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What is the equivalent of "tactics" from chess?
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Author:  sorin [ Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:47 pm ]
Post subject:  What is the equivalent of "tactics" from chess?

This is a question for users familiar with chess: what is the go equivalent of "tactic" from chess?

I do play chess just as a beginner, and I read sometimes the sub-reddit for chess, where "tactic" comes up often. Is it like "reading a local fight" in go, or does it have any deeper meaning, like "tactics vs strategy"?

Author:  Gomoto [ Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What is the equivalent of "tactics" from chess?

I would say equivalent in go and chess

Author:  dfan [ Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What is the equivalent of "tactics" from chess?

Basically, strategy is knowing what to do and tactics is knowing how to do it. Of course they are not independent (your choice of strategy depends on being able to execute it well).

Examples of strategy:
  • Choosing joseki based on the whole-board situation
  • Knowing what area to play in next
  • Whether to tenuki
  • Whether to make a large-scale sacrifice or exchange
  • Deciding whether to invade or reduce

Example of tactics:
  • Tesuji
  • Life and death
  • Local technique (this is In-seong Hwang's term, at least), e.g., knowing that if your third-line stone is ataried from above it is often a good idea to descend, or knowing when you can double hane, etc.
  • Most reading in general

Author:  sorin [ Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What is the equivalent of "tactics" from chess?

To clarify my question: I think I have a firm grasp of what is tactics and what is strategy in go.

I am just surprised about why the chess community is using the word "tactic" so often. Examples from recent reddit/chess thread titles:

    From completely losing to completely winning with an awesome tactic, always satisfying.
    Missed this tactic in a game just now. Black to play and win.
    Amazing tactic by Nakamura.
    A game I played at a tournament last weekend. Spent 25 mins looking for a tactic. Glad to know there wasnt one.
    A nice little tactic i found during a live game: Black to mate in 3.
    Cool tactic I found in my game. White to play and gain major material.
    The most beautiful chess tactic ever played in bullet.
    Crazy Tactic from Game 12 of WCC.
    Really like this tactic. Black to move and win.
    Nice endgame tactic. Black to move and win.
    Stumbled upon this tactic while exploring variations of one of my recent games.
    Can you spot the tactic Eric Hansen found in a hyperbullet game? White to play and win.

As I compiled this list, looks to me that "tactic" in chess is the same as "tesuji" in go maybe?

Author:  Bill Spight [ Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What is the equivalent of "tactics" from chess?

Chess is mostly tactics, it seems. See http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extr ... ctics.html

Leela Chess Zero and Alpha Zero (Chess) seem to be putting that degree of imbalance into question.

Author:  moha [ Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What is the equivalent of "tactics" from chess?

sorin wrote:
As I compiled this list, looks to me that "tactic" in chess is the same as "tesuji" in go maybe?
I think it also has a tone of overriding strategic considerations, maybe even leading to unexpected outcome. A possible go analogy is the kind of play on some Korean servers.

Bill Spight wrote:
Chess is mostly tactics, it seems. See http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extr ... ctics.html
Leela Chess Zero and Alpha Zero (Chess) seem to be putting that degree of imbalance into question.
I think bot evidence can be interpreted both ways. In go, AG shown how the availablity of a certain line can override strategic disadvantages. Strategy is a weaker/generalized substitute to reading, and previously unseen deep reading of today's go bots can also reduce its role.

Author:  Javaness2 [ Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What is the equivalent of "tactics" from chess?

Bill Spight wrote:
Chess is mostly tactics, it seems. See http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extr ... ctics.html


Just like anything written by Reuben Fine, quotes are not particularly reliable, even when they accumulate over the years. Counterpoint it with a book written by Anatoly Karpov and begin a proper debate.

Author:  seberle [ Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What is the equivalent of "tactics" from chess?

Bill Spight wrote:
Chess is mostly tactics, it seems.

There was some discussion about this on Reddit not too long ago. Several people pointed out that even chess.com frequently claims that tactics are more important than strategy in chess.

Author:  Aidoneus [ Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What is the equivalent of "tactics" from chess?

My rating is just 2296, but here are some observations for your consideration:

Chess tactics are forcing sequences that typically lead to mate, material gain, saving defense, or significant alteration of pawn structures. Forcing sequences can be thought of as super sente, in that ignoring them lead to immediate mate or loss of too much material to reasonably continue play (at least above rank beginner levels).

Chess tactics flow naturally from static structural formations (pawns) and dynamic piece placement (local imbalances of power) and king exposure. I think that pawn structure is similar to joseki choice in steering the direction of play, though rather more restrictively in the case of chess.

Strategic choices by both players create various imbalances (spatial, temporal, material) that may lead to tactics. Without imbalances games often lead to early draws between equally skilled players. Again, there may be some analogy between chess opening choice and playing more for territory or influence in Go, though I am too weak a Go player to offer any worthwhile observations on this.

