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Improving Tactics Trainer

  • #1

    Out of timeI'm glad that the site staff take feedback seriously. So I hope my suggestion is taken into consideration. I would like Tactics Trainer to relax a little bit on the timer penalty.

    I'm so gratified when I patiently work out a problem and solve it, even though my time is up. Why am I then penalized for playing TT arguably the right way? Award me zero points, don't take points away!

    OToo fastther times when I fail I still earn points, because I got the first few moves right and I went real fast! It's as if TT's philosophy is, "You're going to lose after that last move, but at least you went real fast. You did the right thing."

    Look, I'm totally on board for getting faster. But don't teach me bad habits. Does anybody else think the penalty for taking too long is too harsh?

  • #2


    Well, you shouldn't take too seriously the timer and the score in TT. Its main purpose is to make sure you receive right problems for your level. For a serious improvement, you should try to solve the problem and ignore (or even hide) the timer.

  • #3

    the timers and ratings are there to gauge which problems you should be receiving, and give you relative performance. if we didn't subtract points for correct ones, we wouldn't adjust the problem rating, or your rating, and over time ratings would just inflate inflate inflate. i know it's hard on the ego to lose points even when you are right, but it is the only system to give people (and problems) accurate ratings. 

    thank you for the suggestion and feedback though!

  • #4

    Wow! I got feedback same day, and by the main dude. Yes Erik the penalty for taking too long is a bummer, but you make a good case for it. Thanks for getting back to me!

  • #5

    lukemcqueen:  This site isn't as bad about short time limits for tactical training puzzles as another site I visit.  On that site, you start getting penalized after three seconds!  However, I agree with you that overly short time limits can weaken the training tool and reduce learning by placing more emphasis on speed than depth.  I think the balance on this site is pretty good, overall. 

  • #6

    today i had the same problem as his first example!

  • #7

    Definitely for me one of the best ways to use TT is to turn the rating off. This also allows you to set levels you want to work on and does not encourage bad habits. For example, I often set the rating several hundred points below my rating (as recommended by Dan Heisman) and do several in order to work on patterns. I also set the rating up higher, three/four hundred points above my rating and work on those, when I want more of a challenge. Naturally, I also do some with the rating on, usually when I am doing them on my phone as I don't think you can turn it off for that anyway. I think this is one of the best ways to use TT.

    If I was to suggest improvement, I would like to see some less spectacular puzzles like the win of a pawn or a key defensive move. This is perhaps not very sexy to some, but I think there is a lot of value in practising such everyday things.

  • #8

    Pretty nice to see how did TT look 4 years ago. :)

  • #9

    I think I know why TT still gives you points if you get the problem wrong. Like in the second position you had, you got 66.7%. You got most of it done, so the thing gives you points.

  • #10

    OK, replace the word 'sexy' with 'spectacular' if that makes you happy. For example 'a spectacular queen sacrifice.'

    What is stupid is picking up on semantics, while overlooking the whole point made. But this is what you get on the chess.com forums, I should know.

  • #11

    Oh Jesus, I haven't time to argue. Grab a thesaurus and make yourself happy, I'm off playing over annotated games or working on puzzles. If you haven't anything to contribute to suggestions that might improve Tactics Trainer I'm sure there are plenty of people on You Tube that will argue with you until you get to Hitler. Good day.


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