- 02 Oct '06 20:55With all the talk at this forum on the value of tactics practice, I have picked up Polgar's colossal tome of 5,334 problems. I breezed through the first couple hundred mates in one. But then when I got to the mates in two, everything changed. I am finding even the "simple" ones rather difficult. I just realized I don't really know how to go about solving them, other than trial and error: "Let's see what happens when I move the knight here, or there. OK, how 'bout moving the bishop here...." Eventually I hit on the solution, but it seems there has to be a better way of going about it. Any ideas?
- 03 Oct '06 00:31Not just for mate but combinations and tactics also.

Look at the kings-exposed?, look at hanging pieces, undefended - defended only once.

If some or all of these signs are present then there is a very good chance a tactic is possible.

Now look at all the checks not mater how dumb they may seem at first, look at captures, forced moves etc... Also looks at what each piece is doing-which squares does it control?

Once you get the pattern in your head, you will be able to solve puzzles very quickly. - 03 Oct '06 18:16'Nother question, guys: As I work away on solving Polgar's problems, I find I can solve the majority of them (so far) in a few minutes. But then there are those nasty critters, which, even after looking at them minute after minute after minute, I just cannot seem to solve. I feel defeated, and then when I look for the solution, I feel like I'm cheating. What's a guy to do? Is it usual, and good practice, to go ahead and look at the solution, after giving it your best shot for several minutes? Is doing so nearly as instructive as solving the problem oneself? Thanks!
- 03 Oct '06 21:09 / 1 editFor mates id recommend counting the kings flight squares and working from there. If the king can run you have to cover the square...this way you can bring up candidate moves much quicker and see which pieces are already doing something useful and those that arent.

If the king is in the center of the board you need to cover 9 squares.

Edge of the board 6 squares.

Corner of the board 3 squares. - 03 Oct '06 21:42

Spend 5 minutes max on any problem. If you don't get it after that check the solution, see what you missed.*Originally posted by basso***'Nother question, guys: As I work away on solving Polgar's problems, I find I can solve the majority of them (so far) in a few minutes. But then there are those nasty critters, which, even after looking at them minute after minute after minute, I just cannot seem to solve. I feel defeated, and then when I look for the solution, I feel like I'm cheating. Wh ...[text shortened]... several minutes? Is doing so nearly as instructive as solving the problem oneself? Thanks!**

Move on, next day go back and do it again. - 04 Oct '06 16:07

I would say max. 1 min on a problem. Practice over and over again until you can do them max. 30 sec/problem*Originally posted by RahimK***Spend 5 minutes max on any problem. If you don't get it after that check the solution, see what you missed.**

Move on, next day go back and do it again. - 04 Oct '06 16:22 / 1 edit

Don't argue with me. 5 min max.*Originally posted by Jusuh***I would say max. 1 min on a problem. Practice over and over again until you can do them max. 30 sec/problem**

That's what you get for playing all that blitz

1 min ha...

Edit: You show me a reasonable site, master+ which says 1 min max of puzzles and I will show you a site which says 5 min max. - 05 Oct '06 02:35

If he is focused on blitz games, and he can solve them in 30 secs, good for him, but I as Rahimk recomend 5 min.*Originally posted by RahimK***Don't argue with me. 5 min max.**

That's what you get for playing all that blitz

1 min ha...

Edit: You show me a reasonable site, master+ which says 1 min max of puzzles and I will show you a site which says 5 min max.

You will see that after some time solving problems you will be able to solve them faster and easyer, no matter what problem it is, because your brain gets used to patterns, that is why some times you find one that you can't solve, because your brain doesn't have the pattern for that one and it is very dificult to solve, so keep up the work and dont rush yourself. - 05 Oct '06 11:15

if you need 5 minutes to solve an easy-to-moderate problem then your pattern recognisition (typo?) skills need to be improved.*Originally posted by RahimK***Don't argue with me. 5 min max.**

That's what you get for playing all that blitz

1 min ha...

Edit: You show me a reasonable site, master+ which says 1 min max of puzzles and I will show you a site which says 5 min max. - 05 Oct '06 17:05

I did not say you need 5 minutes to solve a problem. I said maximum of 5 minutes.*Originally posted by Jusuh***if you need 5 minutes to solve an easy-to-moderate problem then your pattern recognisition (typo?) skills need to be improved.**

Once your pattern recognition gets better you can start solving them in under a minute.

There is no point in spending 1 minute on a problem and then giving up. How does that help your pattern recognition.

BTW, check out my blog for tactics stats and graphs. You will see what I mean. La Maza program. - 06 Oct '06 17:22 / 3 edits

No. The point is you should not give up unless you can solve a problem under 1min but to find problems which you CAN solve under 1min.*Originally posted by RahimK***I did not say you need 5 minutes to solve a problem. I said maximum of 5 minutes.**

Once your pattern recognition gets better you can start solving them in under a minute.

There is no point in spending 1 minute on a problem and then giving up. How does that help your pattern recognition.

BTW, check out my blog for tactics stats and graphs. You will see what I mean. La Maza program.

example: everyone (well, everyone who knows the rules) can solve this one in under one minute

white: Kh1, h2, g2

black: Kg8, Ra8

black to move and mate. - 06 Oct '06 17:36pattern recognition takes seconds. when you take 10-20 seconds, you're not recognizing, you're calculating. if you can't spot the crucial elements within a couple of seconds, you'll probably miss them. no amount of calculation will help you, if you don't have all the relevant elements to work with. the same way, spotting the elements quickly, but calculating badly won't do.

1) CTS for pattern recognition, 2) slow tactics for calculation. - 06 Oct '06 17:38

exactly.*Originally posted by wormwood***pattern recognition takes seconds. when you take 10-20 seconds, you're not recognizing, you're calculating. if you can't spot the crucial elements within a couple of seconds, you'll probably miss them. no amount of calculation will help you, if you don't have all the relevant elements to work with. the same way, spotting the elements quickly, but calculating badly won't do.**

1) CTS for pattern recognition, 2) slow tactics for calculation.