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1. 14 Jul '07 20:58
It seems to me that you could break tactics up into calculation and imagination. Imagination being spotting the idea in a position, and calculation being the exploration of one line or another. My personal experiance is that I am pretty good at calculation, but my imagination needs work. Is there a set of tools anyone recomends to work on this problem? Should I try to solve easy problems quickly?
2.  bannedplayer306509
Best Loser
14 Jul '07 21:04
Originally posted by chrspayn
It seems to me that you could break tactics up into calculation and imagination. Imagination being spotting the idea in a position, and calculation being the exploration of one line or another. My personal experiance is that I am pretty good at calculation, but my imagination needs work. Is there a set of tools anyone recomends to work on this problem? Should I try to solve easy problems quickly?
i think a great first step is to look for sacrifices, sound or not... just look to see how you could totally ruin your opponents position... that's what i do (not really workin out for me mind ya ). Take your time in a position and analyze your opponents weak spots and your strengths... it's just possible a cheap little check ends up winning the game if you look for it. The other thing is to avoid being mechanical.. if you see a really wierd move, trust your intuition and work with it, believe me, it starts to work eventually.
3. 14 Jul '07 22:46
Trust ih8sens. He plays the Wilkes-Barre.

But yeah. If you want calculation practice, try Reinfeld's two books of 1001 problems. GM Larry Christiansen, a US Champion and world renowned attacking player (he has two books out but I don't particularly care for them) credits his tactical ability to those books. Sharpen your tactics is also a good book, but the difficulty of the problems varies widely (beginning is like mate in 1, end is like mate in 8) so very few will be in your difficulty range.

If you want to learn how to spot moves, the best thing you can do is to do lots of quick two or three movers. There is a chart on how many problems you should do in 10 minutes, along with some problems, here:
http://www.entertainmentjourney.com/index12.htm

Also automated online at chess.emrald.net is a VERY good place.

If you want more general attacking advice, Art of Attack is for people 1800+. The best for you is "Attack with Mikhail Tal". It is a great book, and very applicable attacking strategies, good examples, and about 10 test problems at the end of every chapter. His patterns and techniques show up more than you would think. Careful study of that book is a good thing.

Also a book I quite like, though I would get after all of the above, is "How to become a deadly chess tactician". I mostly like it because it is basically full of many speculative sacrifices that worked at and many Tal-like brilliancies. I'm not good enough yet to understand the instruction but it is fun to read through. But get it after all of the above.
4. 14 Jul '07 23:01
Well, the Tal book helps a lot of imagination. For example, on the chapter on attack on the king in the center, he says to always watch for sacs on e6 and f7. Always. This does not require imagination, just good ability to judge
the resulting position. For example look here. One would normally never think of sacrificing. But remembering Tal's rule:
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1087155

Sacs on e6 and f7 with the king in the center is a good trick to remember. Attack with Tal is pure gold.
5.  bannedplayer306509
Best Loser
14 Jul '07 23:24
Originally posted by pwnguin
Well, the Tal book helps a lot of imagination. For example, on the chapter on attack on the king in the center, he says to always watch for sacs on e6 and f7. Always. This does not require imagination, just good ability to judge
the resulting position. For example look here. One would normally never think of sacrificing. But remembering Tal's rule:
http:/ ...[text shortened]... 6 and f7 with the king in the center is a good trick to remember. Attack with Tal is pure gold.
tal is a genius...
6. 14 Jul '07 23:30
you could define any GM as a genius
7. 14 Jul '07 23:31
Are you saying that in general, or are you complimenting him on his advice?

It's hard to tell.
8.  bannedplayer306509
Best Loser
15 Jul '07 01:29
Originally posted by h9i9j9
you could define any GM as a genius
yes but only tal is a GeNiUs
9. 15 Jul '07 05:19
Originally posted by chrspayn
It seems to me that you could break tactics up into calculation and imagination. Imagination being spotting the idea in a position, and calculation being the exploration of one line or another. My personal experiance is that I am pretty good at calculation, but my imagination needs work. Is there a set of tools anyone recomends to work on this problem? Should I try to solve easy problems quickly?
Pattern Recognition.
10. 15 Jul '07 06:09
Originally posted by chrspayn
It seems to me that you could break tactics up into calculation and imagination. Imagination being spotting the idea in a position, and calculation being the exploration of one line or another. My personal experiance is that I am pretty good at calculation, but my imagination needs work. Is there a set of tools anyone recomends to work on this problem? Should I try to solve easy problems quickly?
Yes. you should try solve easy problems quickly. solving too hard problems is not that beneficial.
11. 15 Jul '07 19:13
Usually a tactical blow is only possible if you`re opponent made a mistake. So you must understand positional play to make combinations, because a combination often can occur only after a positional mistake from your opponent.
12. 15 Jul '07 22:04
i always look for a sacrafice or look at moves to see if i have a good tactic after some sacrafices.
13. 16 Jul '07 03:34
IMO, I don't think imagination comprise only of sacrifices. Ideas in general also consist of exploiting your opponent's weaknesses, for instance positional maneuvering to exploit doubled pawns, etc.
14. 16 Jul '07 20:35
My imagination usually runs amok while my calculating abillity lags. I'm a philosopher and an artist. I like to come up with "great" ideas (or so I believe) and leave the details to others whenever possible. If I wanted to sit and calculate all day, I'd become an accountant!
15. 17 Jul '07 19:17
Originally posted by ih8sens
i think a great first step is to look for sacrifices, sound or not... just look to see how you could totally ruin your opponents position... that's what i do (not really workin out for me mind ya ). Take your time in a position and analyze your opponents weak spots and your strengths... it's just possible a cheap little check ends up winning the game if y ...[text shortened]... y wierd move, trust your intuition and work with it, believe me, it starts to work eventually.
It's not so much seeing the moves, it's correctly evaluating the resulting position that separates weak players from strong ones. It's easy to see that a move could double someones pawns, or fork 2 pieces, or make your position more deadly; however, seeing it at the end and judging the position is more essential then just the simple idea of winning material. Take a good player like Tal, he had a great imagination, but he wouldn't be as good as he was if it wasn't for his great judgement at the end of a combination. Of course, most combinations are mainly intuition, thats where practice helps. Practice makes perfect :o