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Tactical or Positional?

Tactical or Positional?

WhackDot
Aug 29, 2017, 11:28 AM 0
There is a false dichotomy in chess regarding playing style that claims players are either "positional" or "tactical." This implies that these are inharmonious ideas. The truth is that everything is tactical. It is also true that everything is positional! Good (or bad) positions always have tactical points and all effective tactics come from a capable position. As Bobby Fischer noted, "tactics flow from a positionally superior game."
 
What people really mean is that the star "tactical player" likes complicated positions with lots of tactical possibilities and surprising tactical explosions while the noteworthy "positional player" likes to see less complications and slowly build their positional advantages so that the eventual tactical explosions are controlled. The extremes of these "styles" -- which are really preferences -- are the pyromaniac on one end and the bomb defuser on the other end.
 
Most players are not Tal-like pyromaniacs nor are they Pestrosian-like bomb defusers. Most of us are somewhere in between. It really comes down to taste... do you prefer to play loud, fast, and wild with sudden explosions or do you prefer to play quietly as you slowly engineer a controlled demolition?

Where are you on the "Style" spectrum?

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