Puzzles — sometimes they can be very easy to solve. Other times, they can be tough nuts to crack!
But no matter their difficulty, they are very important for a chess player to build their chess strength.
In this article, we’ll reveal the 6 reasons why they’re so important!
1. Puzzles Builds a Collection of Ideas
How does your child improve their mathematical skills? Most likely, they’ll grab a textbook, go to the exercises section and start solving them one-by-one. Then they’ll check their answers with the solution or with the teacher, and find out where they went wrong.
Once they are made aware of their mistakes, they then have a guiding compass to solve the problem. They have studied an idea, and they’ll use it whenever a similar question arises in their exam.
And when they solve many such exercises, they’ll eventually have a lot of ideas to solve different types of problems.
The same thing happens in chess when you solve puzzles. You build a collection of ideas that you can use during the real game.
So when you solve puzzles related to pins, you’ll become better at spotting pins.
When you solve puzzles on improving pieces, you’ll have an idea of when you should improve your pieces and how.
In chess, people call this intuition. Fortune tellers call this the 6th sense. But in reality, it’s just having 893 ideas fitted deeply into your mind, and knowing the right time to use them.
2. Puzzles Train You For The Real Game
Many puzzles that you solve on chess.com(or any other platform) are taken from real games. This means there’s actually a chance of the puzzles you solve appearing in the real game.
In this fashion, you are training for what to do if the same position happens in your game. Not always the position will arise, but in most cases you can play the same idea in different games. We’ve seen it happen countless times in our student’s games!
3. Puzzles Require Active Learning
Let’s say if you are a software engineer — it’s one thing to know the theory of code and it’s a completely different thing to sit on the computer and write it!
Sure you can know the theory of everything, but if you don’t apply what you learn, you’ll never know if what you learned works or not.
And when you solve puzzles, you actively engage your brain to face real challenges on the chessboard. This way, you’ll also realize whether what you learned in a book or a lecture is actually effective!
4. Puzzles Are Fun & Build Confidence!
We see the joy on our children’s faces when they solve simple tactics. And when they are on a winning streak, it delights us even more to see their faces light up brimming with energy!
In our academy, coaches regularly use puzzles to help his students build confidence. We have noticed many times students who become demotivated because of having trouble calculating simple lines in a game, get their confidence back by picking up simple puzzle excercizes.
Not always you need to solve hard puzzles to improve your ability. Sometimes, you just need to spend time on simple ones that will give you a shot of confidence.
5. Puzzles Improve Your Thinking Process
In order for this to happen, you need to work with a coach or a player who’s stronger than you. When you solve puzzles, the road you took is much more important than the final goal you arrived at.
You can take a bumpy road or a highway and still arrive at the same destination. But we all know what happens when you take the bumpy road. Your back hurts. You feel you are going against the flow, instead of going with it.
That’s why it’s important to know whether the process behind solving the problem is actually effective or not!
If you try to improve on the process on your own, you’ll have to use trial and error methods. But still you won’t be sure whether the process is effective or if there’s anything better.
That’s why a coach or an experienced player can help you so much to fasten the process, and save you time and wasted effort.
6. Puzzle Improve Your Board Sight
Being able to see the board and how pieces move, without moving them physically, is a very important ability for a chess player. (Yes! Chess players are mentalists who see the invisible!)
If you don’t use your chess brain for a long time, you’ll face difficulties in this area. And the best way to train this skill is by actually seeing the pieces move in your mind’s eye when you solve puzzles.
We recommend solving longer puzzles — those whose solution is 3-4 moves at least. Here, you’ll have to push your mental eye to hold the position in your head for a little longer and get a much-need workout!
Every chess player does it!
Be it a world champion or an amatuer, every player indulges in puzzles. And if you are serious about taking your chess to the next level, make this activity a part of your daily routine! In time, you’ll see massive improvements in your game!
P.S. If you are looking for a coach for your child who’ll train you and boost your chess rating, then book your free demo class here!