Chess tactics : Simple tips to master tactics and strategies

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Chess is also referred to as a War game. The names of the pieces such as King, Queen, Bishops, Knights, Rooks and Pawns symbolically refer to a battlefield with you being the commander-in-chief of the pieces directing what must be done to say checkmate and win over the opposition King.

One should understand the various chess tactics and chess strategies in the pursuit of winning over the opposition. Any attempt to play the game without any tactics and strategies in place would be foolish and the opponent will have an opportunity to say checkmate against you.

Let us understand what tactics and strategies mean in the game of chess? Does the two mean one and the same? The answer is NO. Tactics and strategies are not one and the same.

Strategies may be the broader goals or major goals planned as part of the game. For example, it is obvious that checkmating the opponent is the broader strategy, and the most important one. Developing the minor pieces and controlling the centre might be one major strategy.

Tactics, on the other hand, can be defined as a series of moves, ranging from two moves to five moves at the maximum, aimed at achieving the broader strategy of say, controlling the centre game.

Let me put it in this way to make you understand the importance of tactics and strategies in the game of chess by an example.

You are playing a game of chess and your strategy or goal is to say checkmate to the opponent and win the game.

For example, assume that you are a sculptor carving stones and making beautiful sculptures. The materials required for making a sculpture include the big stone, chisel and hammer. Using the chisel and the hammer, you carve the stone to make a beautiful sculpture. If you use the hammer with force, then the stone may break out. Using the chisel and hammer in a nice way, you make the sculpture look beautiful.

Now, imagine the stone to be the game, and the sculpture or beautiful image to be the victory for you or the broader strategy, then the chisel and hammer are the tactics.

In a nutshell, a series of tactics leads towards a broader strategy and the ultimate victory.

One can employ a number of different tactics to achieve a specific strategy. It depends on the intuition of the player and what he thinks would be the best move in the circumstances. Of course, there are some general tactics such as pin, fork, discovered checks etc, which can be effectively employed to achieve a specific goal.

As chess is a thinking game, the opponent will also have similar ideas as what you think and then he or she may try to thwart your ideas. You may have to think differently as part of tactics.

Tactics might include offering a piece for sacrifice in an attempt to distract the opponent. Tactics might also include moving a piece in the queenside to divert the attention of the opponent while your idea is to develop pieces along the kingside. As part of tactics, you need to make some unusual moves, which conceal the motive and distract the opponent, that need to be taken to achieve the broader strategy.

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