PDA

View Full Version : What is Positional Chess?



Zwischenzug
30-10-2006, 03:37 PM
To be honest, I don't have a clear idea what positional chess is. Is it finding a good forward outpost for your knight? Is it gaining space and avoiding trades to give your opponent a major cramp (or alternatively trading pieces when you yourself are cramped)? Is it trading your bad bishop for their good bishop or well positioned knight (e.g. a knight deep in your territory protected by a pawn)? You would probably tell me positional chess is all these ideas I have mentioned.

With positional chess, the ideas are much more subtle and strategic then tactical chess. Tactical chess to me is clearly defined: forks, skewers, pins...etc and combinations are basically a sequence of forcing moves involving tactics. Positional chess seems to be about accumulating many tiny advantages and hopefully outplaying your opponent in the endgame.

qpawn
30-10-2006, 05:53 PM
Positional chess is about getting the right pieces on the right sqauers.
Tactical chess is what you do after that is achieved.



That being said, the two things overlap. Sometimes a tactical sequence is used to gain a positional advantage.

qpawn
31-10-2006, 07:23 PM
Come on everyone! All you Ludek Pachman afficionadoes!

Was my response so good that I have said the last word on positional chess?

:D

Kevin Bonham
31-10-2006, 08:21 PM
Was my response so good that I have said the last word on positional chess?


Or so simplistic that nobody bothered replying?

qpawn
31-10-2006, 09:16 PM
:d

Alan Shore
31-10-2006, 11:44 PM
Or so simplistic that nobody bothered replying?

True but why make that comment and not offer better definitions yourself Kev? ;)

Desmond
01-11-2006, 07:36 AM
True but why make that comment and not offer better definitions yourself Kev? ;)Looks like someone had an axe to grind last night :hmm:

Anyway, qpawn your definitions are wrong. Tactics is not something that you just do after you have positional advantage. The two are concurrent.

qpawn
01-11-2006, 12:03 PM
Boris, can you read?

I said that there is an OVERLAP of the two things.

Desmond
01-11-2006, 12:17 PM
Boris, can you read?

I said that there is an OVERLAP of the two things.
Ok then, at best your post is contradictory.

Brian_Jones
01-11-2006, 01:24 PM
Come on everyone! All you Ludek Pachman afficionadoes!
:D

Ludek Pachman. Now you're showing your age mate. :)

Why don't you ask the meaning of life or some such easy question?

CJS Purdy said that "Positional play is what you do when no sound combination is on"

MichaelBaron
01-11-2006, 04:35 PM
Ludek Pachman. Now you're showing your age mate. :)

Why don't you ask the meaning of life or some such easy question?

CJS Purdy said that "Positional play is what you do when no sound combination is on"

Positional play is what you do when you are playing "made in Australia" players....You need to eliminate tactical threats, exchange queens and go into the endgame;)

qpawn
01-11-2006, 08:21 PM
Many moves have positional and tactical elemnts. Of course 1.e4 controls teh centre as well as opening up pieces to attack the king.

Pachman? THAT doesn't show my age! I also have in my hands...

a book by Howard Staunton!!

:D

qpawn
02-11-2006, 12:54 PM
Any book by Gerald Abrahams will make positional chess clearere.

Zwischenzug
02-11-2006, 08:12 PM
Is The Amateur's Mind and How to Reassess Your Chess about positional chess or is it about planning?

Southpaw Jim
02-11-2006, 10:26 PM
I would say that planning is part of positional chess. Certainly HtRYC aims to teach you to plan. I've not seen the Amateur's Mind.

After all, how can you position your pieces correctly without planning? How do you take advantage of this positioning without planning?

ElevatorEscapee
02-11-2006, 11:39 PM
Any book by Gerald Abrahams will make positional chess clearere.

I ageer! Abrahams speak chess muchly obscure! Dissinterest chss players because he a nut!

Zwischenzug
10-01-2007, 04:21 PM
There is still one thing I want to know about positional chess. What happens after you have the strong centralized knight or created an indestructible center? I know that they are long term advantages, but they don't seem as decisive in the game as, for example, a combination that wins material. How do you convert a positional advantage into a win?

antichrist
10-01-2007, 07:16 PM
There is still one thing I want to know about positional chess. What happens after you have the strong centralized knight or created an indestructible center? I know that they are long term advantages, but they don't seem as decisive in the game as, for example, a combination that wins material. How do you convert a positional advantage into a win?

