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Tactic Strainer 3


This is part three of Tactic Strainer,
 which looks at the strange and
funny things we write in the
Tactics Trainer comment's section.


What prompted this bloggy thingy is described in part one:

and continues in part two:

[Scotty and Co., that's... forget it.]


The long pawn [08-26-09]
A: I'm amazed at how many moves I had to consider before I looked at that seemingly insignificant pawn.
B:  Me too.
C:  I had looked at the pawn move early on (thinking what lines might it open?), but it took me a long time to realize the knight was trapped.
D:  It took me so long, I solved it and still lost 22 points. LOL.

The 'eradicated' timer [08-26-09]
A:  Sigh... I hate the timer.
B:  Yea, the timer makes me move eradically...

[Eat your heart out, Mrs. Malaprop]

Greed is (not) good [08-27-09]
Easy, but I missed it. :( Lesson learned; don't be too greedy!

You know the story about 4 people seeing an accident and their four very different versions... [08-27-09]
A: Why? This move is just an exchange of Queens. White doesn't really gain an advantage?
B:  I know! Just a knight ahead.
C:  Advantage is, Black's Queen is out of the picture and White is up a pawn and a Knight!
D:  Advantage is.... White takes a Rook and Queen for just a Queen.
[In case you are wondering, 'D' is correct, but then I had the benefit of instant replay, did n' tie?]

I used to talk to myself, didn't I? Yes, I did. [08-27-09]
A:  Perhaps I'm missing something, but isn't Rg1+ followed by either Kh7, Kh6 or Kh5 (doesn't matter) then Qh2#? That's also mate in the same number of moves?
A:  Ah, wait, as I typed this I realized the problem; Kh7 would allow the King to slip behind the black Rook after Qh2... [Sounds painful]
Part two
A:  Hey! I prefere Nxe4! What is wrong with it? Black is still a piece down! (If dxe4 (or Qxe4), then, Qxb5).
A:  My mistake... Nxe4, Bxc6 and material is even.
Part three [09-02-09]
A:  I followed up the first move with Qg3+, forcing the King to f5 to be followed up with Qg4#. I was all proud of myself until it turned out there was a mate in one.
A:  Oh, s--t. Actually, on second glance, that would have exchanged queens. Oops.


The Henry VIII solution [08-27-09]
When in doubt, sac the queen. Frown

OMG. I'm so dumb. [09-01-09]
Such a simple checkmate to miss! [09-01-09]
Too clever for me. Undecided [09-03-09]
Immodesty [08-27-09]
Personally, I had no difficulty spotting it.

Déjà vu [08-27-09]
A:  I think I've seen this problem before.
B:  Yeah, this problem seems to be filed under ID's 40455 and 26113, with very little differences between them.

[What a memory!]

WTF - If 'W' = 'Who' and 'T' = 'to', what does 'F' stand for? [08-27-09]
A:  WTF.
B:  A giant leap for mankind. [This is actually very funny, as the one-move puzzle involved pushing a pawn forward one square!]
C:  Oh, crap. [Missed it, I guess]
D:  WTF? [Question]
E:  WTF? I was just guessing and guess what it said: Correct! [Questionable modesty]

The talking horse [08-27-09]
Does this mean 44% don't know how to grab a free Knight, which is saying after 1. Nc4, 'Take me, take me!'?! Tongue out

Here endeth today's lessons
Lesson 101; go for the kill! [08-27-09]
I had to think, "What would I have done in a real game?" Keep trading once your ahead! [08-29-09]
A reminder that in chess the primary objective is to capture the king, not the queen. [09-01-09]

Excuse my French [08-27-09]
A:  This is bad he can just take whit the pawn and then went he check the king to the new queen you can just move and then went you take the new queen he take your rook and it queen vs horse plus pawn probleme are suppot to be errors that even whit the best moves you cant comeback form...
B:  What?

Verbal flagellation [08-27-09]
Wow! Can't believe I was distracted by the threat of the Queen. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

After a simple one-move Queen-takes-Knight puzzle [08-29-09]
Alrighty then...
[Yes, I know; we don't know why we liked it, but we did]
In a similar vein
Thats it?

