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Great Strategy Skills

Once a chess student builds tactical skills (knowledge of common tactical patterns and ability to calculate variations), he or she should start studying chess strategy and common endgames.

To advance to higher levels of mastery in chess, it is not enough to be a good tactician.  It is well known that winning chess combinations are always the result of some positional advantage.  Of course, it is possible to win sometimes with the help of tactics in an inferior position, but such wins are always the result of other player’s mistakes.  If your opponent does not make a calculation mistake, it would not be possible for you to win with tactics in a worse position.

Strategy skills consist of an ability to evaluate chess position and ability to come up with a reasonable plan based on the results of the evaluation.

To be able to evaluate a chess position correctly, a chess student should first learn elements of a chess position.  For example, a student should be able to recognize weak and strong pawns, weak and strong squares, and a bad position of a king.  A student should also know what the advantage in development, advantage in space, and advantage of bishop pair are.  Then, after a student knows common strategic elements, he or she should learn how to determine which strategic elements are important and which can be ignored in certain positions.

Correct evaluation of a position is a foundation for developing a reasonable chess plan based on the evaluation.  To sharpen planning skills, a student should first become familiar with typical chess plans.  Many chess plans are already described in chess literature and became common knowledge among strong chess players.  It makes no sense to ignore this knowledge bank.  Chess students should learn typical strategic patterns because it makes a process of creating a strategic plan much easier.

I help my students build strong strategy skills with my strategy learning system that covers static and dynamic elements of a position, evaluation of a position, and typical plans.  I also use a collection of several thousand strategy training exercises that helped many of my students master strategic skills.

 
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