A Fine Line

NM ih8sens
Feb 27, 2009, 3:03 PM |

The more I study 'positional chess', thanks to Jeremy Silman and the Chess Mentor, the more I realize that the very term is misleading.  In a 'tactical' game, you still want your pieces on their best squares, and in a 'positional' game you're still looking for tactics; perhaps you're just looking farther ahead.


This sets up an interesting game I played in a tournament just recently.  In a lesser known sicilian variation, I create a strong bishop, build my forces around the squares it controls, sacrifice a pawn to turn this slight positional edge into a dynamic one, and then punch the gas.  The result: A positional game goes tactical in no time.  Though the position was rather unclear before my opponent blundered significantly, it is definitely interesting all the way through. 


If there's anything to be learned in this era of computer chess, it's this: Don't overestimate material.  There are many other factors, many of which can be seen in this game.


Again, Enjoy! :)