How to Beat Titled Players by GM Igor Smyrnov: Review

How to Beat Titled Players by GM Igor Smyrnov: Review

In this review I will be talking about How to Beat Titled Players video course by GM Igor Smyrnov.

He claims that to beat stronger players (300 points higher than yourself) ‘you need to have special knowledge which is not presented in the chess books’ and also ‘some unique skills’ that only strong players possess and won’t tell you.

What’s going on here? Let’s take a closer look.

After becoming familiar with How to Beat Titled Players course I noticed that its shares similar ideas with my article How to Beat a Stronger Opponent at Chess. It’s more detailed and obviously more advanced, but it has the same main point that a weaker player is capable of beating a stronger opponent by using, what GM Smyrnov calls the ‘special weapons’.

What is this course?

The course is composed of 6 video lessons in which GM Smyrnov doesn’t waste your time with long introductions and examples. He goes straight to the point and talks about the things you need to know about winning chess games against stronger players. Some people would get surprised since the duration of the lectures is only about 2 hours. But, as we all know, more is not always better. We all want to improve our chess and increase our ELO in the shortest amount of time possible. If something can be taught in 2 hours it’s absolutely not necessary to spend 20 or 200 hours on it.

Who is this course designed for?

This course would suit all sort of chess players from beginners (1300 ELO) to masters (2200 ELO) and beyond. Stronger players would learn the information provided in the course faster due to their greater experience, while beginners might need to go through the course couple of times.

Here is what’s in these 6 lessons:

Lesson 1: The Key to Victory

  • General concepts how to win tilted players
  • How to break common rules to achieve better results in your games
  • How to feel your opponent to feel nervous and make mistakes
  • What is the most effective style of playing against titled players

Lesson 2: The First Weapon

  • Ways to create an attack against titled players
  • How to identify opponents mistakes and use them to win games
  • How to estimate a success of your attack

Lesson 3 The Second Weapon

  • How to play solid defense against a titled opponent
  • How to find good moves in any position
  • How to stay calm under attack
  • How to make very unpleasant moves for your opponent

Lesson 4: The Third Weapon

  • Why it is necessary to create problems for your opponent
  • One big advantage you can get over most players
  • How to win drawish games
  • How to find right moves in unbalanced position

Lesson 5: The Fourth Weapon

  • How to evaluate a position (practical approach)
  • How to find positional sacrifice and use it to win games
  • How to beat titled player in the openings
  • How to find the best square four your chess pieces

Lesson 6: The Fifth Weapon

  • How to force your opponent to make mistakes
  • Messing up the plans of titled players
  • How to think during a chess game to achieve a good result
  • How to use prophylaxis in your games

After studying the video lessons and going through all 100 practical positions that accompany the course you will learn how to play against stronger opponents and increase your general chess strength (aka ELO). GM Smyrnov does a good job showing on concrete examples when and how his technique can be used in real games. He also gives you the detailed instructions on what and how you should train.

How does the course look like?

Main interface view after you open the program (which is about 70 Mb)

The presentation looks much like a power point with a sound and occasional transitions to this:

Chess board appears when needed

What I liked about the course:

  • Concrete, detailed training approach that guarantees the success
  • Good presentation style by GM Smyrnov makes learning process simple and easy
  • Sufficient amount of exercise problems that will help with your training

What I did not like about the course:

  • Software looks a little old fashioned
  • You need to install extra things to run the course (flash player)

Overall the course is of high quality and I recommend it to anyone who wish for fast improvement in chess.

Get the course:


Note: this is an affiliate link, meaning that I will get a small commission when you make a purchase. I have used this course myself and solely recommend it to my readers because of it’s quality and not because of any profits I may get.

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Updated 01.13.2024


Arny34, the course can be used on mac, not inherently but by using a windows emulator software. The support for iOS will be added soon.Kamishar, yes the course isn't cheap, but as Gm Smyrnov stated it, it worth much more since it's a really effective program. Also it comes with a full [b]money back 30 days guarantee[/b]. You have nothing to lose... just to gain rating points :roll:
69$ is really expensive! is there any discounts .. like 75% off for New Years?
Can it be used on Ipad, Iphone, Mac platforms?