About This Course

Hi, I’m Grand Master Igor Smirnov

Here’s why I created the course The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding

I am an International Grandmaster from Ukraine, currently rated 2507 FIDE.

I am also a Chess Coach and holds a Master’s degree in Psychology.

I have developed numerous chess lessons, articles, webinars and training courses, including the famous courses that have helped many players of all levels improve their chess skills and break their barriers to climb up to higher new levels.

Positional Chess Strategy: The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding

Why do STRONGER players play better than the average club player?

Why is it that they WIN games and tournaments almost ALL the time… and some players can’t even keep a positive score?

The answer obviously is this:

Stronger players have a better understanding of positional chess strategy!

No, they don’t just calculate variations. Strong players don’t just memorize opening lines. They don’t just look for tactics every move.

What sets really strong players ahead of the pack is their deep and clear understanding of the game.

This clear understanding allows them to ‘JUST KNOW’ the right move!

With their deep positional and strategic understanding guiding them like a compass, strong chess players can tell the right plan and ideas and KNOW the RIGHT move ALL the time… without breaking a sweat!

The PROBLEM With Modern Club Players.

Modern club and tournament players do NOT understand positional chess strategy. They can only envy the positional and strategic understanding of old-school masters like Capablanca, Steinitz, Nimzowitsch, Rubinstein, and others.

Sounds unbelievable?

Well, consider this. Modern tournament chess players spend LONG hours on:

1) Training their tactical skills and combinative eye by solving hundreds or even thousands of tactical exercises.
2) Studying and memorizing sharp opening lines. They even buy monthly chess opening publications to keep them up-to-date with the latest theory.
3) And when it comes to playing, they love positions that allow them to attack.

At first sight, it seems there is nothing wrong with it… until the average tournament player encounters someone stronger, someone, who UNDERSTANDS chess better and deeper than they do.

The time they spent on opening preparation, honing tactical skills, and attacking technique ALL go out of the window when they encounter a position that requires clear positional and strategic UNDERSTANDING.

The stronger player SLOWLY but SURELY outplays them, snuff out their counter chances, and ultimately, brings the point home.

I’m not saying that training your tactical skills, attacking technique, preparing for openings, etc. won’t bring you anything. Yes, they will improve your game. You may win a game or two in fine style.

However, to break through the small league… the elite circle of REALLY strong players, you need to take your UNDERSTANDING of chess to a DEEP and CRYSTAL CLEAR level.

What is the Solution?

To get that qualitative leap in your chess development, you need to go beyond studying tactics, opening lines, etc. You need to have a clear and deep understanding of positional chess strategy.

And to do just that, I have developed the course:

“The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding”

If you…

  • Want to make GREAT progress in chess but don’t have 8 hours a day to spend on training.
  • Want to clear up ALL of your QUESTIONS in chess.
  • Want to WIN MORE games and tournaments.
  • Want to get that MASSIVE increase in rating points.
  • Want to keep your level of play in GREAT shape ALL THE TIME.

Then you will surely LOVE this course!

Is this course for Me?

With the Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding you will…

  • Understand everything about positional chess Strategy. With this, you will understand how to play REAL chess and how to think during a real game!
  • Reveal the SECRETS of REALLY strong players: the most important strategic and positional rules that enable them to demolish the opposition.
  • Show you how strong players of the past and present use these important strategic rules in their games and win even against the strongest opponents.
  • Hand-hold you and train you so that you will UNDERSTAND chess at a very deep level and make sure you are able to apply this understanding in your games… ALL THE TIME!

After careful study of The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding, you will FINALLY have what it takes to be one of the VERY few (about 1 to 3 percent) STRONG chess players and play the game at a VERY high level!

YES, The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding isn’t just informative. It’s NOT just a theoretical discussion of positional play and strategic understanding. This course is ALL about the MOST important strategic and positional rules and, more importantly, it will show you how to apply these in your games!

With the heightened UNDERSTANDING of chess, you will make that QUALITATIVE LEAP FORWARD in your chess development. And to make sure the lessons stick, this course comes with a Practical Part.

“This Is GREAT, Igor! BUT How much?”

I’m sure that’s the question you are asking right now. Being a unique… one-of-a-kind course, I could easily put a price tag of hundreds of dollars for “The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding” and it would still be a BARGAIN! After all, you are going to get the mental tools used by Grandmasters and chess professionals like me.

However, I want it to be as affordable as it could get.

Now, let’s be realistic: the price is a little higher than most chess books, databases, etc. out there today. But did those books and training courses give you the SIGNIFICANT and QUALITATIVE LEAP FORWARD you are looking for?

I don’t think so. Or, you can hire a chess instructor online for more or less 3 hours of coaching. BUT would 3 hours be enough to make a HUGE impact in your game?

I’m sure you know the answer. So why would you spend your time, effort, and money on things that don’t really improve your game? With this course, you will gain that SIGNIFICANT and QUALITATIVE LEAP FORWARD… and I guarantee that!

