Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tactics and Strategy

Chess tactics are ways to make an immediate gain during plays, such as forks, pins, discovered check, and the skewer.  A tactic may involve only a few moves, usually a combination of 2 to 4 moves.  Strategy is the overall game plan.  A strategy may start at the opening move and end at the last, or somewhere in between. A strategy usually leads to a massive material advantage or a checkmate.

It is often in the middle game that planning becomes very important.  It is usually in this stage when a move becomes critical and may lead to either a win or a loss. Choose moves that fit the game plan.

The following game clearly shows that White has a plan, and Black has none.

Postal Game, 1922
Sicilian Defense

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, Nf6

With the same provocative idea as the Alekhine's Defense.  But White refuses to advance the e pawn.

3. Nc3, d5
4. exd5, Nxd5
5. Ne5, Nxc3
6. bxc3, Qd5
7. Bb5+, Nd7

White can save his threatened Pawn by 8. Nxd7 Bxd7, 9. Bxd7 Qxd7.  But this far-reaching simplification is neither attractive nor powerful, so he prefers something more adventurous.

8. Qe2!, Qxg2?

Black had a much safer alternative in 8. ..... a6, forcing some liquidation.

9. Qd3 .....

Black doesn't bother to defend his threatened Rook.

9. ..... Qxh1
10. Ke2, e6
11. Bxd7+, Ke7


12. Bxc8, Rxc8
13. Qd7+, Kf6

Black hopes for 14. Qxc8 Qe4+ -- which gives him a perpetual check.  But of course nothing could be further from White's mind.

14. Qxf7+, Kxe5
15 d4+  .....

A charming situation.  On 15. ..... cxd4 or 15. .....Kd6 White wins the Black Queen with 16. Bf4+ while 15. .....Ke4 allows 16. Qxe6 mate.

15. ..... Kd5
16. Qxb7+, Rc6

Black does not fancy 16. .....Kc4, 17. Qb3 mate.

17. c4+, Resigns

For after 17. .....Kxc4, 18. Qb3+ Kxd4 White wins the Black Queen with 19. Bb2+ or 19. Be3+.  Black's lack of a plan led directly to a lost game.

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