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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125 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?
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4answers
200 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 ...
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2answers
111 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 ...
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3answers
175 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 ...
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3answers
232 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 ...
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3answers
140 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 ...
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1answer
108 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: ...
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2answers
93 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. ...
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4answers
497 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 ...
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2answers
294 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 ...
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1answer
124 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 ...
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6answers
803 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 ...
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5answers
147 views

Why do players attack one apparently unimportant square?

I've noticed one thing players tend to do in chess is concentrate on building up pressure on one square. I can understand early in the game if it's a central square like d4 or e5 and the king is ...
5
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2answers
140 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 ...
5
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1answer
146 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 ...
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3answers
144 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 ...
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1answer
170 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 ...
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2answers
193 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
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3answers
200 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 ...
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5answers
253 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
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5answers
383 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 ...
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3answers
296 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 ...
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4answers
201 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
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3answers
242 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.
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4answers
159 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 ...
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1answer
115 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 ...
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4answers
521 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 ...
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2answers
610 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 ...
6
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4answers
159 views

When playing a Computer opponent what situations should I create to give myself a better chance of winning?

Normally when I play against a computer I try to avoid any positions where I feel the knowledge-base of the computer would give it an advantage. For example I find computers very strong in typical ...
16
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7answers
852 views

Best ways for improving “tactics”

I have been playing chess for a long time, and I have been around 1850-1900 ELO for quite some time. I have always wondered which are the best ways to improve the tactics. Does playing more and ...
13
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2answers
509 views

In Chess, are there simple “mechanics” that amateurs can learn to improve their game?

In the board game Go, for instance, it is often of great importance whether or not a stone can be captured in a so-called "ladder" (an often complicated formation). One of the things that separates ...
6
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2answers
304 views

Sicilian Scheveningen versus Najdorf: What are some of the characteristics that differentiate the two openings?

I would like to compare the Sicilian Scheveningen [FEN ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 with the Sicilian Najdorf [FEN ""] 1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 ...
4
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1answer
213 views

Specialized tactics books to improve position analysis?

I know that Mig Greengard used to have the VisualEyes column in Chess Ninja. In that column you were given a position and then a list of moves (say 3 or 4 moves forward) and then you were asked to ...
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6answers
4k views

How do I learn to understand the middlegame?

I am trying to train tactics as well as my general understanding of the beginning/middlegame. I spent a good bit of time understanding endgames, per chessmaster recommendations and those I can ...
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2answers
186 views

Are there statistics on the frequency of tactical motifs?

I was taking a look at the tactical motifs on chess tempo and I was curious to know which motifs are encountered most often and which motifs are encountered the least? Are their statistics for this?
8
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4answers
1k views

What are the differences between tactical and positional chess?

Does one style of play have an advantage/disadvantage over the other? Are today's GMs mostly tactical players or positional players? What GMs should I follow if I want to be more of a tactical ...
6
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2answers
179 views

Can a single player's choice of opening dictate a more (or less) aggressive game?

Usually a player feels comfortable with few "positions" (unless he/she is a GM). That's why sometimes it's said that a player should choose and begin to study openings whose outcome results in a ...
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3answers
131 views

What length of time should one spend looking for a combination, and what factors should one consider?

Taking time control into account, how long should one take when looking for a combination? Also, what factors should one consider when looking for a combination?
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3answers
335 views

Must a player play tactical openings to learn tactics?

As has been said, Chess in 99% tactics/calculation. So, if a player is aiming to increase his tactical abilities should he play tactical openings like the King's Gambit, or can he play something ...
8
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3answers
212 views

How can I find good tactics problems?

Say you have a database of a lot of games. How would you go about finding good tactics problems? I suppose you would search until there was a spot where the score shifted, and there was only one good ...
7
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2answers
318 views

What are some helpful chess tactics training websites?

I like http://chesstempo.com and http://chess.emrald.net Are there any others?