Strategy and Tactics – The Dynamic Duo of Chess

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First, I’d like to remind you of the Thanksgiving Day special offers we’re running. You can now study chess courses and protect the environment – get all the RCA courses with a massive 30% discount by using the coupon “ngo” (valid only till Tuesday, 3 December). Of all the sales that will be made during this offer-period, 10% will be donated to Defenders, an NGO which aims to protect the environment.
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One of the most common questions people ask is “What is the difference between tactics and strategy in chess? When to use what?”. Sadly most chess players don’t know the answer to this question and hence struggle to make progress.

Tactics comes into play whenever you have to calculate specific variations/lines to gain material or checkmate your opponent (mostly called as tactical combinations). Strategy, on the other hand, also referred to as the strategic or positional play, is more about the general understanding of the game and coming up with plans to improve your pieces.

Therefore, with tactics you usually gain material advantage or win the game by checkmating your opponent. Whereas with strategy you usually get positional advantage, i.e. the material would be equal, but your position and your pieces would be better than your opponent’s.

To become a good chess player, you need to be good at both tactics and strategy. You have to focus particularly on tactics whenever there is a lot of contact/tension between your pieces and your opponent pieces.

Today, Manuel Ocantos has published a very instructive video lesson for you, in which he gives some general guidelines that will improve your tactical play.




  • Focus on tactics particularly when there is contact (tension) between your pieces and your opponent pieces
  • When evaluating tactical ideas, focus on the most forcing moves first and then focus on moves which are the opponent’s side of the board
  • Look at the opponent’s threat in the arising positions
  • To improve your tactical play, I recommend that you study my complete course “Calculate till Mate”, which will greatly improve your tactics, calculation and visualization skills.

P.S. Don’t forget to use the coupon “ngo” to get a huge 30% discount on all the RCA courses (valid only till Tuesday, 3 December). Also, in which area of the game are you strong – tactics or strategy? Share your thoughts about the importance of these two in the comments below.

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