Chess Strategy and Chess Tactics – Knowing How to Play Chess

One topic that chess players hardly ever tire of is the debate that rages around chess strategy versus chess tactic. Chess is a game that takes a few hours to learn and truly the rest of your life to master. Most new chess players, both children and adults, learn quite early on that losing a large amount of pieces is a sure path to disaster.

Chess is ultimately a mixture of chess strategy and chess tactic. Whether you prefer one or the other will depend on your personality, skill level, and the current stage of your development.

Since many chess authorities equate losing pieces or material with chess tactic, most tutorial chess books emphasize that students should rather learn tactics than chess strategy. It does not help your game a great deal if you have a strategic advantage of a strong knight piece placed on d6, if you manage to lose your Queen on the next move. You’ll find that most of your chess opponents can readily overcome their strategic disadvantage with extra material.

Once the game is in full swing and you move into the stage where you have lost many pieces (also called the dropped material stage) though, understanding chess strategy becomes more crucial.

Some new chess players try to emulate chess masters but things can be different if you develop your chess style over time. You should enjoy and see chess as a steady buildup of your forces, guiding your pieces as if you were planning a long-term invasion, gradually grinding your chess opponent into a bloodbath ending. The ultimate compliment is often the complete befuddlement of an opponent to the point where he or she doesn’t even know why they lost.

The argument of chess strategy versus chess tactic has probably been going on since the invention of Western chess in the fifteenth century. The powerful new Queen movements opened up all new kinds of tactical possibilities and chess tactic ruled until he latter half of the 18th century, also known as the chess age of Philidor. Philidor understood pawn play and his positional knowledge of the game made him the most formidable player of his day.

In order to improve your game, you have to co-ordinate the 4 elements of space, time, force, and pawn structure. In order for you to take advantage of these elements, you have to evaluate the position, develop a plan, carry out the plan and win the game. The 1st step to accomplishing this is to thoroughly learn chess tactic. Chess tactic is a combination of pattern recognition and calculation.

When you learn chess tactic, you will also be able to recognize it from across the board. Pattern recognition and calculation are acquired skills. Some people may be better at it than others, and you probably have some innate pattern recognition ability to help improve your game.