Positional vs. Tactical Play

In today's blog post, I would like to share with you my views on a very commonly discussed topic: Positional versus Tactical Play - which one is better? The truth is that there is never an absolute answer to this question, as the positional play provides the important support and preparation for tactics. On the other hand, tactical play is necesarry when the position gets more opened and we can't rely on gradual improvements anymore. The difficult part for many chess players is how to balance these two and essentially, how to recognize the important patterns that require us to play slower (more positionally) or fast (tactically). In attempt to answer these and other questions, some time ago I prepared a very interesting video on that topic for the excellent chess website ChessLecture.com. I hope you will find my suggestions useful to better understand how positional and tactical play work during a practical game.

In the end, I have to conclude that mastering the positional and tactical play is a long journey, one that begins with small steps towards understanding chess strategy in a better way.


  • 3 years ago

    IM TigerLilov

    Hi Abhishek2, I would recommend you to start with Kotov's book "Think like a Grandmaster". It's a real masterpiece when it comes to strategy. Regarding your question, Nxf3 doesn't work immediately as white has a rook on a3 that sovers this rank.

  • 3 years ago


    Thanks for the video! Any tips on where to start learning positional chess? I already did the chess mentor courses. 

    @19:39 can't black play Nxf3? then if Nxf3 Bxh3#.

Back to Top

Post your reply: