Tactics are the concrete maneuvers (e.g. forking two pieces with a knight, pinning a piece to the opponent's king, or unleashing a discovered check) that chess players use and combine in order to achieve their overall goals in a game. They are the building blocks which underlie successful ...

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4answers
99 views

Do sacrifices work mostly for Masters?

Many beautiful and celebrated master games feature heavy sacrifices of material that result in check mate, or at least the re-gaining of more material than was sacrificed. In most cases, the original ...
2
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2answers
166 views

Undrawable Openings

What are some openings that are extremely difficult to obtain a draw in? I have been recently playing openings like the Ruy Lopez and facing a lot of draws.
0
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1answer
113 views

Advanced Middle Game Attacking Tactics

Before I get into the details of my questions, I already know the f, g and h pawn attack tactics, bishops sacrifices such as the greek gift and Lasker's double bishop sacrifice among a few others and ...
8
votes
5answers
278 views

Proven ways to improve calculation speed

I've been working on my tactics using on-line resources like Chess Tempo. I found my improvement (as measured by my CT rating) over the last few months to be encouraging, but I struggle to translate ...
4
votes
2answers
978 views

How do I mate here?

I'm White, and I lost this game because the time was over. What move do I need to do the mate combination? [FEN "8/6pp/p3R3/5rk1/3B2N1/5P1P/PP3P2/5K2 w - - 0 1"]
0
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6answers
320 views

Very Confusing Openings

What are some openings that normally a player with less or no understanding of opening theory would suffer agonizingly? Or perhaps, openings that are extremely confusing to play against? To me, the ...
6
votes
1answer
212 views

Why is b4 the only move suggested by every chess engine?

The only move suggested here by every chess engine is 17. b4 Can anyone please advise why is it so important? [fen "r3k2r/ppp2pp1/7p/3pP3/3P2b1/5N2/RP1KBPPP/7R w - - 0 1"]
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Describe White's performance in these two games

In these two games, can you describe the performance of White? Whether it was highly tactical, aggressive or positional...etc [fen ""] 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. d4 Bf5 4. c4 e6 5. dxe6 fxe6 6. Nc3 Bb4 ...
2
votes
2answers
138 views

Productive tactical puzzles: random or themed?

Simply, which of the following two approaches will typically improve tactical ability the fastest: Doing puzzles around a known theme or tactical motif - i.e. do 100 puzzles that involve a ...
2
votes
6answers
340 views

What's the best chess tactics trainer on the web?

There are plenty of chess tactics trainers out there on the internet. What trainer works best for you? Why?
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1answer
173 views

How many pieces would you sack for a queen?

I recently played a game where I sacked a knight and a rook for a queen and pawn. That got me thinking, how many pieces would you sack for a queen? The reason I am not interested in theories is ...
4
votes
2answers
183 views

Where can I find databases of tactical problems, categorized and ranked by difficulty?

I'm toying with the idea of building a tactical training tool. For my idea to work, I need positions that are categorized by motif and difficulty. A lot of tools seem to have this, and I doubt ...
7
votes
2answers
332 views

Effectiveness of a Space Repetition System in memorizing tactical patterns for long term skill gain?

After reading this article by Micheal de Maza: 400 Points in 400 Days As well as this paper by Gobet and Jansen: Training in Chess: A Scientific Approach I have come to the conclusion that effective ...
7
votes
4answers
403 views

How to solve mate-in-N problems

Here is a mate-in-4 I have been trying to solve: [FEN "2r4r/b5pp/q3pp2/8/4QBk1/8/3R1PPK/4R3 w - - 0 1"] (white mates in 4). I have been looking at it for about half an hour but not solved it. My ...
5
votes
3answers
324 views

Need some helps with the tactics in the middle game

I sometimes find very difficult to determine the accurate moves in middle game. When a tough opponent is infront of me i dont let them to attack at first. I strengthen my defense. But if i ever try to ...
2
votes
2answers
113 views

Can tactics be reduced to a finite number of simple patterns that can be learned?

I realise that there are a finite number of tactical techniques such as forks and skewers and pins but I find them hard to identify in everyday play. I have started using chess.com's tactics trainer ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Chess books or tactics apps for android [duplicate]

now that my university has started, i have little time to read books, i spend my free time at university using my phone, if not studying I use chess tactics on my phone whenever i have free time, are ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Who has the advantage at this point in the game?

I was playing the following game and at this point I thought black had the advantage but upon thinking about it for a little while was not sure. At this point in the game who has the advantage and by ...
-4
votes
1answer
79 views

Quick Analysis of best possible move in this board

What's black's best possible move and why? [Title "Black to move"] [StartFlipped "0"] [fen "r3k3/pp2b3/1qn1Np2/2p1p2Q/4P2p/1NP4P/PP3Pr1/2KR4 b - - 0 1"]
0
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1answer
67 views

What squares are the most active for bishops?

For a beginner: Where are bishops mostly exchanged or placed? Where are knights mostly exchanged or placed?
8
votes
2answers
659 views

As a Beginner, is playing a lot of tactics chess (puzzles) a good way to improve?

I am pretty new to chess, and I play lot of chess puzzles: trying to find the best move for a given situation (which will not necessarily end-up with a checkmate). Is this a good way to learn chess ...
2
votes
1answer
298 views

Chess tactics training

I am looking for a tactic training software for Windows/Linux/Symbian. I think that I know all tactics by now, and I want to train myself in using them. I do not want tactical software that seperate ...
2
votes
3answers
168 views

Help with discovered checks

I'm new to chess and I've found that while certain tactics come relatively easily to me(double fork), certain others are quite harder. I've been missing out on a lot of opportunities to take ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Tactical difference between chess and Chinese chess

Is there any difference in tactics between chess and Chinese chess? If so, which one is the most fun? What are the important things to learn from it?
2
votes
5answers
549 views

Are modern chess programs tactically perfect?

In a given situation, can we assume that a chess engine is tactically perfect - meaning that it can find all possible tactics which are there in that position. Is it possible for the best of modern ...
4
votes
2answers
150 views

Is there a standardized chess test that can measure one's chess playing condition?

Chess players often say that in a given tournament they were "in good shape", or the opposite. One tournament goes well, another goes horribly wrong. One can also sometimes feel that your head is ...
3
votes
3answers
361 views

Overprotection and prophylaxis

My understanding (and I may be wrong there) is that prophylaxis is a wider concept than overprotection, and so there are some prophylactic moves that don't have anything to do with overprotection ...
5
votes
7answers
1k views

Ways to quickly beat beginners

Are there any common tactics or combinations used to beat complete beginners quickly (or gain large material advantages)? By "beginner" I mean someone who is good enough not to get caught out by ...
4
votes
3answers
180 views

How should black play to save this endgame?

Recently I've played a game (with blacks) which ended with this position (White to move) : [fen "3rk3/p1R2ppp/2p5/8/P1K5/8/1P3PPP/8 w - - 0 1"] It's clear that White player can't protect his ...
2
votes
2answers
397 views

Online defensive tactics training problems?

I've been doing the tactics problems at jrobichess.com and shredderchess.com pretty regularly, and recently added chesstempo.com. I find I'm much better at attacking tactics than defensive tactics: ...
2
votes
2answers
181 views

Danish Gambit - What next?

I was studying the Danish Gambit recently. The Wikipedia page about Danish Gambit listed the first moves as: 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Nxc3... [FEN " "] 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

fianchetto bishop vs. normal bishop?

I have found the following disadvantages of the fianchetto bishop: 1) The diagonal it controls is often blocked by the knight in its natural square. 2) The diagonal it controls is often blocked by ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What are some good tactical opening moves?

I have been playing chess for about an year now. But, I am unable to get past 1300 USCF rating. There are three phases in a chess game: opening phase, middle-game phase and end-game phase. When I get ...
3
votes
1answer
152 views

Multi-threat situation

[fen "7k/8/4n3/2b5/3p4/8/2N1N3/3Q3K w - - 0 1"] This picture above depicts a very simplified situation when white pieces threaten and black pieces defend the black pawn. If the next move is to ...
13
votes
9answers
6k views

Most effective way to achieve a 2000+ rating in one year, starting as a 1600?

