5 tips for solving chess puzzles every player must know

Dear chess friends!

Solving problems is a necessary component of every chess player's training. Many chess players neglect solving puzzles, preferring to play a game that they see as a good way to practice. But one should not forget that problems not only develop combinational vision, but also train our calculation skills. By the way, you can find the puzzles and a plan to study them in my new free guide when you sign up below.

Suffice to say that the current world champion Magnus Carlsen regularly solves problems and speaks positively about etudes. It is no coincidence that a strong stage of his play is often a difficult tactical endgame, where he applies the acquired skills. 

Here are some tips that will help you improve:

1. Solve puzzles regularly, 15-20 minutes a day, and gradually increase the time. 

2. Solve tasks without a board and without moving the pieces.

3. Exercise self-control: 

  • Write down the solutions on paper. List all possible options. 
  • Record the time it takes to solve each problem.
  • Record the number of correctly solved problems.
  • Gradually try to improve your results over time. 

4. Choose the appropriate level of difficultly for yourself: 

If the problems are too easy to solve (1-2 minutes), try higher level problems. If you spend a lot of time on one problem (more than 5 minutes), switch to lower level problems. 

5. Gradually increase the difficulty:

a) One move mates, (for beginners), then two move mates, then three moves, etc. 

b) Solve problems that deal with common tactics (winning material, achieving a draw) - start with simple ones (one move, one variation) and move on to tougher problems over time. 

c) Remember – slow and steady wins the race. Gradually increase the number of moves in your puzzles, the number of variations, the number of pieces on the board and the number topics in one continuation. 

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These tips will help you make the most out of self-studying chess. But if you want to take your self-preparation to the next level, sign up below!

Good luck!

FM Victor Neustroev