How to Improve at Tactics | Chess Middlegames

Get better at spotting and correctly solving tactics is key to chess mastery!

Tactics are dynamic opportunities which occur during the game, and they can lead to a better or even winning position!

Chess consists of strategy and tactics. Here is a video on creating strategic plans in the middlegame:

Tactics or combinations almost always require calculation to complete successfully. I didn’t go into too much detail in this video, but here is a video specifically on how to improve your chess calculation:

The best way to improve your tactical skills is to practice. There is no way around this part. Solve as many tactical problems as possible. This will make you sharper, better at calculation and better at spotting tactical opportunities during a real game.

Since there is a huge difference between looking at a chess book which says: “White to play and win.”, and sitting over the board where you have no idea there is a possibility for a tactic, I have written down several elements which might signify a presence of a combination:

– an unsafe or exposed king
– a harmonious constellation of your pieces around the opponent’s king
– your opponent’s undeveloped pieces or pieces on the opposite side of the board, away from the king
– a weak back rank and a king with no escape square
– open diagonals towards the opponent’s king
– pinned pieces
– a strong minor piece in your opponent’s position – most often a knight which can provide tremendous attacking support
– passed pawns on the 6th or 7th rank
– pieces fulfilling multiple roles – overworked pieces
– when you have a double check available
– when you have a move which makes two threats

To play a tactic successfully you have to spot it, but you also have to evaluate the end position of a tactic – what is it that you are getting in return for your sacrifice or attack? You have to evaluate the final position correctly. This can be achieved by practicing. Always do it without moving the pieces, like in a real game.

Common problems people have are forgetting that the piece they are counting on in their head was sacrificed already, or wasting too much time, or forgetting about one of the answers your opponent has. All of these problems could lead to losing positions, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go for it if you see a tactical move! Practice will reduce the number of your mistakes. Play confidently and ferociously! If you think a sacrifice exists, play it! It’s good to be certain, of course, but more often than not it will be worth the risk. Good luck sacrificing those queens!

If you would like to support the channel and my quest to chess improvement, you can donate here:

Any support is greatly appreciated! Thank you!



  1. This is the best YouTube chess channel On the planet. A big thank you from Italy

  2. Hi I am from Osijek and I honestly laughed when you said "gospodin" instead of mister

  3. Please start off my telling us what color is to move next before explaining strategy and tactics.

  4. Loved the vid. You are my unofficial chess coach.

  5. This is very well made I am a 1800 player and these tips are very good for everybody

  6. I am such a begginer annot spot any of the tactics

  7. i can solve tactics real fast, but i can't spot them quite well

  8. Pure class in your teaching. Great video 👏

  9. Great video! Thanks! I really like your explanations!

  10. At @5:54 knight better move to f4 otherwise queen can take pawn at f5

  11. Great video and excellent teaching 👍🏻

  12. chess is a very sick game. Two people trying to squeeze the literal life out of one another, ruthlessly. It brings out the worst of human nature: namely wanting to tear the other person apart and gouge their eyes out and taking one of the eyes and smashing and stomping that eye into a flat raw sac, while shoving the other eye up the other guys throat and smashing the guy's mouth and jaw repeatedly with one's elbow. As I say: it literally brings out the worst in human nature. A nasty game. Absolutely the sickest human invention of all times. Very worst of human invention. I mean, we are capable of such beauty and creativity. Yet' we come up with games that draws us to want to disembowel one another. Just sad.

  13. When a piece is pinned, you can't remove it from the board even hypothetically… because it's pinned.

  14. really informative! time to go practice some puzzles >:)

  15. my age is 26 and I suddenly want to improve at my Chess just for self satisfaction….don't know how but luckily found this channel 🙏🏻🙏🏻

  16. Magnifico estuche de patrones básicos de táctica,ojalá aborde más temas gracias de Cd Juárez Chihuahua México

  17. This is great! I will implement with my games. Every video you have done is well done and helps my play! Thank you so much,

  18. Just found this channel! You have great content!

  19. Very good, clear advice. Thanks for these videos

  20. Why not take pawn because the knight is blocking the rook?

  21. 5:50 why not Qxe5 ? And if the f6 knight moves, Bd5 or Bd1 to protect f3

  22. I came here to learn more about chess. I ended up with a desire to fight my enemy to the death in order to save my comrades. Either way thanks for the great video 🙂

  23. in second example what about queen takes f5? u can then force a queen exchange later and somehow survive. It's still not winning cuz u suffer material loss a lot but it's surviving. Isn't it?

  24. Very clear, to the point and very efficient explanation of the key factors. Thank you very much for your time, energy and expertise spent on your series of videos. Love to watch them & keep learning – afterall, learning is a lifelong process! 😀

  25. I highly suggest that you start using time stamps

  26. Greetings…I do like when you say, just because you're in a positive/winning position…still concentrate and do not get over confident (my words). I think this channel will help my game…Thank you. Hopefully your journey towards GM, will become a reality. Cheers.

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