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  1. 16 Jul '10 18:16
    I have gone back to square one with tactics. I'm doing only mate in ones on Chess Tempo. It is really making me think and I believe for me right now it beats working with books.

    However in games I try to use my tactical skills, but I seem to get overwhelmed by my opponent's army marching toward me. I have no plan except to defend myself. Or find an unguarded piece of my opponenr's.

    I need a plan!!!!!

    Everybody shouts tactics tactics tactics, but I feel the need of knowing some strategy too.

    What do you think?

    Grit
  2. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    16 Jul '10 18:31
    Originally posted by grit
    I have gone back to square one with tactics. I'm doing only mate in ones on Chess Tempo. It is really making me think and I believe for me right now it beats working with books.

    However in games I try to use my tactical skills, but I seem to get overwhelmed by my opponent's army marching toward me. I have no plan except to defend myself. Or find an unguarded ...[text shortened]... ics tactics, but I feel the need of knowing some strategy too.

    What do you think?

    Grit
    Strategy, Schmrategy.

    TACTICS ARE THE R0XXX0RS
  3. 16 Jul '10 18:34
    Sorry????? Not sure what you mean.

    Grit
  4. 16 Jul '10 18:44
    Originally posted by grit
    I have gone back to square one with tactics. I'm doing only mate in ones on Chess Tempo. It is really making me think and I believe for me right now it beats working with books.

    However in games I try to use my tactical skills, but I seem to get overwhelmed by my opponent's army marching toward me. I have no plan except to defend myself. Or find an unguarded ...[text shortened]... ics tactics, but I feel the need of knowing some strategy too.

    What do you think?

    Grit
    Strategy is the key, in the last game you lost you moved your bishop 3 times in a row in the first 7 moves. You need to try to develope all your pieces in the opening, bring the army forward together as one rather than racing around the board with just one or two pieces.
    Tactics are great but you need to have all your pieces in the right postion before you can spring the traps.
  5. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    16 Jul '10 18:53
    Originally posted by grit
    I have gone back to square one with tactics. I'm doing only mate in ones on Chess Tempo. It is really making me think and I believe for me right now it beats working with books.

    However in games I try to use my tactical skills, but I seem to get overwhelmed by my opponent's army marching toward me. I have no plan except to defend myself. Or find an unguarded ...[text shortened]... ics tactics, but I feel the need of knowing some strategy too.

    What do you think?

    Grit
    never sit back and wait for the attack, it's a sure way to lose the game. always look for activity, counter play, something to force your opponent to react to. it'll disturb his attacking plans much more than the tightest possible passive defense. passive defense always breaks down given enough time. don't give the time, not one single tempo.

    watch/go through as many master games as possible. slowly you'll build up intuition for what kind of things to do and what to avoid.



    (and of course keep working on the tactics as well)
  6. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    16 Jul '10 18:54
    Originally posted by grit
    Sorry????? Not sure what you mean.

    Grit
    I believe he meant: "TACTICS R TEH R0XXX0RZ!~"

    wormwood gave me this advice many months ago, and after practicing my tactics online with http://chess.emrald.net/ and reading several good tactics/puzzle books by John Nunn and Yasser Seirawan, my average rating has increased by 50 points over last year (and 174 points over 5 years ago!). Tactics are definitely the best medicine for the chess blues.

    Having said that, tactics work best when there's obviously something to do on the chess board. Strategy (or, roughly equivalent, positional play) is best when it appears there's nothing to do on the chess board. I personally like Jeremy Silman's imbalance approach to strategy, as it's an easy to follow rule-of-thumb approach that often provides good results at our level. I got quite a bit out of Silman's "Reassess Your Chess Workbook", so that may be a good place to start if you're looking for a book. I also highly recommend John Nunn's "Understanding Chess Move By Move", as it provides a lucidly written analysis of the tactical and strategical themes present in games played by top grandmasters. Just remember to practice tactics daily along with your strategic study and you'll see a great improvement in no time.
  7. 16 Jul '10 18:55
    Wasn't that in the Ruy? I always hated their coming after my bishop with pawn a6. But don't you have to retreat?

