chess tactics

Chess Tactics

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throneseeker 28 ( +1 | -1 )
Best books to have? Which type of chess books is better to have?

1) A book on opening strategy?
2) A book on opening lines?
3) A book on general strategy?
4) A book on tactics?
5) A book on the middlegame?
6) A book on the endgame?
7) A book on a specific opening?

Any and all suggestions are solicited!

Regards, ThroneSeeker
rt4sm 22 ( +1 | -1 )
I should imagine books no.3 and no.4 are the best, since you should aim to improve your all round game rather than focus on one thing... and what's the point of having a book on opening lines? You can just use the GK database...
throneseeker 6 ( +1 | -1 )
GK Database Could you please explain the purpose and usage of the "Database" for me?
muppyman 83 ( +1 | -1 )
throneseeker, The GK database is a compilation of all the opening lines that have been used in games on this site, and the percentage results achieved. It can be helpful, but there are many databases available which are far more comprehensive.
The fact is that chess is a mixture of all the facets you mention in your question, and if any of those things were unimportant, then very few books would be written on those subjects. Chess is also an example of the old adage "Knowledge is power" so the more knowledge you can comfortably handle, the more you will tend to enjoy your chess progress. I think it will always be true that knowledge comes from books, so choose what aspect of chess you want to explore first and get yourself a good book on that aspect and enjoy the experience. Good fortune to you.
dullmove 30 ( +1 | -1 )
e4 vs d4 This is rather off-topic: would someone please explain the difference between a tactical game and a strategic game.

I have read that e4 opening will mean a tactical game whereas d4 will be one requiring strategy. Couldn't realy make any meaning out of that soh ...
rt4sm 24 ( +1 | -1 )
That's a very good question dullmove (very exciting username) surely tactics and strategy are the same thing? I don't know, and i don't worry about it, i just try to win every game using whatever method i think is best.
muppyman 47 ( +1 | -1 )
not sure, but... as I see it, a tactical game is mostly played with moves that have more immediate effect and threats, whereas a strategic game is played out with moves having long term effect in accordance with an overall plan. White's e4 tends to invite an open and tactical game. d4 invites a closed game with quiet manoeuvres. Hopefully someone will post a much clearer explanation than this for you.
throneseeker 22 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks and not off topic My thanks to rt4sm and muppyman for their input. And dullmove, you are not really off topic. Stategic games versus tactical games is something I am trying to find out more about. (Good question.)

Regards, ThroneSeeker
potus 13 ( +1 | -1 )
Could depend on what is causing your losses - do you get bad positions on the openings, do you drift in the middle game or do endgames let you down?
dullmove 55 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks guys ... ... muppyman's explanation makes it totally clear.

On another note (and now to move really off-topic - sorry throneseeker) Fischer rarely opened anything other than e4!!!

rt4sm finds my username exciting :)
spurtus 24 ( +1 | -1 )
Tactics = Calculated combinations ( skirmishes )
Strategy = Positional speculative plan ( the war )

i.e. My strategy is to control the dark squares and get castled quick, in doing so I found a good tactical pin which renders his knight immovable.

I think?

Spurtus.
mrmarmalade 9 ( +1 | -1 )
why control the dark squares? is this a better strategy than the white squares...
steverand67 52 ( +1 | -1 )
mrmarmalade I'm assuming spurtus's reference to dark was an example of the difference between strategy and tactics.

In the example, his overall (long-term) strategy was to control the dark-squares and castle quickly.

While he was in the midst of controlling the dark squares and castling, he found a useful tactic, the pin on the knight.

I think I remember a thread titled a strategist vs. a tactician in this forum...that might be worth looking at.
mrmarmalade 1 ( +1 | -1 )
i'm lost bro.
wschmidt 77 ( +1 | -1 )
mrmarmalade, Certain openings and pawn formations lend themselves to a dark square or white square strategy. Fights for control over the dark squares are probably a little more common because a fianchetto on g7 by Black, a very common formation, lends itself to a fight over the dark squares.

Strategizing based on color complexes is one of many ways players organize their thoughts when looking at the board. At my local chess club, I play regularly against one guy who bases virtually all his decisions on control of the dark squares, even if the position doesn't indicate it. Knowing that, I can often steer the game in a direction favorable to me. I.e., it's a useful concept at times, but like a lot of chess ideas, shouldn't be taken as gospel.
sf115 7 ( +1 | -1 )
Please can someone recommend me a good book on plans and strategy.
throneseeker 25 ( +1 | -1 )
Plans and strategy I am not quite sure but i get the sense that a strategy is the plan and that tactics are often the means of executing it.

That is probably rather simplistic but it seems to reflect an overall consensus of what I have seen herein.

Regards, ThroneSeeker
lighttotheright 65 ( +1 | -1 )
All those types of books are good depending on your ability as a chess player. Which one will give you the most help? That depends upon your chess level.

99% of chess is tactics. So most people will benefit most from a comprehensive book on tactics. But that is not going to be true for everyone. You can learn tactics that are more prevalent in a specific opening. You can learn tactics while becoming proficient at the endgame. You can learn tactics that are common when using certain strategies.

