Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Strategy vs Tactics

Wilhelm Steinitz (1836-1900) is unanimously accepted as the founder of modern chess. More than hundred years ago, he established the basic strategic elements of chess. While strategy is the ability to properly coordinate the pieces contributing to the attack and defense, tactics are the resources helping to achieve our plans.

In today’s game you will see how differently two players implement those conceptions. The game corresponds to the 65th Nairobi Chess Club Championship that took place on Aug, 19-20.

Nairobi Chess Club organizes every year that tournament with great success.

Braeburn School, at Gitanga Road (Nairobi), hosted the 2023 edition with 127 players distributed into three sections: Open, U1600, and U1400. Players in the U1400 section were mostly juniors.

James Panchol was the winner in the Open section with a perfect score of 4/4 and Mehul Gohil was the best classified NCC player finishing third with a score of 3/4. Mehul is a consistent player with a clear strategic vision as today’s game shows. In round 3 Mehul Gohil (ELO 2003) faced Robert Mcligeyo Oluka (ELO 2009) and the game featured a clash of two different approaches. Mehul’s strategic vision against Mcligeyo’s tactical interpretation.

Follow the game on the diagram below and enjoy Mehul’s own comments on the critical moves.

Interestingly, despite Oluka’s efforts to fight using tactical motifs, it was Mehul who obtained a decisive advantage with a tactical resource. After he trapped his opponent’s bishop, Oluka’s position completely collapsed.

It’s worth recalling here Fischer’s famous statement: “Tactics flows from a superior position”.

Maybe you play chess but are unable to attend a local club. If that is your case, then join our virtual club. On our site, we regularly play online tournaments and team matches. More than 910 members enjoy that chance and new players join every week. We have new tournaments scheduled for the coming months waiting for players! Join now! Additionally, we have a puzzle section and we have recently started to practice the variant of ‘Vote Chess’. Although not very popular, ‘Vote Chess’ is an effective educational tool for learning together.

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