Improving your tactical skills in chess

Most chess games are decided upon tactics. You have a few positional players who love to outplay others with deep strategical ideas, but even they need tactics to finish off their opponents.

The good thing about tactics is that it’s easy to practice. Just like when you study math, you need to practice a lot before fundamentals are internalized.

One thing I learned a few years ago, is that the right attitude during the game is to always spend a few seconds searching for a forced win. Doing this will make you truly dangerous.

Watching strong players miss important things is good for our self-esteem. Let's see two giants in action!

Garry Kasparov - Anatoly Karpov
Linares 1994

Usually, these players discover all kinds of tactics, but for some reason, this possibility ducked under their radar. My claim is that it's not long tactical sequences you should focus on - no, it's two - and three-movers like this you should make sure you don't miss.

The way to do is to solve tactical puzzles. You can find such exercises everywhere, like in books or apps, and all you have to do is start solving them.

Here is a puzzle from The Magnus Trainer:


Does White have any better moves than taking the black bishop?

Practice your chess tactics in Magnus Trainer now at and get a head start of your opponent!

By Torbjørn Ringdal Hansen

Photo by David Llada