Here are 10 great tactical exercises for you to solve. In order to leave you clueless, I have only indicated who’s to move.
Learning the basic mates and tactical patterns are the first steps in tactical mastery. For this purpose, I believe that focused exercises with the aim of training these basics make sense – such as “mate in 3 moves”, “Trap a knight” etc.
However, there comes a point where you will have to move on to the next level and solve exercises with no clues. In an over-the-board situation, nobody taps you on the shoulder to indicate a mate in 2 or a decisive tactic. A big part of tactics is to know what to look for and when. I believe that most players calculate fairly well – if they are given a direction and know what to calculate. Given no clues, players on the other hand can look for very complicated solutions in a ‘simple’ tactic – and thus miss it. Or maybe believe there is a winning tactic, when it in fact doesn’t work and the player should be content with a draw by repetition. Just to name a few examples of players being carried away, or making the wrong decision.
For that reason, there are no clues in the 10 exercises. Good luck!
Playable solutions can be found here.