'Funny' ha-ha or 'funny' strange? [08-29-09]
Funny puzzle.

The rook-king fork?! [08-29-09]
White was threatening the rook-king fork, so black had to let the bishop hang.
[There is a lot of cruelty on Tactic Strainer]

The puzzle or the strainer? [08-29-09]
Now, it's sanctified
Holy crap.

Happiness has many faces [08-29-09]
Whoo - hoo!  My greatest accomplishment on TT. I can now die happy. :)

It's over?! [08-29-09]
A:  Once the king starts moving away from line 1 for white and line 8 for black then the checkmate is almost sure.
B:  This checkmate is sure. It just happened.

Is this better than 'Easy'? [08-29-09]
Taking a knight that's en prise... tricky, tricky, tricky...

Because it isn't [08-29-09]
And what exactly is wrong with checkmate 2. Qe8#

Happy strainers [08-30-09]
A:  I used to never see this motif; now I don't even have to think about it. Go TT.
B:  I think the best thing about tactics trainer is that I don't have to think for as long now to see these kinds of possibilities. In a real game, I have better vision now, thanks to tactics trainer making me look at all the possibilities across the board in a short span of time. TT rocks.
More happiness
Thanks.These ideas help a lot. Comments from more experienced players have really helped my game. [09-01-09]
That was a great puzzle. I love puzzles whereby you can foresee the outcome. [09-03-09]
Unhappy strainers [09-01-09]
I really have to start keeping count of how many times this problem occurs in these trainer puzzles. It's getting routine, if not boring. [09-01-09]

Opinions [08-30-09]
A:  Funny.
B:  I prefer to call it silly.
C:  Genious! [Genius]
D:  Wow. Pretty awesome!
F:  I nominate this for best two move tactical problem of the century.
and finally
G:  I am going to bed after that one!

opinions [09-01-09]
A:  Rediculous.
B:  Don't you mean, nice?
C:  EASY... [!]
D:  Ha ha, I enjoyed it.
E:  Boo! I put the cart before the horse.

[The 'horse' I know; which piece is the 'cart'?]

It all depends upon which order you move your pieces. [08-30-09]
Remove the defender. [08-30-09]

Frakkers [08-30-09]
A:  Didn't even frakking SEE the Queen-capture.
B:  LOL. Frakking, indeed.
C:  "Didn't even frakking SEE the Queen-capture." Me too
[neither]!Aaaaah, what a disaster!

Houston, we have JavaScript [08-30-09]
What the hell? Right?
Incorrect move - good try! You got 3 of 2 moves (150%) correct. My Rating: 1726 (+526)

Problem ID: 0060967
[Some guys have all the luck...]

Do these sound familiar?
It's all about compelling your opponent to move where you want him to move. If only I could get there in my own real play. *sigh* [09-01-09]
Maybe I'm finally learning something. I "got it" even though I didn't "get it". [09-02-09]

Have you thought about retirement? [09-01-09]
WOW! That's right, I'm 2400! Laughing

Ouch! [09-01-09]
Yes, Ka2 saves the queen, but mates the King. Smile

Love at first sight [09-01-09]
Everyone must find that queen on d8 hard to resist!

Oxymoron [09-01-09]
Smile Nice sacrifice.

I wanted a pretty problem [09-01-09]
Ugly problem.

Excuse me [09-01-09]
Pass rate is 0%, but I passed. Makes sense. [It does?]

Put me down for a dozen [09-01-09]
Rook and Knight for free.

Oh, cuss it, you cussed person! [09-01-09]
A:  What I really can't stomach is losing points fast and then having to work my ass off to get them back! [Each to his own]
B:  I feel your pain, but please ease off the cussing. It's a family site and some of us do have kids. [Who may know more cusses than we do] Plus, I like recommending people here and they get turned off every time they see the language.
[Yes, the spelling and grammar is atrosh... atroch... bad]

The problem with fetishes [09-01-09]
I was able to go after the Queen, but I neglected to go after the King with all I have!