    Not sure which game you mean though.

    Grit
  8. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    16 Jul '10 19:15
    Originally posted by lundybishop
    ...in the last game you lost you moved your bishop 3 times in a row in the first 7 moves. ...
    oh, if that really happened, then there's indeed more pressing needs than tactics or strategy to be sorted out: the basic opening principles.


    basic opening principles:

    1. develop fast. get your pieces out, ALL of them. don't go attacking before you complete development. this is the most important opening principle.

    2. castle early, castle often. there will be a time you'll know when to break this rule, but it isn't now.

    3. no more pawn moves than than absolutely necessary before you've completed your development. every unnecessary pawn move is like letting your opponent move twice in a row. surely you don't want that.

    4. no moving pieces twice before completing development, unless absolutely forced. for the same exact reason as with unnecessary pawn moves.

    5. occupy OR control the centre as soon as possible. this is why 1.e4 and 1.d4 are much more popular than any other openings. even all the other openings look to control the centre as well, they just do it in a less direct way.



    these are probably the most important rules. tattoo them into your heart with fire and burning metal.
  9. 16 Jul '10 19:34
    So I probably should play the Italian opening and not send my bishop up to pin his knight as in the Ruy. I never liked doing that anyway as I nearly always have to retreat the bishop several moves.

    Grit
  10. 16 Jul '10 19:49
    Looked at one game.

    samandr - grit

    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe4 Nc6?! dropping a pawn but ok,no man overboard yet
    4.Nxc6 dxc6 breaking the rule to capture towards the centre BUT with good reason,all your pieces can now come out easily.Very good!
    5.d3 Bc5 6.Bg5?? Bb4+? moving a developed piece again for no reason at all.Read up on the opening principles.
    Even worse,you didn't take advantage of white's blunder.

    6.... Nxe4! let's see what could've happened.Play out these variations so you see the attack flowing

    7.Bxd8? Bxf2+ 8.Ke2 Bg4 checkmate.Sort of a variation on the Legall theme.

    7.dxe4? Bxf2+ 8.Ke2 Bg4+ 9.Kxf2 Qxd1 black is winning big
    7.Qe2 Qxg5 8.Qxe4 Kd8 threatening Re8 pinning the queen and I don't really see what white can do.
    7.Be3 Bxe3 8.fxe3 Qh4+ 9.g3 Nxg3 and black is winning

    TACTICS!!

    6.... Bb4+ 7.c3 Ba5 (Be7 seems better) 8.e5 h6 9.exf6 hxg5 10.fxg7 Rg8

    11.Qh5 Rxg7?? missed a 1 move threat! 11.... Qe7+ 12.Be2 Rxg7 13.Qh8+ Qf8 and you're not losing the rook

    TACTICS!!

    12.Qh8+ Kd7 13.Qxg7 Qe8+ 14.Be2 b6?? you trap your own bishop!

    TACTICS!!

    That's enough.Summary:
    move 3 you throw away a pawn
    move 6 you didn't spot a winning,maybe even mating,attack
    move 11 you blunder a rook
    move 14 you blunder a bishop

    Here's your plan: look for tactics.

    The Legall theme



    toet.
  11. 16 Jul '10 20:14
    If you know some endings you can build your strategy around trying to make a transition to a better ending. For example, concentrating on ending up with a good bishop vs a bad bishop.
    Also, common strategies include doubling rooks on an open file and putting your knights on good outposts. Furthermore, you can just try to put your pieces on good squares and gain space with your pawns. Keep your strategy very simple to get started and if your pieces are well placed (well placed = active = mobility = lot's of options), tactics in the position will usually turn out in your favor. Gaining space with your pawns adds to the mobility of your whole army and squeezes the opponent's. The added mobility of your army gives you more options and also tilt the tactics in the position in your favor.

