One of the most essential parts of chess training is improving our tactical sight and calculation ability. Every position needs precise calculation and blunder free play. Working on tactics is one of the most effective ways to develop these skills.

There are different ways to work on it, but the more you do, the more you will see in your games. Learning these patterns and ideas can be useful in different positions.

Here is an excellent example: Skembris-Timman, 1993 Corfu

It is white to move. We should be looking for some kind of tactical solution.

Try to calculate and come up with some plan for white.

White has a better position as the black pawn structure is weaker while the king is also vulnerable. There is the problem of the rook hanging on e1 so we should look for something forceful to use our better pieces to mount an attack.

When we are looking for tactics, we should focus on forcing moves: Checks-Captures-Threats(Attacks) in this order.

Try to find weaknesses, targets and paths to attack especially if the opponent’s king has a weak defence. When you start calculating a useful rule is to not stopping until there is another check or capture in the position as sometimes an early stop to a calculation might just change the result.

So here we should look over the position, there seems to be a weak king which we could focus on, defended by the h7 pawn which would be an ideal target to go for. Multiple checks but everything seems to be without any threat after it gets captured, so we move over to captures, and there the idea shows up. Openings the 7th rank would allow us to go for the checkmating plan.

25.Nxe6+– Qe7 [25...Rg6 26.Nxd8 Rxh6 27.Nxf7+ Kg7 28.Nxh6 Nxe1 29.Nf5+ Kg6 30.Nh4++–; 25...fxe6 26.Rb7+–]

26.Ng5 Qxe1+ 27.Rxe1 fxg5 28.Qf6+ Rg7 29.Re7 dxc4 30.Rxf7 Rag8 31.Rxa7+–