Chess Strategy and Chess Tactics: One needs the other for success

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We showed you a game to illustrate how chess strategy and chess tactics are to be tied together to secure a win in a game of chess. In that game, you saw the strategies adopted by each player and the tactics deployed to fulfill those strategies. But the superlative skill of Capablanca found ways and means to exploit the slight weaknesses in opponent’s position to carve out a win.

To reinforce your understanding of the importance and inter-relationship between chess strategy and chess tactics, we are analyzing below another game where the first part is all about strategy and the next part shows the tactics that went with it.

The game is interesting because of the way Black continued to fight and tried to come up with his tactical ripostes. But the way White kept on coming up with tactical attacks one after another, leaving his pieces including Queen en prise, makes this game one of the best examples of chess combinations!

1. d4 Nf6  
2. c4 g6  
3. g3 Bg7  
4. Bg2 d5  
5. cxd5 Nxd5  
6. Nc3 Nxc3   Going by the principles of chess strategy, Black’s Knight makes one move too many and after making three moves, gets exchanged with White’s Knight that has taken its first move! This retarded Black’s development while permitting White to bring more support to d-pawn, making his development faster. As shown in following moves, further support could be brought in, making the d-pawn well-protected.
7. bxc3 c5  
8. e3 0-0  
9. Ne2 Nc6  
10. 0-0 cxd4  
11. cxd4 e5   Black’s effort to challenge White’s control of center misfires as White’s next move gives him more space and restricts Black’s pieces
12. d5 Ne7  
13. Ba3 Re8  
14. Nc3 Qa5  
15. Qb3 e4   You can see the greater development of White pieces and that enables White to meet Black’s attempts to wrest control of center.
         
16. Nxe4 Nxd5   If 16. … Bxa1 17. Rxa1 Nxd5 18. Rd1 and if the Black Knight moves, White can play Nf6+. Moreover, exchange of Black’s KB makes his King’s position vulnerable.
17. Rac1 Be6  
18. Rc5 Qb6   If 18. … Qd8 19. Rd1 results in material gain for White
19. Rb5 Qa6  
20. Nc5 Nxe3   20. … Qd6 21. Nxe6 or 20. … Qc6 21. Nxe6 fxe6 22. Rxd5 exd5 23. Bxd5+ wins the Queen. So Black decides to counterattack! 21. Nxa6 Bxb3 22. fxe3 Bc4 23. Nc7 Bxb5 24. Nxb5 Rxe3 gives Black an equal position
         
21. Nxe6 Nxf1   Against White’s 22. Nc7 Black is ready to reply 22. … Nd2
22. Ng5 Nd2  

 

Position after Black’s move 22

starting a combination

23. Qxf7+ Kh8  
24. Bd5 h6   Do you recognize ‘Philidor’s Legacy’ in the position after White’s 24th move? White was threatening 25. Qg8+ Rxg8 26. Nf7#, hence Black created a retreat for his King
         
25. Bb2 Rg8   White’s Rook and Knight are en prise, but Black has no time to look at those because of other threats posed by White!
         
26. Qd7 Qa4   26. … hxg5 27. Qh3# or 26. … Qxb5 27. Nf7+ and 28. Qxb5 with all White pieces protected. With the text move, Black threatens 27. … Qd1+ 28. Kg2 Qf1#
27. Bb3 Nxb3  
28. Nf7+ Kh7  

 

Position after Black’s move 28

finishing off the combination

29. Rh5 Qa5   29. … gxh5 30. Qf5# or 29. … Qxd7 30. Ng5+ Kh8 31. Rxh6# or 29. … Bxb2 30. Ng5+ Kh8 31. Qh7# or Rxh6#. Black probably hoped to lure the White Rook away with the offer of his Queen!
         
30. Rxh6+ Resigns   30. … Bxh6 31. Ng5#

 

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