so here I am, ive practised my tactical exercises, taken the advice of the most eminent of chess scholars (greenpawn34, a dude with a fide rating of 2000) and practised tactics, tactics and nothing but tactics, after all they tell me it doesn't matter much under an elo of 2000 anyway (Micheal de la Maza eat youre heart out) as most games are decided by tactical errors , openings ??, you best forget about them, completely unnecessary after all chess is 99% tactics anyway, i will use my most recent game to demonstrate what COMPLETE AND UTTER NONSENSE this type of thinking is, game number 5067660 for those who are interested.
i play 1.e4, after all it should lead to a more tactical game the tacticians reassured me, my opponent plays 1...e5, mmmm, ok what do i do now, 'chess is 99% tactics, that's right tactics tactics tactics going through my head like an insane radio one jingle), how does this help me decide my next move?, ummm, thats right dear reader, not a complete and utter, super hyper negative nine below zero bit! 'But the position must first of all be viewed tactically', they said, 'all good player view the position tactically first', they said, mmm, in a state of incredulity, left dazed and confused like a flu ridden Scottish mosquito that after procreating has minutes to live, unconvinced, i turned to my daddy, the strategical/positional elements in the position for the answer. what are blacks weakest points I asked, the pawn on f7 jumped up, 'take me! take me! im only defended by the king', the pawn on c7, 'im quite weak, her majesty the queen is the only one protecting me and she can never bow before another piece more humble than herself', ok the picture is becoming a little clearer, i must try and co-ordinate either a dark squared initiative on the queenside against the c7 weakness , or a white squared initiative against f7 on the kingside, after all if our pieces are to co-operate together they can only truly be effective if targeted against the one colour complex, mmm, easy enough and strangely enough no tactics.
The clock on the wall looms large and starts to melt, someone outside lights a match and it becomes a flame-thrower, my senses tingling to a cataclysmic crescendo of heightened awareness i discover that the little pawn on the dark square e5 is undefended, that's it !!! i will try to create a dark squared initiative by attacking the dark squares and occupying the white squares, now what moves will help me achieve either this? i could try 2. f4, the Kings gambit, it attacks the dark squares which i want, but leaves the king just a wee bit exposed and doesn't develop anything and the pawn on e4 is undefended, what about 2. d4, it also attacks the dark squares which i want but doesn't develop anything and the pawn on e4 is undefended, what about 2.Nf3, mmm, it attacks the dark squares, develops a piece, occupy the white squares and wins a tempo, yes i will play 2.Nf3, easy enough and strangely no tactics. my opponent plays 2...Nc6.
Ok, how can i keep my initiative up against the dark squares, mmm that horsey sure is covering a lot of them, if i could put pressure on him that would help my cause, i could play 3.d4, it attacks the dark squares but doesnt develop a piece and the pawn on e4 is still undefended, what about 3.Bb5, mmm, it develops a piece, puts pressure on the dark squares co-operating nicely with my Knight, yes yes, it must be 3.Bb5, my opponent plays 3...Nd4.
wow crazy i thought, he must be an undomesticated wild crazy horse unaccustomed to the pressures of modern life, he sure gave up all those dark squares real easy, isn't this Henry Birds reply to the Ruy Lopez i thought, why has it never become popular in master play, i dunno, all i know is im no master. did i consider the position tactically, never gave it a second thought, 'gimme all those dark squares' i thought, but you give up control of all of yours as well, a small price to pay to keep up the crusade. 4. Nxd4 ..exd4.
ok Daddy how can i continue, well there is only one move that continues to keep up the initiative against the dark squares c3, yes your right, 5.c3 ..Qg5. lol, a cunning fox like manoeuvre i thought, but wait, our little friend that we identified at the beginning, the c7 pawn is completely without his queenly escort now! was he aware of this positional weakness or did he view this position tactically , 'like wow there's a fork, where my knife and napkin and we can have a meal'. my guess, probably the later. 6.Bf1 ..Bc5, man doesn't he realise those black squares are mine, 7.d3 ..Qf6, well ok,
now i must address the dark squared weakness in my own camp, i could play f4, this keeps up my initiative against the dark squares, but doesn't develop anything and slightly weakens the king, what about Qe2, mmm, it develops a piece, defends the dark squares as well as e4, yes! yes!, 8. Qe2 ..dxc3, now how can i keep up my quest for an initiative on the dark squares, only continuation 9. Nxc3 ..Bd4, what is this i thought, did i calculate anything, did i think i have a fork, did i look at the position tactically, not a jot, the little c7 pawn was crying out from the very beginning, take me, take me. only move that keeps to our strategy, continues the queenside initiative against the dark squares that we set out at the beginning is 10. Nd5 ..Qe5.
Now dear reader did I have to calculate any variation to continue my next move, did I need to look for any pins, forks, skewers, revealed attacks, checks or anything, ask yourself, which move continues our strategy of attacking the weakness on c7 as ENVISIONED AT THE BEGINNING, that's right 11. Bf4 1-0.
I can hardly describe the satisfaction that this brought me, the win was almost inconsequential, the formulating of a sound strategical plan, based on a positional considerations at every turn was immense, how the pieces worked in co-operation was beautiful. To those who advocate a purely tactical approach to the understanding of chess for those players lower rated i have this to say, 'Look Daddy, no tactics !'. -regards Robbie Carrobie.