Tactics for beginners.

Oct 20, 2014, 1:09 PM |

tactics and strategy for begins ( For player that is new in chess and other interestede player. for player with a rating: 1000 ca.)

To begin with I like to take a opening that have been play for more then 500 years. The Ruy Lopez opening.

1 e4 - e5. 2.Nf3 - Nc6.3.Bb5 - a6.4.Ba4 - Nf6.5.0-0 - Nxe4.6.d4 - b5.7.Bb3 - d5.8.dxe5 - Be6. ( see diagram 1 )

The first thing you need to do as a chessplayer, is to take notes of the pawn´s in the game,( any game you play ) 

Looking at the position you can see that White have 4 pawns against Black's 3 on the king side, where Black have 4 pawn´s,  against Whites 3 on the Queenside. This is a good foundation for this blog,which aims to give you a basic understanding of strategy and tactics in chess. You shout know that both White and Black have many other moves to play eks.instead of : 6.d4 - b5, Black, can  eks.take White in to the very complicated line: The Berlin wall.But then I will never finished this blog, and I do have other things to do :-)

I allways say to my students that the first thing they need to look for, is where the opponent is weak. Wee can see that Black, have a "weak" knight at c6 (and missing the development of the c7 pawn) , sins ther is nothing that protects it.But wee cant attack this knight right now,  and sins wee can assume, that Black want to attack on the queenside, wee cant take advantage of this right now.How ever, it a good thing to notes thing´s like this in a position,  so wee have this at our attention and maybe wee can work for it and benefit from it later on in the game.( As you can se in the game White, takes advantage of this: "the weak knight and the missing development of the Queenside". ) The next thing wee can se is that, wee have 1 more pawn on the kingside where Black, have 1 more on the Queenside. As White have 1 pawn more on the king side, it would be naturally to use this advantage.Because of pawn majority on the kingside, we can try to take initivet her, but wee shout notes that Black, would like to do the same, just on the Queenside.

( basic understanding of the position: White like´s to attack on the kingside, and have to defend himself on the Queenside. Black like´s to attack on the queenside, and have to defend himself on the kingside. )

Ok, so as wee now know, Black like to free he´s position and use the extra pawn, to attack on the Queenside, as it is our plan on the king side. If Black get to free the position and play c5, the weakness of his knight on c6 and the pawn on c7 is gon, and wee may run in to a position with a pasiv ( or even close in ) bishop. ( the bishop on b3 ) It somtimes help my studen, if I remove evey thing on the bord except the pawns and king. ( this idea can also be use in your game, how ever it takes practice of your memory, as YOU MAY NOT REMOVE piesec like this from the bord when you play. ) If wee take everything away except  pawns and king, the position looks like this  ( see diagram 2 )

Is shout be easy now, to see that Black´s pawn´s on the queenside is strong, as it is for White on the kingside. ( A good practice  is to take a position you like to play eks.ruy lopez as shown here, and take everything away from the bord, and "FOOL A ROUND" with the position. Like the position I show her whit only the king and pawn´s. It will help you to obtain an important understanding of chess. You can take any opening you like to play, and move the position to a stade ( end of book if you like ) and then remove everything except the king and pawn´s, and play on. It is  good practice.... !! )

9. c3 - ... Both Whites and Black following move´s, are entirely consistent with these strategic plan.For the attack on the kingside  ( Whites plan ) White, needs he´s bishop. This explains White's last move. 9. ... - Be7.

It is obvious why this move is better then Bc5, from a strategic point of view.On the c5 square the bishop ,would be in the way of a later push of the c7 pawn, while a greater effect of Bc5 in the direction of White's kingside, will not be consistent with Black's strategic plan.

10.Nd2 - ...If White want to attack the black king side, White most first "force" the knight away from it´s protective position.We recognize that White's strategic plan is divided into several part of the whole plan.

The first on is to get Black, to move his knight away from e4.The question aboud which of the following pieces : Bb3 - Nd2 - Qd1 or Re1 shout be use to this, is a tactical question.The following moves shout give som idea aboud this.

10. ... - 0-0. This completes the development, a necessary part of Black's plan.If the kingside is not safe Black, can not start he´s plan to attack on the Queenside. This tactical elements also include the calculation of the following moves: 11.Nxe4 - dxe4.12.Bxe6 - fxe6.13.Nd4 - Qd5.14.Nxc6 - Qxc6. In this position ( see diagram 3 ) Whites e5 pawn is more weak then Blacks e4 pawn, also Black have more freedom ( space ) to move around.

