Chess Puzzles help train the brain to spot opportunities for your army to attack the enemy, as well as identifying the same sort of attacking threats from your opponent, against your army.
Tactics Puzzles train you to identify short-term opportunities for attacking and capturing enemy material. Naturally, you’ll need to be aware of specific types of Extreme chess Tactics, such as Pins, Forks, Skewers, and Discovered Attacks.
A good chess tutorial website should help you to learn the different Chess Tactics. Alternatively, if you want to study tactics from a book, Yasser Seirawan’s Winning Chess Tactics comes highly recommended.
Checkmate Puzzles give you another type of test – they help train you to spot opportunities to Checkmate the enemy King, which is the ultimate goal of every game of Chess you’ll play.
If you’ve never attempted a Chess Puzzle before, they can seem a bit of a mystery… “What on earth are we supposed to do with them?”… “How do they work?” etc. etc.
Before we can get stuck in, there are things we need to know, if we’re to stand any chance of solving the multitude of Chess Puzzles…
1) We Must Recognize The Pieces And Know How They Move
While you’re not attempting a full game, you still need be able to identify the Pawns and the five different Pieces (Knights, Bishops, Rooks, Queens, and Kings). Also, be aware that not all of these units will be present at the same time, in the Puzzles you attempt.
In addition to recognizing the Pawns and Pieces, we must also know their individual patterns of movement, as this will help us analyze any given position – in the Puzzle(s) – and determine which may be the candidate(s) for the move(s) that we think solve the Puzzle.
2) We Must Understand Algebraic Chess Notation
In Chess, moves, captures and other actions are recorded using the ‘Algebraic Chess Notation’ system. If you’re unsure about what this is, a brief overview should help you on your way…
The Chessboard is split up into 64 squares, with each square being given a unique identifier, or reference – in case you’re wondering, it works in a similar way to the grid-reference system you get on printed maps.