Play nicely boys [09-01-09]
A:  I can't believe I just did that in 10 seconds. [Nor could she]
B:  As much as 10? [He must be popular]
C:  You did that? Damn... I'm rusted shut.
[There's an expression we don't hear every day]

That's usually the case, isn't it? [09-01-09]
Wow, I guessed the right move and got it!

Walks, parties and mating [09-01-09]
...given the fact that Black's king got out for a walk, I would not take the exchange... but would bring more pieces to set up a party for the Black's king... and soon mate will come.
Pins and weird sacrifices; chess has it all

A:  I was not seeing that pin and I thought there was some weird sacrifice on the e file. Undecided [09-01-09]
B:  Yep. Chess isn't always beautiful. [09-02-09]

A solitary strainer strikes back [09-01-09]
A:  This has a rating of 1416?
B:  Gee, I never tire of these insightful comments.

Others muster forces [09-01-09]
A:  How come this problem is rated 1706, whereas, I have seen harder problems with lower ratings? Surprised
B:  Because every time someone fails a problem, it increases in rating. Now, please stop asking this question.
C:  Problems like this are intriguing for me - well, not the problem itself, but how to approach the debate of whether or not its rating is too high. I understand A's point - the rating is higher than what people might initially say it should be, because people move too quickly and don't see the "obvious" solution. But, just because it's "obvious", doesn't make it easy. If every TT problem were the same (queen sac, smothered mate, rinse and repeat), it wouldn't help us look for the hung piece, which in essence, has to be the most important tactic in the book.
On the other hand, I spent way too long looking at this puzzle and lost points for my correct answer. Oh well, I also spent way too long writing about it.
[At this point, you are probably thinking, 'that's that.' Wrong]
I think it's really crap when you get a minus score for solving the problem.
[ Cry ]

Fear of (the) French [09-02-09]
En passant, nooooooooooo!

We must check first? [09-02-09]
I played f5 before checking with the Rook.

Well, is it? [09-03-09]
Third moves are getting interesting... the emotions with the clock. Getting to control the time clock in our mind should be better to anticipate blacks move and move correctly. Is the time clock controlling your mind player? Foot in mouth

Patriotism [09-03-09]
A:  Just don't like sacrificing my queen, I guess.
B:  It's always the last thing I think of.

The quitter and the bragger  [09-03-09]
A:  LOL. I should probably quit for life for getting this one wrong.
B:  Well, that "problem" took almost 2 secs to me!
[Just need to work on the grammar, now, B]

?  [09-03-09]
UNFAIR! I played an illegal move!

It wasn't me, I swear  [09-11-09]
Someone played very weirdly in this game, eh?

Er...  [09-11-09]
I was so used to the simple solutions of easier problems, I stopped looking for the more difficult ones.

Makes anASS ofU and ME  [09-11-09]
...I just assumed it was protected and went on from there.

Forked, again  [09-11-09]
A:  No, Black won't checkmate in 2 moves; it is a nice forking move.
B:  Nice forking move, indeed!
More forking
I like forks; they're perfect for eating queens.

Such is life  [09-11-09]
If you move the knight first, Black replies Kg7 and you lose the mating opportunity.

Mr. Pitiful
...supposedly because this is too pitiful; I missed it as well.
[So did we]

The 'Yays' have it
A:  Yay! First!
B:  Yay! Second!
C:  Yay! Third!
D:  Yay!

The 'Easy Brigade'

Now, they have trouble spelling
A:  Easu [08-27-09]
B:  ...is "easuer" said than done. [09-12-09]
As if 'Easy' wasn't easy [08-27-09]
Very, very easy.
Vocabulary incremented by one [08-28-09]
A:  Easy one!
B:  I thought it was difficult!
[So did we]
pronoun and a verb get added [08-29-09]
That was so easy.
Now, it's acronyms [08-30-09]
Easy. LOL
Now, they argue amongst themselves [08-30-09]
A:  Quite easy.
B:  Easy.
Now, there's a fan club
A:  Easy.
B:  I agree.
Wonderful vocabulary development; shame about the grammar, etc.
these kind of locked position thats the kind of thing that made chess a so but so GOOD game. aniway, pretty easy puzzle since we already see the queen cant be eaten by g2. [Squares, not pieces, eat Queens]
Humor?! [09-02-09]
Too easy to solve. [Not too difficult to fail, then?]