    Another common strategy below 2000 is to build a very solid position, play safe moves and wait until the opponent makes a mistake!
  12. 16 Jul '10 20:43 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by grit
    I have gone back to square one with tactics. I'm doing only mate in ones on Chess Tempo. It is really making me think and I believe for me right now it beats working with books.

    However in games I try to use my tactical skills, but I seem to get overwhelmed by my opponent's army marching toward me. I have no plan except to defend myself. Or find an unguarded ics tactics, but I feel the need of knowing some strategy too.

    What do you think?

    Grit
    Grit,

    1. On the plan question - You don't need a fancy plan. Like the others said, in the opening, your plan is simply to develop all your pieces in a safe manner using general opening principles. Once you've done that, you can start thinking about other middlegame plans. Didn't you say that you have Purdy's "Guide to Good Chess" ? In part 3, he talks at length about developing plans. Good stuff! (Give it another read! ) And the others are right - Always think tactics first, then if there are no tactics present, continue developing your pieces or work on your plan.

    2. On Ruy versus Italian - Either one, it doesn't matter. (Flip a coin? ) I don't know much about the openings, but I'm pretty sure there's nothing wrong with getting your bishop biffed by ...a6 in the Ruy. You either just capture the knight (the exchange variation - not done too often, it basically allows Black to equalize, but it's not bad), or you retreat the bishop to a4. If it gets hit again by ...b5, then you just retreat it again to b3. I don't think this is too bad, because your bishop is now sitting on a nice diagonal, and Black's queenside pawns may be a bit overextended.

    Edit - Also, there's an article on planning in Purdy's "The Search for Chess Perfection. " You also have that book, right?
  13. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    16 Jul '10 21:16 / 1 edit
    My answer is going to be the opposite of what most have posted.

    I believe you should have a plan first. If you play a particular opening, then you already start the game off with a plan- and it is more than just get your pieces out. The order and sequence of the moves for pieces and pawns, the structure of the pawns, the normal pawn breaks associated with that structure, the likely location of the king, and even the "typical" ending resulting from a particular opening are all part of that plan.

    An opening is essentially a planned order and deployment of your pieces with the idea of achieving certain objectives.

    If you do not know what the "plan" is with your opening, you are not really playing it- you are just repeating a sequence of moves by rote, and it will catch up with you.

    All opening plans have certain tactical themes and elements that are intrinsic to the opening- perfect examples are the Sicilian Dragon's exchange sacrifice on c3, or classic Bxf7-type sacrifices in e4 openings that incorporate Bc4, but they all have them to a greater or lesser degree.

    Some of these tactics are ones that your opening tries to bring about, while other tactics in the opening are ones where you can take advantage of inaccurate responses by your opponent.

    One of the advantages of playing an opening you understand well is that you know to look for these opportunities and take advantage of them.

    A tactical resolution is very often the logical outcome of a well-thought out and -executed plan.

    I would go back to your opening, and ask yourself the following questions:

    1. Why do I play it? (Knowing your motivations and comparing them to the opening in question is an important consideration people sometimes fail to consider).

    2. What is the point of the opening- what am I trying to accomplish -short and long term- by playing it?

    3. What is the point of my opponents' various responses they can play? What are they trying to accomplish?

    When your plan and your opponent's plan come into conflict, the game is afoot.

    I should add that I understand that many people emphasize tactics, and I do think that is the first priority of study- we need to learn how to spell and form sentences before we can write.

    However, the idea that in a game we should look for tactics first, and only then formulate a plan, strikes me as a bit like telling someone that they should write a book by sitting down and writing sentences, and only later worry about story or plot.

    Jack Kerouac was very successful with that formula, but he is more the exception than the rule.

    Paul
  14. Standard member Thabtos
    I am become Death
    16 Jul '10 21:27 / 1 edit
    Strategy means nothing without tactics. Here's a game of mine where I had a well-thought out strategy that really worth piss given a gross tactical oversight by myself, allowing a mate in one, and an even grosser oversight by my opponent, missing the tactic that would beat me and then missing another that cost him his queen and the game.




