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I am a normal player with ~1500 FIDE rating, and I am quite good at tactics and trap things. But I falter at the positional games and I am bound to make mistakes where the things are non-tactical. So how should I improve my positional chess understanding?

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    I would caution you to think you are better at tactics than you really are. A rating of 1500 indicates you are probably not all that good. Until you reach a rating of 1800+, positional chess matters far less than spotting tactic opportunities. – Randy Minder Jun 21 '16 at 13:49
  • @RandyMinder hmm thanks... I mean I am able to solve tactics quite easily overboard, but not so on the positional aspects of game... Still I believe there is long way to go ahead :D – prakhar londhe Jun 21 '16 at 16:39
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    If you could solve tactics quite easily over the board, your rating would be FAR higher than 1500. At 1500 you're missing far more tactics than you are seeing. – Randy Minder Jun 21 '16 at 16:43
  • @RandyMinder no, I mean I can solve tactics when not-in-game. – prakhar londhe Jun 21 '16 at 16:47
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    Solving a tactical position is not the same. In games, you don't know there is a tactic. When you solve positions, you know there is something to find. Big difference. I am good at tactics too, being a Cat A player, but miss things regularly in my games. the two things do not correlate. The reason we do tactical puzzles is to see more positions and to become familiar with what tactical shots might be there. We don't do them for some fake rating. – Priyome Jun 21 '16 at 18:18
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My suggestion ist to take a book on positional chess and look through it. For example "How to Reassess Your Chess" by IM Silman is, in my opinion, a good book to get started. It walks you through all of the positional elements and gives you at least a good idea on what you might want to look out for. Of course this can only be a start and at some point you may have to look beyond for some ideas on pawn structures, for which also several good works are available.

One word of warning is that, often, while you may feel that the weakest part of your game is positional chess, this might not be correct. You can be sure only if a show a couple of your games (especially losses or games where you ended up in an uncomfortable position) to a (quite a bit) stronger player and ask their opinion.

In any case, I would like to recommend also the book series by Yusupov, in particular for your level the Fundamentals series (orange color). These books contain positional chapters, but also endgame, tactics, openings and much more. The goal is to raise the level of all your abilities to the same level. If you can breeze through the tactical parts, this is good for you, then you will mostly gain from the positional chapters. However, it is likely that you will find further parts where you can learn a lot.

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    +1 for Yusupov (and similar books). If you read a prose book on positional factors, it's easy to believe that you understand what they say, and then during a game you'll find it very hard to apply (or you apply it superficially and find it doesn't work). Yusupov gives you concrete positions to solve, and it turns out to be very hard to solve even the simple ones. But that's what makes you better, in the end. – RemcoGerlich Jun 21 '16 at 12:52
  • Silman's book is less about positional chess and more about developing useful plans using a step-by-step criteria/process. Often his method will point towards a tactical shot. Positional chess is more or less knowing common priyomes and being aware of how to play for and against them. "Priyome" is just a russian word for pattern recognition. They are generally described at a 40,000 foot level, unlike tactics, which are detailed and concrete. – Priyome Jun 22 '16 at 18:47
  • @Mark Godwin: I think this step-by-step process was in previous editions of the book. The most recent 4th edition does not contain a step-by-step process, though it certainly contains many criteria, namely all the positional basics along with explanations and examples how to make use of them and ideas to strengthen positional advantages. Of course, ultimately, you aim for a tactical shot, but this is not the point of the book, it is just the natural consequence of reaching a critical mass of positional advantages. – Jester Jun 26 '16 at 8:29
  • Silman outlines a direct step-by-step process for assessing a position and finding moves in ALL versions of his book. I have had the original, the third, and now the fourth. Not sure what you are reading. – Priyome Jun 26 '16 at 20:21
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The first thing you should do in order to improve your positional skills is to read classic books. In my opinion two of the most important books are: 300 Chess Games by Siegbert Tarrash and My System by Aron Nimzowitch. I prefer these books because they could help you to understand the positional laws of chess(the only thing that matters when you face a good player is the ability to estimate an unknown position).

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