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# Puzzle Up!

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Puzzle Up

Puzzles are a great way to improve your tactical skills. It's the reason people say to do your puzzles daily. Puzzles are like little tidbits of patterns and skills that can be helpful in finding a checkmate pattern or a brilliant tactic. The following puzzles are for you to try out and hopefully pick up a thing or two.

Just Starting

Rating: 168

Lesson: This puzzle shows a typical checkmate pattern with the king on the side of the board, with pieces or pawns in byside it. The bishop and rook often work together to deliver checkmate with the rook moving to the corner of the board, and the bishop protecting the rook, while covering the escape square of the king, which in this case is b7.

Rating: 205

Lesson: This puzzle shows a simple back rank mate pattern that involves sacking the queen. The checkmate is always more valuable than the queen, and back rank mates will sometimes require sacrificing the queen for the win.

Rating: 331

Lesson: This is another example of a back rank mate, but it is a little bit more difficult to spot than the usual. Black's pawn is able to keep the king from escaping. If you are able to block off all of the enemy's squares on the second rank, then the rook will often be able to move to the back rank for a checkmate!

Beginner

Rating: 482

Lesson: This is another back rank mate, but it requires the player to push the king into the back, behind its pawns. Using the queen to check the king and push it back, then sack the queen in order to deliver a checkmate is a tricky tactic that can catch your opponent off guard.

Rating: 577

Lesson: This is the first example of a simple skewer. Notice how the rook and king of the opponent are lined up on the same diagonal. Well, a bishop sure could take control of the entire diagonal. So by checking the king, and forcing the king to move, you are able to capture the rook. Always be aware of potential skewers by noticing pieces on the same diagonal and files.

Rating: 723

Lesson: This is the first and most effective use of a pin to deliver a back rank mate. The rook is able to prevent the bishop from covering the mate by pinning it to the king. Rook's are especially effective at pinning a piece to the king, making it difficult and susceptible to capture. Then, the queen is able to come in and deliver mate.

Rating: 933

Lesson: This puzzle might be a little more difficult. It seems like a back rank mate is possible but when you go for the tactic, the opponent is able to prevent mate with his knight, and it seems that you've just lost your queen. But don't give up, because you can continue to pressure the king and force it back by checking it with your knight. The knight is helpful when opponents block check's because it can attack over pieces. Thus, the opponent has to sack his queen for face mate.

Rating: 1012

Lesson: We've finally have made it to the four digits. In this puzzle, you have to be careful in order to get your pawn to promote. The pawn and rook work together to clear the opponent's pawns and get your pawn to be a passed pawn. But when your opponent tries to put his rook behind, you have to sacrifice to divert the rook with a check. You may lose a rook, but promoting the pawn is far more valuable.

Rating: 1168

Lesson: This puzzle is all about looking at your possibilities across the board. Rooks, bishops, and the queen are all able to attack across the board, but we often have trouble looking across all the squares. The opponent might have thought it would be a fair trade, but he didn't see the big picture.

Intermediate

Rating: 1254

Lesson: The situation seems scary as your opponent advances their passed pawn. But they hang their rook in the process, but you have to carefully navigate and coordinate your pieces to stop the passed pawn. At the end, by using your rook as a blockade, you will be able to stop the pawns from advancing, and will eventually capture it with your extra rook.

Rating: 1391

Lesson: This puzzle is a more complicated, but important checkmate pattern. It requires the sacking of the knight. In this pattern, the king is in the corner, boxed in, but you have a bishop cutting off its only free square. You sack the knight to open the file of the king and bring in your queen or rook to finish the king off.

Rating: 1462

Lesson: Another important checkmate pattern. Using a rook to cut off the king vertically, and then going in for a back rank mate. Back rank is a trickier mate to avoid than you might have thought.

Rating: 1578

Lesson: I can't believe that it took this long to get to the first fork. You are able to trade off bishops. But you reveal a surprised attack and fork by pushing the pawn. Now, the opponent has to settle for a pawn for a knight.

Rating: 1653

Lesson: Even in advanced puzzles, it is important to know how to checkmate. It may seem difficult because the opponent's king can initially escape, but once you infiltrate with the king, mate is impossible to avoid. KIng infiltration can be effective in taking out your opponent's pawns and pushing the king to a rook mate.

Rating: 1756

Lesson: Another similar checkmate pattern, which has the bishop and rook working together. This pattern involves the king being blocked by a single pawn, with the bishop cutting off the other squares of the king, and the rook coming in to finish the job.

Rating: 1888

Lesson: This is a classic example of the smothered mate. You force the king into the corner and sack the queen, so that the king is completely surrounded in the corner. Then, you bring in the knight to deliver checkmate with the opponent's king completely trapped.

Rating: 1894

Lesson: In this puzzle, it might be difficult to determine how to get out of check. At first, it seems like taking the bishop might be an option, but there is a better move. It just goes to show that you should always try to find the best move. The king can step out of check and be completely fine, as the queen will capture the rook and continue applying pressure to the enemy.

Expert

Rating: 2014

Lesson: Now we are getting to some of the harder tactics. You have to find the queen sacrifice that allows for the simple ladder mate. Nothing too difficult for the chess expert that has made it thus far.

Rating: 2104

Lesson: A more difficult checkmate pattern that requires the queen to push the king back and cut it off, while the bishop delivers the mate from the diagonal.

Rating: 2205

Lesson: This is a more complicated puzzle that requires the player to realize that white's queen is capable of massive infiltration if the knight is displaced. Thus, by threatening the knight to move, the opponent has to respond with a queen trade and lose the knight!

Rating: 2311

Lesson: In this puzzle, the opponent has hung a piece, and tries to make a desperate counterattack with the pawn. One might be tempted to continue capturing with the knight, but taking back with the pawn is the best and most solid response.

Rating: 2475

Lesson: This is where puzzles begin becoming really difficult. In this endgame, you use the knight to check the king and force it to a square, where a skewer is possible. However, in order to capture the queen, the knight first has to fork the king and queen because if the queen took the queen immediately, there would be a stalemate. Always be aware of stalemates.

Master

Rating; 2588

Lesson: This puzzle requires you to continue attacking the queen, even when it seems to be in a well-protected square. By temporarily sacking the knight, you are able to reveal a powerful discovered attack on the queen and knight, that will lead to a continuation against the bishop.

Rating: 2632

Lesson: This is a really difficult forced mate to find, with a queen sack to allow the rook to come into the king's area. It requires finding the pin and being patient in order to deliver the mate at exactly the right moment.

Rating: 2774

Lesson: This puzzle requires you to hunt down the king and find a way to ensure that you don't fall behind in material by using danger levels. A true master level needed in chess.

Rating: 2864

Lesson: This puzzle requires the player to find checkmate threats and thwart attempts of preventing the mate by using a tactic, known as interference-placing a piece in front of an opponent's line of attack. The only way that the opponent can stop mate is by forking the king and knight and trading for the queen.

Rating: 3016

Lesson: In this ultimate puzzle, you have to find the double checks and sack the rook in order to gain the queen. You also had to find the pin that allowed for the pawn push that began the whole sequence.

So how did you do? How far could you go on the puzzle rating? Let me know!

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