Chess Training Package: Doctor Salgado – Know Yourself!

With GM Iván Salgado López

Course Description

Chess Training Package:
Doctor Salgado – Know Yourself!

Your Chess Trainer

Hi there! I’m Iván Salgado, Grand Master (peak rating 2662). Ever since I was 16 years old, I have assisted many top grandmasters in his competitions (the ex-World Champions Veselin Topalov and Ruslan Ponomariov, Francisco Vallejo and Ivan Cheparinov among others). In these 15 years of experience, I realized that one of the biggest differences between the top players and the others is that they are aware of their strengths and their opportunities for improvement (no weaknesses, everything can be improved!). While we were planning the matches, sometimes I had analyzed some variation and they might say: “This line is perfect against him” or “Here I’m better, but it will be very difficult to beat him here, it is better to play something more complicated”

My Training Method

One of my tasks as an assistant is not only to analyze lines but to understand which lines are the best against a concrete opponent! In order to do that, I developed a method to know better the opponents. The best thing about this method is that you can use it with yourself as well! This is the goal of this course.

Small-Group Training for 4 people

It is very important to understand that improving alone is more difficult than improving in a group. This is the reason why this is a group training package. In this group, there will be four students and me. I will be guiding the process, but you will help each other as well. We will create a group where we will share our knowledge, support others, and understand something very important: We make mistakes, different mistakes, but all of us make mistakes. When we see how someone else does something better than us, we see the way to improve.

Duration – Details of the course

This is a 10 hours course (1 hour the first session and 6 sessions of one hour and a half). This course is divided as follows:

 Introduction: Get to know each other: In the first meeting, we will get to know each other. We will understand our goals. Each of us will share why we are here, what we expect, and what we want. Immediately after that, we will create the “Sharing group” and you will get your first homework (yes, there will be homework all the time, be ready to work)
 Opening Phase: I will show you how the top grandmasters train their openings, so that you could do that yourself. I will show you the main principles in opening preparation, where to get the right information, how to remember your files, how to react after the opening is finished and many other things.
 Middlegame, tactical phase: We will analyze how you deal with the concrete aspects of the game. I will show you the Tactical Triangle, a very useful tool to understand these kinds of situations and how you can improve your play.
 Middlegame, technical phase: This is connected with the abstract aspect of the game. Here I will show you the Technical Triangle, like the tactical one but for “calm” positions where calculation is not so important.
 Endgame: practical phase and theoretical phase. We will analyze how you deal with the endgame. I will show you the right approach to play from the start till the end.
 Psychological approach to the game: Do you get frustrated when the results are not coming? Do you offer draws because you are not sure about yourself? Do you push too hard to play for a win and you finally lose? We will understand what is going on and how to deal with it.

Strengths, opportunities for improvement and Working Plan
Once we finish the course, you will get:

 More than 30 of your games analyzed by myself in detail.
 A dossier about your strengths and your opportunities for improvement.
 An estimation of your level in each of the phases of the game. This will give you a better view of who you are as a chess player.
 6 months plan about what you should do and how to improve! Once the course is finished, we will have a monthly common meeting where we will discuss how things are going on and how things can be improved! The group will be still working so you can help each other along the way! Of course, I will be happy to receive your emails and see how you are improving!

Cost of the chess training

This course costs €1699. If you are a yearly member of Killer Chess Training in 2021, this course will cost you only €1199(about $1470)! There are only 4 spots available. All the members will be around similar ratings, no more than 100 rating points difference, so don’t miss this opportunity to work with GM Iván Salgado López and 3 more similar-oriented chess players.

If you are interested in this course, please send us a message at [email protected]

