Abstract Strategy Games

Anything and everything about abstract strategy games

I’ve been hearing more and more gamers discussing Go. Is it becoming more popular?

I had a great game morning. Starting at 7am I went to a coffee shop chess club where I was able to get a good game. If you are in the Indianapolis area, I recommend stopping by the club any Saturday morning between 7am and 9:30am. Here’s the address:

Hubbard and Cravens Coffee
4930 N Pennsylvania St
Indianapolis, IN 46205

After, I drove downtown to the Circle City Mall where the game store Go Games is having a 50% off everything sale. I picked up two new games - Go and Rolit. I’ve never played Rolit, and I’m looking forward to playing it at the game club to see what everyone thinks. It’s a multiplayer game, which normally makes a good club game. Especially, if you have an odd number of players. If you are going to buy a game in the next month, I recommend you visit Go Games in the Circle City Mall, because there are some great games for decent prices.


The 1st Mind Sports Games, a multi-game competition, is being held in Beijing. The events include chess, draughts (checkers), bridge, xiangqi and go. The event has attracted more than 3,000 players from 143 countries. There are thirty-five gold medals up for grabs.

China claimed their first gold metal yesterday when Wang Yang won the men’s rapid Xiangqi competition. Russian “Chess Queen” Alexandra Kosteniuk earned a gold metal in the women’s chess individual blitz competition.

The competitions will last until October 18th.

Abstract Strategy Games

Strategy requires thought; tactics requires observation. - Max Euwe

Strategies are long term plans to win a game. A tactic is an immediate action, typically planned to advance your strategy. Tactics often are available as a result of a particular strategy. It is common for the winner to best coordinate tactics with strategies. Strategic goals are often accomplished through tactics. It is also possible to allow for a tactical loss and gain a strategic advantage.


"Chess is 99% tactics"
Richard Teichmann

Two questions to help understand the difference:
1. What do I do to win? (Strategy)
2. How do I do it? (Tactics)

Strategic examples:
1.  Chess: Pawn Structure, King Safety, Center
2.  Go: Amashi, Shinogi, and Reduction (more)

Tactical examples:
1.  Chess:  Forks, Pins, and Discovered Attacks
2.  Go: Ladder, Net, and Snapback (more)

It is common for players to be referred to as ‘strategical players’ or ‘tactical players’. For most abstract strategy games, a player needs to understand both strategy and tactics to be well-rounded. Every game has a natural balance of tactics and strategy, and may reward more tactical or strategic gameplay.  A player needs to know how to balance the two levels.  For example, a chess player will often be more tactical when first playing Go, and will need to learn the strategy/tactic balance in Go.