The key to solving this type of problem is to look for pairs of pieces that attack a key square. This square is one adjacent to the enemy King or near, in the case of a back rank mate. Mate in three and four will eventually involve two pieces but often require an exchange or two to get to the two piece solution.
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Only then determine the best course of action. This course of action can only be considered after a close examination of all the material on the board which helps to develop your board vision.
Then there are the tactical problems which can leave the beginner completely lost. When trying to solve one of these problems, consider the word tactic. In chess this can be a fork, pin, skewer, etc. The first step towards solving the problem is to mentally note that this is a tactical play not a mate in one unless otherwise noted.
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Start by looking at the most popular forking piece, the Knight. Take a look at the example below:. In our example, White has two Rooks, one on b1 and the other on d1, as well as a Knight on e5.
Black has a Queen on a8. White has to use a tactic to win material and ensure an easy victory. This problem requires a fork. First we look at our material, the two Rooks and the Knight. We aim for finding the fastest way in which to accomplish our task. Look at the Knight first. Take a look at the Rooks, specifically the Rook on b1.
If the b1 Rook moved to b8, black would be forced to use the Queen to capture the Rook, allowing the white Knight to then move to d7 forking King and Queen. The two move combinations are much harder because they require setting up the tactical play by making a first move that sets the stage for the tactic.
The above example was a combination of moves leading to the tactic, a fork. I highly recommend working through tactical puzzles, starting with the simplest one move tactical problems. These puzzles will help you immensely when it comes to finding tactical positions during your games. So the the secret to solving chess puzzles is to first understand exactly what is being asked of you.
Then you have to methodically analyze the situation or position in this case. This analysis starts with looking at every single pawn and piece belonging to both you and the opposition. See where those pieces can move to and what the results of that move would be from a tactical standpoint. Just working out problems, even if it takes you hours, will greatly improve your game. After recording a number of albums and CDs he retired from music to teach chess. He currently teaches ten chess classes a week through Academic Chess.
He also created and runs a chess program for at-risk teenagers incarcerated in juvenile correctional facilities. He teaches chess privately as well, giving instruction to many well known musicians who are only now discovering the joys of chess. He studied chemistry in college but has worked in fields ranging from Investment Banking and commodities trading to Plastics design and fabrication.
Thinking through the process of creating a puzzle, a major challenge would be ensuring that there weren't better moves, or a different solution. Where the puzzle isn't a recreation of a historical position, the creator likely worked backwards from the final step and constructed the board around the path to that step.
This could feel too much like studying for the quiz, rather than improving your actual chess skills, but I would argue that starting your analysis of the board in an actual game should also start by analyzing any available forcing moves. Sign up to join this community.
How to solve chess tactics problems?
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