I'm an advanced beginner. I don't have internet access as much as I like to, so I'd much rather have a series of chess position FENs that I can put into some free chess engine and then try to play them myself offline. I've tried getting those huge books with bunch of problems for beginners (like "mate in three") but they're heavy to carry around and also I'm still struggling with visualization so I like to have the computer nearby. I've also tried to just play a game against those free chess engines but I find it very difficult to maintain my focus. It's much easier to work 30 minutes on a problem or two, take a break, then do another couple, until it becomes easy enough to visualize.

The sort of problems I have in mind are like the one I just mentioned (mate in X number of moves) but also ones see on the popular chess websites, like being given a position and try to either gain material or checkmate or prevent opponent from doing so. In short, not so much positional chess than tactical.

Appreciate suggestions.


Do you have a smartphone or tablet? The Chessok (formerly Convekta) people have ported a number of their training programs to Android (and I'm guessing iOS), and they are much cheaper than the PC versions ($8 vs $15-20). Search for chess king in one of the app stores. This includes things like CT-ART, Elementary Chess Tactics I & II, Chess Tactics for Beginners, and others.

A quick search on Google found this as well:


  • Thanks for your post. One, do you know if that site you mentioned, tacticstime, is safe to download from? Also I notice the files are in cbv and I don't think ARENA (my free chess software) can recognize that anyways. I don't have Fritz – RyanFalon Nov 19 '16 at 7:44
  • Right below it should be a pgn file of over 14000 positions – Jerry Snitselaar Nov 19 '16 at 17:33
  • Just one more thing, in case someone could help, I've just tried it with Arena and it does work, going to PGN then open then clicking on that file. But problem is it already shows me the answer, when it sets up the position. I guess I was hoping it'd say mate in two or something, but instead it might say 1...Qg5! And if I try to ignore it by minimizing that area, it's hard to know even if it's black to move or white to move, as pretty much any move I'm about to make the engine says if I want to overwrite (the original answer). – RyanFalon Nov 20 '16 at 1:28
  • Your best best would be to look at scid. It has a tactics training feature. – Jerry Snitselaar Nov 20 '16 at 2:42

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