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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.
In this video, Manuel Ocantos gives some general guidelines that will improve your tactical play. Watch and learn!
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