The Rise Of The Young Tacticians

An interesting phenomina that has appeared in the last couple of decades is the rise of young tacticians. Looking at the games of the World’s top rated players my overwhelming impression is that of brilliant tactical vision. And as this was not particularly the case a quarter of a century ago I wonder about what has changed.

My hypothesis is that computerisation of chess study and changes to tournament schedules have led to this, computer based preparation having partially superseded traditional skills (such as opening and early middle game understanding) whilst longer schedules are very tiring for older players. At one time we used to adjourn after 4 or 5 hours and continue after dinner or on separate adjournment days. Now a single session decides, and this can be up to 7 hours in duration. When you factor in the modern hostility towards short draws (this used to provide older players with a welcome break) then you have punishing schedules which favour the younger players.

Having said that we have a couple of ‘oldies’ playing for the World Championship next year, Vishwanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand. And this has to give hope to us all, even if we are older still!


Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: