Project: Payback

Feb 22, 2008, 9:52 AM |

Though you may have a preference for tactical play you can't expect to deliver one brilliancy after another and assume combinational positions from your games will end up in a Find the Winning Moves puzzle book.

 So you must also pay attention to strategy -- which is characterized by planning so you can achieve some goal or other, whether it be in the short or long term. It is a most important aspect of the game -- after all you have to play well positionally to get your whole army in place before you unleash those wonderful attacks.

So when there is no sign of tactics you should gradually improve your position or weaken that of your opponent. Keep yourself busy in quiet periods of the game and look for a piece that is doing very little -- it may even still be sitting in its original square -- and try to bring it into the action. It is important not to make useless moves, whether it be pushing a random pawn or shuffling your king from side to side, because that is a sign you are drifting and not playing purposefully.

Try to anticipate what your opponent is about to do next and then find a move that conceals a deadly trap if he just blindly carries on with his plan.

You can often catch someone out by finding a move that looks like it is merely improving your position -- but which in reality introduces a tactical trap.