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How do you identify strategical/tactical positions?


  • 14 months ago · Quote · #1

    kemibl

    How do you know whether the position on the board is strategical or tactical? Do you look for tactics and, if none are there, then you need to play strategically?

    Thank you

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #2

    Lucidish_Lux

    Kind of, yeah. Obviously if you can force a checkmate, you do that. If you can't checkmate, you look for material gain. If you can't gain material (usually by way of a tactic) then you look for the next best thing you can do, which is usually positional/strategical. Try not to separate the two in your mind--you're just looking for the best move and plan.

    "Tactics is knowing what to do when there's something to do. Strategy is knowing what to do when there's nothing to do." -Someone other than me

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #3

    DrFrank124c

    I believe the best thing is to play for a good  position. Once  you have a good position you can start thinking about tactics. Botvinnik said, "Tactics is the servant of positioon." Of course if you see a really good tactical play, you might want to do that, its all a matter of judgement. 

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #4

    CrimsonKnight7

    The best teacher is experience. If you can't figure a way to get to the enemies King, look for ways of weakening your opponents position around the king. Look for hanging pieces, weak squares (short term tactics, IE combo's, pinning, skewers, etc, etc). If the game looks about equal after all that, try to improve your position, via king safety and piece coordination ( more long term, Strategical). Check for outposts, if there isn't any maybe there will be later. These are things I do personally. I am not always successful though.

     

        Tactics are anything short term, often they are game winners. EX.. If you win your opponents queen early, in most cases you will win the game, unless you have a very good opponent, or it was a trap, or sac. Short term the position says your winning, but if it was a sac to check mate your king in 10 moves, then it is more strategical, and you have to look deeper into the position, to know not to take the bait, if it is even possible for you to do so. Because that could even be forced sometimes.

    These positions do come up btw, maybe not often, but I know others have seen plenty of mates that can take 36 moves, that all beginners should learn, bishop and knight for example. That is more strategy than tactics imho. Another example is if you can get the enemy king in open board, your queen and rook will mate him almost all the time with careful play, and that is more strategy than tactics, sometimes (it depends on how many defenders the enemy king can utilize, hide, transpose etc.). That is also considered more strategical imho. The reason is because its usually not a one two punch knockout, nor is it immediate, and sometimes you have to add something extra, maybe a pawn move, or piece sac, in addition to.

    I hope this helps, and hope its not to long winded. Good luck.

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #5

    KuzmickiMarek

    Positional (i think that you were talking about when said 'strategy') is when you can put pressure without exchenging material. Tactical is when you put pressure through exchanging material. Because you need to count few move to see is there positional line or tactical, it can be difficult to say right away.

    When there is a lot of pins or pieces attacking directly one another, there is high possibility for tactical shot.

    When pieces fight for control over squares, attacking themselves 'indirectly', there is positional play.

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #6

    xxvalakixx

    A strategical positions is when there is no contact between your and your opponents pieces, and a tactical position is when there is contact between your and your opponents pieces. (So when some pieces attack an other one)

    And now for example a tactical positions.

    So when there is no contact between your and your opponents pieces, both players play on their own side of the board it is a strategical positions, when the pieces attack each other, (or if you play on your opponents territory) it is a tactical position.



  • 14 months ago · Quote · #7

    xxvalakixx

    What practical use does it have?
    It is simple. A lot of chess players mistake is that they are calculating moves a lot. However, you should only calculate moves in tactical positions (Where pieces attack each other) or when you are going to create a tactical position. In strategical positions you should think in general, for example improving the activity of your pieces.

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #8

    Shivsky

    xxvalakixx wrote:

    What practical use does it have?
    It is simple. A lot of chess players mistake is that they are calculating moves a lot. However, you should only calculate moves in tactical positions (Where pieces attack each other) or when you are going to create a tactical position. In strategical positions you should think in general, for example improving the activity of your pieces.

    +1.

    It's a constant mix of both types of thinking. It's seldom either or!

    If you're in an analytical position (one with N forcing moves (where N is greater than 0)) you:

    - slow down (or slam the brakes if you have to)

    - put a muzzle on the "strategic/positional" think-like-a-GM enthusiasm that the latest book you read has shoved down your windpipe

    - and CALCULATE the !@#$ out of that position. 

    - If you don't see tactical opportunities (for you or your opponent to exploit) THEN and only THEN go back to pretending to play positional chess :)

    Though once you decided on your move, do another tactical safety-check before playing it.

