Overcoming positional problems through tactics

Apr 5, 2009, 8:30 PM |

It's been famously said that chess is 99% tactics. It's also been said that tactics flow naturally from superior positions. In my experience in play below the expert level, quite often a superior position crumbles due to an overlooked tactical blow. In a recent USCF tournament I was staring at a rather dire position. My opponent was on the brink of rolling over me. However, there was a chink in the armor and a few small false steps allowed a tactical blow to put me right back in the game.

In general, a superior position lends itself to superior tactics. In the above game, white's position had all the resources to win, but white did not find the necessary tactics to bring home a positive result. In the end,  black climbed out of a poor position, through a narrow tactical opening to bring home the point. Despite the fact that white seemed to outplay black in much of the game, chess, it seems, is still 99% tactics.