesson 3 – Look Before You Leap
Lesson 4 – Practice Makes Perfect. Here’s How You Do It
Lesson 5 – How to Save a Losing Game?
Lesson 6 – How to Avoid Blunders?
Lesson 7 – The Main Guide to Chess Openings
Lesson 8 – My Favorite Rule
Lesson 9 – How Do You Attack in the Opening?
Lesson 10 – Principles of Attack
Lesson 11 – Zero Tolerance Policy
Lesson 12 – Calculation Training
Lesson 13 – Endgame Strategy
Lesson 14 – What You Should Do in the Endgame
Lesson 15 – The Main Endgame Rule
Lesson 16 – Complete Guide to Chess Endgames
Lesson 17 – 3 Reasons Why Your Chess Game Is NOT Improving
Lesson 18 – Your Chess Study Plan
Lesson 19 – How to Analyze Your Chess Games?
Lesson 20 – How to Play like Capablanca?
Lesson 21 – How to Beat 1600 Rated Players?
Lesson 22 – How Do Grandmasters Think?
Lesson 23 – How Do Grandmasters Think? / Part 2
Lesson 24 – Why Carlsen Is so Good at Chess
Lesson 25 – How to Beat 1300 Rated Players?
Lesson 26 – How to Play like Morphy?

Practical Part

Theory Games


35 Ratings

Reviews (35)

Although the material was useful, I arrived at different conclusions during the practical exercises. I had considered certain correct moves but overlooked them due to other factors I didn't notice.

I'm improving my elo by applying this course's teaching.

Excellent course.

Nice course!

I’ve been playing chess on and off for about 12 years and the last year I’ve been extremely consistent but not so much in my progress and my results. Igor explains exactly why this happened. In this course his explanation for why I’ve not progressed as a chess player, like I should have or more so why my chess isn’t consistent from game to game. I may play a very high-level game and then a very low-level game following that game. Now my thinking is on track and I’m seeing immediate improvements. My goal with Chess has always been to just consistently play Good chess. With the structure he gives you in this course it allows that to be possible. I cannot praise Igor enough, and I’m almost exclusively going through his courses for my studies.

thank you

This course contains a lot of valuable ideas about how to think about chess beyond the basics. A great foundation for beginners and a good review for more advanced players.

First course I bought and it was very helpfull


This course has already improved my thinking and playing from the very start. Igor is a legend when it comes to explanations and getting the message across. Most of the practical side was well worth it, but some of the game examples I would never have come up with them myself. Looks like I must allow myself a bit of time for everything to really sink in and become a stronger player. Thanks RCA 😊

Great course. Covered 90% of the basics that I was forgetting in my games. I am 2300 rapid on lichess.org. This course is like basic but very good.

Improvement & understanding are incremental. This course has been a big help.

You guys did good at explaining me how to attack

Wow! Putting these suggestions into practice has already improved my chess so much! I've made it to the 98th percentile on chess.com! I can't believe how sidetracked I had gotten by secondary ideas. Now that I have clarity on exactly where to focus my attention, my aim is to master the concepts presented in this course. I have no doubt this will help me reach 2200. Thank you Igor for not allowing your expertise to distance you from the way amateurs think. This has allowed you to present extremely helpful material in a way that is not over our heads. I will highly recommend this course!

The practice sessions were really hard. But I appreciated the practical advice.

Very clear course

I started this course at 1250, I am now on the verge of 1500!

This is a wonderful course for intermediate players as it focuses on essential guiding principles rather than minutiae. I feel like I have a sense of direction now to move forward. Igor is fantastic at crystallising the fundamental aspects to which many players are oblivious. I am starting to see the forest through the trees.

I really enjoyed the course I learned a lot and I’m very thankful for the opportunity to have this course.

Igor has a unique ability to make the most complicated concepts easy to understand and practice.

This is a great course. It changes your fundamental approach to playing and learning and allows you to work from sound foundations. Very enjoyable too.

This course is just what I needed. Simple advice that's easy to implement and easy to remember.

Combine this with some of the best, most responsive customer service I've ever had and it makes buying another one a no brainer.


I think this is a very comprehensive course and really helped with improving my rating

Offered this as an alternative to another course in place of a refund. Unfortunately for me it is too lightweight.

My first course was Grandmaster’s Secrets which I thoroughly enjoyed and review from time to time.
Now I have gone through Level up and GM Positional course as well as the Calculate course which was provided.
The invaluable exposure to how an accomplished person plays chess is providing me with a solid foundation.
My challenge is remember the different principles in the excitement of a game. I playtime various bots on Chess.com to allow me time to calculate and often reread my notes.
Thank you for providing the building blocks for playing good chess. Ron Hochuli

The course was extremely help. Well structured, easily to follow and a good mix of theory and examples. Loved seeing Igors thought process playing against the bots.

The course is fantastic. I like the method of teachig. The lessons are thorough and will help to improve my game.
I have always enjoyed your teaching skills and the many videos you produce.
I miss the cat though.

I am very much enjoying the course. Unlike other courses I've tried, which simply teach opening lines to be memorized, this course explains overall strategies that can help in any situation. I also love Igor's positive energy and the way he makes learning fun without going off on tangents.
The course is giving me a better understanding of which principals should take precedence at different stages of the game, and how to train particular skills.
Pointing out mistakes made by 1900 elo players also makes me feel a bit better about my blunders at 1000!

Good day
This course has opened up a whole new world of understanding for me. My Chess rating on Lichess has improved by at least 150-200 rating points since I started studying this course.
I feel I am still on my way up for a considerably more rating points to come. Thank you GM Igor Smirnov - Your Service is highly appreciated.

I purchased your course “Level Up Your Chess” and here are my thoughts:

I think the video lessons are excellent all 26 of them. I went through the whole course quickly at first just to see context and get a broad understanding.
I then went through all the lessons a second time slowly taking detailed notes for my own personal benefit and landed up with a concise 3 page document to help me remember the key points of each lesson.
I appreciate I made need to review some of the lessons a 3rd or 4th time. Overall I really enjoyed the video course.

I find it fascinating that I have been pursuing the incorrect course of action for so many years.
Your course is easy to understand and makes just so much sense.
I still fall back into my poor habits but by revisiting the course it sinking in to my way of thinking more and more - I do love when I notice my opponents doing the incorrect things and that boosts my confidence.

I find it very useful, comprehensive, thorough and prepared in such a way that learning chess for busy people can be unbelievably efficient. This is exactly what I needed at the beginning of my chess adventure! I have not finished it yet, but I do enjoy every single lesson. My favourite so far are: lesson 1, 3 and 6 on avoiding blunders, and lesson 12 on calculations. The examples are fantastic. Moreover, all that you say are coherent with your other courses such as “My Thinking System” or “Grandmaster’s Secret”.

I also enjoy a separate video that you published “The Ultimate Beginners’ Opening Guide” which is a good complement to section no. 2 on openings.

excellent content, well explained in a logical fashion.

Very instructive!

Great course!! Simple, easy to follow, and super helpful!

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