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.