When you think about chess tactics, often known as chess puzzles, you might picture a series of plays that change a losing or neutral situation into a much more winning one, finding chess openings in a new light.
Though this is true, there are other reasons to study them besides helping you locate those winning combinations of moves. In reality, thinking just in that way can sabotage your chess development and strategic thinking by encouraging you to look for “cheap tactics” to win. We’ll go through ten of the most underappreciated reasons why you should be researching your strategies in this post.
Finding hope in the midst of adversity
Even though I indicated that strategies usually help you go from a losing or neutral position to a winning one, they may also help you move from a terrible to a neutral situation. When solving puzzles/tactics for the sheer enjoyment of it, you’ll virtually always end up in positions that aren’t as common in real games.
In the actual world, puzzles might arise at any time. However, most chess players (of all backgrounds) choose to study tactics in such a way that their ability to find “little successes” such as a space advantage or increased piece activity is harmed. However, by studying multiple strategies in various positions (openings, middlegames, and endgames), you will be able to widen your understanding of what a “tactic” is!
Improving as a defender
You will immediately become a better defender if you learn to study loads of tactics the proper way (check out our new Tactics Course at the conclusion of this post). It may be counterintuitive that studying offensive can help you improve your defense. However, you should be aware that the more you notice patterns through puzzles/tactics, the more you will be able to avoid falling victim to such scams.
It’s usually ideal to checkmate your opponent with a queen and bishop, for example. However, the more you watch this type of checkmate in action, the more you’ll notice flaws in your own defense when comparable scenarios happen. As with other puzzle kinds, the more you study them, the simpler it will be to avoid losing.
Becoming more organized with your items
After researching hundreds, if not thousands, of techniques, you’ll see that nearly all of them are caused by two crucial factors:
- The fact that your puzzle pieces are frequently placed on large squares
- Also, your opponent’s pieces aren’t as well positioned as yours are.
You’ll be able to determine which kind of pieces are better suited to specific scenarios after you’ve realized this. This will allow you to be more selective about how and where you put your components.
Forging a solid bond with your job
You are more aware of your pieces and what squares they should be on given any beginning location, as a result of reason 3. As a result, you’ll begin to think of these parts and their “roles” in your game as real, breathing beings. “Knights are better in closed positions, whereas bishops are better in open ones,” you’ve surely heard. Though this is generally true, basing the flow of any game you play on such “universal notions” can prevent you from growing as a player.
Yes, if the situation calls for it, you may desire to exchange your knight for your opponent’s bishop; nevertheless, with tactics training, you will realize the actual value of your pieces in achieving your objectives. This will lead you away from simplistic notions and toward a thinking habit that adjusts to each new situation you encounter! You will gain confidence and learn more from each game you play if you grasp this concept.
Learning how to create your own strategies
By “creating your own tactics,” we imply that you will be able to create conditions that are more suitable to tactical play by participating in tactics training. You will learn to synthesis your pieces in such a way that you may acquire more and more “little triumphs” (for example, space advantages) that will culminate to major victories (piece captures and ultimately checkmate).
When you’re in a losing scenario, you’ll be better equipped to figure out how to get into a more neutral position first. Instead of having your position progressively deteriorate over time, you may learn to pull yourself up after mistakes/blunders with little strategy.
When you are already winning, on the other hand, you are more likely to preserve your advantages since the tactics you designed automatically generated a blueprint for your assault strategy. This means that if you already have a plan in place, you will be less likely to lose your advantages. I recommend reading 25 Must Know Chess Tactics for All Players now that you understand WHY you need to learn tactics.
Assisting you in better appreciating the worth of your possessions
The worth of your items is never constant. Although you may have learnt that a queen is worth 9 points and a pawn is for 1, these rules are not followed in high-level chess games. It’s why we have pawn and piece sacrifices in the first place. After all, the purpose of chess is to checkmate, not to rack up arbitrary points.
Sure, learning that a queen is substantially more important than a pawn at the outset of your chess career was a wonderful idea. Now it’s time to turn that knowledge into something that applies to all of the games you’ve played and will play in the future. This understanding is gained through great puzzles/tactics, among other means of training.
Improving as a positional player
If you haven’t already figured it out from the preceding arguments, becoming a better tactical player might lead to you becoming a better positional player (when done right). After all, positional players strive for “little triumphs” that occur frequently in actual games. In truth, most higher-level games are won on the basis of position rather than tactics. Learning methods in the right way, on the other hand, turns your thinking into something that is virtually multi-dimensional.
Understanding the dynamics of your pieces in various contexts will become increasingly important to you. As a result, you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of each and every chess game!
Learning to endure in the face of adversity
Aside from the specific reasons described above, when completing tactics/puzzles, you will run into several blockages in your capacity to find answers (large or tiny) in random spots.
Though seeing the checkmate in 1, 2, 3, or 4 is occasionally simple, higher-level tactics training requires you to comprehend and enhance your thinking. This technique can be taxing, but if you approach it with the appropriate mindset, you’ll realize how useful it can be in shifting your perspective on chess positions in your own games.
Learning to be patient
Similar to reason up above, you will learn to be patient and more structured in your interpretation of each unique position as you struggle to see every possible technique. Furthermore, you will be less frustrated when dealing with intricate issues that need a great deal of investigation. In my personal experience, the games in which I was noticeably more calm and ready to spend a reasonable amount of time studying the situation in front of me were the ones in which I won the most.
Preventing you from becoming disinterested in the early stages
It’s always wonderful to get a rapid win in chess, as previously said. However, once you discover (directly or indirectly) that most positions cannot be won by “fast victories,” your interest in chess as a whole will swiftly wane.
Many talented players, particularly young ones, have reached a “plateau” in their chess ability and tournament rating. Speaking with them and people around them, it always boils down to a lack of interest, which is generally the result of this critical issue.
Chess is a game that can be both beautiful and engaging. However, we lose control of our abilities to improve when we restrict our thinking to what is and isn’t elegant/interesting. As a result, practicing tactical training in the healthiest manner possible might determine the type of chess player you will be in the coming month, year, or decade!