Doctor Salgado – Questionnaire


Hello! I´m Iván Salgado. If you are answering the questionnaire, it means that you are interested in the Dr. Salgado Training Package. We will do a very serious and (I believe) very efficient work, that’s why I need you to answer in the most honest way to all my questions. If you do that, you won’t be helping me only, you will be helping yourself. I’m sure that you never thought about some of these questions and believe me, they are very important for your chess improvement. So, let’s start!
How many hours do you dedicate to chess per week? How many hours are you willing and you can dedicate to chess?
How do you train openings? Do you mainly use chess books, Chessbase, Online Chess courses… Please, be as specific as possible, I would like to know as much as possible. Do you think that you work efficiently in opening? Do you know other people who have similar ratings to you? How do they work in the opening? What do you think about your openings? Have you got a long term and stable repertoire or you are switching very often between one line and another? Do you consider yourself an expert in your lines?
There is a moment in the game when your knowledge about the opening finishes and you have to play with your own head. How much time do you normally spend on your first move after the theory finishes? Do you normally choose the right one? Do you have the tendency to play too aggressive or too passive once you don’t know exactly what to do? Once the opening finishes and you play the first move with your head, there is a transition between the opening and the middlegame (3-4 moves). How is your play during this phase? Do you make more or less mistakes than usual at that point?
The middlegame is the most complex part of the game. Sometimes they are more tactical, sometimes they are more positional. Which kind of middlegames do you prefer and why?
Let’s start with the tactical middlegame: when there is an attack towards the king, do you normally finish him off? Are you aware of the main principles in Attacking Chess?
When you are defending your king, are you aware of the real threats your opponent has and you play accordingly to it? Are you playing too passive moves in this case? Are you missing your opponent attacking ideas?
Hanging pieces: This is very important in chess. A huge percentage of the tactics in chess are because of some kind of double attack. Are you aware of the hanging pieces during the game? Do you make use of your opponent’s hanging pieces? How many times did you lose material because some of your pieces were hanging and you could have defended them without problems one move earlier?
Tactical signals: Sometimes the pieces are not hanging, but they are a liability. The knight fork distance (especially when the knight goes backwards) can be easily missed. Pins and skewers are some kind of Alining (lineal or diagonal, depending on the piece). Sometimes one piece is trapped (especially the queen) and we don’t realize it. Maybe one of your pieces is overworked and your opponent makes use of it? Do you make use or miss a double attack with the pawn? These are the most important tactical ideas that people are missing. Pay attention to your games! Passed pawns: How do you play when you have passed pawns? Normally one should play very fast and accurate to make use of the passed pawns, before our opponent takes them under control. This is an important aspect of tactics and many people are not aware of this.
The positional middlegame: Sometimes nothing concrete is going on and we need to understand where our pieces belong and rerouting them slowly. This is normally called Schematic Thinking. Do you think that sometimes you play too concrete and miss these slow moves or you are good at that? Probably you remember Capablanca. Many people said that he always had the good pieces. Something very important is to understand which pieces to exchange and which pieces to keep. Do you remember yourself doing a bad exchange of bishops? Maybe missing some important move bishop takes knight? Maybe you didn’t exchange rooks when you had to? Pawn play is very important in chess. Sometimes one tiny pawn move prevents the counterplay. Maybe you need to do the right pawn break to blow up your opponent’s position. Sometimes you just have to attack one pawn, force the pawn to move and you create a weakness. This is called induction and it is one of Carlsen’s favourite strategies. How do you evaluate your pawn play? Do you remember at least one of these moments in your games?
The exchange of queens is very important. Once you exchange queens, the nature of the position changes dramatically. Most of the time, dynamics are not as important as during the middlegame and if you have some static weakness in your position (weak pawns for example) during the endgame they will be easy to attack. Do you remember any game where you exchanged queens and you didn’t have to? Maybe your opponent exchanged queens and you were relieved? One of the most common mistakes is to play the endgame like a middlegame. We had a complex position in the middlegame and we continued playing some forcing and active moves when they were not needed. Does it happen to you? Do you have any routine during the game to “change the chip” because you are in the endgame and you have to play in a different way?
You are in the endgame, what is the first question you ask yourself? Do you try to activate your pieces in the endgame as fast as possible? Do you pay special attention to the static weaknesses? Do you use the principles of the positional middlegame in the endgame? (these principles you can use in the endgame in his purest form normally). What is your knowledge about theoretical endgames? Have you read The 100 Endgames you Must know or something similar? In my opinion, this book is a must for anyone who is below 2200.
Congratulations! You made your first step in your chess improvement with Dr. Salgado! After this questionnaire, probably you immediately realized about some things that can be improved. I will help you with every single step in your path. If you are willing to put the work in every step along the way, I’m sure that your results will improve.

If you want to write down the answers to these questions, and express your interest in the Doctor Salgado package, please fill in the form bellow.

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