11.Qe2 - ... ( see diagram 4 )  one more piece that attack the knight on e4, and now Black most make up he´s mind what to do. The Qe2 move force Black to either take the knight on d2 or move the knight to c5.It is also possible for White to attack the knight with 11.Bc2, this is a matter of tast. Both Qe2 and Bc2 have it´s down side and advantage. ( The move 11. ... -  Ng5, gives White the aventage after: 12.Nxg5 - Bxg5.13.Nf3 - Bxc1 ( 13. ... - Be7?!.14.Bf4 - Qd7.15.Rad1 - Rfd8.16.Ng5! - Rf8. with advantage to White, dou to the open line´s that White now have to attack the Black king with eks. 17.Qh5 - Bxg5.18.Qxg5 - ... White threatens both the attacking idea Qg3 - Bh6 and Bc2 - Qh4. ) 14.Raxc1 - Qd7.15.Rfd1 - h6.In this position, White has gained an advantage because of the open line too the to Black king (c2 - h7) and also got black to weaken his kingside with h6.It is easyer now for White, to build up the attack, against black's king )

11. ... - Nc5. 12.Nd4

- ... ( see diagram 5. )

Wee may have waited 12.Bc2: but this will be followed by d4! and after: 13.cxd4 - Nxd4.15.14.Nxd4 - Qxd4."Runs out"  With the result that black will have increased he´s freedom of action, and will reduce White's chances for the king side attack.

12. ... - Nxb3. Black are able to eliminate the Bishop, without first taking on d4, based on the facts that Nxc6 may be refuted by Nxc1! after which Nxd8 can not be play because it resulting in the loss of two officers, while Raxc1 or Rfxc1 will be followed by Qd7 and after: 15.Nxe7 + - Qxe7, Black's position has by no means been "poor" in comparison with the initial position be cous of the following considerations:

1.The Swoop of several minor pieces have reduced the chances of attack for White.

2. Black can easily mobilize he´s majority on the Queen side, and launch the attack with c5.

3. It will not be easy for White to be able, to perform the promotion of he´s F pawn from f2 to f4 and f5.

( Also know that every time you lose a piece, you have that piece less to attack and or defent with. ( decreaseing of your lost will benefit your cause, is a nice "rime" to remember )

( see diagram 6 )

13.Ndxb3 - Qd7. As I been pointede out befor, White aim´s to make the knight on e4 to move away.Wee can see now that Black, "desperately "need to get he´s position, freed with c5. Only then Black can decide how he´s plan can be a reality. Wee shout notes that with in the next few moves, all the attention is put in to c5.White want to stop black from playing the move c5, sins this frees Black position, and make a counterattacked on the Queenside possible.

( see diagram 7 )

14.Nxc6! - ... With out this Exchang, Black could easily reach the freeing move of his position c7 c5 with Nd8.An objection ( or augment if you like ) to the move is that White, allows his opponent to keep the two bishops, wich in it self have it augment, born out of the assumption, that two bishops is stronger then a knight and a bishop.

14. ... - Qxc6.15.Be3 - ... This bishop move, takes part in White next plan. The bishop on e3 aim´s it eye on c5, and help White to prevent Black, from the freeing move c5. If Black continues with Qd7, White will with he´s bishop move be able to " kill two flies in one stroke".by the move Bc5, this stop Black´s freeing move c5 and White will have control over c5 and by this "paralyzed" Black´s majority ( the pawn on c7 ) and forced  Exchange of the bishop, and then Black dosen have the benefit of the two bishops.

15. ... - Bf5.16.Rfd1 - Rfd8.( see diagram 8 ) Black is not able to reinforce C5 and must therefore accept that White takes control over the C5 square.

Therefore, Black try to take initiative in the D line with he´s rook, and aim´s for a plan like somthing as Qg6 attacking the rook on d1 and the knight on b3 with a bishop move like Bc2 also -

At this point, We must draw attention to a tactical turn, which is very important for the game.It appears, that white can take control over c5 immediately with moves like: Na5 ( attacking the Queen ) and then Nb7 eks. 17.Na5 - Qg6.18Nb7 - ... ( all this is with a + tempi for White) follow by Nc5 in next move. But. Things are never that easy (usually not ) in chess. Black have the very nice defence: 18.Na5 - d4! By this Black, block the way for the bishop on e3, and taking out it´s line  E3 - A7, and obtains the threat  Be4, attacking both the knight at b7( if White continues with Nb7 )  and the g2 pawn, and Whites kingside.Therefore White, most be carefull sins the position contains tactical elements that one shout be  aware of. Black have move he´s bishop in to our position with he´s previously move 15. ... - Bf5 and with the last move from Black, Black start´s a  mobilizeing of he´s position. As I point out befor, Black cant do much aboud Whites control over c5, and then he try to find another way to attack Withe position, and with he´s last two move he did just that, also Black have not given up the attack on the Queenside. 

