Is solving tactical puzzles the road to success in chess? Some people are inclined to say:
‘Yes of course. On club level almost all games are decided by tactical errors!’
So we need not bother about strategy? Or trying to evaluate postions in the correct way?
Well the answer is obvious: of course not! The correct evaluation of a position is mostly the deciding factor in chess. The majority of the positions do not contain any tactics and you do not need the calculate very deeply. Chess is al about thinking of the correct plans. To do this in the proper way, you need to evaluate positions correctly. Bad evaluations lead to bad plans. And in my case: lead to disaster.
See the diagram. White just grabbed a pawn on b7 with his last move (20. Qxb7). I thought that my prospects were quite bleak. And embarked on a reckless plan. But is the position so bad as I thought? In hindsight I don’t think so. Yes, white is better and has an material advantage, but black’s pieces are more active. And white will have to lose time in order to bring his queen back to safety.
But I simply did not see this and decided to throw everything on the attack. So I responded with the reckless 20. – h5?! (objectively 20. – Reb8 would have been much better and leads to near equal positions). But I had something devious in mind. Question: can white grab another pawn with 21. Bxg2? Answer… (and some more horror)