11856 Players currently online!
Man vs. Machine - good luck!
Turn-based games at any time!
Vote for the best move to win!
Do you have what it takes?
Sharpen your tactical vision!
Get advice and game insights!
Learn from top players & pros!
View millions of master games!
Your virtual chess coach!
Perfect your opening moves!
Test your skills vs. computer!
Find the right private coach!
Can you solve it each day?
Bring it all together!
Beginners, start here!
Make friends & play team games!
News from the world of chess!
Search all Chess.com members!
Find local clubs & events!
Who's the best of your friends?
Read what members are saying!
I was wondering if anyone else is having difficulty with the Tactics Trainer? I find it insanely difficult, with the time pressure taking away loads of points, even losing points for a correct solution in some cases.
(Yes i know you have to be fast, but rushing often just leads to losing more points) Also picking a very good alternative isn't an option, it's one way or the highway.
I'm having a lot of difficulty with this, even though I've done really well in Chess Mentor. Anyone else find it really hard to improve their rating with Tactics Trainer??
I was so frustrated with the Tactics Trainer when I first came on site a year ago that I stopped using it for 4 months and just did Chess Mentor lessons (mostly tactics). To add insult to injury, every time I dropped under a 1000, the program would graciously ask if I wanted to "reset It". Believe me, this is only the latest of many many threads complaining about the TT. The good news is that it gets better. After 4 months of just Chess Mentor tactics courses, I came back and almost immediately kicked into the 1400's and now I'm mostly in the 1600's. So that is one approach. Nail those CM tactics courses. Do them over and over again until you get the patterns. Others just go to unrated and take whatever time they need on the puzzles. Some stay rated, but turn off the timer. Some refuse to move on from a tactic until they get it no matter how long it takes, and some decide there are "friendlier" tactics trainers on the web and train offsite. Best advice is just hang in there and eventualy the problems start to make sense. Anyway, best of luck to you and know this is a path that many have traveled before you.
Excellent advice, thanks mate. I reached 1300 the other day, then dropped back down to 1200, I feel like I should do a lot better than what I am.
I'll keep using it though, I'm doing a lot of studying outside of Tactics Trainer and Chess Mentor, so it should help to augment my game, even if it is frustrating as hell.
Don't get hung up on the TT rating, its cheif function is to pair you with problems at your level. The time will help you recognise patterns faster. Take your time looking for the solution, even if it "costs" you rating points. As your rating drops, TT will give you easier, more recognisable problems. Then your rating will go back up, and those ones that took you too long won't take so long. Losing 100 points in one sitting is nothing, I have found myself playing tired and, like the gambler who thinks he can win it back, I keep going digging myself deeper. So I've learned to play just a few and take a break. But to get the most out of the problems, don't just play one after another, take the time to go over each one and fully understand it before trying another.
Unfortunately it doesn't have a way to "explain" why the correct move is the correct one. Some of the problems have a button "Computer Analysis" (or to that effect) which gives a bunch of lines and an evaluation. If that doesn't help, try asking in the forum. Yeah you'll have to endure some smart ass answers, perhaps even some demeaning ones, but someone will come along and explain it.
There is another good rated untimed chess trainer on the web : ChessTempo (in standard mode).
It took me a couple of hundred attempts to get the hang of TT. It's very addictive! After a while it just makes sense.
You must understand the purpose of Tactics Trainer in order for you to understand the time constraints. The purpose of tactics trainer is to improve your TACTICAL RECOGNITION, not calculation of multiple lines that take time. My tactics trainer rating is over 2300, and yet I am still getting these easy 5 ply combinations that win material clearly(Though there may be multiple attractive moves or variations, to be fair). Why are these tactics so easy, even at 2300? It is because of recognition. Anyone who is a half mediocre chess player can solve these puzzles if given time, of course. With unlimited time,of course anyone can get their ratings up to 2500 here. The point is, you are supposed to memorize thess simple tactical themes. If u actually have to look for the tactic, instead of knowing what to do immediately, in a real chess game, u will take extra time off your clock. The reason these tactics are so basic is so u can memorize them and quickly see them without having to "look". To be honest, those who put it on unlimited time are going to get very little improvement, because tactics trainer is mainly a memorization tool. Knowing these tactics and recognizing them by heart is critical to be able to see the more advanced calculations and tactics. For example, lets take one of my games in which I had a winning tactic: Me vs "Wheeldog"(>1600 online chess) On one of the moves, I played "Nxh6!" winning the game shortly. This was actually an easier tactic, but it still had to be found, and not memorized. The point is, I was able to use the tactical motifs, or ideas(those simple tactical building blocks that tactics trainer gives you) in order to combine them to find out this move quickly. This was advanced comparing to the usual tactics trainer excercises, because it was a combination of different tactical patterns. However, if u have to actually take time to find out tactic trainer's easy tactics, then how are u supposed to find a move like "Nxh6!" or even harder combinations if u cannot quickly find out the building blocks? On a last note, this can be compared with math. When I was in 3rd grade, we were tested on our multiplication tables up to 12. We were given 5 seconds per problem, to see if we could memorize the answers. Of course we could "figure out" the answer by counting, but it would take way more than 5 seconds to do that. Now I am in 9th grade Algrebra 2, and I have to do many calculations like 439*238 or something like this. If I had to "figure out" what 8*9, then 8*3... It would take forever to do a problem like this. In chess tactics, its the same. We memorize the basic patterns so we can more quickly and efficiently calcualte the harder ones. Don't expect tactics to be easy. Award winner for instruction Daniel E Heisman said that tactical training was the longest period of training needed at the earlier stages of chess. He said that for a ~1000 USCF player, that 100+ hours of tactical excercises were needed to develop the tactical recognition. But with effort, tactical recognition will come, and this should raise the 1000 player up to at least 1400 USCF, without any positional trainings, most likely higher. Hope this helps.
