Puzzles needed for tactics trainer


This thread is closed to submissions. Thankyou to everyone who found / created pieces of art for everyone to see. 1st Oct 2012


If you don't have a chess computer then post your puzzle on http://www.chess.com/forum/view/more-puzzles/help-needed-to-checkalter-puzzle-to-go-on-tactics-trainer and ask if people can check it for you.


I'm looking for nice puzzles to put onto tactics trainer.I'm a volunteer tactics trainer moderator, who pays for his subscription, not staff. I look at submissions once or twice a week if I have time. 

Post a link to your game + move number the puzzle starts (starting with the computer's first move).

A diagram is not necessary, however it is necessary to check your puzzle with a powerful chess computer to ensure :

1)Each best move is at least +2.5 better than the next best move

2) The position resulting from each next best move is evaluated by a strong computer as having a value of no greater than +0.3 (up to +1 may be allowed if the main move is very strong. 

So at each step the solution move must be the only winning move (otherwise the problem is 'ambiguous'), or only move to prevent a loss (for example perpetual check or stalemate). If a tactic is very strong you may need to remove/add quite a lot of material from the starting position. This is stricter than guidelines issued by chess.com. Please don't use this thread to debate whether higher values should be allowed)

examples allowed :

solution move +2.7, next best move +0.2

solution move 0, next best move -2.6

solution move +0.8, next best move -1.8

solution move +10, next best move +0.8

solution move forced mate, next best move +0.9

Examples not allowed :

solution move forced mate, next best move mate in more moves

solution move forced mate, next best move greater than +1.0

The puzzles must come from your own games, sidelines or variations to reduce the chance of duplication or infringement of copyright.

Each puzzle should be at least 2 moves long (current guideline for tactics trainer approvers) because 1 move problems make it difficult for tactics trainer to give them an appropriate rating.

Each puzzle should be as 'conclusive' as possible ie.at the end position the advantage gained from the puzzle should be clear. 

TOP TIP for those wanting to find long puzzles. If you have a strong tactic then try removing/adding material to reduce the size of the advantage gained from the tactic eg.from +8 down to +3. You will often find the puzzle becomes longer, and more challenging.

If you realize there is something wrong with your puzzle, try to edit your original post. 

Unless you tell me not to, I'll put the name of the person who submitted the problem in the analysis and source, and sometimes in the first comment. 

Please don't use this thread for discussions about chess.com, or tactics trainer, or to report problems you don't like.

Feedback from GMs

 http://www.chess.com/tactics/server?id=435831 for

GM AlexanderL’s :

‘this idea of bringing the last reserve into the game and having harmony of the pieces is just lovely. I'm happy that tactics trainer is getting new types of puzzles to make your brain work.’


'Wow this one is great. Innocent looking move quiet move, .......... this move didn't occur to me. Very nice !


If you have already created a suitable puzzle, check each move with an engine (please let me know whether you've done this), and post a link to it with the move numbers for the puzzle.


The tactics trainer has 50k puzzles, you're going to manually add ones people post?


Yes. I regularly add puzzles from my own games. Example :



OK, I can't get the diagram to work on this PC, but everyone knows we need more of these. 26. Is the final computer move.



Not sure if this works but a queen trap at the end.


Opponent played Qh8 though, better was Qxh7.


Scottrf, a lovely smothered mate, but unfortunately it has a competing line that gives a strong material advantage and so is unsuitable for tactics trainer. Please check future puzzles with an engine. 


I've seen plenty of smothered mates in the tactics trainer where you can win the queen, and others where you mate a move slower, these are kept with the reply 'you have to mate in the fewest moves possible'.

But if that's what you're after, no problem.


You can always try editing the starting position to remove ambiguous lines.


We're gradually deleting ambiguous problems such as those you describe. 


A great source for appropriate puzzles is often from your endgames.


Hi Daeru,

I won't be able to use an engine to check the puzzle until tomorrow. Have you checked the second best moves for each of white's moves.




1st puzzle on this thread http://www.chess.com/tactics/server.html?id=330147

Thankyou Daeru.


Hello, I don't know how to make a diagram, but I think those to games have nice mate in 3+  :

Start at move 29 for white


Start at move 28 for white.



This one I played today might fit the bill.


Don't know how to check it with an engine, and not sure about the diagram, nor how to indicate the computer move.

The "computer move" is white's move 31.

[Event "Live Chess"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2012.06.15"]
[White "holymcgrails5"]
[Black "blackrabbitto"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "1295"]
[BlackElo "1123"]
[TimeControl "15|10"]
[Termination "blackrabbitto won by resignation"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 Nf6 4.d4 d6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.Bxc6 Bxc6 7.d5 Bb5 8.Bg5 Be7 9.Qc2 O-O 10.c4 Bd7
 11.Nbd2 Bg4 12.h3 Bxf3 13.Nxf3 a6 14.b4 b5 15.c5 dxc5 16.bxc5 Rc8 17.Nxe5 h6 18.Nc6 Qd7 19.Ne5 Qd8 20.Bh4 Nd7
 21.Bxe7 Qxe7 22.Nc6 Qe8 23.Rd1 Nb8 24.Na7 Rd8 25.O-O c6 26.d6 Rd7 27.e5 Rxa7 28.Qb3 Nd7 29.e6 Qxe6 30.Qd3 Nxc5
 31.Rfe1 Qxe1+ 32.Rxe1 Nxd3 33.Rd1 Nb4 34.d7 Rd8 35.f4 Raxd7 36.Re1 Nxa2 37.Kh2 c5 38.g4 b4 39.g5 h5 40.f5 b3
 41.Kg3 Rb7 42.Kh4 g6 43.fxg6 fxg6 44.Re6 Kf7 45.Rxa6 b2 46.Rf6+ Kg7 47.Rf1 b1=Q 48.Rxb1 Rxb1 49.Kg3 0-1

Sorry Leopoldz, there are too many good alternative lines.

Sorry Blackrabbitto, if the knight takes the queen black is still a rook up even without the remove the defender QxR tactic. Please provide a link to the game next time.


Sorry Christian Soldier, I need a diagram with the FEN from the start of the puzzle, or a link to the game with move number for the start. Have you checked for ambiguous lines with an engine ?



The previous move was 39. ... Kf6. (link to game, though I missed the tactic in the game)