I would guess as a lowly coach that a combo can only be pulled off if there is weakness on the other side. I have performed four-piece sacs to demolish the oppositon but only because of their inadequate development. At my level it is common for players to attack too early and openedly therefore leaving their defense weakened.

How do you convert a positional adv into a win? Don't expect anythang easy in chess. You must respect that your opposition can be just as solid as yourself so just look at minute advantage for very long term and hang onto it.

When young I could plan the whole game ahead, predict three battles and what outcome afterwards and how was going to win then. But I was known to take 35 minutes a move and my victims often complained that I was too slow.

Train to look for combos but realise that it may get you behind on the clock, but if a quick calculator should be able to handle time okay.

Denis_Jessop
11-01-2007, 08:05 PM
I don't know if Zwischenzug has Cecil Purdy's "Guide to Good Chess" but if not I'd strongly advise him/her to buy it. In my view it is just about the best book you can get on the general principles and aims of chess if you are a beginner or moderate club player (or perhaps even better than that). Purdy's writing style and the content of his book are exemplary. What's more he addresses the question you have put in his chapter on "The Play for Position after the Opening".

I might add that his conclusion is along the lines of AC's post but he goes into the matter further.

DJ

antichrist
11-01-2007, 10:51 PM
How do you convert a positional advantage into a win?

If you retain your advantageous position then when endgame comes around the difference should show. But don't trade for sake of trading, always play to keep your better position.

Slightly off topic, sometimes we can have a positional advantage but sort of what to do then. Different openings have different strategies, and pressure points. Try to remember the principles behind the opening and implement them, and I have found that they hold up. You must concentrate on how to exploit that advantage, it may be 20 moves ahead for example but don't disturb the position in the meantime. And work to protect the position.

As a 1500-rated coach that is all you can squeeze out of me.

MichaelBaron
12-01-2007, 05:05 PM
I don't know if Zwischenzug has Cecil Purdy's "Guide to Good Chess" but if not I'd strongly advise him/her to buy it. In my view it is just about the best book you can get on the general principles and aims of chess if you are a beginner or moderate club player (or perhaps even better than that). Purdy's writing style and the content of his book are exemplary. What's more he addresses the question you have put in his chapter on "The Play for Position after the Opening".

I might add that his conclusion is along the lines of AC's post but he goes into the matter further.

DJ

I would definitely not advise to buy Purdy's book. There are much better guides to positional chess (unless you are a complete beginner). Kotov's "Think like a grandmaster" is one example i can think of from the top of my head

Denis_Jessop
12-01-2007, 07:16 PM
I would definitely not advise to buy Purdy's book. There are much better guides to positional chess (unless you are a complete beginner). Kotov's "Think like a grandmaster" is one example i can think of from the top of my head

Michael: You are aiming far too high. Kotov's book, which I read years ago is not for the average club player (which is why it didn't impress me all that much). Nor does its title indicate that it is, though the title is misleading. And Purdy was a much better writer than Kotov for the average player. I was not recommending his book just for positional play but for his whole approach to chess and its basic principles many of which seem to be ignored by modern coaches in favour of computers and tactics alone. You can go to other writings of his for more detail.

DJ

JGB
12-01-2007, 08:15 PM
Michael: You are aiming far too high. Kotov's book, which I read years ago is not for the average club player (which is why it didn't impress me all that much). Nor does its title indicate that it is, though the title is misleading. And Purdy was a much better writer than Kotov for the average player. I was not recommending his book just for positional play but for his whole approach to chess and its basic principles many of which seem to be ignored by modern coaches in favour of computers and tactics alone. You can go to other writings of his for more detail.

DJ

Have to say I totally agree on this. I also have "Think like a GM' which is a great book in its own right but it is questionable how effective this approach is for most chessplayers. Even his 'lines of analysis' approach was shot down by many GM's who said that following his guide would cause a brain blowout. It sure is great at helping build the 'analysis tree' in ones mind, but studying OTB, I think has a lot to do with personal style and trying to shape a way of thinking is practically impossible.

Chernev was one of my favourite writers, I think he wrote a few 'move by move' books which i found helpful.

Capablanca-Fan
24-05-2007, 10:57 AM
I would definitely not advise to buy Purdy's book. There are much better guides to positional chess (unless you are a complete beginner). Kotov's "Think like a grandmaster" is one example i can think of from the top of my head

That seems to me to be a book about chess thinking in general. Positional chess books would be Euwe and Kramer's bilogy on the middlegame and Pachman's trilogy on chess strategy, and possibly Silman's Amateur Mind. Then check out Watson's books on modern chess strategy which argue that rules are not really so important after all.