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Chess tactics play a crucial role in almost any chess game on any level. When talking about tactics, chess players usually mean move sequences in which the opponent is not able to defend against all threats.
Hence, chess tactics usually confront your opponent with two or more problems at the same time. Since each player can only make one move per turn, the opponent can just defeat one threat. On the next move, the other threat can be executed. It is important to note that tactical combinations do not necessarily need to lead to checkmate, but they can also result in material advantages, strategic and positional advantages, stalemate and so on.
During Nigel Short’s time as coach of Iran, one of the players asked the former World Championship challenger for a chess training play to improve her game. She was expecting suggestions for her opening repertoire. Instead, Nigel gave her an intensive chess tactics training program. After studying for 2 hours a day, this 2070 player put in a 2430 performance at her next tournament just 2 months later.
This little anecdote teaches us a key aspect of chess improvement: Performing well in tactical calculations and constantly improving your tactical abilities is one of the most important skills of any successful chess player.
Nowadays, however, many chess players exclusively focus on openings, remember long, forcing lines and rely on computer evaluations. As soon as a complex position arises on the chess board, these players have to stick to their own resources. They lack tactical skills, calculate poorly, lose control and finally their games.
This video is devoted to the universe of chess tactics. What do we know about chess tactics? Which types of chess tactics exist? How can we spot hidden tactics in our games and how can we improve our tactical abilities in general? All these questions are tackled by GM Damian Lemos in the video.
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