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QUESTION

Does one style of play have an advantage/disadvantage over the other?

Are today's GMs mostly tactical players or positional players?

What GMs should I follow if I want to be more of a tactical player or positional player?

{ asked by xaisoft }

ANSWER

I don't think one style has an advantage, or at the GM level, there would only be one style; the other would be extinct.

The very definition of a tactical player is Mikhail Tal AKA 'The Wizard of Riga.' Others include Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov. Anatoly Karpov and Tigran Petrosian are great examples of positional players.

Fischer himself said that tactics flow from a superior position.


Edit: I'd like to add that any of the top players can find the best move in a given situation. Where positional versus tactical considerations come into play is where there isn't a best move, as such. That is, when there are several reasonable candidate moves. Then some players show a positional tendency while others show a tactical tendency. Petrosian, who is probably the most defensive GM, was more than able to uncork technical savagery if his opponent let him. However, he preferred to tighten the noose instead of looking for a brilliancy.

{ answered by Tony Ennis }
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