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# How to find tactics.

• #1
Do you guys have a certain set of questions you ask yourself to find tactics? I clearly miss obvious ones, such as being able to win a hanging horse by checking the king.
• #2
I think it’s mostly pattern recognition. There’s a lot of checkmate patterns (back rank, smothered) and basic tactics (skewers, pin, fork) and I guess over time they just become sort of obvious.
• #3
I'm struggling with tactics too, but I think I just need to look at the bigger picture of the board and take my time to make a move.
• #4
When i look for tactics, I try to look at the moves that appear to be blunders and analyze them. Sometimes, I find one.
• #5

I think playing OTB do help.

• #6

When looking for tactics look for -

1. Captures
2. Checks
3. Sacrifices
• #7

"Undefended pieces are a magnet for tactics." - IM John Bartholomew

• #8

The trick is not to look at the pieces themselves but the squares they control.  See if you guys can solve this.

• #9

As for undefended pieces, what do you think of this.  The Queen and the bishop are both undefended and prone to a juicy knight fork on c4.  How attractive is ...Nc4?  Try it and see what happens.

• #10

and just to emphasise the importance of squares and the pieces in relation to the squares they control , consider this. Black has potentially weak dark squares around his King. Can you exploit them?

• #11

robbie  This is a nice forum.

My "rules" for solving puzzles are similar to yours.

1. look at any check--however not logical it may seem at first

2. look at any forcing move  [often a capture]

• #12
Robbie, for post number 8, there are two answers.
• #13
Destroyer_Mark_1420 wrote:
Robbie, for post number 8, there are two answers.

yes and both equally valid but its not possible to show in a puzzle or a least I don't know how to do it.  I think I mention that there are two equally valid solutions in the annotations.

• #14
ponz111 wrote:

robbie  This is a nice forum.

My "rules" for solving puzzles are similar to yours.

1. look at any check--however not logical it may seem at first

2. look at any forcing move  [often a capture]

There are any ways , some teachers advocate trying to identify the motif, others at looking at the mobility of the pieces, others looking at immediate forcing continuations like you say, checks, captures and tempo moves.

• #15

Black thought he could not save his Bishop on d4, and so he resigned. But can you make a threat that takes precedence over White’s?

• #16

this a decent forum. enhancing tactics is a good aim

• #17

Ok its understood that Qh6 threatens mate on g7, what to do after ...Rg8 though?

• #18

Finding tactics is all about noticing when something feels "off" about your opponent's position. For example if your opponent has 2 or more undefended pieces then look for forks/double attacks. When you've seen/played enough games then you'll intuitively feel when there should be a tactic.

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