The Deeper Purpose of Tactics

Why do we study tactics?  Is it so we can spot mistakes and win material?

Sure, that’s a part of it.  But only a part.

There are much deeper purposes.  For instance, let’s take a position from my blitz game we just looked at in the last post…

Seeing tactical patterns helps with strategic ideas, like knowing I can ignore the threat of 22.Qe7 since after 22…Qx37 23.Rxe7 I play 23…Bf6 and win material.

It’s also for a position like this.  You’re White in an OTB American tournament and you have two seconds on your clock so all you have to play on here is your five second delay.

Knowing tactical patterns well will let you keep from putting your king on the same color square as your queen pretty much without thinking, taking away any chance of a knight fork by your opponent regardless of how little time you have.

This is why tactics are so important in chess.  Even when they don’t appear on the board, they exist within the variations, to paraphrase Alexei Shirov.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

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