Questions tagged [tactics]

Questions relating to maneuvers that take advantage of short-term opportunities, such as forks, discovered attacks, skewers, etc.

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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 ...
Jeff Davis's user avatar
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35 votes
13 answers
81k 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 ...
Parseltongue's user avatar
34 votes
1 answer
5k views

Where can I find this game with a sacrifice followed by a long series of checks leading to a discovered mate? [duplicate]

I am looking for a chess game and frankly, I really know very little about it. I remember seeing it somewhere on the Internet. The game goes something like this. A player (either White or Black) ...
Aastik's user avatar
  • 451
28 votes
6 answers
9k views

"Chess is 90% tactics" - should a player focus more on tactics in order to improve?

The following quote has been attributed to many chess masters; "Chess is 90% tactics" - from Teichmann to Capablanca. It has also been said that 90% of the games are decided on tactics and tactics are ...
Phemelo Khetho's user avatar
25 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is three knights versus knight really winning?

Take a look at the following position, reached in the #40974 Tactics Problem on chess.com [fen "4N1K1/5P2/6k1/8/6n1/8/N7/8 w - - 0 1"] The engine gives +6.22 for white in this position. I already ...
Pedro A's user avatar
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24 votes
5 answers
4k views

Examples of forced stalemate

The usual case one often sees specially in blitz play is when one side (usually the winning) mis-plays and then stalemate occurs with the losing side dodging a loss. But are there positions where ...
user929304's user avatar
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24 votes
6 answers
9k 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 ...
Alex Petrov's user avatar
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23 votes
7 answers
4k views

Why do chess puzzles need a unique solution?

Why do chess puzzles need a unique solution? This is different from real games, where such situations do occur, but more frequently, there are multiple avenues to success. Contrary to what one might ...
Hauptideal's user avatar
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23 votes
6 answers
11k 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 ...
firtydank's user avatar
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23 votes
9 answers
9k 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 more ...
Anshu's user avatar
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21 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
Tom Au's user avatar
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19 votes
7 answers
3k 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 ...
Lynob's user avatar
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19 votes
4 answers
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 ...
bpw1621's user avatar
  • 301
18 votes
7 answers
7k views

Why is Carlsen being praised for his tie-break play, when Caruana made several game-losing moves?

I followed the three games live on chess24.es (for live commentary from GMs) and chess.com (for actual real time computer analysis). As per my understanding: Game 13 was mostly balanced until 19... ...
walen's user avatar
  • 650
18 votes
6 answers
7k 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 ...
Romain's user avatar
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18 votes
5 answers
30k 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?
Nelson's user avatar
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16 votes
5 answers
4k views

Effectiveness of a spaced repetition system (SRS) for memorizing tactical patterns for long-term skill gain?

After reading Micheal de Maza's article 400 Points in 400 Days and the paper Training in Chess: A Scientific Approach by Gobet and Jansen, I have come to the conclusion that effective gains in chess ...
Dider's user avatar
  • 841
15 votes
6 answers
5k views

What to do when your opponent doesn't play along in the opening?

I looked around and could not find an answer for this. I've studied a pretty good amount of opening theory and so I know the "correct" moves for some basic lines. Most e4 openings and a fair amount ...
Raydot's user avatar
  • 261
15 votes
5 answers
4k views

Is there a way to use Stockfish to see tactics that aren't necessarily great?

Basically - I want to utilize an engine to see tactics through the whole game, regardless of whether they're a good move or not. Sometimes, Stockfish may say a position is absolutely winning, but the ...
Lukas Kawalec's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
544 views

How are online tactic exercises ratings calculated?

There are several sites that give you a tactics rating changing while you solve or fail the exercises. How do they calculate the problems rating? Do they use engines to calculate the difficulty or ...
user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
5k views

Are resignations by expert players naive?

During recent online chat with gamers, I asserted that 'go' (and possibly othello) had a larger decision space than chess. After reading Wikipedia, I realized I failed to account for othello and go '...
I dont know thanks for reading's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why does Stockfish suggest h4 here?

Analyzing my latest game on chess.com, Stockfish says that h4 is the best move here: I followed the line, but I failed to understand the reasoning of this move. Is it for some long-term advantage? ...
DatBoi's user avatar
  • 381
14 votes
4 answers
3k views

Giving up a knight and bishop for castled rook and pawn

The opening shown here is quite common. Is it generally a good or a bad idea to give up a kKnight and a bishop for the castled Rook and the f-pawn? In terms of their "standard" value, both ...
Masked Man's user avatar
  • 1,006
14 votes
8 answers
1k views

How do you solve chess tactics?

Do you just grind them, or do you save some of the chess tactics that you miss? Do you ever annotate your chess tactics? Do you try to remember certain patterns and main ideas? Do you categorize ...
Sorin Solberg's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
916 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 ...
Eve Freeman's user avatar
  • 3,779
14 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
M.M's user avatar
  • 749
13 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is it good to have a tendency to exchange pieces?

This is how I am playing nowadays. I can beat ~1500 player 50% of the time (the rest is due to tactical errors): Play the opening (upto 12 moves) Don't blunder At the point where my pawns and pieces ...
bretlee's user avatar
  • 2,523
13 votes
6 answers
15k 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 ...
xaisoft's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
3k views

{Landa vs Zhu Chen, Bad Wiessee, 2006} Lichess giving a +4.7 to white. Why?

