17 ( +1 | -1 ) A tactician over a strategistThere is a saying in boxing that a boxer will always win over a fighter, in chess will an expert strategist win over a tactician of equal strength.
79 ( +1 | -1 ) This is essentially the question asked by human vs. computer tournaments, since computers are near-perfect tacticians. Among human players, this is the Tal vs. Petrosian question.
The answer seems to be that it depends on the time control. The more time the human has, the less important their tactical disadvantage is.
On the other hand, it's not really possible to draw a bright line between strategy and tactics. Without a certain level of tactical competence, the strategist will get blown off the board. Even if they're able to achieve a superior position, they won't be able to convert it to a win without some tactical skill. Without a certain level of strategic understanding, the tactician is just flailing about and won' t be able to identify (or create) targets for his attacks.
86 ( +1 | -1 ) Not an expertI am very far from having an expert rating so, I can't really answer your question with assurance, but my sense is that Katherine is correct for players rated A, expert, and above.
On the other hand if you ask the same question about players rated at the B level and below, I am confident that tactics win more games than strategy. Of course every chess game involves both, but I know that my rating has steadily improved since I have spent more time improving my tactical skills. While I can think of many games won and lost by tactics, I can think of few of my games against players rated below 1800 that were decided by strategic considerations. So if you are trying to decide what to concentrate on first, I suggest tactics. But keep Katherine's points in mind as your rating moves up!
29 ( +1 | -1 ) Top playersThe top players both combine positional and taactical aspects in there games. Kramnik is strictly boring positional chess which makes him near impossible to defeat. One must draw the line between the two aspects, you need the two areas to become a strong player in my opinion.
164 ( +1 | -1 ) strategy is the mainly positional considerations that govern the formation of plans. Tactics are the maneuvers, combinations, exchanges, traps etc that are necessary to carry out the plan devised by strategy. To be a complete chess player you need strategical skill to form the plans and then tactical skill to carry them out. (I'm obviously not a complete chessplayer yet :) but eventually I plan on getting there)
I guess the most important to learn first is tactics or your strategical considerations will mean very little. Using your boxing reference, imagine boxing someone. Suppose you know all about boxing and are very good at thinking on your feet. This is good, but does you no good if you can't throw a proper jab, body shot, or hook. Now imagine that you know how to punch well, but that's all. You start to throw quick punches, but your opponent simply sidesteps you and throws a punch into your gut. A lot of good your technique did you there.
One interesting thing too is that us lower rated people often say that we lose a lot of games because of tactics which definately holds some truth, but I have found that most of my "tactical" mistakes are due more to psychological factors than to my actual tactical knowledge or skill. Of course improving your tactical skill and knowledge will definately reduce the chance of missing a tactical opportunity or danger, I think experience turns out to be one of the best ways to stop these "tactical" mistakes. Experience of course is gained faster I think if you go over your games and other annotated games.
82 ( +1 | -1 ) I think that a long match between two players of equal strength will end up drawn.
The problem is that strategy and tactics are so tightly linked, that you can hardly be an expert with one and not the other. You must use the strategical part to set up the tactical stuff. I think that we notice a difference only because a 'positional player' will keep the tactics hidden beneath every move, while the 'tactitican' will bring them out into the open.
But, since setting up a positionally sound position involves seeing the possible tactics, and because engaging in winning tactics involve having a strong position (before and after the engagement), I think that equally strong players will be comfortable playing each other's game.
88 ( +1 | -1 ) yeah. It's kind of weird to try and seperate tactics and strategy. You do need to focus on them seperately to train and learn about them, but in reality they are inseperable and interdependant. Without tactics, you have nothing with which to build your strategy, but without strategy, your tactics are just like building blocks scattered around and getting you nowhere. Even beginning players need the strategy of "checkmate the king" in order to accomplish anything with what little tactics they know.
It's like the blueprints of a building and the materials to build the building. In order to have the building, you need first of all the material or there will be no building at all (it's kind of hard to build a building out of nothing huh?). Then you need to have plans by someone who knows what he/she is doing or the building will not stand against the elements.
29 ( +1 | -1 ) Tactics are how you get the position you want.
Unless there's a clearly winning combination, strategy is how you decide which position to aim for.
Above a certain level, the defending side is going to see and block most combinations. At that point, strategic maneuvering is the only way to make any progress.
33 ( +1 | -1 ) Even a bad plan is superior to no plan The way I see it: The objective of a strategy is victory/overall success. The objective of a tactic can be anything. In terms of chess, it may include material gain, improvement of pawn structure or mating attacks.
I think the strategist will have the advantage, as a tactician is more likely to "take his eye off the ball", whereas the strategist always has the big picture in mind.
137 ( +1 | -1 ) I think that it is also interesting to note that rarely if ever will you find an A-class and up chess player that is actually a pure tactician. Anybody at that level has to have a certain amount of proficiency in strategical play. I think that what we are calling "tacticians" are really just people that like to play a sharper game and choose an opening repetoire for that. The "positional" player is someone who prefers to play a quiet game. That does not mean that one uses pure strategy to win and that one uses pure tactics to win. Of course the sharper the game, the more the tactics are played out, but there still has to be a certain amount of strategy in the way that the tactics are carried out. Who will win? The person who is able to dictate what kind of game is played has the best chances of winning. In a quiet game, the "strategist" probably has the best chance of winning, and in the sharp game, the "tactician" probably has the best chances of winning. Being a "strategist" is not really better than being a "tactician". It just means that you like to play more quiet games and are stronger in positional play. If you can lead the game into a quiet positional position, you should have the advantage. On the other hand, if the "tactician" can lead the game into a sharp position, he probably has the advantage.