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Tactic Trainer Rocks - Part I

Tactic Trainer Rocks - Part I

Feb 23, 2013, 8:45 AM 1

Welcome everyone! This is my very first blog on chess.com - I joined chess.com a while ago and immediately got obsessed with playing blitz and bullet on this site.  I knew that strong players such as GM Alexander Oniscuk and GM Alexander Lenderman were using  the Tactic Trainer on chess.com. Then, I kept hearing from my very good friend, Danny Rensch, that I should encourage my students to use the Tactic Trainer, but before doing so I started using the Tactic Trainer and really liked it! I then started referring my students to it, and of course they became hooked! In this blog, I am going to talk about what I really like about the Tactic Trainer. The next blog I write about will address how Tactic Trainer can be improved.


  1. Tactic Rating Adjusts.  First, I love how you can get a rating that adjusts itself based on whether you solve a problem correctly, and how quickly you solve it. The number of points you gain is based on the rating of the problem and how others have done when trying to solve the problem.
  2.  Problem Rating adjusts.  Another cool feature is that the rating of a problem changes over time as well – again based on how successful people are in solving a problem.
  3.  Variety of Puzzles. I also really like how the puzzles presented have different themes. There are forks, pins, skewers, back ranks, etc. Also, the goal of the puzzle is never disclosed. Sometimes the answer to the puzzle is mate, winning material, finding the draw (especially tough are those ridiculous stalemates!!). While not knowing the theme can be very frustrating – especially when you don’t know if the goal is to draw or win, it is also very useful and practical. No one tells you during a game what the theme is or what you are looking for – so why should Tactic Trainer tell you?  Often times during a tournament , you may not even know whether you are losing or winning – so the Tactic Trainer helps teach you how to evaluate positions!
  4. Puzzles with Themes. Chess.com also offers the user the ability to work on puzzles with similar themes. Even though these are not rated, the user is able to focus on themes they struggle with.
  5. Puzzles for All Abilities – even GM’s!.  Perhaps the coolest thing for my own selfish reasons is that the puzzles are for all abilities. Many Grandmasters use Tactic Trainer – so if its good enough for them, its good enough for me!  The endings are very challenging for me because they have some real complexities and subtleties

I can honestly say that my tactics have improved since I started using Tactic Trainer. My students have really enjoyed Tactic Trainer and I will continue to recommend it!

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