As hicetnunc said, if you don't like the time pressure, register at ChessTempo (for free) and use the rated trainer with no timer there for a while.
But actually, what blueparrot said, makes alot of sense, too. Chess.com's trainer is all about pattern recognition. ChessTempo's is more about calculating lines so they both in a way complete each other. In some of the old threads about the tactics trainer and its timer here you can find me complaining, too. At first the timer made me so nervous, I blundered all the time and my rating even got below 1000. After a while I got the hang of it and now my rating is fluctuating between 1600 and 1700. I still have a problem with the timer, but it's obviously getting better with training. (Atm I just don't seem to know when to stop - I usually train at a single session to the point where I get tired and my rating again drops to where I'd started the session.)
The trick to get a better rating at chess.com's trainer is the following: For one thing, you absolutely should forget about the timer, just do your stuff, don't care whether you need 5 seconds or 5 minutes. So if you take long and it doesn't give you points - just don't be bothered, you will get faster eventually all by yourself and your rating will rise. When you do the puzzles (here) you also should not do things like counting material at the start or consciously state what every piece on the board does. A quick look whether you're one move away from getting mated or whether your stuff is attacked is all it takes. If you see the pattern for a mate or a win of material, rather don't waste time double checking whether everything is safe or if there is something even better (as you would in a real OTB game) - that'll take too long. Remember that this trainer here is just about pattern recognition and nothing else. Again: If that's not the concept for you, use ChessTempo's trainer instead.
Chesstempo is great for the start, to get into tactics without too much pressure. And like Bubatz already said, the Tactics Trainer here is about speed and pattern recognition which you could do after you memorized some patterns @chesstempo.
Tactics Trainer punishes you quite hard and fast, but it brings your brain to actually think harder and faster.
Chesstempo sounds nice for the difficult combinations and ideas, but its likely not going to help any player rated under 1500USCF from what it sounds like. 1500USCFs and lower should concentrate on the basic ones that are easy. In a real game, u are always under time pressure. If u have to spend 3 minutes on an easy tactic when u know theres one, how much time are u going to spend on a difficult tactic that incorporates many of those easy tactics? Let alone know that there even is a tactic.
It's true that the local trainer's tactics (even in the higher ratings range) are much easier than those over at ChessTempo's. Everything comes with a price and the price of having no timer at ChessTempo's is that the higher rated problems are much more difficult. Hmmm ... the low rated problems should be about as easy as those here at chess.com, though. But I guess that - with unlimited time - people would maybe get beyond them too fast. Chess.com's timer OTOH wouldn't let anyone rise to more complex problems if he isn't yet able to recognize all of the most basic patterns at a glance.
It's got to be frustrating for someone who hasn't ever gotten the right first move and who hasn't ever won a game here to work with the Chess.com Tactics Trainer. Many would just quit.
I think for xtophr1 it would be better to work at the Chesstempo trainer and perhaps get the Lazlo Polgar book "Chess" (5000 puzzles) and get his tactical "eyes" sharper before he moves on to the timed trainer. Those with success at the Tactical Trainer may not remember when they were at xtophr1's level. When xtophr1 notices an increase in problem solving speed, then perhaps he can give the Tactical Trainer another go.
Just a few days ago I found there are also very basic tactics courses (and then also some more advanced ones) available in chess mentor. There are hints in chess mentor too so this should be ideal for beginners. Chess mentor has a timer too, but it is really very slow. I always overlooked these courses because I was using chess mentor "adaptive" and selecting a lesson from the whole pool of courses. This way it's rare a tactics lesson ever pops up, but people can choose the courses they like "manually". (I myself have now weeded out all courses I'm not interested in and the program suddenly started to get much more interesting.)
You'll get the hang of it, I peaked at 2600 after about 10,000 problems, and I'm only rated 1900 OTB. However it becomes annoying the higher you go, when you spot a five-move checkmate say, but a four-move checkmate exists so you get the problem wrong. Plus a lot of new problems were introduced around my TT rating level in the past few days that are just nonsensical, so after a love-hate relationship with TT that's gone on for three years, I'm quitting it for good!
chess.tv not archiving videos
by iatgcoat a few minutes ago
Why do basic members only get to do three tactics per day?
by Pippychess a few minutes ago
Unsportsmanlike and draw offers
by brettregan1 a few minutes ago
Playing chess against yourself..
by BhomasTrown a few minutes ago
Do premium members get a free ride?
by waynet 3 minutes ago
5/20/2013 - Mate in 3
by ThutmoseIII 5 minutes ago
Will technology ruin the game of chess?
by zslane 8 minutes ago
Where to buy a chess set?
by waynet 11 minutes ago
Studying with an engine
by mattyf9 12 minutes ago
Why did STAFF lock a forum about cheating in OTB-tournaments?
by kohai 13 minutes ago
Why Join | Chess Topics |
Help & Support |
© 2013 Chess.com