Recently, I received feedback from one of my students, Joshua, who attended my seminar in Vellore, India on 17 October. In his message, he shared his experience in chess, a recap of his chess career, and the lessons he had learnt from my courses and seminar.

I’m very happy to share this nice message with you:

Dear Igor Smirnov, I am Ganta Joshua Samuel. I met with you in Vellore. Your wife told you about me during the simul. I am very happy I met you in Vellore. Actually, I wanted to stay until the photo session but it was already 6 o’clock and I had to catch the bus on time.

I enjoyed your lecture a lot, especially the three examples you gave. Of course, I enjoy every lecture when I listen to it. Your lectures are Hollywood movies for me. I watch them when I get bored. I am very happy to hear that it’s your honor to teach me and thanks for accepting my request even though you have a busy schedule.

I want to tell you why I want coaching from you and what the reason behind it is. Let me tell you a little story about me. I started training with my coach in June 2012. In my training sessions my coach said something like this to me — “You have to calculate 5 moves and 5 variations” — and I believed him and started thinking of 5 moves and 5 variations at every turn after a few days.

An interesting question came to my mind — when to calculate variations and when not to?

He said to me words along these lines: “We just start training, you know it by yourself.” I was surprised and unable to understand how I could know it myself. But later I realized that he didn’t have the answer to my question, and when I asked: “How to avoid blunders?” he said, “It’s your problem — I can’t do anything about it.

//

Like your own story, I trained 6–8 hours a day; but I was unable to progress in chess and my coach didn’t know the answers even to my simple questions. I was unable to understand why I was not progressing. I cried after every poor performance in a tournament, but I am not a person who will give up easily and I said to myself: “Never give up — keep fighting” and I stuck to the quotation but the situation did not change.

When I was searching on Google, I found your website. I saw your story. After reading about you, I realized that finally I had found the solution to my problem and I decided that I would buy all your courses. But my financial situation was not that great and my uncle gifted me your course “The Endgame Expert”.

I purchased this material before a tournament in January and I studied your video lessons before the tournament started. Surprisingly, I won all my games in the endgame. My father and my mother were clergymen, so I believe strongly in God. I prayed daily for your courses to come my way. After two years of prayer, I met a person when I was travelling on the train to a tournament.

I was studying your course on the train. We talked about your academy and I asked him: “Do you have all these courses?” He answered “yes” and when I asked him, he gave them to me in January 2014.

After watching your video lessons, I realized that I had to change my thinking system. I started training. I automated:

  • Anti-blunder check.
  • Calculate system mentioned in your course “Calculate Till Mate
  • Grandmaster thinking system mentioned in bonus video lesson.

In November, I will start training to automate your thinking system about planning. The main reason I asked about coaching is that, as I have said before and would like to emphasize it again, I was highly influenced by your life and your teaching, and you are my role model.

I learnt a lot from you, not only in chess but also in life as well; it’s my dream to work with you and I am very happy because my dream has come true after three years of prayer. Please let me know how much money I would have to pay for coaching. When will you start? I hope you enjoy your trip in India.

Yours,

Ganta Joshua Samuel

(Igor Smirnov disciple, Sammy Joshua) — blog-name

<<< — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — –>>>

Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Joshua. Congratulations on your success in the endgame stage and on your overall improvement!

It’s really great to know that you have a strong, positive, “never give up” attitude. That’s amazing, and I’m glad you enjoyed my courses and seminar.

Unfortunately, I have a very busy schedule and I can’t find the time to provide private coaching. But, as you wrote in your message, you can always learn from our free video lessons on our YouTube channel, in our premium videos, and in our courses.

Finally, I hope you achieve a lot more and much well-deserved success!

P.S. If you have your own ‘success story’, feel free to share it with us. Other students are willing to see such feedback.

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