Solving chess puzzles is the best way to sharpen your tactical skills. As the adage goes: "there is no substitute for experience." There are a finite number of tactical situations that can exist in a chess game. They can be broken down into about twelve different categories and studied within their own context.
One such category is checkmates-in-two. If you've read this column before, you know that I provide such a puzzle every week for the reader to solve. Not only are these diagrams fun to conceive, but the solutions should elicit understanding of the geometry and behavior of the pieces.
Understanding these mates and the positions in which they are possible is basic knowledge that all tacticians have. If you know the situations that yield great mating possibilities, you can use these to develop your strategy.
As you maneuver around the board, you will be constantly adjusting to fend off an opponent and at the same time achieve active pieces. This piece activity, if correctly guided, could easily lead to mating possibilities.
This is the art of attacking chess.
White to mate in two moves.