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Play what the position requires and not your identity!

Play what the position requires and not your identity!

Jun 21, 2013, 5:41 AM 0

When amateurs talk about their chess, the conversation often turns to whether they are positional or tactical players. In positions in which there are equally attractive alternatives, positional players will choose the quieter option in which they seek positional advantage, whereas tactical players will choose to follow the route of tactical complications. This is clearest in opening choices. Against a black player offering a Sicilian Dragon, a positional player might choose a Rossolimo Sicilian as white, whereas a tactical player might choose to play the Yugoslav variation.

I think though that many amateurs carry this distinction too far in building their chess identities and avoid tactical complications when they are called for if they see themselves as a positional player or reject the quiet route of positional advantage if they see themselves as a tactical player. Sometimes, equally attractive positional and tactical lines do not exist, and best play requires either a positional or a tactical response. In short, you need to play the position and not your identity. This is the case in the following game, in which white's errors call for black to go on the attack. There is no positional solution to the problems posed over the board.

Because of my opponents low rating, I only gained one rating point because of this victory. Had I lost, I would have lost 30!

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