When quoting what others have said, it is usually a good idea to 'set the scene', else...
I DID IT!!!! Smile FOR THE FIRST TIME!!! [09-13-09]

...the reader may get the wrong idea.

What's the difference between a 'draw' and a 'tie'?
I don't know.
is to sketch and the other is knot!

Our favorite commentator

There are some wonderful comments from seemingly great people whose altruistic aim appears to be to lend a hand. However, there is one strainer who has consistently and frequently written marvelous explanations. This section is dedicated to that strainer [who would make a fantastic moderator, wooden tea?]

[08-26-09]  I remember a few of the 1400ish rated problems had this motif of discovered double check with the bishop, preparing mate with the rook on the square the king had occupied. Now the 1800 problems you have to set it up yourself with a queen sac :-)

[08-28-09]  After a while playing chess you get to notice when a knight not only cannot move to a square, but cannot move to a square that is attacking that square, i.e. would need three moves to get there. In this case c2 is one such square (as regards the black knight) but b3 is not. That's why the solution move is the ONLY move forcing mate. [This one was even accompanied by a working diagram]

[08-29-09]  White was threatening the rook-king fork, so black had to let the bishop hang.

[08-30-09]  Should have seen it. One bishop covering all the escape squares of one color. Classic Boden's mate. [To err is human]

[09-01-09]  Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you don't take the queen exchange (e.g. Qxb2 like I stupidly went for), white has forced mate in two with 1. Nf6++ Kd8 2. Qe8#.

[09-03-09]  Took me a looong time to decide there was definitely nothing better than a free rook.

Our favorite comments
I need more points. [09-02-09]
I see. [09-03-09]
If you failed this, you are probably an idiot or a person who is VERY impulsive. (I used to be impulsive). [09-03-09]


Record for the low


  • 6 weeks ago


    Thank you, WISH_I_WAS_A_GM.

    I took the opportunity of re-reading this stuff after 5 years and, being not the least bit modest, I laughed like a drain.

    Let's hope everyone else gets at least a chuckle.


  • 6 weeks ago


    Deja vu and the Henry VII solution came from tactic 26113.

  • 13 months ago


    I thank you, shadowcat, I think.

  • 14 months ago


    I have the feeling Joe that your locked up  somewhere, a little like The Man In The Iron Mask, with a whole lot of time and wit on your hands and no where to go and wondering why.But I do like your blog and now see a lot of the comedy in the responses to the puzzles .

  • 5 years ago


    Nicely observed, Andrew , and thank you for leaving a comment. Here's your reward:


    Tragedy is when I cut my finger; comedy is when you fall in an open sewer and die. Mel Brooks

  • 5 years ago


    Keep up the good work Joe...

    It makes me laugh... even although I'm now wary of posting any messages for fear of reprisals....or:

    Oooooh my precious (In the words of Denis)

    Biork swims with fish (In the words of Teddin)

    No Im NOT!!!!!!!!!!!! (In the words of Alex)

    Perusal of the preposterous perplexity of Pieces (In the words of Grey Pieces)

    Holy Choc-Oh-Latte (In the words of Blobby)

    or Fl*ck off!!!!! (In the words of Harmin!)

    E the G :)

  • 5 years ago


    Thank you, Gramps ! I'm looking for some stuff as we speak, so to speak.

  • 5 years ago


    strain away.

  • 5 years ago



    I tell you, Alex , I was feeling a bit down in the dumps today, but when I read those poetic lines of yours, well, it just made me want to throw up!

    [Adapted from Mr. Saturday Night , a film which everyone should see at least five times before popping their cloggies]

  • 5 years ago


    This is about the funny things (intentional or not) people post...correct? The importance of words and the magic of language...right? The fantastic results of vibration of vocal chords. The amazing phenomenon called speech. A gift from the heavens. A tool that enables man merge with otherwise isolated worlds...other men. A magical bridge that connects our eternal internal universes.

    Great because I've been wanting to post this somewhere:

    To All You Virgins: Thanks For Nothing.

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