I currently play at around a 1600 level, and have stagnated in terms of rating improvements for quite some time. I have always played chess recreationally, occasionally doing tactics puzzles here ...
5
votes
2answers
195 views

At a strategic impasse

Is there a general guideline for how to parlay a lead in development and a slight positional advantage into a definitive win? I'm playing a game now online, and I'm stuck for a way to keep and exploit ...
6
votes
1answer
257 views

Tool that suggests tactics exercises based on game analysis

Does anyone know of any common tool that can go throughout your game database (I have a couple of hundreds of my game's PGNs), and extract tactics that one should be training? I believe something as ...
7
votes
3answers
152 views

Viewing the board from the other side

I have seen a few players going to the opponent's side of the board and then observing the position from that view. They usually do it when it is the opponent's move. Does it really help in ...
1
vote
1answer
200 views

Is it true that a good “flanker” (flanking position) is worth more than a pawn? If so, why?

Perhaps I've used the wrong term, but I'll describe what a "flanker" is. In the Queen's Gambit, there is often the possibility for White to sacrifice a bishop on h7. 1.Bxh7+ Kxh7 2.Ng5+ Kg8 3.Qh5 ...
6
votes
2answers
198 views

Sacrifices, initial loss and a volte-face?

What is the most famous example where player was losing heavily (down on material) in the beginning with lots of sacrifices but came back strongly to beat or "pwn" opponent? I am not asking for ...
6
votes
3answers
246 views

How do I trap the queen once she pins my rook?

I am playing black in this game, and after 10.Qg4 I realize white wants my rook, and I knew I could trap the queen once she went for the rook (11.Qxg7) but I forgot how. I went on to win the game but ...
7
votes
5answers
291 views

Have we found every existing tactic?

Is it possible that there are missing or unstudied tactics, waiting there to be found? Maybe some of them have been played only by GMs and in so few times that they don't get to have a name on their ...
9
votes
6answers
784 views

How to play for a draw

In this video: Levon Aronian vs Magnus Carlsen Round 1 - 2013 Candidates Chess Tournament [FEN ""] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Bxd2+ 5.Qxd2 And now, Kevin said: "You can tell that the game is ...
7
votes
3answers
344 views

Chess problem - don't understand the solution

Black to move: [fen "4rbk1/pp3pp1/1nq4p/8/1PP5/P3N1P1/Q2BrP1P/3R1RK1 b - - 0 1"] I've tried to solve this chess problem - black to move, find the best move. I couldn't work it out so I checked the ...
4
votes
4answers
246 views

Why and when should one make a zwischenzug (in-between move)?

This is not an "origins" question like this one: What are the origins of the words 'zwischenzug' and 'zugzwang'? I know enough German to know that the term means "in between move." ...
4
votes
3answers
396 views

Understanding the x-ray tactical motif?

Can someone explain the x-ray tactical motif? I have looked at this example, but I still don't understand it fully. If you can provide other examples, that would be great too.
4
votes
4answers
249 views

Difference between tactic and combination?

What is the difference between a Tactic and a Combination? For reference, here is a game I played as white and I think I had a nice combination from move 16, but I am not sure if it is classified as ...
5
votes
1answer
156 views

Sacrificing Bishop for Two Pawns against Queenside Castling

Though queenside castling is less common, it is important enough to study. If your opponent has castled queenside, sometimes you have an opportunity to expose their King by sacrificing your Bishop for ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Giving up Knight and Bishop for castled Rook and Pawn

The opening showed here is quite common. Is it generally a good or a bad idea to give up a Knight and a Bishop for the King-side castled Rook and the f-pawn? In terms of their "standard" value, both ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Do you find websites like chesstempo useful for improving tactical skills?

I've been using chesstempo for quite a while solving lots of problems per day. What I noticed is that I don't feel that my tactical skills were improving. My results in tournament games were not ...