( NOTE! Every time you see your opponent move a piece in to your "camp" ( wich means over the line E4/D4/C4 etc. ) or close to it ( F5/C5/D5 etc. ) . It is time to be aware of that piece intesions.)


17.f3 - ... With this move White prepares the way for the Queen Qf2. Without this move White will for sure loos the control over C5.

17. ... - Bf8. Black expect the possibility of White's bishop appears on C5 soon, and pulls in advance he´s Bishop in coverage, so he does not need to lose time on that later on.

18.Qf2 -  The fate of C5 is decided.Black's subordinate plan  is a no go, C5 is under Whites control, and liberation of Black plan  is not possible.

18. ... - a5. ( see diagram 9 )The tactical performance of Black plan ( to keed the bishop par) after: 19.Bc5 - would now be answer with a4.20.Bxf8 - axb3.21.Ba3 - Bc2. follow by Rxa3, and Black is still in the game.

But there is maybe still a possibility for Whites bishop can occupy C5 with the bishop by: 19.Nd4 - Qg6.20.Nxf5 - Qxf5.But now Whites E pawn ( tactics ) weakness prevent White to carry out he´s plan and after: 21.f4 - b4. then would Bc5 be impossible sins Black will take out the bishop follow with Qxf4.

19.Rd2 ?  ( see diagram 10. ) Is easy to make a mistake in a position like this. Here White miss the facts that Black last move also contains strategic consequence, beside to have the aim to stop Bc5. Black main idea is still to attack on the Queenside and Whites, is too disturb that plan as much as possible ( White most for now stop he´s attacking plan on the kingside, or he will be "blow´n away" by Black attack ) Black´s, last move  preparing a new atttack by b4 and White shout have stop it with Rac1.

19. ... - b4. With the attack on the C pawn.Now cxb4 would be strategically weak be couse of axb4 where the A2 pawn is weak.

20.Rc1 - Qa4. Black continues his attack on the Queenside and take advantage from White´s bad chois of move with Rd2.

Now White can only defend the A pawn with Ra1 wich is a tempi lost and after 21.Ra1 - bxc3.22.bxc3 - ... White´s c3 pawn is weak.

21.Nd4 - ... By this White give up the control over c5 to defend a2.

21. ... - Bg6.22.b3 - Qe8. The A2 pawn is covered,  but after: 22. ... - Qe8.  the pawn move c5 can no longer be prevented.

23.cxb4 - Bxb4.24.Rdd1 - c5!( see diagram 11 ) Here it importen to see that 24. ... - Qxe5 stops on Nc6.( see diagram 12. )Black have achieved his goal, to release he´s position and the majority of the Queenside is mobilized.

Lets take a look on another opening, and run over the basic idea of tactics and strategy in chess.
1.e4 - e5.2.Nf3 - Nc6.3.d4 - exd4.4.Bc4 - Nf6.5.e5 - d5.6.Bb5 - Ne4.7.Nxd4 - Bd7.8.Bxc6 - bxc6.9.0-0 - Bc5.10.Be3 - 0-0.11.f3 - Ng4.12.f4 - Ne4.13.Nd2 - Nxd2.14.Qxd2 - Bb6.

This is one of the main position of the two knight opening, also call the Scotch opening. Here the square C5 is also in focus for White, to obtain and keep under control, so Black cant use the c6 pawn to start an attack on the queen side. Basic it is the same idea like the first game, juse a nother opening. ( see diagram A1 below )

Ok. So take a look on the position,and start asking your self: Where is Black weak, and where is White weak. You need to Try, first off all, too understand the position you are in right now. ( this go´s for any game you play )Or, you would just move random pieces, with out a plan, and that usely loose in the long run. Lets start with Black. As you can see, Black have two pawn´s on the C fil, and at the moment Black´s white square bishop, is  bound to defend the pawn on c6. therfor Black weak point is C6 and C5.Black is very strong with the black square bishop, as it point it way in to White´s kingside and the weak square F2. Looking at Whites position, you can see that White, have 2 pawn´s that is all ready move forword in to Black´s kingside position, and that the B2 pawn is out protection, and is therfor weak.