Author:  EdLee [ Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:29 am ]
Post subject: 

Hi Aidoneus, that's nice. :tmbup: Thanks.

Author:  Marcel GrĂ¼nauer [ Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What is the equivalent of "tactics" from chess?

In "Garry Kasparov Teaches Chess" from the Masterclass series, he says:

"I like an old chess saying that goes, tactics is knowing what to do when there is something to do, while strategy is knowing what to do when there's nothing to do.".

https://www.masterclass.com/classes/gar ... nscription

Author:  dfan [ Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What is the equivalent of "tactics" from chess?

Bill Spight wrote:
Chess is mostly tactics, it seems. See http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extr ... ctics.html

All the "Chess is 99% tactics" quotes are intended to stop learners from focusing on strategy when they don't have the tactical tools to support it. Tons of intermediate players get excited about learning dozens of subtle strategic concepts when they are still making elementary calculation (reading) mistakes, exactly the same as in go.

Author:  dfan [ Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What is the equivalent of "tactics" from chess?

sorin wrote:
To clarify my question: I think I have a firm grasp of what is tactics and what is strategy in go.

I am just surprised about why the chess community is using the word "tactic" so often. Examples from recent reddit/chess thread titles: [...] As I compiled this list, looks to me that "tactic" in chess is the same as "tesuji" in go maybe?

Ah, yes. When people refer to "a tactic" in a position, they basically mean a tesuji (or a concept, like throw-in to reduce liberties or oshitsubushi).

Author:  EdLee [ Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:12 am ]
Post subject: 

Hi dfan,
Quote:
Tons of intermediate players get excited about learning dozens of subtle strategic concepts when they are still making elementary calculation (reading) mistakes, exactly the same as in go.
Re:
And, as usual, Kruger-Dunning matters.

Author:  Uberdude [ Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What is the equivalent of "tactics" from chess?

In chess, is there a difference between a "tactic" and a "combination"?

In go, to my understanding/usage "tesuji" is just a single move (which is the WOW! highlight of a sequence of moves that may be needed to set it up and follow up), whereas "tactic" is I think used for a sequence, so is perhaps the analogue of "tesuji sequence".

Author:  dfan [ Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What is the equivalent of "tactics" from chess?

I would say that the combination is the concrete sequence of moves played (e.g., "1.Qg8+ Rxg8 2.Nf7#") and the tactic is the category of technique that the combination uses (e.g., "smothered mate").

Of course not everyone makes this kind of distinction in casual speech, especially if they have learned in less formal settings like reddit and playing lots of online games as opposed to books.

Author:  sorin [ Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What is the equivalent of "tactics" from chess?

Aidoneus wrote:
Chess tactics are forcing sequences that typically lead to mate, material gain, saving defense, or significant alteration of pawn structures. Forcing sequences can be thought of as super sente, in that ignoring them lead to immediate mate or loss of too much material to reasonably continue play (at least above rank beginner levels).


Thank you, this is what I was looking for!!

Related to Uberdude's question regarding "go tesuji as one move" vs "chess tactic as sequence of moves", I wonder if that is because in chess it is more likely to find a longer forcing sequence (due to the nature of the game, since it is likely to be won/lost after one wrong move), while go tends to be more flexible wrt local losses, and therefore fewer moves can be forced?
(Or maybe I am just over-thinking it).

Author:  Bill Spight [ Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What is the equivalent of "tactics" from chess?

dfan wrote:
Bill Spight wrote:
Chess is mostly tactics, it seems. See http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extr ... ctics.html

All the "Chess is 99% tactics" quotes are intended to stop learners from focusing on strategy when they don't have the tactical tools to support it. Tons of intermediate players get excited about learning dozens of subtle strategic concepts when they are still making elementary calculation (reading) mistakes, exactly the same as in go.


It seems to me that the size of the board matters. For instance, there is (or was) a variant of shogi -- I don't know how many games were played of it -- on a 25x25 board instead of a 9x9 board. I imagine that it was a very strategical game.

Also, doesn't the long range of the moves of the bishop, rook, and queen make the game more tactical than otherwise, in effect shrinking the size of the board? Chess has three basic battlegrounds, the king side, the queen side, and the center. By comparison go has 9, four corners, four sides, and the center.

Author:  dfan [ Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What is the equivalent of "tactics" from chess?

Oh, I totally agree that the tactics-to-strategy ratio in chess is higher than in go, largely because of the size of the board, as you say. Every chess problem you will find in a book, tactical or otherwise, is a whole-board problem! I am mostly warning go players who look at a quote like "chess is 99% tactics" and nod knowingly that quotes like that are exaggerating for effect.

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