In Thread 144634
there was a discussion about the relation between tactics and strategy. To be honest, I was dismayed at the general lack of understanding of these two concepts. Some said strategy and tactics are intertwined and this seems like a dodge that stems from not knowing. Some said strategy is a long term plan to improve favorable tactical opportunities and this is wrong. Some said tactics are necessary to even begin to use strategy and this is simply not true. Some said with strategy you wish to visualize an ideal position and seek ways to exploit weaknesses, then you use tactics to achieve those objectives which is also wrong. Folks, this is not my opinion it is simply fact.
I stated that it is a dodge to say that strategy and tactics are intertwined, while true it is unfair to leave it at that. To delve deeper one must understand that every move is tactical and every move is part of strategy and both of these concepts require position knowledge. You say, what? Yes, you have to know the ins and outs of the position to strike upon the correct strategy and to realize if tactical opportunities are present. Take this position taken from Silman’s The Reassess Your Chess Workbook
Anand-Kamsky. Las Palmas Match 1995.
White to play.
The positional cue is the key square f5 the strategy is now to obtain an iron grip of this square. The tactics are the moves you use to achieve this goal.
Someone with a keen tactical eye might notice that 1.a4 bxa4 2.Rxa4 Rxa4 3.Bxa4 takes a defender away from the square f5 then you assess the position afterwards. Was the goal achieved? Yes. What was the cost? We traded a useless rook on a1 for a strong active rook on f4 so the cost was actually for our opponent not us. This assessment stems from a positional knowledge that it is good to trade inactive pieces for active ones. The strategy here only had to due with our goal, the tactics were the moves and the assessment is positional. We decided on a goal, then we found the moves, and lastly we assessed the result. Many times we decide to attack the king, to go after a piece or to set up a fortress; these are all strategic decisions.
In conclusion, we all use strategy, we all use tactics, and we all have a positional sense to some extent. We may not choose the correct strategy, if we do we may not use the correct tactics(make the right moves) to execute the correct strategy, and most ofus are unable to assess the position correctly but we can fix this problem. Tactics problems bring the most improvement because in reality they strike upon all of these factors; they hone our ability to make the correct moves, they show us positions in which we can find the correct strategy based upon the position. Their only failure is that they don’t teach us how to handle tactics or make the correct moves in situations where the strategic goal isn’t mating the king or gaining material. However, this isn’t a problem because once you can make clever moves that achieve these strategic goals you can make clever moves to achieve other strategic goals... you just have to learn to assess the position to find the correct goal.
Have a good day. 