How to improve your tactics rating

How to improve your tactics rating

Aug 22, 2016, 1:05 PM |

Hello everyone,

Over the few days, I have been grinding my tactics rating over 2800 and here is a short guide (from my experience) on how to get your tactics trainer rating higher.  


1. Don't stress over the timer

Although the rating points are given based on accuracy and time, if you focus on time too much and quickly make a move in seconds, you will most likely get the problem wrong. A correct answer that takes more time will still give more points then a fast but wrong answer.


2.Evaluate the position 

What I mean is look over the whole board and evaluate material count,king safety, etc. This will help you a lot when solving, for example, if you are down a rook, going for a tactic that wins a pawn will not be the best. And if a king is exposed, most likely the tactic will involve a checkmate or winning a piece. Overall, you should look at the whole board as there could be threats and ideas that connect both sides of the board.


3. Try to find forcing moves

In chess, these moves are very strong as the opponent is forced to respond to your move. Forcing moves when doing tactics are the key to success. Forcing moves include: checks, captures, double checks, capture checks, etc.


5. Benefits

Remember that checkmate is always the most desired result. Then the queen comes in second, rook in third, and so on. Try to look for the moves that give you the most benefits. That does not mean every position has a secret checkmate combination in them but if your pieces are pressuring a king, those are the signs for a attack.


6. Simple ideas

Many tactics at a higher level involve a simple idea, whether it is genuine or just a simple trick. For example, if there is a free knight, make sure briefly that there are no tricks, then look if there is anything better like winning a queen.


7. Traps

Many tactics are based on those pesky piece traps. If a queen is deep inside your camp, then it usually means that the queen could be trapped. If the queen can escape or there is a checkmating threat, then do not go for the queen trap but 9 times out of 10 a lonely queen on your side of the board means death for her. 


Overall, have fun and keep on doing those tactics. Remember, "chess is 99% tactics" - Richard Teichmann. 


Thanks for reading,