“The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding” Contains All You Need For Playing At The NEXT LEVEL

  • Info-packed video lessons oozing with practical advice (200 minutes).
  • The text version of every video lesson (for printing).
  • 234 special tasks and games for your training to make those lessons stick.
  • The special “Mind Maps” and other KEY materials for printing.
  • Detailed instructions about WHAT and HOW exactly you should train.
  • It’s NOT just theory! It comes with concrete examples, with commentaries, about how exactly you should apply MY recommendations.
  • 5 bonus lessons, including 1 text lesson and 4 video lessons (70 text pages 85 minutes of video).
  • Text version of the bonus lessons (available for printing) – suitable for learners who get the most out of reading.
  • All answers to your questions.
  • All the programs necessary to use the course properly.


Video Lessons

Right here, I will show you what makes Positional Understanding REALLY important and how Grandmasters, IMs, etc. use it all the time.

  • The MAIN guiding idea of chess that will allow you to separate the good moves from the bad ones.
  • How to win MORE and know LESS. You don’t need reams of theory. You only need to focus on the MOST important things in chess!
  • How computers EXCEL in chess and how you can do the same for your game.
  • How Grandmaster’s think in REAL-time scenarios using only 2 VERY important principles.
  • How to evaluate any position EASILY and ACCURATELY. You don’t need to use 15-step evaluation algorithms to precisely know who has the advantage, by how much, etc.

And those are just to name a few!

This lesson is a continuation of the first one, where we will delve deeper into the MAIN guiding idea of chess and how IMPORTANT it is to keep in mind all the time to find the RIGHT moves in any position.

  • This is where I will spill the beans! I will show you ALL of the IMPORTANT strategic and positional rules. And I won’t just tell you the ‘WHAT’ but HOW they are created as well. This will bring you DEEP chess understanding in a way that’s NATURAL and EASY TO DIGEST.
  • I will show you the 2 VERY important factors based on the MAIN guiding idea of chess. When you keep these factors in mind all the time, you can hardly go wrong!
  • An in-depth discussion of the IMPORTANT strategic and positional principles. These principles, which stem from the main guiding idea of chess, enables STRONG players to ‘JUST KNOW’ the RIGHT move on any position not matter how complicated it is. And with this lesson, you can, too!

In the third lesson, I will hand-hold you and show you how to use your newly acquired positional and strategic understanding in REAL chess games. I will give you a SIMPLE but EFFECTIVE guide for playing REAL chess!

  • We kick start this lesson with a quick review of the strategic and positional rules discussed on the previous lesson to make sure they STICK and they make a SIGINIFICANT and POSITIVE impact in your game.
  • The REAL role of calculation and tactics. And how this will save you A LOT of time and effort when choosing a move in ACTUAL chess games.
  • Using a very instructive game, I will show you how a World Class Grandmaster applies the strategic and positional rules we discussed to WIN against a former WORLD CHAMPION so you can too! (We will even discover some mistakes along the way Smile)

Pawn structures and pawns are VERY important in determining the RIGHT plan, finding the RIGHT ideas, and the RIGHT moves in a position. In this lesson, I will show you…

  • The 2 functions of pawns and how they affect the position. If you know this by heart, you can make all of your chess men: pieces and pawns; work together and bring you closer to victory!
  • How to make your pawns can work in your favor and increase your whole army’s activity while hampering the opponents.With a FULLY active army against a sleeping one, a WIN shouldn’t be too far away from you.
  • What to do with an opponent’s weaknesses so you can bag that point without breaking a sweat.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

This lesson is devoted to the intricacies of the Bishop and the Bishop pair. With this lesson, you will have a deeper understanding of how these clerics work and how to make them an important or even WINNING asset in your games!

  • How to use your Bishops and make sure they have a GREAT impact in the position. If you don’t know how to bring your Bishops into the game efficiently, you may end up having a ‘tall pawn’… and even lose a game!
  • How Bishops can be very powerful in the endgame. This part of the lesson will help you assess ‘Bishop for Knight’ trades BETTER and how you can have an advantageous or even WINNING endgame!
  • So you re fighting against a Bishop? Don’t worry! I will show you 5 EFFECTIVE weapons that will shut down the opponent’s Bishop. These ideas are even used in many of today’s opening lines!
  • The ONLY disadvantage of a Bishop compared to other pieces, and how you can use this disadvantage so your opponent’s Bishops will be miserable. You will be surprised at how many games are won or lost because of a miserable Bishop!

In the 6th lesson, we will discuss how Bishops interact with other pieces – Knights, Rooks, Queen, etc. You will heighten your UNDERSTANDING of how Bishops influence the flow of the game and how they work with your pieces, which is ESSENTIAL for taking your game to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL!