Here is the lichess study for the game which is often presented as study. I am curious here, as to why White is given a strong advantage, even though the material is equal and Black has a lot more ...
Soham's user avatar
  • 267
12 votes
6 answers
1k views

What are some helpful chess tactics training websites? [closed]

I like Chesstempo and chess.emrald.net[1]. Are there any others? Edit (25.12.2020): Since at least 2018, chess.emrald.net has often not been responsive.
xaisoft's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
817 views

How did classic masters like Alekhine and Anderssen practice tactics?

How did classic masters like Alekhine and Anderssen practice tactics? Surely there was no chess.com or chesstempo at that time. How did the masters back then manage to increase their tactical ...
bretlee's user avatar
  • 2,523
12 votes
4 answers
788 views

Lichess puzzle 87510: How much calculation would a strong player do before playing Bg4+ when white has a range of (all losing) responses?

Lichess puzzle 87510 has this position. [FEN "r1b1k3/pp4R1/2q3RQ/4p3/5P2/bP2P3/2P1K2P/8 b - - 0 1"] The solution is 1...Bg4+,.after which White has 6 legal moves: 1...Bg4+ 2. Rxg4 Qxh6, ...
Rebecca J. Stones's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
3k views

Failing to understand a pin from a tactics book

I've began going through, over the board, 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations - 21st century edition. This book is a great supplement to my last question on studying tactics, and I feel ...
user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
961 views

Are knights more powerful in Duck Chess?

In the chess variant Duck Chess (full rules), each player moves the shared blocking "duck" piece to any free square on their turn, taking away one or more moves for the opponent. One ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
5k views

What is this tactic called?

[FEN "6k1/rp3ppq/p2p4/1p1Pr1nQ/1P2P3/4R1N1/P1B2P2/4R1K1 b - - 0 1"] 1... Nh3+ 2. Qxh3 (2. Kh2 Rxh5) 2... Qxh3 Black to move. After Nh3+ white can move the king or take with the queen. ...
user2664856's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
969 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 ...
Tarski's user avatar
  • 285
11 votes
5 answers
4k 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 ...
guru's user avatar
  • 1,053
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Beginner Tactics - Why Isn't This Mate?

I was playing on chesstempo and came across the following setup: [FEN "k1r4r/p6p/5p2/3Q4/1R5P/PPqn4/3N1P2/1K1R4 b - - 1 1"] With black to move. I was unable to solve this tactic - it seemed to me ...
CL40's user avatar
  • 221
10 votes
4 answers
376 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?
xaisoft's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the terminology for a move which allows the opponent to attack two pieces without making another move?

In the position below (Short vs Ponomariov 2003), White has just played Re4-f4, which is allowing the g5 pawn to attack both the rook and the bishop. In general, what do we call a move that allows the ...
Zuriel's user avatar
  • 8,861
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

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

I am playing as Black in this game, and after 10. Qg4, I realize that White wanted my rook. I knew I could trap the queen once it went for the rook (11. Qxg7), but I forgot how. I went on to win the ...
MDMoore313's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

How much time you spend on one puzzle?

I know solving tactics puzzles is one of the recommended ways to improve in chess. I spend around 30 min solving puzzles. How much time I should spend on one puzzle? During games we don't think 15-...
Alex's user avatar
  • 305
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

How to quickly calculate two pawns facing two pawns

A situation that often seems to confuse me is when I push a pawn alongside two pawns that are head-to-head and my opponent pushes the opposing pawn, such as when Black plays c5 to my c4. rnbqkbnr/...
Steve Bennett's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

When is a bishop stronger than a rook?

Usually the rook is stronger than the bishop. Are there situations (and obviously I'm not assuming equal material) in which the latter is stronger?
Vincenzo Oliva's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
12k views

Losing the queen and then winning the game

Many years ago, I was on a mountain with some people. I was very young then, between 15 and 17 years old, I think. Some older people came and one of them started to play chess with me. I cannot ...
Grešnik's user avatar
  • 315
9 votes
5 answers
1k 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 ...
Rex Butler's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why is it a mistake to capture the forked rook?

In a recent game, I forked a queen and rook with a knight. After seeing no immediate threats from 8. Qf4 I immediately captured with 8. ...Nxb3. Apparently this was quite a mistake (a 213 centipawn ...
actinidia's user avatar
  • 369
9 votes
3 answers
342 views

Would you look for mate, if tactics to win materials are easier to spot?

I'm black, I defeated a 1830 very easily in a 11 + 10 game and I had plenty of time, but I played fast and didn't see mate, he was low on time. Analyzing with lichess engine [fen "2k2r2/ppp5/7p/...
Lynob's user avatar
  • 5,774
9 votes
5 answers
521 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 ...
Totero's user avatar
  • 1,708
9 votes
2 answers
766 views

Calculation skills beyond 2000 Elo

[Title "Black to move and win - rated 2179"] [FEN "2r2r1k/1pq3bp/p3p1p1/P4n2/1P1P4/2P1P2P/3BB1Q1/R3R1K1 b - - 0 1"] I've been trying to work on my chess a bit more seriously since about mid-March (I ...
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