Tactics study pays off

Here is a game that I just played on FICS.

After watching the Katar videos, it helped my sense of ‘tactical justice’ quite a bit.

Another thing that I’ve begun to understand is the important thing is not seeing 3 moves ahead “when you want to”. The important thing is looking 3 moves ahead much more frequently. It’s not always 3 moves, it’s more about not being subjective about it. I mean, one of the big and obvious reasons that a chess program is better than me is, think about it, it looks at all the nasty variations and doesn’t simply pick and choose what it wants to analyze.

Often, there aren’t many nasty variations to look at anyway, but when they come up, don’t simply shut the brain off and grab the pawn. I find that type of chess the most deeply disturbing these days, not saying it’s easy for everyone to resist that habit OTB. Pawn grabbing = ratings plateau, if that consistently becomes a raison de etre.

If you really think about it, sacrificing a pawn at times is like the biblical analogy of “sowing a seed” that becomes a much greater thing at harvest time; i.e., a seed can become a whole plant or tree – compare that to the size of the seed.

I spent just over 12 minutes on that game (another supportive reason for not playing blitz).


5 thoughts on “Tactics study pays off

  1. Which Katar videos are you referring to?

    And would you mind elaborating which tactic(s) in this game you’re referring to and how/where you picked those tactics up? I’d be curious to hear your take on this. Cheers!

  2. Chunky Rook,

    I haven’t studied from a tactics book in a long time, since last year. Actually, I did look at one diagram in a tactics book. 😉


    Skip the opening repertoire videos at first, since those are more about openings systems.

    I know the basic tactical tricks such as double-check, pins, etc. It’s really more about calculation when it comes to combinations, IMO, kind of like assembling the different tactical ideas into one combination. So figuring out a real combination is more about calculating tactics, but Katar’s videos gave me more of an intuitive feel and mindset about when and how to look for the opportunities to set these preconditions up.

    My opponent was blundering in this game, but for example I could have gotten lazy and played …Rxf2 instead of ….Qh4 which was winning a piece. Simple, yes, but as MDLM would say these are the things that class players can typically miss (when moving fast). I played …b6 pawn sac so my opponent couldn’t trade rooks on my back-rank and possibly make a perpetual check easier to achieve.

    My opponent’s blunder, I figured he must have seen that …Rf4 would fork his queen and bishop, but he loses a piece for not verifying his Qd6 move.

    To be honest, when he played h4 I thought to myself “That pawn is coming off sooner or later” and it happened to be sooner as he needed to let it go.

    During the game, I had only considered Be4 instead of Bc4, when he can trade the bishop, but I somewhat wanted to play Rf4 to kick his queen, but mostly to gain some positional space for my own queen, and he probably needs to play g3. Haven’t run this by an engine, but it seems okay.

  3. “Katar’s videos gave me more of an intuitive feel and mindset about when and how to look for the opportunities to set these preconditions up.”

    This is exactly what I love so much about Katar’s videos. The thing is, I wouldn’t call this “tactics study” proper… would you? The question I was asking myself, I guess, was how much your title for this post is appropriate: how much does the fact that you saw and found these tactics go back to pure “tactics study”?

    I assume b6 is a move that you chose not because of tactics but because of your endgame knowledge and the awareness of perpetual check potentials.

    I further assume that Qh4 is not so easy to miss because you snatch up a hanging pawn. I think it’d be much harder to find if there wasn’t a pawn on h4. So my question would be: how much did the fact that there was a pawn there draw your attention to the move Qh4? As you say, you noticed this pawn very early on. I suspect the fact that you notice this might have been even more important than the tactics involved later.

    So what I’m saying or asking myself, rather, is how much are the tactics here really a result of tactics study as opposed to study of more general tactical and positional schemes and plans.

  4. Chunky Rook, your point about the h4 pawn seems dead-on. Although, the main impetus for Qxh4 instead of Rxf2 – wins a pawn either way – was to avoid a queen trade.

    I knew he was getting mated when I played b6 and he took the pawn on a7, or at least I really knew that I wasn’t playing for an endgame. I figured him not getting a perpetual = him getting mated, so in that way you are right also.

    I play sacs like …b6 normally, though, so the only thing I can point to from the Katar video is a sense of confidence. The b6 sac is not even tactics so much as calculation/combination. At one point, I did read through much of a tactics book and it did help me a lot.

    Winning his rook on f2 and knowing he would play Rf1 before that, that is where I’d say the video teaching material came in helpful. I was able to calculate that.

  5. Nice game but one must admit that white does help you alott by for example moves like Nxc6 and h4 and Rf2 and by putting his Q for away where the action is.

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