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  1. 18 Dec '05 02:12 / 2 edits
    Ok, I haven't figured this out on my own. What is the difference between positional play and tactical play?

    The way I am seeing it (probably incorrectly!) is that tactical play is for the attacking player and positional play invloves camping peices about the board for either defense or a later attack...or something like that.

    Can someone give me an explanation?


    EDIT: I just ran across this link researching my question. Although he doesn't really answer it, it's an interesting read.
    http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=788054
  2. Standard member ark13
    Enola Straight
    18 Dec '05 02:54
    Originally posted by tsantsa
    Ok, I haven't figured this out on my own. What is the difference between positional play and tactical play?

    The way I am seeing it (probably incorrectly!) is that tactical play is for the attacking player and positional play invloves camping peices about the board for either defense or a later attack...or something like that.

    Can someone give me an explanation?
    Tactical Play is an off and on subscriber to this site with a very impressive rating User 155892.

    But seriously, tactical play is trying to win through combinations. Winning material or the king in just a couple of moves due to the intricacies of the position. Tactic are usually based around captures, and include things like forks, pins, discovered attacks, etc. If you play tactically, you hope for a crazy and wide open game where people don't care about much about the positional principles like pawn structure etc.

    Positional play places much more value on the static positioning of pieces and slow manuevering. Positional players value a queenside pawn majority, better pawn structure, a safer king, etc. Positionally play is usually forced by a closed position.

    A player can't always choose which type of play he'll use in the game, it's based on the position. However, he can influence the position through his choice of opening, and hope for a position where either positional or tactical play is more useful.

    Basically, they're both styles of play. The positional player takes into account more lasting details about the position, while the tactical player mostly considers the current position. Of course, no one is only one or the other. But certain people have their preferences or strengths.
  3. 18 Dec '05 03:06
    Would it be correct to call a positional player a gambit player?
  4. 18 Dec '05 06:37
    Depends
  5. 18 Dec '05 07:57
    I think its generally the other way around.
  6. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    18 Dec '05 08:02
    Originally posted by tsantsa
    Would it be correct to call a positional player a gambit player?
    Not really. Most Gambits are sacrafices which create inbalance in a position. Generally speaking an unbalanced position is a tactical position. The gambiteer generally gives material in order to bring their pieces out quickly in order to attack. There are exceptions to this of course. The Queens Gambit for example doesn't give white quick development, but instead attempts to take control of the center which is perhaps a more positional plan. I'd say that most Gambits i've seen are tactical idea's rather than positional idea's though.
  7. 18 Dec '05 08:38
    You've got it a little wrong. Positional play is where you put your men on good squares. Tactical play is where you smash your opponent after reaching a good position or your opponent makes a mistake.

    Okay, an oversimplification, but still valid in a nutshell.
  8. 18 Dec '05 16:40
    I'd like to say that I am now more confused than I was last night!
  9. Standard member Wulebgr
    Angler
    18 Dec '05 16:48
    Tactics are the means by which you aim for a positional advantage. Positional play is the essence of chess.

    Gambits are tactical ploys to give up material for other positional considerations: better mobility, insecure enemy king, disharmony among opponent's army, etc.
  10. 18 Dec '05 17:01
    Originally posted by Wulebgr
    Tactics are the means by which you aim for a positional advantage. Positional play is the essence of chess.

    Gambits are tactical ploys to give up material for other positional considerations: better mobility, insecure enemy king, disharmony among opponent's army, etc.
    Ah! Succint, thank you.

    So, why do some people call themselves positional type players and some call themselves tacticians? If you need a tactical advantage to gain a positional advantage is it just a mixture of both types to win and noone is really an either/or type of player no matter how much they like to say so?

    Could you by chance link me to a game or two that shows the difference?
  11. 18 Dec '05 23:24
    Originally posted by ark13
    Tactical Play is an off and on subscriber to this site with a very impressive rating User 155892.

    But seriously, tactical play is trying to win through combinations. Winning material or the king in just a couple of moves due to the intricacies of the position. Tactic are usually based around captures, and include things like forks, pins, discovered ...[text shortened]... ourse, no one is only one or the other. But certain people have their preferences or strengths.
    That is a good post, nothing to add except that attacking chess players can only be found amongst amateurs like us and that possitional players do what the possition tells them (including attacking) while attacking players just go for an attack all the time.
  12. 18 Dec '05 23:27
    Originally posted by tsantsa
    Ah! Succint, thank you.

    So, why do some people call themselves positional type players and some call themselves tacticians? If you need a tactical advantage to gain a positional advantage is it just a mixture of both types to win and noone is really an either/or type of player no matter how much they like to say so?

    Could you by chance link me to a game or two that shows the difference?
    the ultimate possitional player:

    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=16149

    the ultimate attacker:

    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=16002
  13. 19 Dec '05 01:33
    Originally posted by LordOfTheChessboard
    the ultimate possitional player:

    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=16149

    the ultimate attacker:

    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=16002
    Thank you. Just reviewing some of each players games, I notice a behavior.