A game of chess goes through many phases and changes. Every strategic game must be complemented by the good tactical vision.  Every good attacking player needs to have good positional skills.

It doesn’t matter how great a positional player one is if tactical opportunities are missed. Just the same, there are many good attacking players who commit basic mistakes when it comes to playing a quiet, positional game.

In order to become a strong and complete player, one must incorporate all types of positions in his training routine and give special attention to the parts that he likes to train less (for example, strategy), as here is where the voids usually are.

But these are not the only changes that happen during a game.

Secret 1: The pawn structure

Beside constant or occasional switches between positional and tactical play, another element that rarely stays the same throughout the whole game is the pawn structure. Here we must underline the importance of studying in depth the most common positional motifs and types of structure.

Secret 2: Weaknesses

There are many complex structures (often seen over the board, too), such as the isolated pawn or the hanging pawns, that are many times misunderstood. They are known as weaknesses, hence something bad that shouldn’t happen in our games. However, things are different with some structures and they can prove dangerous and sometimes pleasant to play with. It all depends on the piece coordination and the situation on the board.

Secret 3: Small advantages

Another point to remember during the game is that small advantages can and should be switched for something better for us or for a bigger one. Most of the times, if a player has a small positional advantage he will try to hang on to it and eventually convert it and win the game.

Secret 4: Trading advantages

While this can sometimes be done, we should always be on the look for trading our advantage for a bigger one or one that’s easier to convert. For example, the bishop pair is an important advantage, but sometimes not enough to penetrate the opponent’s defense and win the game. We should always keep open the option of trading one of the bishops for a better/ winning endgame.

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