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I am trying to define chess strategy for myself, and I came up with the following explanation which I would like to get feedback on.

Chess strategy can be defined as the creation of long term plans that will dictate your next several moves. In order to achieve these plans, you can argue that the chess player will resort to either positional, tactical or endgame devices.

My questions are:

  1. Do you agree on the above?

  2. How would you define chess strategy?

  3. If you had to choose only 1 game that illustrates chess strategy in action what would that game be?

  4. What methods do you use to evaluate a position to determine your strategy?

Update 4/17/16: Blog post about Chess Strategy.

  • The short article apronus.com/chess/tactics-or-strategy.htm asks the question of what is strategy by analyzing a very complicated tactical operation that could have been calculated from the start to end resulting in "pure tacticts" or it could have been undertaken based on positional considerations and intuition resulting in "deep strategy". Hope this helps in your search for clarity concerning the concept of strategy. – DrCapablasker Mar 15 '16 at 19:59
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1. Do you agree on the above? 2. How would you define chess strategy?

From Chess Strategy: Move by Move by Adam Hunt, he defines chess strategy in his introduction as:

Chess strategy is concerned with the correct evaluation of a position and the formulation of an effective plan based upon its characteristic features. When the word ‘strategy’ is mentioned, people tend to jump to the conclusion that we are talking about long-term middlegame planning, and that you have to be some sort of psychic who can see the future, but that is rarely the case. Many features of a given position which are strategically important will evolve out of the opening and finish in the endgame, so it would be foolish to completely ignore these phases of the game. Plans can be short or long term, depending on how the landscape in front of you is changing as the game progresses. This is why the subject is so complex and so much material is available on it.

Emphasis is mine.

So, to contrast to your definition:

  • Hunt does not restrict himself to long term planning in his definition
  • It spans all phases of the game, including the opening
  • There is no explicit mention of tactical/positional devices, but I think it is covered in his "characteristic features"

3. If you had to choose only 1 game that illustrates chess strategy in action what would that game be?

On the basis of the complexity of the subject, no one game will highlight all elements of chess strategy.

4. What methods do you use to evaluate a position to determine your strategy?

This is covered in How To Reassess Your Chess by Jeremy Silman. He calls Hunt's "characteristic features" imbalances, i.e. differences in the Black and White armies. He considers:

  1. Superior Minor Piece: Bishops vs. Knights
  2. Pawn Structure—Weak Pawns, Passed Pawns, etc.
  3. Space
  4. Material
  5. Control of a Key File (or indeed control of a key line)
  6. Control of a Hole/Weak Square
  7. Lead in Development
  8. Initiative
  9. King Safety
  • Thank you for taking the time, and for the excellent response. – chessbuzz Mar 29 '16 at 0:45

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