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  1. 12 Dec '10 09:45 / 1 edit
    I was just wondering on your thoughts..

    If you are a highly tactical player what sort of openings should you play to stop them from locking the position down and slowly grinding you into dust, never allowing you to play with your pieces..
  2. 12 Dec '10 10:45
    Gambits.
  3. 12 Dec '10 15:23
    As a fairly safe and boring player, I love to see ?! openings -- like the Danish Gambit or the Smith-Morra Gambit -- because they can be punished with very careful play. What I hate to see are !? openings, like Bird's Opening, that create complications without chucking away material.
  4. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    12 Dec '10 16:24
    objectively speaking, the only way you're going to force a positional player off his game, is by making inferior moves HOPING he'll miss something. which is exactly what he wants you to do. give him that tiny edge, and he'll stretch it, wrap around your neck, and strangle you. - the solution is to learn positional play, in order to stay in the game, and through that create the opportunities to blow him out with your (allegedly, hopefully) superior tactics. you can't just make tactics happen out of thin air, it's the overwhelming positional pressure which creates them as the position cracks under it.

    however, if by 'positional' you mean a passive player instead of a positional one, THEN pouncing at every energetic active move is exactly what you need to do.
  5. 12 Dec '10 17:42
    This much feared Postional Player is a myth.

    A good 'positional player' must also be a very good tactical player.

    You get players whose style is to play without creating a weakness
    and try to inflict a weakness on their opponent to work on. (tactically).

    These players are called good chess players.
    Those who are very good at what they do are called Grand Masters.

    So the question should be how do you take down a good chess player?

    The so called 'postional player' without tactcial ability is called a weak player.
    You just aim a few things at their King and they do the rest.

    The player who strives for tactical complications at the risk of
    compromising his position can be a dangerous chap but a well rounded
    player will halt his attack and then counter attack from a sound position.

    I've yet to see this wonderful won game where no tactic of any kind
    played it's part. You may not see them getting played OTB by the good guys.
    But just under the surface you will find every 'positional threat' is backed up
    with tactics.

    Stop splitting the game into two. You cannot have one without the other.

    A good example is Frank Marshall who was a feared attacking player.
    Get his book of best games. You will see the word 'positional' mentioned
    much more times than you would expect.
  6. 12 Dec '10 18:45
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    I've yet to see this wonderful won game where no tactic of any kind
    played it's part. You may not see them getting played OTB by the good guys.
    But just under the surface you will find every 'positional threat' is backed up
    with tactics.
    Well this seems like a a good place to throw out this quote....
    "Tactics flow from a superior position." -- I seem to recall a pretty good chess player saying that.
  7. 12 Dec '10 19:13
    It was Fischer.

    Good player v Good player is all about avoiding and inflicting postional weakness's
    with a view of cashing in tactically.
    They are too good to beat with a Kitchen Sink attack.

    Weak player v Weak player then the better tactician will win unless he out
    tricks himself. Here the Kitchen Sink attack or any attack usually wins.

    Studying games that have a tactical nature does, as a side bonus, build up
    your postional skill. You will recognise the obvious anti-poistional moves
    and avoid making them in your own games.
  8. 12 Dec '10 20:09 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Weak player v Weak player then the better tactician will win unless he out
    tricks himself. Here the Kitchen Sink attack or any attack usually wins.
    While I'm a weak player, I do think at my level there are positional players and tactical players. I consider myself the former. I suck at the tactical puzzles, never enjoying them enough to care to do them. When I'm playing I usually try to look at longterm, putting my pieces in what I consider strong positions and then hoping they come together for tactical attacks later. @ "hoping"

    Quite often, I'll run a game through an engine afterwards and find that moves that I really anguished over deciding what to do turned out to be the #1 choice of the engine; BUT for completely different reasons. I might have thought, "i take control of that file" or "this barricades his rook with his own pawn", or "pin 2 pieces and slow him down while I develop", etc, etc. things like that are how i decide. But I'll look at the engine analysis and it will say the same move, but because it ends with gaining a piece 5 or 6 moves later.
  9. 12 Dec '10 21:00
    Originally posted by wormwood
    objectively speaking, the only way you're going to force a positional player off his game, is by making inferior moves HOPING he'll miss something
    I don't follow your logic here. I'm stronger positionally compared to my tactical ability. And I *do* struggle more in sharp openings as compared to slow maneuvering battles, hence the choice of opening can be a significant factor. And it doesn't need to involve an objectively inferior choice - there are many sharp openings which are objectivity fine.

    In short, my opponent can choose to play towards my strengths or weaknesses, and there are objectively sound paths for both.
  10. Standard member Thabtos
    I am become Death
    12 Dec '10 21:06
    Originally posted by greenpawn34

    A good example is Frank Marshall who was a feared attacking player.
    Get his book of best games. You will see the word 'positional' mentioned
    much more times than you would expect.
    I enjoy playing the Marshall Position against the Ruy Lopez.
  11. 12 Dec '10 21:10
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    A good 'positional player' must also be a very good tactical player.
    I agree that a good positional player must be tactically sufficient. But it's also clear that some players are more naturally inclined towards one or the other. Let's not pretend that every good player is equally well rounded in both tactics and positional play - they are not. And players should play to their strengths. It's no accident that Kasparov played his chosen openings and approach, and Karpov did something completely different. i.e. different strengths and weaknesses in terms of positional and tactical ability
  12. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    12 Dec '10 22:43
    Originally posted by Varenka

    In short, my opponent can choose to play towards my strengths or weaknesses, and there are objectively sound paths for both.
    that's a textbook subjective choice, based on a subjective view of your possible performance in a certain type of position, not on whether that position is objectively better or not.

    and yes, some people are better at positional play than tactis. they should be working more on their tactics.



    should people make choices based on subjective qualities? possibly. however that is an entirely different can of worms.
  13. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    12 Dec '10 23:04
    Originally posted by Varenka
    It's no accident that Kasparov played his chosen openings and approach, and Karpov did something completely different. i.e. different strengths and weaknesses in terms of positional and tactical ability
    different styles doesn't mean they couldn't do every aspect of chess equally well. it's just that a certain style allows to showcase different type of skills than some other style. throw a crazy tactical position at a karpov or kramnik, and they'll come out guns blazing. I understand karpov rarely got into trouble with tactics. in a way you could say that it means he was better at tactics than the guys who get into crazy tactical trouble all the time.

    I think nakamura used to do so bad against top level players because he thought he could just push them into crazy tactical positions and come out winning. but it turned out those guys actually could take all he had, AND squeeze him to death after the smoke cleared. so he went back to the drawing board, started playing more solidly, and honed his endgame technique to the iron fist it now is. and lo and behold, he's suddenly on an equal footing against people like kramnik. a huge difference in just a couple of years.
  14. 12 Dec '10 23:18
    Originally posted by wormwood
    that's a textbook [b]subjective choice, based on a subjective view of your possible performance in a certain type of position[/b]
    No it's not. If I analyse my opponent's games in advance and see that his results are much worse in sharp positions then that's an objective analysis because it's based on facts (i.e. concrete results) rather than my opinion. How can it be just my opinion if I have the statistics to prove it!
  15. 12 Dec '10 23:25 / 1 edit
    I agree V.

    (I am answering your post that began with:
    "....a good positional player must be tactically sufficient."

    However if Karpov or Kasparov had been lacking in either department then they
    would not have become the players they were.

    I'm trying to answer the OP by saying you cannnot have one without the other
    and try not to think of the game in two bits.

    Playing to your inate ability is the way to go.
    Playing against your inate abilty (easpecially at a weaker level) to tackle a
    certain style is asking for trouble.