Middlegame: Tactics and Strategy

The links below will help anyone to improve their skills at spotting tactical combination and developing plans that takes place in the middlegame.


Chess Tactics Server (CTS)
A wonderful test site with short game-like problems to solve under blitz conditions. Register or sign in as a guest (I recommend you try it as a guest first before risking rating points). You are presented with a position where you are playing either Black or White. Your opponent makes his move and you must find the right counter-move or two-to-three-move combination before time runs out. As soon as you solve it, the next position loads. As someone wrote, this is the chess-equivalent of crack cocaine. Quite an addictive rush. Maintained by the German club Schachgemeinschaft Hermsdorf. Excellent training before your next tournament or club visit.

Ward Farnsworth's Predator at the Chessboard: A Field Guide to Chess Tactics by Ward Farnsworth at chesstactics.org
A guide to tactics with lots of explanations for beginners and an excellent sense of design. But the content could be better.

Chess Puzzles by GMs by W. T. Harvey
An incredible collection of tactical puzzles taken mostly from GM games.

The Seeds of Tactical Destruction by Dan Heisman
A good column for improving players that explains the factors to look for that predict combinations and tactical situations.

Chess Tactics for Amateurs by P. D. Joseph

Fundamental Checkmates by King of the Spill
A useful blog posting for amateurs learning how to finish the game.

John Tamplin's Tablebases
Go to his Tactical Problem Tablebase. This is an amazing tutorial for all levels of players. The graphics can be a little slow on a modem though.

Puzzles from Chessbase
This is a great collection of test positions for teaching or self-study.

Chess E-Book
An online library of tactics, with a good collection of links too.

An Italian tactics collection in printable PDF format. Very nice for taking on the train.

Chess University
Amazing online lessons that explain tactical and positional motifs.

Chess Tactics
An excellent introduction to chess tactical motifs for beginners.

Chess Tactics
Scroll down a bit for a review of tactical motifs.

Preview of the Anthology of Chess Combinations
Some tough and testing postions -- mostly for advanced or ambitious players.

Reverberating "Quiet" Moves by Mark Dvoretsky
A very advanced tactics discussion with puzzle positions suitable for masters (or stronger) and quite challenging for amateurs.

Combinative Discoveries by Mark Dvoretsky
Very advanced analysis of fascinating and deep tactical middle-game positions from historic GM practice.


Larry Evans Teaches Chess
A collection of screen-shot articles written by Larry Evans.

Middle Game Planning, Part One and Part Two by Georgi Orlov

The Advance of the Rook Pawn by Mark Dvoretsky
Excellent discussion of the thematic h4-h5 attacking push.

Chess E-Book: Lectures
Has a great collection of lectures and many other resources.

The Two Weakness Principle by Mark Dvoretsky
Excellent discussion of the important middlegame principle that your opponent needs two weaknesses for you to force the win.

A Game with Questions by Mark Dvoretsky
Excellent annotated game with seven increasingly difficult questions interspersed for training. Like "solitaire chess" taken up a notch.

Updated 07.15.2005 | Contact Michael Goeller