15.Nb3 - Qe7. This move have been know´n for many years, and have becom popular in almost every level.Black like to keep control over C5 and play´s the Queen to e7 for that reason.Other moves as: 15. ... - f6.has been tried a few times, both on clublevel and on high level. But experience has shown that white, achieves the best chance of advantage eks: 15.Nb3 - f6.16.Qc3 - fxe5.17.exf5 - Qh5 (Black, threatens to play Qc4, which block for White´s Queen and forces it to either exchange the Queens or move it away from it´s dominating position. ) 18.Bxb6 cxb6. White takes out the bishop,  as its threats on F2 and also G1, can quickly turn into a serious problem for for White.Also White forces he´s way in to the weak point of Black´s Queenside.19.e6 - ... White temporary sacrifice a pawn, to take a slight advantage out of the position. 19. ... - Bxe6.20.Qxc6 - Bf7.And here White have a small advantage. ( see diagram B2 below )

16.Qc3 - ... With this move, White´s strong-hold on C5 is very clear, and also if you look at the position, you can see that the Queen provides protection to the E5 pawn, and any minor piece ( the bishop and /or the knight) to the c5 square.

16. ... - Rfe8. ( see diagram A2 ) If Black try´s 16. ... - f6, White can choose to exchange the black square bishop on b6,( as I have pointed out, this bishop is very strong becouse it point it way in to Whites king side position.) and weaken Black´s Queenside, or play Nc5 with the attacking idea: 17.Nc5 - Bxc5.18.Bxc5! -Qh4.or 17. ... - Bf5.18.a4 ( attacking the bishop ) a5.19.Bd4 - h5.20.Rae1 - ... White takes som initiative in the center with the rook, and also you can see that White two rook´s have a good attacking potential in both the E and F line, with a + tempi ( mening that White have the advantage. ) or play 17.Bc5 - Bxc5 ( this is more or less a forced move for Black, as if Black dosen take the bishop, White´s attack would be very strong )18.Nxc5 -  Also I can point out that if Black, ignores the bishop ( or the knight ) move, it would benefit White, as Black would have truble freeing he´s position, and the "trapped" bishop.Aslo you shout notes that White have a "hidden" attack in the position after 16. ... - f6.Here is importen to see the combination if Black try´s to win the E5 pawn: 17.Nc5 - fxe5.18.fxe5 - Re8.19.Bd4 - Bxc5.20.Bxc5 - Qxe5 and now 21.Rf8+!! winning the Queen after Rxf822.Qxe5! +-  also consider 16. ... - Rfb8, which have been seen in a few master games.How ever this move require a bit more carefull play by Black, as practice have show´n that this rook, is offen far away from defending the king side.

One line that can be investigated by you is: 16. ... - Rfb8.17.Rae1 - g6.18.Bc5 - a5.19.a4 - Bxc5.20.Nxc5 - Be6.21.Nxe6 - Qxe6.22.b3 - Kh8.23.Qd3 - ... And here it shout be easy to see, the down side of the Rfb8 move. ( see diagram B3 )If Black is not carefull White, can go for mate in 5 with: f5 - f6 - Qh3 - Qh6 and Qg7 MATE! and if Blak see this, White also have a mate threat with Qg3 ( instead of Qh3 ) - Qh4 and then Qh6 and Qg7 mate.So Black need to be carefull in the B3 diagram.

So in the diagram A2, White have som choice to make.

White can either try to play a "waiting move" with 17.Rf2 - how ever I cant recommend this to anyone below 1900, as the bishop on b6 is still pointing down to White´s king, and if wee forget that for a moment it may cost the rook, ore play somthing like Bd4 - Rae1 - a4.

17.Rae1 - ... personally I prefer this move, as the rook move support the E line, but also you may consider the other move´s that is mentioned.17. ... - a5.18.Bxb6 - ...It time to take out this bishop. The move 18.a4 can be answer with Qb4! taking the "sting" out of Whites position. 18. ... - cxb6.19.f5 - c5.As White attack the kingside, Black try to counterattacked this with C5.

20.Qg3 - Kh8. White attack Black king, so Black move the king away for the attaking idea: f6 - Qxg7 mate.

21.Nd2 - White like to play c4 trying to free the square e4. 21.... - c4.22.Qh3 - a3. and White have a slight advantage, dou to th attack on Black king and the kingside position. ( see diagram A3. )

Playing Chess and learning tactics and strategy takes practice.

Here in this blok I choose 2 games ( opening ) to show the basic of the tacktics and strategy in chess, which I hop you have learn somthing from. Basic understanding of tactics and strategy is to understand the position you are in, find a weak point and build up your attack from that. Also to see your own weakness and build up the necessary defense, all this takes time but, only by practice you will becom better at it.

I wich you good luck

Thanks for reading this block.

The end