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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 strategies.

2
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It depends on the criteria you use to say two tactics are the same thing. If I play a combination tomorrow, in some position that's not played before, and the details of where the pieces are is just … slightly different, is it a new tactic? Endgame studies have been described as crystallized versions of tactics; only the tactic, nothing else. I don't think the last original endgame study has been composed already. …
answered Sep 20 '13 by RemcoGerlich
5
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The most common is the situation with King + Pawn vs King, if it's a draw. Okay, the stalemate isn't forced, but everything else is a draw too and it's important that the stalemate exists: [FEN "8/3k …
answered Feb 6 by RemcoGerlich
3
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to make mistakes without playing the sacrifice! Maybe the sacrifice is the best move, and not playing it is already a mistake. How well do these tactics work for amateurs? Do many make "correct …
answered Jul 27 '15 by RemcoGerlich
5
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That's really an enormously broad question. The answer is "because it's a good move, sometimes." :-) Let's say one player expects the game to go "I take here, then he takes there, I take there, he ta …
answered Feb 20 '13 by RemcoGerlich
17
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It is lost. You can enter all positions of six pieces into a tablebase, like this online one. It's mate in at most 39 moves, for example: [FEN "4N1K1/5P2/6k1/8/6n1/8/N7/8 w - - 0 1"] 1.f8=N+ Kf5 2. …
answered Dec 23 '16 by RemcoGerlich