Everyone says that tactics are 99% of chess. I agree, but why are tactics so hard to learn. I understand that experienced players have seen many tactical motif's during their practices and games. However, I know I speak not only for myself but for others when I say this, doing tactical puzzles helps build one's tactical vision, but in the act of attempting a tactic, what should one look for?


undefended pieces, undefended king or the ability to break the defense of a king for material or checkmate, etc. tactics can easily be practiced by searching for a free tactics trainer online. once you do more it gets much simpler.


I am a beginner too, but I would like to add: FORCING MOVES! Always look for them. Especially forcing moves leading to forks, pins etc...or simply destroying the opponent's position, by leaving (for example) his King exposed.


I learn tactics easily, but I don't notice them consistantly. I learning more motifs is great for long chess, but for speed chess there just is not enough time to look for every possible motif. Practicing looking for them will sharpen your eye, but only to the types of positions in the problems. If the positions are not representative of your games, it might not help you.


I would really like for a computer to analyze all my games and make problems based off positions that actually occured, asking me how I can exploit a weakness or defend against a new hidden threat. I'm sure I could get at least 5 positions out of each of my games. Studying the mistakes of masters might help you eventually, but I think it is far better to study the mistakes you have made thus far.


Chess computers might tell you the mistake, but then you already know the answer. They need to give you a position to analyze, and even through in some equal positions where there is no material to take.


I've also noticed that checkmate problems are cheaper than material winning problems, since a checkmate does not need to be grandmaster analyzed, whereas  forcing the winning of material could lead to a worse position. Positional puzzles are even more computationally expensive to generate.


I am badly placed to give councils, but I noticed, that data processing, software or chesscomputer, those which I know do not do the work like the books, or the magicians of FICS of the tactics, beginning of plays, strong boxes, weak boxes, medium of plays, closings, are not always also clearly explained.
I believe that the books and the siteweb, or blogs, as well as good human councils like IMs Pruess, Silman, Bryan, are often of better councils.
Not to hesitate to look at the videos of our IMs over FICS or google.
With my sympathy


Try to understand the relationship of the move to the whole board in terms of positions and how those positions impact immediate initiative and long term.  Tactics affect long and short term strategy.  Knowing which moves to make and how to make forcing moves impacts how these tactics affect the overall strategy.  I highly recommend you study life and death problems in Go, or wei chi, the board game, in addition to checkmate problems and understanding of openings in chess to get the idea.


You are right calgary_rip_off, the Go is really good school for position , long time, middle time, for theory of placement, why this placement, what result for position after, etc, etc... And Matt also.

forgiveness i write like a latin language, cause i'm completly tired...


First I would like to thank everyone for their reply.

@chesserroo2 you stated:   Chess computers might tell you the mistake, but then you already know the answer. They need to give you a position to analyze, and even through in some equal positions where there is no material to take.

I totally agree with your statement, I also have the same problem. In a postion equal position,when there hasn't been many pieces exchanged,  I don't know when to take material or make a forcing move. In addition, you stated that tactical checkmating problems are cheaper.  (Suggestions anyone in discerning the difference anyone)?

@ calgary_rip_off:

      }  I have never played the Game of Go, but I have the book in reference to it.

@ tobolskwildnet:    


Thank you so much for your comments.


Trying to think of a good analogy, but it's late so bear with me :p  And yes, I'm aware of Teichmann's quote about tactics.

But saying chess is 99% tactics is like saying 99% of the effort or work in constructing a building is done on site.  (1% done when the draftsman draws up the plans in an office somewhere).  And while this is true, without the blueprints the effort is meaningless.  The essence of the building is behind the scenes in the plan the effort is organized around.

What literally goes on before, during and after tactics is what makes some players good and others great.  Strategy is why anything works, and what all tactics (beyond the absolute basic ones) are organized around. 


Here's a good free website for tactics:



I don't always do tactics online, but when I do, I prefer chesstempo.

But seriously, I do like it best Tongue out


lol waffle. Your meme makes me chuckle.


“The tactics, it are what you do when there is something to make; the strategy, it is what you do when there is nothing to make. ” Savielli Tartacower



@ Tobolskwildnet, I agree. In addition, I am learning and understanding the mental discipline it takes to look deeper into the position. Patience and lots of practice.