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How do I know the objective of Tactics training or puzzle solving?

  • #1

    I see tactics trainer and puzzle problems but I don't know objective mentioned with them.

    e.g. with a tactics training, with a problem there is no mention of whether I have to look for gaining piece advantage, mate in 2/3 moves or anyother thing.

    How do I know that?

  • #2

    Positions you get in real life don't have captions either. Wink

  • #3

    You have to look for them within the puzzle itself, until you solve it, or fail it, or click solution ( which will fail you if its on rating level).

  • #4
    king_nothing1 wrote:

    I see tactics trainer and puzzle problems but I don't know objective mentioned with them.

    e.g. with a tactics training, with a problem there is no mention of whether I have to look for gaining piece advantage, mate in 2/3 moves or anyother thing.

    How do I know that?

    By solving the puzzle. :)

  • #5

    The way you "know" what the objective is is through experience. Not being told what the problem is makes us look at the whole board, the entire relationship between the pieces. Think of it this way: suppose you were playing a real game and found yourself in a board setting like one of the tactics sessions. Suppose in your real game you were 2 moves away from checkmate. Suppose you didn't know this. Do you think it likely someone will walk up to you and say, "Hey, you have mate in 2 moves there, friend."  You're the one playing the game. You should be able to figure out if you (or your opponent) has mate in 2 moves. 

    Generally, my order of anlysis on every move is this:

    1. See if any of my pieces is under threat in the next move or two and make sure I don't complicate the situation.

    2. See if I have mate in 3 or less (that's about as good as I can do with my current chess skills, others here can look ahead 8 moves to find mate)

    3. Find a way to threaten for more material while developing my pieces and protecting my king.

    You might take those as starting points for your tactics training. First, assume you're under attack and ensure you have adequate defense. If the board looks safe in that respect, then move on to seeing if you have mate in a few moves. Finally, if that doesn't show any promise, then presume you have material to gain if you can control the right squares with the right pieces.

    With experience, you'll begin to recognize patterns--certain pieces on certain squares. Play enough games, practice your tactics and puzzles, and before very long you'll begin seeing the same patterns over and over. They will tell you immediately what your goal is.

    The tactics training here can be very frustrating, especially the time-out clock which can cause you to lose points even though you finally get the right answer. Also, if you take the mate-in-3 order of play, the trainer will tell you you're wrong because it wants you to get mate-in-2. To my way of thinking, a won game is a won game. Telling me I got the answer wrong and yet I still win the game is maddening. To add salt to the wound, it takes away lots of points.

    Just remember to ignore the points/rating. Your goal is to learn tactics. The clock and the points are meaningless to your education. Forget them. If you get the answer wrong, be sure to to click the button that explains the right answer. From this, you will learn.

  • #6

    :) Thanx. It is little different from other systmes but more challenging.

    New here and equipped with the IQ equals to room temprature so pardon my ignorance.

  • #7
  • #8

    It helps to have characteristics of tactics ready. If you then face a puzzle, you could, by the positioning of the pieces, imagine what tactic could belong to that, and then find the best move in that particular position.

    A few basic examples:

    Checkmate - one of the sides cannot move his king out of check, cannot interfere the attacking piece with any of his own pieces, and cannot take the piece who attacks the king.

    Stalemate - One of the sides cannot move his king, nor any of his other pieces, without the move being illegal, whilst his king is not in check.

    Hanging piece - One of the sides has an ambiguously placed, undefended or poorly defended piece, which can be taken. Sometimes you must take with a particular attacker, has the attacler himself can have a hanging piece as well, which he can succesfully defend by capturing with the correct piece.

    Discovered attack - One of the sides moves a piece in such a way that another piece on the same line, file or diagonal, attacks something more valuable than itself, which cannot be defended without material loss. The discovered attack tends to be most effective when the tail piece checks the king.

    Double check - A special type of discovered attack in which the moving piece, as well as the piece it was blocking, checks the king. The only answer to a double check from the other side is a king move.

    Fork / double attack - one of the sides can make a move in such a way that two pieces are attacked at the same time, usually by a piece of less value, but that is not necessary, without the opponent being able of defending both, resulting is material loss.

    Desperado - one of the sides is being threatened with the loss of material, but has a in between move (zwischenzug, another tactic), which is usually with check, that forces the opponent to make a move, usually with the result that either material is won, or that a trade occurs.

    Perpetual check - one of the sides is facing checkmate, (great) material loss, or already has lost a great deal of material, but has a series of moves (could be performed after a sacrifice), in which the opponent's king cannot get out of that checking series, either due to the fact that the other pieces block escape routes for the king, or because there is so little material on the board, that the checking piece (often a queen) can always continue to check without stopping, because the opponent cannot perform interferences with its own pieces to resolve the checks.

    Mating net - setting up (sometimes by sacrifice) a position in which you threaten mate on a short term.

    Defense - adequately responding to all the opponents threats, sometimes even win material when doing so.

    Pawn promotion - allowing your pawn (sometimes by sacrifice) to safely get to the other side of the board to promote, and have a winning position.

    Underpromotion - promoting to a piece which are not the queen, because of either the fact that your opponent will be in stalemate immediately after, or because it is more effective to hold a draw in a vastly inferior position (f.e. underpromoting to knight to fork king and queen and draw, if no other material is left on the board).

    Zugzwang - Forcing your opponent to make a move, and any move he makes leads to either loss of (a great deal of) material, or to mate, whereas the position would be fine for that side if he could skip a turn and do nothing.

    Attacking f7-f2 - Pointing many pieces at the (usually crucial for holding the position together) f7 in the case of black, and f2 in the case of white, (sometimes by sacrifice to allow exposure to a weak f8 square, f.e. Bxe6 to force f7xe6), which has a checkmate or material loss consequence for the particular party. The particular square is usually attacked by at least 2 more attackers than the opponent has defenders (f.e. 4 attackers, 2 defenders).

    Vulnerable king - a king is (sometimes by sacrifice) out in the open, where it can be attacked by long-range pieces such as bishop, rook and queen, in combination with short range pieces like pawns and knights, easily and sometimes allow for a checkmate or a (huge) material win (due to x-ray attacks, for example).

    X-ray attack - A special kind of attack in which a long range piece attacks something through another piece. Here an example:

    I hope these definitions helped you.
    (P.S: If anybody has any improvements to any of my descriptions, please let me know).

  • #9

    Maybe made a bit more than a few basic examples, but never mind. :p

  • #10

    Thanks Player 8. 


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