Originally posted by Squelchbelch
Just look for the most forcing move, be it a check or capture, then imagine the position after the forced response.
How has the position changed to your advantage?
Is there a check/discovered attack/fork/skewer or pin now available?
9 out of 10 times that will be the key to sloving a tactics puzzle.
The best strategy is:
for puzzles rated under 1700: just look for pieces to be grabbed, pinned, decoyed or skewered. When you find something (=anything), play it instantly. dont waste time calculating anything.
for puzzles over 1800: again look for simple tactics, but when you find one do not play it, but spend few seconds looking for something more subtle. if you dont find anything else that could possibly work, play the combo you found first. but if you find something that might be better, then ditch the first move you found and play the second one.
Now you might wonder whats the point with all this; well the point is that +1800 rated puzzles are very rarely easy ones, meaning that if you find a good-looking move quickly then others will probably find it quickly too. in that case the rating of the puzzle should be dramatically lower (because of the vast number of correct answers), but because the rating happens to be relatively high (+1800), the best looking move isn't the correct one.