I've been doing 1700-2000 puzzles for some days now. My problem is that when I cannot find a solution within 10 minutes, it literally kills me inside. I just get so frustrated and angry. Theh I just see the solution and then try to memorize it. Is there is any solution to this problem, or does it happen with everyone at some point?

  • 2
    Memorization of solutions to tactical problems will do nothing to improve your skills. Some puzzles are just too hard to you. Try a lower level or think for longer
    – David
    Jul 20, 2020 at 11:44

4 Answers 4


It happens every day to a lot of players! Some problems are very hard and can be very frustrating.

My advice would be to try hard during "your 10 minutes", and if the problem is challenging to move on without seeing the solution. Come back to the puzzle after you've had a break and cleared your head. At least, that works great for me!

  • 1
    this is a good answer too, but don´t deal with the psycho side of the frustation.
    – H_7
    Jul 19, 2020 at 19:36
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    @H_7 The way I deal with "the psycho side" of my frustration is to take a break and come back to the problem later with a clear mind. Otherwise, I use it as a force to improve because I don't want to get frustrated :)!
    – Kortchnoi
    Jul 20, 2020 at 19:36
  • 1
    That´s great! Tks for sharing @Kortchnoi !
    – H_7
    Jul 22, 2020 at 9:17

1700-2000 rated problems are generally going to be 2-3 moves or at the very least forcing combinations. They shouldn't take 10 minutes or anywhere near that. If you're spending that long on them that means you're lacking the pattern recognition of the simpler tactics that are the building blocks.

You need to work on solving simpler 1 and 2 move combinations and develop your pattern recognition. I used to take a simple tactics book and time myself for how long it took to go through the entire book.

Seeing simple tactics quickly is the building blocks for seeing the more advanced combinations.

Frustration is good to an extent because it means you aren't happy with the results you're getting. The solution is to change your approach because the way you're doing things isn't working.

  • I think you're probably right because i don't like doing simple tactics because i think they are too obvious.Well,don't you think that simple tactics does not help your calculation skills?That is all i want to do, improve my calculation skills.By the way which tactic book were you refering to? thanks.
    – bretlee
    Jul 20, 2020 at 13:25
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    @bretlee- Calculation and pattern recognition are two entirely different things. Yes, it's important to be able to calculate out long variations but it's just as important to be able to instantly see the simple ones.The faster you see the simple ones the easier the hard ones become.
    – Savage47
    Jul 21, 2020 at 9:41
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    As far as what book- I have a lot of them but some of the books I used to develop my pattern recognition were books like Padolfini's books, Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess, 5334, How to beat your dad in chess and to some extent the 1001 book by Reinfeld. Also, the book Learn Chess by C. H. O'D. Alexander has a lot of tactics as well as a lot of useful information. I also went through all of the Chessmaster tutorials.
    – Savage47
    Jul 21, 2020 at 9:49

You have to be honest with yourself at first. It is impossible that you gonna solve all the puzzles, you will ALWAYS be facing one or other that you can not solve in time. SO, use this to your advantage! Expect this one. Search for this one. Wait patiently for this one. And when it comes, laugh about it, because you was prepared for it. Also, obviusly, study why you can not solve this one, so MAYBE one day you solve it all.

"Pain is not there to hurt, but to make you aware."

Probably some Buda


You deal with frustration in many ways. If the self help books do not cure you then see a shrink.

If you meant to ask how do you learn to solve puzzles faster then it would depend on your ability. Everybody hits their limit at some point. Otherwise you need to study more first then solve puzzles of that type. Just doing random problems will not help you improve much.

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