    1.e4 e6
    My answers to e6 with black are the Caro-Kann and the French. I play the Vienna opening with white instead of the Ruy Lopez, so I really don’t want to waste my time with Ruy or Italian theory. At this point I know more lines in the French, so that’s what I usually go to.
    2.Qf3??
    And we’re out of book. I think I found a game in this line in the megadatabase and one on chessgames, neither of which ended well for white.
    NN.-R Blane 1.e4 e6 2.Qf3 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4. d4 Nf6 5.Nc3 c6 6.Be3 Bd6 Nh3 Bg4
    I wouldn’t want to give my name either after one like that.
    The thing to do for white would be to retreat the Queen instead of Nh3? Sometimes we can be hard-headed and want to “ride our mistakes until the wheels fall off,” but there are times when the best thing to do is run away as if a Frenchman is lobbing cows at you with a catapult. Back to my game:

    2..d5
    The plan for black is to continue with business as usual. The typical idea in French games is for black to attack on the Queenside and for white to launch kingside operations. White may have thought that his chosen 2nd move adheres to those principles, but I see a liability for him instead of an attack. My strategy is to attack his exposed queen and cost him tempo.

    3.d4 Nc6
    (3…dxe4 Qxe4 Nf6 allows white to develop and gain an extra tempo.)
    4.Bb5 Bd7
    5.exd5 exd5
    6.Ne2 Bd6
    7.Bxc6 Bxc6
    8.Bf4 Ne7
    (There’s no need for black to exchange, if white decides to, Qxd6 retakes and develops.)
    9.Nbc3 00

    10. Ng3
    White prepares his kingside attack. Black shouldn’t have to worry too much given the vulnerability of white’s queen.
    10..Bxf4
    Black quickly deflates the burgeoning attack.
    11.Qxf4 Ng6
    Keeping with my theme of harassing the Queen and depriving white the chance to coordinate his forces for an attack. 11…f5 was better.
    12.Qf3 Nh4
    13. Qg4 Nxg2+
    (13…f5 ) would have been the best.
    14.Kf1 Bd7

    15.Nf5! Nh4??
    White mates in one, as black's the only answer for this position is g6. Somehow my opponent was as ignorant of the obvious mate as I was, so play continued
    16.Rg1?? (Qxg7 would have finished me) Ng6(16....Nxd5 would have been better)
    17.Re1 Bxf5
    18.Qxf5 c6
    I wanted to protect my d pawn before I began my attack.
    19.Rg4 Rc8
    The rook move wasn’t the most logical for me, better would be Qc7.
    20.h4?? Nxh4
    21.Qh5 Ng6
    22.Kg2 Qd6
    23.Rh1 h6
    24.Rg5? (Qh2 would have been a more sensible move) Nf4+

    and white resigned.

    Lucky me.

    My plan was to harass white's exposed queen. White's plan was kingside attack. We both had plans and adhered to them, but plans are pretty arbitrary when no one bothers to check for mates or forks.

    I don't think I make the mistake of allowing mate in one too regularly, but this game teaches me to be eternally vigilant of tactical opportunities for myself and my opponent.
  15. 16 Jul '10 21:47
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    My answer is going to be the opposite of what most have posted.

    I believe you should have a plan first. If you play a particular opening, then you already start the game off with a plan- and it is more than just get your pieces out. The order and sequence of the moves for pieces and pawns, the structure of the pawns, the normal pawn breaks associat ...[text shortened]... as very successful with that formula, but he is more the exception than the rule.

    Paul
    Pawn structure!?pawn breaks?!typical endings?the dragon exchange sac??

    Bloody hell Paul!Have you seen Grit's games?The level he's currently at?

    You mean well and what you say might make sense to him in a year or 2.But it won't do much good to anyone still in the 'drop pieces by the bucketload' stage.

    toet.