Tactics Trainer

Oct 7, 2009, 8:15 PM |

Lately, I have been reminded about the shortcomings of the tactics trainer.

The two basic problems are:

1.  Alternative correct moves are treated the same as hopeless blunders.

EG, you play a move that wins (like a mate in 10).  But there is a mate in 5 there.  TT screams WRONG!!! and strips you of your rating points.  The same thing will happen if you play a move that loses the game (say, gives your opponent a mate in 1).  This is hugely unfair. 

Currently, you can report such problems and the mods then hack the problem and strip away all the moves from the point of where the conflict occurs.. IE if the mate in 10 vs mate in 5 is at move 3, the problem is reduced to 2 moves.  That's nice, but the end result is that the puzzle is basically destroyed.


2.  The points penalty is too severe if you take too long.


Oct 8 12:55pm 0046480 2353 2401 4/4 1:37 2:56 Passed (53% | +1)

4 moves right.  Yes, I took nearly 3 mins to do this one.  But that is four moves in 3 minutes.  Perfectly acceptable isn't it?  Four moves right.  One single point awarded.

Oct 8 12:46pm 0029895 2473 2396 0/2 0:50 0:56 Failed (0% | -44)

1 move wrong.  Bye bye 44 points.  It could have been a good move I played it might not.  TT doesn't care, it simply wasn't the move that it wanted.

Oct 7 4:26pm 0025715 2381 2327 4/4 1:20 12:17 Passed (20% | -25)

Passed.  Four out of four moves correct.  Bye bye 25 points?!  Yes, because I took too long.  I agree that 12 minutes is too long.  I actually got a phone call.  Heaven forbid!  But this means I LOSE points??  That's retarded.  The MINIMUM points award for getting a puzzle RIGHT should be zero... surely!?

Now, personally, I don't really care about the first one... I think it's part of the system and you either take it or leave it.  I believe the whole tactics trainer system would have be be re-written to get it to do alternative moves and weigh each move and award ratings accordingly.

But the second one is a constant annoyance and I would think that it wouldn't take much to change it so that the points awarded is a little fairer.

What do you think?  Can you think of any good ways to fix it that could be suggested to chess.com staff??