From tactics to strategy

In most chess positions, you can checkmate your opponent with three uninterrupted moves.

However, you never get to play three uninterrupted moves – your opponent’s moves get in the way. For every tactic you plan, your opponent is out to foil it with their defence or counter-play. Most tactics in chess never materialize on the board and it is frustrating to spend several precious minutes in planning but never be able to execute.

The solution is to move from tactics to strategy. A strategic principle is based on the manner in which the chess board and the chess pieces are designed. The center of the board more valuable than the edges. The way the pawns work make them stronger when placed side-by-side rather than far apart. Bishops and rooks work well together, and so do queens and knights. These principles are independent of the opponent’s next moves.

A chess-board is closed system that is entirely mathematical – the real world is far more complex. Several factors can negate our tactical plans week after week, quarter after quarter and year after year. Like chess tactics, most plans don’t materialize in the real world.

To go from tactics to strategy is to translate from the conditional to the unconditional.

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