  • The TRUTH about Bishops vs. Knight and how knowing this deeply will enable you to get the UPPER HAND in your games.
  • Stuck with a Knight against a Bishop? NO PROBLEM! Later in the lesson, I will show you how you can restrict an opponent’s Bishop and make your Knight stronger than his cleric. Again, knowing these techniques will help you gain an advantage in many of your games.
  • Opposite-colored Bishops have a drawish tendency, BUT there are other unknown rules that you should know about it! These rules can help you turn a seemingly innocent opposite-colored Bishop position into a WINNING one!
  • Why masters and STRONG players almost always play to have the Bishop Pair, and how you can take FULL advantage of the 2 Bishops when you have them in your games!
  • So your opponent’s have the 2 Bishops? Don’t worry! I will show you how to fight back against the pair and make sure you don’t go down easily in flames.

In the final lesson, as the name suggests, we will take a closer look at ALL of the other pieces in Chess – King, Queen, Rook, etc., how they influence a position and how you can take advantage of them according to the positional and strategic rules discussed in the previous lesson.

  • How to use your King effectively and why castling is VERY important. Note: It’s not just about your King’s safety!
  • Know what Rooks NEED to have an impact in the game. With this, you will have BETTER Rook play / techniques and you can avoid the catastrophe experienced by other STRONG players who took this for granted.
  • Have you ever wondered why a Knight often appears to be out of game? I will tell you EXACTLY that and how you can turn the situation around… making your steed a force to be reckoned with at the board!

And there’s A LOT more!

YES, The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding isn’t just informative. It’s NOT just a theoretical discussion of positional play and strategic understanding. This course is ALL about the MOST important strategic and positional rules and, more importantly, it will show you how to apply these in your games!

Powerful Practical Tasks

Bonus Lessons

  • 5 extra lessons, including 1 text lesson and 4 video lessons (70 text pages + 85 minutes of video).
  • Text version of the lessons (available for printing) – suitable for learners who get the most out of reading.

The bonus lessons cover:

  • The answers to all typical questions of my students about the course “The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding”
  • A deep look at most typical mistakes of chess learners. And more importantly, an in-depth discussion on how to get rid of these game-breaking errors.

The bonus lessons will help you:

  • Clear up all your doubts (questions) about the main course.
  • Help prevent you from making these common mistakes.
  • Get rid of all of the obstacles that keep you from making progress in chess!
  • Get the MAXIMUM benefit and the biggest progress out of the main course “The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding”.


What GM Igor Smirnov's students say

Look what chess people around the globe say about GM Igor Smirnov’s courses.
YOU can find full testimonials from much more students HERE

I myself used some of the materials presented by Igor on Youtube and I was a very satisfied costumer.
GM Jaan Ehlvest
I WON A 9 GAME GM NORM! I become the youngest International Master of my country...
Jose Gascon, IM
Mujun Yu

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?

You can take the course at your own pace. The only deadline is your own drive to improve your chess expertise!

How long will I have access to the course?

You will have lifetime access to the course.

What if I want a refund?

We are happy to issue a refund within the first 30 days.

What skills will this course teach me?

The Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding is a course that brings your chess understanding to a whole new level. Highlights include: Step by step guide for a practical play, understanding of pawn structures, important rules of the chess pieces, a complete practical part to test your acquired knowledge, and more!

Will I play better by the end of the course?

Let my students reply that! Here’s what they can say about that.

Zoltán Páll: “…After studying the GM’s Positional Understanding the wonderful thing is that now I understand why I was losing…. PS My ratings went higher with 200 points instantly, and I haven’t started the practical part yet.”

Durgesh K “…Then came your ground breaking positional understanding video training program. It blew me away right from the start.
The results were too good for me, I started winning convincingly against 1900 rated players and the recent scalp was 2160 rated player. I dedicate all these wins to you…”

You can check more stories here: https://chess-teacher.com/student-2/

So, although I can’t guarantee anyone’s success, that is absolutely the intended outcome!

What equipment/tools will I need to complete the course?

You’ll need ANY device where you can access the Internet and a *pgn viewer. If you don’t have a *pgn viewer and need one for free, just check this link: https://chess-teacher.com/knowledge-base-rca/how-to-open-pgn-files/

If you also want to download the course (this is optional) you’ll also need a PDF reader and a video player.

Will I get access to the full course all at once?


What do I do if I need help?

If you need help with something related to the course, please contact us at support_manager@chess-teacher.com. Thanks!

How can I buy the course?

You can pay with credit card, debit card, PayPal or Google Pay.

This course includes:

4.8 hours on-demand video

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.


506 Lessons4h 48m

Video Lessons

1. Positional Understanding14:05
2. A Look at all The Positional Principles00:22:00
3. Step by Step Guide for a Practical Play00:29:00
4. Strategic Elements-Pawn Structure – part 100:23:00
5. Strategic Elements-Pawn Structure – part 200:24:00
6. How to Take Charge of Your Future?00:31:00
7. The Bishops and Company00:36:00
8. Other Chess Pieces and Important Rules00:23:00

Bonus Lesson

Practical Part

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