So if you ask me which is most important, then I will say that they are all very important.
i_play_slowly 446 ( +1 | -1 )
Tactics and Strategy A tactic is usually a plan comprising 1-3 moves with the goal of achieving an immediate material advantage, e.g., forks, pins, skewers and combinations.
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Strategy, which is also called positional play, involves longer range thinking; the benefits may not be immediate, e.g., siezing an open file with your rook, posting your knight deep in enemy territory, or obtaining a passed pawn.
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Here's a list of quotes that elaborate:
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"Tactics is what you do when there is something to do; strategy is what you do when there is nothing to do." - Saviely Tartakower
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"Tactics flow from a superior position." – Bobby Fischer
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"Positional superiority is almost always a necessary prerequisite to decisive tactics." – Source Unknown
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"The scheme of a game is played on positional lines; the decision of it is, as a rule, effected by combinations. This is how Lasker's pronouncement that positional play is the preparation for combinations is to be understood." – Richard Reti
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"It is an understanding of positional play that restrains the master from embarking on premature, foolish attacks and that checks the natural impulse to hunt for combinations at every turn. It counsels him in the placing of his pieces where they have the greatest potential for attack and tells him how to seize the vital central squares, to occupy the most territory and to cramp and weaken the enemy. And it is positional play that assures him that definite winning opportunities will then disclose themselves, and decisive combinations will appear on the board. The master does not search for combinations. He creates the conditions that make it possible for them to appear." – Irving Chernev
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"Make the moves that conform with the requirements of the position, and you will be suitably rewarded. Play the moves necessary to establish a superior position! Develop your pieces so that they enjoy maximum mobility and control most of the territory. Direct your efforts to weakening the enemy position, cramping the movements of his pieces, and reducing the capacity of his resistance before you make the first move of a combination. When the time is ripe, the attack will play itself. The decisive combination will stare you in the face." – Irving Chernev
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"Strategy is tactics with long-term consequences." – Ignacio Marin
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"Although to many this seems strange, in general I consider that in chess everything rests on tactics. If one thinks of strategy as a block of marble, then tactics are the chisel with which a master operates, in creating works of chess art." – Tigran Petrosian
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"Tactics decide all chess games. Successful tactical play involves recognizing, creating, and attacking weaknesses to win material, achieve a positional advantage, or to force checkmate. ALWAYS be alert for tactical opportunities and threats. One combination can be, and usually is, the difference between winning and losing a game." – Kelly Atkins
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"By far the most critical feature is tactical skill. For the 1600 player everything else is secondary. The faster you spot tactics, the more accurately you calculate them, the more sensitive and creative you are in using them to your own ends, and the more alert you are to warding them off, the better all-around player you’ll be and the more success you’ll have. Most games between 1600 players are decided tactically in the opening or early middlegame and typically wrapped up by tactical simplification to a winning endgame. Of course you should also think strategically, with concern for space, pawn structure, and so on. But too often 1600 players exaggerate the importance of strategy, thereby blundering material and hanging mate." – Bruce Pandolfini
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"It does not matter who gets the advantage out of the opening if one of the players is likely to lose a piece to a simple tactic in the middlegame. Losing a piece from an advantageous position will almost always result in a losing position. So study tactics, not openings, until you almost never lose pieces to simple tactical motifs." – Dan Heisman
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"Most games between lower rated players are won or could be won on tactics, so studying tactics when you are lower rated is much more important than anything else." – Dan Heisman
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"Until you are at least a high class A player, your first name is 'Tactics', your middle name is 'Tactics', and your last name is 'Tactics'." – Ken Smith
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Throneseeker, perhaps these quotes indicate the direction for your chess studies.
sf115 36 ( +1 | -1 )
My rating is nearly 1600 and I study tactics all the time. Whenever I play a strong player, I get "squeezed to death". I rarely blunder pieces but find myself confronted with a mating attack or with "nothing to do". Surely I must study some strategy rather than just tactics. A bit of both is the best, but probably 80-90% tactics.
i_play_slowly 39 ( +1 | -1 )
"Surely I must study some strategy" Yes. As Fischer observes, "Tactics flow from a superior position." A player needs to understand strategy in order to obtain that superior position. "When the time is ripe, the attack will play itself" (Chernev).
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A good book for tactics: "Winning Chess Tactics" by Yasser Seirawan
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A good book for strategy: "Logical Chess" by Irving Chernev

throneseeker 36 ( +1 | -1 )
Concrete suggestions!! Several of you have provided concrete suggestions as to books, and others of you have provided good insight in the realm of strategy vs tactics, the importance of each, and the philosophy of some well known players with regard to each. On behalf of all of us who may benefit from such, I thank each of you for your input and desire to be of assistance.

Regards, ThroneSeeker
greenrat777 68 ( +1 | -1 )
no 7 a specific opening no 7 a specific opening is a good way to go . if you find a specific opening that you like to play . then get one or more books on that opening . then play the opening a lot and learn from your games and from the books how 2 take advantage of your opponents mistakes . also learn how to avoid making mistakes and blunders in the opening . if u get caught in a trap try and see what you did wrong so you can avoid the trap in future games . if you do all of that there is a good chance that after about 10 or 12 moves you will have a even game or advantage most of the time . that make chess a lot more fun . its not much fun if after 12 moves the game is not going to good .
spurtus 40 ( +1 | -1 )
Understanding Chess Tactics by FM Martin Weteschnik ~£14

ISBN 91-975244-2-5

A simply brilliant book to bring clarity to aid your mind in spotting & UNDERSTANDING tactics. ( it is not a strategy book )

It's very well written an clear, lots of pictures and words, and is not a boring endless list of GM games with variational analysis ad infinitum which nobody ever has time to analyse.

Spurtus.
ketchuplover 4 ( +1 | -1 )
chess success=prudent aggression