Tactics Trainer-improve your ability to solve puzzles.

Sep 12, 2012, 9:42 AM |

Hi Roy,

I worked with a guy who was over 70 years old, with a online rating of 1950 but a TT rating of 1350. Let me first point out 2 fundamental points- 1)Don't over work, 30 min X 4 times a week is all you need. 2)Eat something light before a "work out".

When looking at a TT problem-

1)Spend 10 sec looking at the threats your opponent has against you in order to achieve a accurate evaluation of the position.

2)Look at the different tactical threats you have against your opponent.

*Start with looking for a capture(hanging piece).

*Next look for a check.

*Finally look for a sac.

The order above is a logical way to save time, by directing your train of thought in the right direction.

After solving a problem:

1)In order to gain a long term improvement, you need to focus on recognising key points in the position. Here are a couple of examples- Key files, key squares,key defenders/lack of key defenders.

2)In addition focusing on the way your pieces coordinated together achieving a successful attack, is key.

3)Last but really not least: Explain to yourself verbally two things-

*Why was the line forced, making the combination work.

*What was wrong with your second candidate move.


Here is a example, going through all the steps above:


Step 1:

White is threatening our knight on e2, nothing else is hit or threatened, our king is perfectly safe.

Step 2:

*Looking for a capture- 1..Rxg4? white simply plays Qxe2

*Looking for a check- we only have two moves to analylse:

1..Ng3+? white plays 2.fxg3 with no follow up, we gave up a knight for nothing.

1..Qh5+ 2.gxh5 with a follow up 2..Rh4#.

After solving:

Step 1: key were-

The h file.

The g1 and g2 squares.

Lack of defenders with a ability to block off the h file(place whites dark bishop on g3 instead of on e3, you got yourself a defender!!).

Step 2:

Queen-made use of the open h file.

Rook-same as queen.

Knight-Controlled g1 blocking the escape route of the king.    

Whites pawn- Controlled g2 blocking the escape route of the king.

Step 3:

*Qh5-The line was forced because the opponents king couldn't escape, capturing the queen was the only way to deal with the check. Capturing the queen deflected the opponents pawn from the 4 rank, and we made use of it checking with our rook via the 4 rank.The opponents king couldn't escape the check, and our rook couldn't be captured or blocked along the h file. #

*Ng3- dosn't work because it allows the opponents king escape the mating net (now Qh5? is a blunder) and gives up a piece for nothing.


Roy allow yourself to read the article a few times in order to apply the steps to memory. Have a nice day!