Chess Tests For Players 1600 And Up
When I answer reader questions, I try to stay (vaguely) in that player’s rating group (two hundred points more or less). Of course, a beginner might feel left out, but I also answer beginner players’ queries. I do my best to give something for everyone from article to article.
In this article there was no reader question. I just felt like offering a bunch of puzzles that may be tactical, or positional. Just like in a tournament game of chess, it’s up to you to find if the position is a minefield that might ignite at any moment, or a simple positional move that makes a position better.
In other words you need to face real-world problems and figure out real-world solutions.
I will give fairly difficult puzzles, which may be suitable for players rated 1600 to 2100. Do your best, and don’t feel bad if you fail to find the solution. Instead, look at it as a learning experience.
First, a public service: Whenever I give puzzles, quite a few people don’t realize that they can press the question mark at the bottom left of the board and see various notes. Another bit of puzzle confusion is alternative moves. Yes, there are many situations where there is more than one really good move (or even multiple ways to mate!). When this occurs they think that I missed it. No, I didn’t. The problem is that the software will only allow one “best” move. Fortunately, I will usually have mentioned the moves you were screaming about in the notes!
OK, have a good time! And DO read the instructive notes.
PUZZLE 1 A
First figure out if White has a big advantage, a small edge, equality, or if you would prefer Black! Then, no matter what your assessment was, find White’s best move.
Play the big move from Puzzle 1A and then figure out what Black should do, and why.
How would you handle Black’s position?
What is White’s overall strategy?
What does White have that Black doesn’t have?
Did Black botch the opening or is there a move that rights the ship? Though 10…Nfd7 is interesting, let’s ignore that at this time and pay attention to these two sequences: 10...c5 11.Bb5 and 10...Nbd7 11.Bb5.
How did you do? Share your favorite puzzles in the comments.