Following are 20 problems to practice your tactical vision. It is especially important for those who are beginning players to sharpen tactical vision because that's how most games are decided at this level. However, once a player reaches Candidate Master level and above, games are mostly decided on strategic themes such as weak squares, pawn structures, king position, and piece positioning. The following exercises have been developed for players who are approximately from 0-1799 ELO, but all players (including Masters) may want to solve this for exercise. What player can pass up these goodies?!
Instructions -- READ CAREFULLY!!
On the next page, you will find a board diagram with links to 20 problems ending in "mate in three." You will start this exercise by examining the criteria in the adjoining screen (either white to move, or black to move) and analyzing the corresponding diagram in the drop-menu. For example, Problem #1 below corresponds to "Problem #1" in the drop-down menu. DO NOT CLICK on the forward arrows as it will reveal the solution and defeat the purpose of the exercise. You will need a pencil/pen and a sheet of paper.
Get your pencil/pen and paper.
hit the "start/stop" button on the stopwatch. The time is recorded in milliseconds so the number 1000 is equal to 1 second, 10000 is equal to 10 seconds, etc. In effect, you can disregard the last three digits.
After completely solving a problem in your head, write down the mating line until you've completed all 20. It's important to externalize your analysis as is recommended in Alexander Kotov's classics Think Like a Grandmaster and Play like a Grandmaster.
After you have completed the 20, hit the "start/stop" button on the stopwatch, and compare your answers with the solution by using the forward arrow on the diagram control panel (I haven't figured out how to program an automated grading system for several moves).
This is a self-test and it's easy to cheat a bit, but you will not gain the benefits from the exercises. Enjoy!