Basic Tactical Insight

Tactical Chess and Why It Matters

When it comes to improving at chess in the shortest time possible, the study and application of chess tactics has been shown to upgrade your game the fastest. One of the most common complaints from struggling chess players is that their games are full of blunders. Not only will an improvement in chess tactics remedy this area of your game but studying tactics will allow you to find moves, and resources that are not that obvious at first glance. It doesn’t matter if you hold the advantage in a certain position or not. Below are a few tips to remember when learning how to become good at chess tactics.

Master Basic Tactical Exercises!

Learn how to win more games and become good at chess tactics.

Black king falls to defeat.

It’s not surprising that most 1600,1700, and even higher rated players make terrible tactical oversights during a game. To reduce these errors it is important to study and understand basic chess tactics.  Research studies show that the stronger the player is the less likely they will make tactical errors during a game. Interesting still is that they continually find tactical solutions over the board that weaker players will not even consider. Before trying to emulate Mikhail Tal you must first become familiar will all basic tactical themes as they are the building blocks of all advanced tactics and combinations! Study two to three move tactics repeatedly until you can’t miss one!


Master Advanced Tactical Exercises!

Become good at chess tactics!

Chess pieces in an all out tactical melee!

After being able to solve two to three move tactics very easily and quickly without fail the improving chess player should immediately move on to solving more complicated chess tactics that take more thinking time, as only solving elementary tactics that you are comfortable with will only lead to more stagnation. In the beginning do not get caught up in how long it takes to solve the more advanced  problems, because it is more important to be able to solve every chess problem you come across with pin point accuracy since this will translate over to your chess games.


Learn Tactical Techniques From Master Games!

How to become good at chess.

Chess master considering his next move.

You know you should learn how to become good at chess tactics, but now what? This is where the study of master games comes into play. Studying these games will reveal how  using a tactical technique can bring about a positional advantage! Choose games where the master was able to crush the opponent easily. Preferably chess miniatures (moves lasting 25 moves or less). These games will give you a more clear picture of where the opponent went wrong during the game. Some great examples are the games of Paul Morphy played outside of serious chess tournaments. Study Magnus Carlsen, Vassily Ivanchuk, an Levon Aronian, against weak club player opposition in simultaneous display games.




Tactics: The Building Blocks of Calculation!


Hobbyist engaged in chess study.

have you ever wondered why the calculation of variations seem to be a never ending struggle?  Solely studying positional chess will not teach you how to calculate variations of a crucial line of play. By gradually learning how to correctly solve chess tactics and gradually solving harder tactics until they also become easier to solve, you will be naturally calculating variations already! But during an actual chess game you will have to apply this same tactical thinking technique that you learn from solving tactics, in the struggle to obtain a positional advantage.


Precise Calculation Not Hope Chess!

Calcualtion prevents mistakes!

Calculation of possible moves.

So you really want to take your game to that next level and find moves like the pros? Then you have to start thinking and playing like the pros; and that means stop playing hope or wishful chess! This is where precise calculation comes into play. Practice considering all the tactical consequences of your next move before playing it. Do not fall into the temptation of playing moves based on feeling because the move “must be good”. Against stronger opposition this form of hope chess will only leave you disappointed. Leaving you with an inferior position while your opponent enjoys the fruits of careful calculation. This is one of the reasons why the mastery of solving tactics is crucial to correctly calculate variations.


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