Solving Chess Tactics

When most people start to get serious about chess, they eventually ask the question. How many tactics should they study? They asked this when looking at, you know, giant books or databases with millions of tactics. People often wonder, should they be studying lots and lots and lots of tactics? Should they be trying to solve very difficult tactics? Or should they try to set a certain amount of time, like an hour, three hours, or even just 10 minutes for studying tactics.

The truth is you want to try and study as many tactics as possible, especially early on in your chess career. You don’t want to get bogged down and studying really difficult to solve tactics because the heart of chess tactics is learning about pattern recognition. The only way that you can really learn about pattern recognition with respect to the chest tactics is to solve lots and lots and lots of tactics. I often give the advice that it is better to solve hundreds of tactics that are very easy than it is to solve a few difficult tactics that take the same amount of time to get through. Again, that advice is specifically for people who are trying to learn tactics early on and their chess career.

As you improve, it does become more and more important to study more difficult tactics. The term we use in chess for that is called solving. What you’re doing is you’re trying to solve tougher tactics or even just positions. It’s not even necessarily a tactic that has a definitive end in the same way that we might you know, think of a backroom checkmate, for example. So if your goal is to learn tactics and you’re just starting out. The best piece of advice I have for you is to build your internal pattern recognition. You do that by solving lots and lots of tactics. So I wouldn’t stress out about trying to sit down and study chess for you know, three hours in a row. What you want to do is engage tactics either through a tactics, database, or a book that has lots of tactics, or just by going over lots of chess games that have tactics, but regardless of how you choose to do it, you want to encounter as many tactics as possible and that will help build your pattern recognition.

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