Originally posted by chesskid001
I am specifically asking high rated players, like players 1700+, how important are tactics for improving your game? Are they really as important as noted by teachers. When making a study plan for a beginner(1200 or below) like me, should tactics be the central focus?
It’s ok to consider what works in general for the majority, but your primary guide has to be your weaknesses and needs. And this is done by analysing your games… not just the moves, but also your thoughts during each game.
It could be that you can’t recognise pins and forks easily enough. So, you do training in this area and continue to monitor this aspect of your game play. However, maybe you can sufficiently recognise tactics, but instead you’ve got a problem with concentration and playing too fast. This could have similar symtoms, but to overcome it you’ll need different training than the pins and forks puzzles mentioned in the first example.
Many people wrongly assume that every player with a similar grade plays the same. They don’t. In fact, sometimes a 1600 and a 2000 player can have more in common than two 1600s, in terms of what weaknesses they need to work on (albeit at different levels).
Some people emphasise how often “club player” games are decided by tactics. This is true. But I don’t agree that it automatically places tactics as the main priority for all club players. As I suggested before, many players can’t e.g. concentrate for long enough. So they occassionally get too careless and lose to a tactic. But this is not a tactics issue; it’s a concentration issue. Etc. etc. Your games will tell you what’s going wrong and whether or not your current training is making a difference or not.