    It's easy to write this all down but doing it consistently on 100% of your moves is what separates the kids (yours truly included) from the grown-ups!!! (which is a mental discipline issue that is an entirely another thread topic!)

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #9

    Estragon

    In a famous US Supreme Court case, an argument was raised over the definition of pornography.  Mr. Justice Stewart memorably injected, "I may not be able to define it, but I know it when I see it."

    It's the same thing here.  Positional considerations should always be on your mind, and you should be playing with some sort of plan (strategically).  But the nature of the game is that tactical possibilities arise out of nowhere, you must also always be watching for them.

    In some complicated positions with mulitple tactics in the mix, the positional and strategical aspects take a back seat because tactics can win the game on the spot.  These cases may be obvious as they develop, or they can arise suddenly and the opportunities pass just as quickly.  So you have to be alert at all times.

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #10

    zborg

    Great post @Estragon.  People should re-read it, commit it to memory, and save themselves lots of forum time.  Smile

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #11

    Stevie65

    I think..Therefore i am!  Can i get legal aid?

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #12

    TetsuoShima

    hoynck wrote:

    Shivsky says:  In strategical positions you should think in general, for example improving the activity of your pieces.

    If I cannot find a good plan or continuation in a position, that is my way out. I decide which of my pieces is placed the most badly - and I improve its placement.

    i think thats called the makogonov rule.

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #13

    Irontiger

    There are some pointers to what kind of tactics you can expect to happen in such and such position, key squares etc. and you can have a feeling of this with experience.

    But there are no "tactical" or "positional" positions. Certainly some where brutal calculation force matters more than planning ("sharp") or the reverse, but you need both in every position.

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #14

    ThrillerFan

    Long story short - You can't say that a chess position is one or the other.  There are strategic and tactical aspects in every position.  People misuse the two terms, and try to make them mutually exclusive.  Maybe it would make more sense to people if chess just started all over and abolished the words strategic and tactical.  Instead, it's long term and short term.

    Also, not all tactics are executable.  Some are preventive.  For example, let's say White has a pawn on d4, no c-pawn.  Black has a pawn on d5 and another on c6, with no b-pawn.  Black has a backwards pawn.  A long term, or "strategic" trump for White.  However, White may have his Queen on c2, and Rook on c1, but might not be able to take on c6 due to a Tactical reason, like maybe after a Queen trade on c6, Black executes back rank mate.

    For a position that an amateur mislabels as tactical, while the position may be wide open with pieces threatening other pieces, there's the strategic aspect of who relieves the tension and when.  For starters, there's the old addage, "The initiator of any trade always loses a tempo".  Think about it.  If there is a White rook on d1 and other on f1, and a Black rook on d8 and another on f8, nothing on e1 or e8, then whoever initiates the trade, the other player will gain a tempo as their rook will then be on the open file, the initiator's rook will be on the closed f-file.  However, some trades, maybe you need to initiate because if you don't, then when all the "fireworks" are done with (what many players consider the "tactics" when again, it ain't "just tactics"), you get left with 4 pawn islands and a losing endgame, so "strategically", you are forced to capture, not "tactically".  By not taking, you get a train-wrecked ending, not an instant loss of material.

    Therefore, no position is strategic or tactical.  All positions are BOTH!

  • 11 months ago · Quote · #15

    U2Vox13

    xxvalakixx wrote:

    A strategical positions is when there is no contact between your and your opponents pieces, and a tactical position is when there is contact between your and your opponents pieces. (So when some pieces attack an other one)

    This is what I been waiting for, an example of strategic position of pieces in the board.  So, if there is no contact It's is a strategic position.  But I thought there is no such thing as tactical position right?.

     
     

    And now for example a tactical positions.

     
     

    So when there is no contact between your and your opponents pieces, both players play on their own side of the board it is a strategical positions, when the pieces attack each other, (or if you play on your opponents territory) it is a tactical position.



  • 4 months ago · Quote · #16

    kevin_1499

    Strategy is ALWAYS there its your plan what can differ is positional chess to tactical chess you can basically see the geometry like if the are pins where you pieces are pointing the amount of square pieces have etc to notice if you can have a tactical move

  • 4 months ago · Quote · #17

    roi_g11

    If you or your opponent have checks and captures, it is probably tactical. If not, it is probably strategic.

  • 4 months ago · Quote · #18

    roi_g11

    Oops, just saw the op was 9 mos ago


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