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This isn't a request for help, rather a friendly suggestion. I have noticed that the tactics trainer now gives me the same tactic which I missed in the same session over and over again until I get the correct solution. I prefer that tactics trainer not do this. Of course, anyone can solve a tactical puzzle immediately after seeing the solution. I think that this will inflate the tactics trainer ranking even further and wish the tactics trainer to be a better reflection of my real chess ability. Just a friendly suggestion.
The tactics trainer does not seem to indicate what you are supposed to be achieving: is it mate in 3, forked attack?, etc etc. All it says is 'your move'. can anyone enlighten me?
In a game are you told to look for a fork? What help would that be?
What I mean is, each situation presented is a problem to be solved, but there does not seem to be any indication of what the problem is. It's like doing an exam without any questions. For example, for a given tactic trainer problem, why does it not say, for example, "in this problem you are required to check mate your opponent in 2 moves"; or "defend your bishop while attacking their queen" etc etc.
Like he said, you don't get told that there's a mate in 2 available during a real game. Tactics Trainer makes you look at the position and figure out what the available tactic is all by yourself, that's a deliberate feature. Put another way, the "exam question" in a Tactics Trainer puzzle is always "find the best next move of all the moves available to you."
Agreed. But there are some puzzles that I made mistaken because they didn't put an alternative lines. D:
I think it would be better if they put an Alternate correct move here. :)
I haven't come across many puzzles where there are genuine alternate correct moves. Usually when there are multiple equally good ways to go, the puzzle just stops at that point. If there really are any puzzles with multiple equally good tactics available then they should probably just be removed, as adding alternate lines would probably complicate it enormously.
"Like he said, you don't get told that there's a mate in 2 available during a real game. Tactics Trainer makes you look at the position and figure out what the available tactic is all by yourself, that's a deliberate feature. Put another way, the "exam question" in a Tactics Trainer puzzle is always "find the best next move of all the moves available to you."
Yes, I take that point, but if when you make a move out of several other possible moves, it often says 'incorrect', without any explanation as to why. It's like being set an exam without a question, and then when you write something you are told 'that's wrong' without being told why!
Well, in the analysis and source it shows continuations of some wrong moves, if you have another just post in the comments section. Often you may realise your own mistakes afterwards.
Yeah, and even if the analysis and source isn't that helpful for a particular puzzle, it's not too difficult to play around with it on the analysis board or even run the position through an engine to find out why other moves you thought were candidates are not as good. But most of the time, "incorrect" just means you failed to see the tactic in question, so once you step through the tactic it's pretty obvious to see why you were wrong.
Yeah that's it, if your tactic wins a queen, but the puzzle shows a mate, then you can see what you did wrong. Just aim for the strongest moves, forced mates, or the maximum amount of material gain.
Once you play enough you will know what you are looking for, but that doesn't make it much easier!
Yes indeed, just play the strongest moves you can think of, but that's just like an ordinary game. Yes you can rewind and try another tack, unlike a normal game, but just getting a red flag saying 'incorrect' is not particularly helpful.
I sometimes use the option "try tactic v computer" (or something like that). Invariably when I try my 'solution', that I was convinced was better than the given solution, I am shot down in flames very quickly. To extend the exam metaphor, it's like asking the examiner why you were marked down and being shown that it was because you were completely wrong.
the tactics trainer rating math is a little mysterious. here is an example session. i started with a rating of 964 and solved three problems receiving the following messages after each solution.
1. problem solved 974 (+10)
2. problem solved 977 (+3)
3. problem solved 979 (-8) ??????
a possible bug in tactics trainer is that after i make my move it says "problem solved" and then goes dead. could be a communication problem at my end i guess.
Jamalov. Time comes into it too. The faster you find the correct solution the more points you get. In effect, you are measured against everyone else who has tried that tactic and you are given a percentage score. The points you receive depend on the % score you get. If you're below 50% then you will get a minus score.
Those "Problem solved, -19" type of messages are very discouraging. There appears to be too much of a premium for quick solutions.
Josechu: Thank you for your very clear explanation of the rating procedure.
It's a pleasure Jamalov. If you are interested go to your Tactics Trainer home page and click on Help. There are good, clear explanations there for most of the queries people raise in the comments, etc...
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