Sunday, March 29, 2015

Chess Science vs Art

There's an interesting question in whether the game of chess is artistic or scientific. One might take a Game from the great Max Euwe and opt scientific due the mathematicians methodical and precise play. One might also look at a game from Mikhail Tal and consider it more artistic do to his extremely flashy play that looks almost magic-like. Lets really examine both perspectives.

The Science of Tactics

The goal of science is to really test a theory for approval or disproval. A large portion of chess tactics require testing a solution out (in your head). So in reality, you are using basic scientific principals to determine whether your a move will prove favorable or disadvantageous. This is especially true when testing tactical combinations that can be narrowed down to a subset of effective and often forced results.

The Art of Strategy

Chess strategy on the other hand can be far more artistic. Artistic doesn't necessarily mean completely lacking in structure and neither does strategy. Ive found strategy really favors an open mind and an open eye. With that said, there needs to be some sort of discipline when it comes to committing to an option, but not before you have accessed the situation properly.

So art or science you ask? I like to answer with a tad bit of both.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Tactics vs Strategic Question

A common theme learning chess players tend to struggle with, is finding a direct path to improvement. As you may know, there are 2 relatively well known qualities in a chess position, strategic and tactical. Some people claim chess is 90% tactics, yet I tend to agree.

For inexperienced players, missing tactical variations is far more common and game decisive than amongst stronger seasoned players. However, when listening to interviews and analysis gathered amongst experienced and stronger players, the tactics are often pointed out in a very relaxed way. This is of course because seasoned players recognize the tactical elements straightforward.

The bulk of the annotations, and analysis are to scrutinize the positional points that may lend to tactical possibilities. This is because at higher levels of play, strategic blunders have a far greater impact in the grand scheme since the advantageous position leads to more opportunities for tactical combinations.      

This doesn't happen as often amongst newer players because there tends to be a greater disregard for strategical elements. Now under these circumstances, the difference between a strong beginner and a weaker beginner isn't decided by the game of chess as a whole, but only a straightforward sub-portion of the game, one of which most seasoned players have already acquired + extra.

Tactics are much easier to learn since forced moves are straight-forward when you work them out. Strategical elements are not as easily quantified by routine, but more of ingenuity and experience.

Hopefully, this article will help you with making decisions on how to study. Keep practicing and most importantly, have fun :)

Friday, February 20, 2015


I've been on a brief hiatus from chess to work on a few other things in life. I also work as computer programmer and it's been quite an exciting stretch in my career. 

Even though I haven't competed much, I've been still working on a few puzzles. It's been less stressful no doubt, but I really do enjoy competing and blogging.