Chess Strategy

Would you like to improve your chess?

Use a good chess strategy to win your game.

On this page you can find some chess strategies that are worth knowing.

What is Chess Strategy?

The term chess strategy is often used as opposed to chess tactics.

Tactics, as you probably know, are merely combinations. They may be easy or very difficult, but they're always aimed at winning material (or delivering mate) and are very concrete. I consider chess tactics to be the basic building blocks to a chess game.

You don't need much knowledge of chess strategy to be able to play a game.

You just need to know the goal of the game (delivering mate) and how the pieces move and you're good to go.

Chess strategy on the other hand, has to do with the evaluation of the chess position and the setting of goals and long-term plans.

It is the overall decision making process. To find a winning strategy you need knowledge of tactics as well as positional uderstanding.

Think of a general on the battlefield. He has to define the strategy (how to win the war, in the hills or on open terrain). He'll decide where the troops go (positional, the army has to occupy a certain city, control the water supply etc.).Then he'll use tactics to help his troops get to where they're needed (like using an air strike to clear the path for the tanks).

So you're the general of your chess army. You define the chess strategy (how to win the game, play an open or closed game, maybe a gambit). You'll have to figure out where your pieces go (positional play, which squares to occupy, squares to control, what pieces to attack, etc.). Then you'll use tactics to get your pieces where they're needed.

Chess strategy has to do with all the different parts of the game. As a strategist, you'll have to use all your knowledge of the game to win it.

Difference Between Chess Strategy and Positional Play

The difference between chess strategy and positional play?

It's simple.

You're able to perform positional play in open as well as closed positions.

But whether you're going to play an open or a closed position has to be answered by your chess strategy.

Chess strategy contains more than positional play.

Why is chess strategy more than positional play?

Well, when you choose a strategy, you might consider the weaknesses of your opponent. If your opponent isn't at his strongest in complicated middlegame positions, your strategy might involve steering towards a complicated middlegame.

And when your opponent is known to make mistakes in quiet positions, you'll opt for a quiet position.

So, when defining your chess strategy, it's not only about positional elements on the chessboard. You have to make decisions about other things (like your opponent) as well.

Thus, chess strategy is the overall process of planning and directing your operations. And when defining your strategy, you'll take many things into account, including the possibility of positional and tactical operations as well as your opponents strengths and weaknesses.

Positional Play

Positional play is the striving to get a positional advantage.

You'll try to make the position advantageous by placing your pieces on the right squares. You'll want to have the superior pawn structure as well.

Positional play means nothing more (well, often this may be very difficult) than playing your pieces to the right squares in the position at hand.

But how do you identify the right squares?

This can only be done with your overall knowledge of chess. You'll have to include things like piece development, tactics, winning endgames, king safety and so on.

Sounds complicated?

Let's look at some positional elements.

Positional Elements

To become a strong chess player, you need the ability to use all of these ideas in your games. Ofcourse not necessarily all at the same time...

Return to Chess Insights from Chess Strategy