Tactics Trainer problem difficulty & ratings


Is it just me, or are the Tactics Trainer problems much more difficult than they used to be?  Last summer when I was much weaker, I climbed over 2300 on Tactics Trainer; now I'm several hundred points lower, despite my tactics skills (as measured on other sites and in OTB games) being much stronger.  Anyone have similar experiences?  Tough problems are good for me -- I'm not complaining about that.  But are the ratings in line with the actual difficulty level, or in line with previous rating levels on Tactics Trainer?


The problem ratings in Tactics Trainer are based solely upon how well users have fared against them. If a 1500-level player is stumped by a 1500-level puzzle, the player loser points and the puzzle gains points -- probably something like -15 / +15.

If several high-level players make a silly mistake on the same problem, its rating can jump up several dozen points despite not being any harder than when it was first created. This can lead to problems being "overrated". The converse situation can lead to "underrated" problems.


There are some problems that seem to get high ratings only because nobody is looking for such a trivial solution. For example, you are trying to calculate a long sacrificial combination and figure out if there is a checkmate in the end, only to find out that all you were expected to do was a simple fork winning a piece.


i also dropped like +/- 200 points some time ago, even tough i got better.


I dont think the problems are more difficult but the way you are rated is very punitive now.

You can get a problem correct within a reasonable amount of time say 65% or

more and will not get full points for it. But if you get it wrong you will lose full

point value I dont think it is correct to do it this way for the reason that if you are

playing  a tournament game and find the winning tactic  you get the full point

regardless of the time you took to get it.

It is still a great training tool though and i like it anyway.


I'm much higher in the tactics trainer here than anywhere else in the web. On Chesscube I'm 1600, on Chesstempo (another tactics trainer) I'm 1700, on Icc blitz I'm like 1300 (though I haven't played there in a while) and here, on the tactics trainer, I'm 1800.

woodmage wrote:

I ***HATE*** the tactics trainer!  I used it today.  Missed the first one (everybody posted how easy it was - gee, thanks, guys) - lost 12 points, Got 2 of 3 moves (I think my 3rd move was better - didn't gain as good of material, but I could have pushed a mate from there in a few more moves) - lost 1 point!, got another one correct, gained 10 points.  Net loss of 3 points.  I'm staying around 1600 in online chess so I'm not a complete dummy.   But I cannot seem to get my tactics trainer above 1100!  So, forget it, guys.  I'll probably keep doing it, cause it DOES help me learn stuff, but.....   

Everyone hates the tactics trainer.  Numerous threads.  Consensus seems to be that with rare exception, everyone's online chess is higher than the tactics trainer.  TT is hard.  I might be addicted. Over 15K problems in the last year or so.  Seems to be working.  I suck a little less and can sniff out a smothered mate most of the time.  Progress.  You don't stand a chance with TT unless you know all the tactical motifs cold.  Chess Mentor, IM Rensch (among others) videos,  articles, books,  Youtube, Wikipedia, ..... Doesn't matter where you get the knowledge as long as you get it.  TT will rip you a new orifice otherwise.  I admitted defeat for 3 or 4 months and  just did chess mentor and videos.  I suspect most of us have taken time off to recover between rounds.  


What is going on with tactics trainer???  I played it for about an hour while tired and missed quite a few problems.  Now it will only give me ~2000 level problems.  Since I was rated 2300, it means I only gain 5 points for correct answers, and I lose 21 for incorrect.  It has now been like this for a full day.  It has almost got me down to a 2000 rating. (From 2400 initially!)  What is going on here?  How I am supposed to get 80% of these crazy problems correct just to stay at the current level????  This is stupid.  Tactics trainer is by far my favorite way to practice my tactical skills, memory, and pattern recognition.  But for whatever reason the adaptive level of the program decided since I was on a bad streak that I deserved to lose 2 weeks worth of hard work.  Very poor programming.


I almost did just that.  It has happened once before and fixed itself.  I will rough it out another day of struggling to get 80% of these 2000 level problems correct.


I just reset my tactics trainer and was able to get over 2100 in 100 problems and it is giving me problems corresponding to my level like it is supposed to.