I'm still in the learning stage of playing chess, and was a bit frustrated by this puzzle.


After my initial attempt failed I tried all the moves I could think of to succeed (I usually do this and often get the solution on my second or third try) I used the hint feature to get the solution. None of this would be at all shocking to me, but the puzzle is rated at 715 and my failed attempt cost me 14 rating points.

Looking at the analysis board the line played gives only a fractional advantage to white, but any other move would result in a significant decrease in advantage.

So now I know what the correct answer is, I'm wondering if this puzzle is possibly underrated or if I'm missing something in my chess practice so far...

I seem to do a lot of puzzles on Chess.com where a seemingly simple mate-in-3 is rated 1000+ and then puzzles like this one that make me doubt my training so far.

Any thoughts on what I can takeaway from this puzzle, or what I can do to fill this gap in my knowledge so far?

  • 1
    Stockfish gives this positon as -3 with no matter whose turn it is. I think it's just a faulty puzzle. – B.Swan Jul 29 '20 at 23:04
  • @B.Swan if you hit "solve puzzle", the computer plays ..Rxc3 – David Jul 30 '20 at 6:30
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    If you are training tactics, your rating should be the last of your concerns (it will set itself back naturally where it belongs in the next few puzzles, as a marginally lower rating will give you some extra points for every future problem solved) Were you thinking of that position before or after Black plays ..Rxc3? Anyway don't expect to learn something from every individual puzzle. Once you've figured out the most typical patterns, training tactics is about improving your skill at calculating finding and calculating good forced moves rather than anything else. – David Jul 30 '20 at 6:50
  • @David thank you, as I also mention below: I'm trying to not put too much stock in my puzzle rating, but the main reason I brought this up because it seemed rated very low. – Jaron W Jul 30 '20 at 15:44

The puzzle @B.Swan incorrect. Everything is -3 but the line played, +3. The puzzle is meant to help you learn the power of the pin (you trade and then Rc2 is played, so the knight cannot move because of the king behind it and you win a free piece). Even a free pawn can make or break a game; a piece is amazing, and if you can get it, you are likely to win the game. It is hardly a "fractional advantage".

  • When I klick on the link provided in the question the rook is still on c7, there is a pawn on c3 and it is White to move. But if Rxc3 is played, that makes sense. – B.Swan Jul 30 '20 at 2:50
  • @B.Swan click on "solve problem" – David Jul 30 '20 at 6:30
  • @MakeHellTal thank you for your thorough answer. I'm definitely trying hard to not put too much stock in my puzzle rating, but the main reason I brought this up because it seemed rated very low. – Jaron W Jul 30 '20 at 15:43
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    I do agree; 700 seems a bit low. – MakeHellTal Jul 30 '20 at 16:37

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