Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tactical melee

A recently finished game on was a real tactical melee for much of the game. Here is a position with the final tactical mistake:

White to move

Black has just moved Ncd4. On the face of it, the knights look like they are charging into white's position and positionally, black seems to be doing well. In reality this move just blew black's position and he is simply lost at this point. The whole game, including the winning continutation from this point can be seen at

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At 3:06 PM, Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Well played! I like the comments in the game about black having a nice positional setup but losing it due to tactics. I've won many a game on tactics even though I was outplayed positionally. But, probably, on average, good piece activity and the like foster tactics better than the opposite (imagine you have zero mobility: you'll have trouble finding a tactic). I think because your pieces can zip around the board to make threats the old maxim is true, on average.

I think tactics trumps position, but in positional chess activity trumps everything else (pawn structure for instance). So you can have a mangled pawn structure (as in many gambits) but amazing activity that can be used to mount a quick attack.

At 1:47 PM, Blogger Loomis said...

I definitely agree that better positional placement of the pieces is more likely to lead to tactical opportunities to win.

I played a game once against a player rated about 1900 (I was about 1700). He pretty much just beat me down. My impression after the game was that he just continually improved his positional advantage until my pieces were squeezed out of the part of the board where he delivered his final tactical blow. It seemed very methodical.

Then I put the game into Fritz. Overall, the above description was accurate. But on one single move my opponent hung a piece and I failed to take it. It wasn't just a simple hanging piece, it was something like a deflection followed by a discovery. Complicated enough that we both missed it during the game, but not too different than the kinds of things I've solved on CT-Art recently. But this tactic almost literally came out of nowhere. The whole game he just improved improved improved positionally, but if I had been keen for one move, I would have won.

At 3:26 PM, Blogger likesforests said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Braden Bournival said...

Chess is similar to boxing in this respect. In boxing you can beat the guy up for 11 rounds and be way ahead on the scorecards and then you make one mistake and suddenly you are knocked out :).


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