Tactics trainer is already a great tool for practicing and improving one's game. One simple enhancement to how performance data is tracked and displayed for a player's completed problems could capture a substantial untapped value through the tactical motif "tags" already in place.
Currently, the performance data displayed is total # of attempts, # and % passed, # and % failed, and total time. Simple. Yet, despite each problem having attached tags, we have no way of seeing how we've performed overall on any of the tactical motifs. Being able to see even the most basic information such as the % passed and failed for each of the various tags used to label problems (this can be displayed in a very simple table) means that a player can quickly identify weaknesses or strength's in his/her game that can be targeted for further practice or research as warranted.
Without this information people have no idea WHAT they are doing right and wrong or HOW they can focus their efforts to keep improving areas that need work.
Any chess coach or experienced player would tell you that to get better you have to first know what you did wrong. Right now, all we can see is how good we are doing, or in other words, our current rating and if we've been going up or down. Adding in the simple piece of tactical peformance data regarding tactical tags would be immensely powerful from a learning standpoint and it seems that nearly everything is already in place to provide this information to members. It's an instant value-add that supports all of the other content and learning intent on this site!
Example: Maybe I'll find I only pass 20% of "zugzwang" and 25% of "defense" problems, but I'm at a 60% overall pass rate and my "basic checkmate", "mate in 1", "mate in 2", "smothered mate", etc. are up at 75-80%. This would be a clear indication to me that I should look up articles/videos/games/problems on the concepts of zugzwang, taking the opposition, king safety, etc.
Thoughts? Seems like a huge win for a small enhancement, but I did a number of searches and didn't find this suggestion yet.
Actually I did bring up something similar - great minds :). Anyway, I agree with your suggestion. I also mentioned at the time that it would be useful to be able to create a user set - say 500 problems rated about your current level and then be able to work thru the same problems a couple of times. Similar to what de la Maza and other trainers have suggested.
@jwalexander: Glad to hear others agree and have been thinking of this sort of thing as well. Even if a customized problem set would take time or be difficult to add on this site, the first step is at least knowing what you need to be improving. I'm sure at the very least there are books or sites with specific problems types that can be found online in the meantime.......provide we actually know what we should be seeking to learn!
I think this idea of keeping track of your passing % on specific themes is in the works... I will pass on the message guys!
Thanks for the heads up ACEChess and REtGuvvie. And, RetGuvvie, double thanks as well to the tireless patience I've notice you take in clarifying countless people's questions on tactics.
Keep up the good work, folks.
You mean by saying, "Look at the analysis board" over, and over again?
Ben, all of your comments are thoughtful, though it's a bit off topic from the specific suggestion this thread was created for so I think you'd do a bit better to create a separate thread to bring up and discuss some of this.
I hope that makes sense. Cheers.
Danny & Chess.com peeps - THANKS for getting this idea implemented, it's already helpful for my learning.
Zugzwang - currently 22 attempts and 6 passed at the bottom of my % pass rate! Clear area for improvement and study.
You guys have really been taking this site to the next level this year. Keep it up, and you'll keep your success in grabbing mass chess study market share while helping tons of people!
I still hope that chess.com can implement a set builder function that let's you specify the type and rating level of tactical problems so you can focus on a particular tactical weakness.