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  1. Standard member anthias
    ambitious player
    02 Jul '07 02:18
    This is a common problem, I believe. When trying to solve tactical puzzles, there's always this annoying puzzle that never yields. While I believe that solving hard puzzles is essential for improvement (just like playing against strong opponents) I am not sure about pondering on a single problem for hours is improving my skills in any sense. How to solve tactics puzzles?
  2. 02 Jul '07 04:36
    In education, there's a concept known as the zone of proximal development", or ZPD. It's what you're ready to learn next, on your own without support. I suspect chess is similar since working on tactics in your personal chess "ZPD" seems common sense; work on puzzles that you can usually solve with effort and ramp up the difficulty over time. Too many easy puzzles don't stretch you, too many hard puzzles and you feel beat up with no clue. Most instructors stress pattern recognition with tactics- the chess equivalent of reading lots of relatively easy to read books when you're learning to read.
  3. Standard member bannedplayer306509
    Best Loser
    02 Jul '07 04:51
    Originally posted by anthias
    This is a common problem, I believe. When trying to solve tactical puzzles, there's always this annoying puzzle that never yields. While I believe that solving hard puzzles is essential for improvement (just like playing against strong opponents) I am not sure about pondering on a single problem for hours is improving my skills in any sense. How to solve tactics puzzles?
    If you can solve the puzzle with enough time, I've found it's a good puzzle. The longer it takes, the tougher it was and you gain the most from those exercises. I understand it doesn't work that way for everyone but that's how I've gone about it.
  4. 02 Jul '07 05:07
    Just my 2 cents But hard puzzles can really drain you and depress u if you let them. The best way I have found to study really hard puzzles is set them up on a board that can sit. Then every day look at it for 5-10 min till I really understand it. But overall med to easy puzzles are easier to study and really help skills and confidence level.
  5. 03 Jul '07 19:12
    Originally posted by anthias
    This is a common problem, I believe. When trying to solve tactical puzzles, there's always this annoying puzzle that never yields. While I believe that solving hard puzzles is essential for improvement (just like playing against strong opponents) I am not sure about pondering on a single problem for hours is improving my skills in any sense. How to solve tactics puzzles?
    5 Minutes maximum. Then look at the solution, figure out why you didn't get it and do it again later on.
  6. 03 Jul '07 20:21 / 13 edits
    Originally posted by anthias
    While I believe that solving hard puzzles is essential for improvement, I am not sure about pondering on a single problem for hours is improving my skills in any sense. How to solve tactics puzzles?

    Originally posted by RahimK
    5 Minutes maximum. Then look at the solution, figure out why you didn't get it and do it again later on.
    Yeah that's what i do. I look at a puzzle for around 3 minutes, more or less, and if i can't figure it out, I'm too lazy to keep on trying so i just look at solution. After reading the solution, sometimes I will work on memorizing the answer. Then I move on to a few different puzzles and after the memory of the hard puzzle has faded a little; to prove to myself that I really memorized/learned it; I will come back to it (old/difficult puzzle) again and again trying to solve it until it becomes easy. Maybe this will help you too? Good luck.

    -- Paul

    p.s. If I was spending hours on every hard puzzle, I would probably end up just giving up out of frustration and maybe not ever read puzzle books again? Try just looking at the answer and memorize. Don't waste your time.
  7. 03 Jul '07 20:31
    Absolutely. Taking 100 "easy" puzzles which you can solve in about 30 seconds each is more beneficial than taking 10 harder one which take 300 seconds each.
  8. Standard member bannedplayer306509
    Best Loser
    03 Jul '07 20:34
    Originally posted by Jusuh
    Absolutely. Taking 100 "easy" puzzles which you can solve in about 30 seconds each is more beneficial than taking 10 harder one which take 300 seconds each.
    I'm not sure if that's neccesarily true... In CC chess you have as long as you need to find tactics as long as you can find them, the same principle really should apply to studying for CC.
  9. 03 Jul '07 20:43
    I find the program called Personal Chess Trainer helps with this. It progresses you over time. In the lowest difficulty levels you get single move problems. As the difficulty gets higher the same results are built upon only with 2,3, 4 and more move problems. It's done through repetition and returns to problems you got wrong randomly.
  10. 03 Jul '07 21:45 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Jusuh
    Absolutely. Taking 100 "easy" puzzles which you can solve in about 30 seconds each is more beneficial than taking 10 harder one which take 300 seconds each.
    Taking 200 "easy" puzzles which you can solve in less then 15 seconds is more benefical than taking 100 harder ones and spending 30 seconds on each.

    It's obviously the quantity and not quality of the puzzles right? Obviously... What was I thinking doing harder puzzles, duh...
  11. 03 Jul '07 21:47
    Originally posted by Pavlo87
    Yeah that's what i do. I look at a puzzle for around 3 minutes, more or less, and if i can't figure it out, I'm too lazy to keep on trying so i just look at solution. After reading the solution, sometimes I will work on memorizing the answer. Then I move on to a few different puzzles and after the memory of the hard puzzle has faded a little; to prove to mys ...[text shortened]... read puzzle books again? Try just looking at the answer and memorize. Don't waste your time.
    13 edits for that?
  12. 03 Jul '07 23:36
    Originally posted by Dance Master MC
    13 edits for that?
    I wonder if I hold the record for edits on this site?
    I am perfectionist i guess. I am still not sure if i'm satisfied with it but will not let me edit anymore; time ran out. Shucks.
    [just kidding about the editing more. Maybe....]

    -- Paul

    p.s. alot of my posts are edited like crazy. I'm not sure 13 is my all time high. Not proud of it but not ashamed either.
  13. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    04 Jul '07 00:19
    Originally posted by Pavlo87
    I wonder if I hold the record for edits on this site?
    not even close. there's been some crazy editing in the past...
  14. 04 Jul '07 00:48 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Pavlo87
    I wonder if I hold the record for edits on this site?

    Originally posted by wormwood
    not even close. there's been some crazy editing in the past...
    In other words, I don't get no trophies or awards ??!!
    What's the prize for 22nd place, by the way? (fingers crossed/hopeful)

    (just kidding)
    -- Paul