Below is a guest post by Elijah Logozar, a very strong, young player whom I have known for a long time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
For club players and below, tactical training is one of the best ways a player can improve. Strategy and other aspects of chess can also be important, but below 1800 USCF (and possibly higher), tactics is one of the most effective forms of training.
A strong tactical who is weak at positional chess will almost always defeat a strong positional player who is weak at tactics. What if you do a beautiful knight maneuver to an outpost, just to blunder it when it gets there? Strategy is easier to apply upon a firm tactical foundation.
I was able to go from just over 1000 USCF to 1700+ USCF in just over a year, mainly due to the massive amounts of tactical training I did in that year.
So how should a club player train tactics?
Regardless of how many tactics you do a day, you should get into a routine of doing them daily. I’ve found that doing at least 15-30 minutes of focused tactical training a day can bring serious results. I recommend focusing completely and calculating as long as needed. If you were focused, trying your best, and taking your time and still got the solution wrong, then you have no excuse for getting the problem wrong and can learn from your mistakes.
There are many resources which can be used for training tactics.
Chesstempo.com has an excellent tactics trainer which can be used for both speed tactics and slow tactics. Chess.com and lichess.org also have good tactics trainers. CT-ART is a phone app with tactic lessons and exercises, quite a productive way to spend time on the bus or in the car.
Hopefully you found this blog useful, and good luck with your tactical improvement!
If you enjoyed this blog post, check out Elijah’s website at www.chessknight.net. Don’t forget to leave a comment and share this with your friends!