Tactics Rating Increase
I was just looking at my all-time stats on Tactics Trainer the other day and I noticed quite a significant jump in rating since I started to adopt different tactics training methods around six months ago. The stats show that from 2012 to the end of 2015 my rating hovered around the 1600 mark consistently. So that’s three whole years around the same rating, with no significant increase! I didn't use TT from Jan-Oct 2015 at all, but from Nov 2015 I picked it up again (mostly because of the app). Then from this period my tactics numbers have increased by 300 pts on average, as I now hover over the 1900 mark. I think this is quite a significant rise in a relatively short period.
Previous high point on Tactics Trainer was 1770 something back in 2012 and it stood at this point until Nov 2015 when I picked it back up again after a break, peaking over 1800 almost immediately and then over 1900 in June 2016 then to a new peak of 1985 a few days ago (as of the time of writing 27th August).
Why the sudden increase?
The rise could be due to a number of things coming together, hard to say with any exact science, but it at about this period I started to up the volume of tactics I did and use faster tactics approaches, such as repetition of lower rated puzzles and solution-based training methods. This is done in order to increase exposure to material, patterns and ideas in a given period of time.
I also started to play more blitz at this time and to quickly analyse the games afterwards, sometimes collecting interesting tactics I missed in a database. Previously, I had been very resistant to playing blitz, preferring instead games of longer time controls, but the introduction to playing blitz also exposed me to more patterns and ideas and forced me to play with some level of intuition. My blitz rating had seriously lagged behind my OTB rating, I was around 1700-1800 OTB and only 1200+ in blitz, but in this period I also increased my blitz rating by over 300pts to 1500+ with a high point of 1562.
Over the years I have done a variety of different tactics and calculation exercises from a variety of different sources, from very hard material in books such as Chess School 3 to lower sets of fix rating 1100-1300 repetitions, but the emphasis on volume, solution and faster approaches appears to have increased rating scores the most and in quite a short period of time. I predict that this increase to continue steadily in the foreseeable future as I continue to adopt (and even increase) this method of training.
Edit as of 22/02/17 indeed, my tactics rating increased from 1900s since this post to me breaking over the 2100 mark for the first time.