Tacits vs Positional play
Only on for now though.
I keep coming across the terms, tactics vs positional play.
It is my understanding that a tactics are basically, short quick attacks that because of their somewhat sporadic nature are hard to calcullate farther down the line. Whereas Positional games are long calulated dances which go on for many moves. Is this the correct?
Tactics = a move or series of moves with a specific goal of obtaining a specific and tangible
advantage by taking advantage of a short term opportunity. For example: winning a pawn,
winning an exchange, or checkmate. The series of moves may be short or long, but the
opportunity to implement the tactic is always dependent upon the specific position of the
pieces on the board, and is usually based on recognition of and variations of forms of a
dozen or so patterns. For example if you pin your opponents knight to his king using your
bishop, and are then in a position to advance a pawn to attack the knight, that would be a
tactic. At more advanced levels of the game, a tactic is not necessarily used exclusively to
capture a piece; it can also be used to gain control of a particular square or to restrict the
movement of an opponents piece. (I should note that I have paraphrased and modified the
definition of tactics given by Seirwan and Silman in their book- "Winning Chess Tactics."
Strategy = a plan with the goal of obtaining a more generalized advantage that does not
necessarily arise from short term opportunity, and may not lead to an immediate tangible
advantage. For example: Classically, it is nearly always a good strategy to control the
middle of the board. Another example: It's nearly always a good strategy to link your rooks
on the back rank or on the same file. In general, the strategy is not expected to create an
instant and forced win. Instead it sets the pieces in positions that experience and logic tells
us are likely to lead to wins.
Sometimes the "tactics" and "strategy" seem to overlap in language. For example: one of
white's possible strategies in responding to the Accelerated Dragon Sicilian is to control the
center and specifically control the d5 square. One way to implement that strategy is moving
5.c4; which is a kind of tactic to implement the strategy. Other tactics (moves or series of
moves) might have the same effect (control of d5), and implement the strategy differently.
Note that there can be elements of "positional" play in both tactics and strategy. Strategy
tends to be more positional, but here are two counter-examples--First example: It is nearly
always a good strategy to develop pieces quickly in the opening, where ever you decide to
position them. Second Example: sometimes it is a good strategy to trade a knight for your
opponent's bishop. The latter strategy is not a question of putting pieces in the right position,
it's a question of which pieces to keep and which to trade; but the success of this strategy
may be highly dependent upon the nature of the existing position (open or closed) so some
would say that it is not a counter example at all.
That's how I look at it. Others may have a different set of definitions.
Tactical strategies & strategical tactics
"Strategy" is about knowing where you want to get to.
As James says, they can overlap.
So for instance, when I tackle puzzles on tactics, I find solutions faster and with greater accuracy by first focusing on how I want the position to end up -- (for instance if it's a mate, with what pieces, deployment, and coordination) -- and then plotting its tactical path.
In my opinion
difference between tactics and strategy, as well as the idea of "positional play".
Along the lines of the end of Shamash's comments, I think that good positional play can set up
your strategy well, but that ideally it also gives you the flexibility to transition to a different
tactic when your opponent defends well against something you were trying to accomplish. (In a
puzzle you may see a clear line to the goal that your opponent can't stop, but when strategically
planning over the longer course of a game, an opponent can certainly thwart your plans.)
Some of the differences are:
Tactics are a shorter range of forced moves that can involve simple captures,exchanges for setting up longer term positional play goals.
Positional play is much more complex.It may involve setting up a better pawn structure,King safety,light and/or dark square control,initiative,better piece development and better use of what is deemed as point value changes in individual pieces relative to the "position"on the board.
So,as its been said before.... positional play is the long term goals and wisdom behind the players moves.Tactics is the driving "power"behind positional play in many circumstances.
Ther goal is to be good at both!
In fast blitz however,tactics becomes more important than positional play,but thats another thread!