Working on strategic understanding is essential for players of any level if they want to improve. And club players know it as well, but they often prefer working on tactics instead. It is understandable; you can solve lots of puzzles to sharpen your tactical vision and then try to score some quick wins by spotting blunders. The strategy seems to be more complicated and less attractive, and so often it remains neglected. Although no one would argue that it is useful, it sounds too abstract. What are the specific benefits?
Well, here are 10 reasons why you should study strategy.
1. Strategy makes playing chess more interesting
Those who can play only tactical chess find themselves frustrated in calm positions. There’s no interest in shuffling the pieces around without a plan and hoping for a blunder. But those who play strategically find calm positions exciting and approach them with real enthusiasm.
2. Strategic knowledge helps you make better decisions
Which side should I castle? Should I trade the queens? Where to place my pieces? Should I attack or defend? These and many other questions chess players often ask themselves during a game. Studying strategy helps you improve your decision-making process and since it is something that you meet in every game, improve your results drastically.
3. Studying strategy is fun
How can it be not fun when you go through many interesting positions and learn what the best chess minds of the world thought about them in every case?
4. It makes you a universal player
Having different styles in your skillset is very helpful. You can play different openings and choose them according to your opponent’s style. Get a tactician into a strategic battle and outplay him convincingly!
5. You start playing not only better but also faster
Studying strategy improves your pattern recognition. You will see what plans are good in what positions. So then it becomes easier for you to come up with good plans in your games and also, it takes less time to find good moves when you already have a plan. So this knowledge helps fight with time troubles.
6. Strategic knowledge eases the learning of openings
It is indeed much easier to remember things that you understand well. Studying strategy will make you understand the ideas behind many opening moves without long explanations.
7. Strategy helps even with tactics
Tactical possibilities don’t appear on a chessboard randomly; they are rather a result of good coordination between pieces that are working together to create some beauty. But to place them well, you need a strategic foundation.
8. Strategic knowledge helps in unfamiliar positions
You can’t learn all the possible positions in chess. You will often find yourself in situations where it is not obvious what to do. With strategic thinking, you can come up with your own plan and pose difficult problems to your opponent.
9. It improves your thinking in life
I believe that in general for chess players it is easier to set long-term goals in life, but only for those who can use long-term plans in chess! Also, chess is considered being a good tool for developing business thinking, and guess which element of our game is helpful?
10. It takes your chess to the next level
You can’t achieve your best by using cheap tactical tricks only. When you grow as a chess player and improve your results, at some point you get to that level when strategy becomes not just an addition to your skillset, but your main tool. The earlier you develop it, the faster your growth should be.
But how to get better at strategy?
In his brand-new course, IM Mat Kolosowski shares his deep knowledge of chess strategy in a very clear way. 10 hours of instructive explanations will improve your understanding and help get your chess to the next level.