Test #3 (25 problems)


Following are 25 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 25 problems ending in with various types of solutions…
checkmate or win of material.  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.

  • When you're ready, 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 25.  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!


Hope you enjoyed the exercise. At least you got to see some beautiful mating positions. In fact, in some of these positions, the initial move order could be changed and the solution still works. In any case, the solutions assume best play for both sides!

So how did you do? Below is an approximation of your performance.  This formula was developed by IM Javier Gil (www.chessnia.com) in assessing strength based on similar tests.   Always give credit where it's due. I will amend this assessment by saying that these are merely measurements of tactical vision, and not overall playing strength. Let's see how you did.

Problem Solving

If  you scored…

00% your rating is below 1500 (FIDE)
05% your rating is about 1450 (FIDE)
10% your rating is about 1500 (FIDE) 
15% your rating is about 1550 (FIDE)
20% your rating is about 1600 (FIDE) 
25% your rating is about 1650 (FIDE)
30% your rating is about 1700 (FIDE) 
35% your rating is about 1750 (FIDE)
40% your rating is about 1800 (FIDE) 
45% your rating is about 1850 (FIDE)
50% your rating is about 1900 (FIDE)
55% your rating is about 1950 (FIDE)
60% your rating is about 2000 (FIDE) 
65% your rating is about 2050 (FIDE)
70% your rating is about 2100 (FIDE) 
75% your rating is about 2150 (FIDE)
80% your rating is about 2200 (FIDE) 
85% your rating is about 2250 (FIDE)
90% your rating is about 2300 (FIDE) 
95% your rating is about 2350 (FIDE)
100% you're rated at least 2400 (FIDE)


  • 0-900 seconds (0-15 minutes) to complete the test, add 50 rating points.

  • 901-1799  (15-30 minutes) to complete the test,  no penalty or bonus given.

  • 1800+ (30+ minutes) to complete the test, deduct 50 rating points.