The chess tactics quiz on this page is intended as a fun exercise that will estimate your chess tactics rating.
It shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to complete.
Here’s How the Chess Tactics Quiz Works
- You will get 10 chess tactics puzzles (some easy, some hard) to solve.
- Study the diagram then write down your answers on a piece of paper (or memorize your answers).
- Give yourself approximately 1 minute per puzzle. If you can’t find the answer, accept defeat and move on to the next one.
- Once you’ve complete all the puzzles, compare your answers to the solutions given lower down on the page.
Ready? Let’s start!
Now compare your answers to solutions given below:
Chess Tactics Quiz – Solutions
Now compare your answers to the solutions below and give yourself a score.
- Correct answer: 1 point
- Wrong answer: 0 points
Puzzle #1 Solution
Diagram above: 1… Qc7+, followed by 2… Qxa5, forks the white king and rook.
Puzzle #2 Solution
Diagram above: 1.Rxf8+ Rxf8 2.Qxe6 get the black queen. White used the “ladder trick” to remove all the defenders of black’s queen. (1.Rxf8+ Qg8 2.Qxg8#).
Puzzle #3 Solution
Diagram above: 1… Rxh3 2.Rxh3 Qxg4+, followed by 3… Qxd1, wins a bishop and pawn in the process.
Note how 1.Rxh3 removed the defender of the pawn on g4 and at the same time deflected the rook on d3 away from defending the other rook on d1. (1… Rxh3 2.Rd8+ Kc7 doesn’t give white anything.)
Puzzle #4 Solution
Diagram above: 1.Bxf5 Bxf5 2.Qxf5 takes advantage of the absolute pin on the g6-pawn. 1.dxc6 bxc6 2.Rxd7 Rxd7 3.Bxf5 also gives white an advantage. It’s not as good as 1.Bxf5, but you can still give yourself a point if that is what you would’ve done.
1.Ne4, threatening Nf6+, unfortunately allows 1… Qxa2, which leads to an uncertain situation.
Puzzle #5 Solution
Diagram above: 1… Nf3+ traps the white queen. On the next move black will play 2… g6 to prove the queen is trapped. (1… Nf3+ 2.Bxf3 g6-+)
Puzzle #6 Solution
Diagram above: 1.Qc4+ forks the exposed black king and the undefended black bishop on e4. (1.Qc4+ Rf7 2.Qxe4+-).
Puzzle #7 Solution
Diagram above: 1.Qxe5! wins the black bishop. The point is 1.Qxe5 Qxe5 2.Nxf7+! forks the black king and queen. If black plays 2… Rxf7, then 3.Rd8+ Qe8 4.Rxe8+ Rf8 5.Rxf8# is checkmate on the back rank.
Experienced players might recall this famous tactic is from a game by Capablanca.
Puzzle #8 Solution
Diagram above: 1… Rc1! ensures there is nothing white can do to stop the promotion of black’s pawn on h3. (1… Rc1 2.Kxc1 h2, followed by h1(Q). The point is that black forced white to obstruct the first rank, making it impossible for the white rook to prevent the promotion in time.
Puzzle #9 Solution
Diagram above: 1.Bxf6! combines two ideas: 1)the pawn on g7 is pinned and 2)the rook on f7 defends the important e7-square. 1.Bxf6 Rxf6 2.Re7 is a double attack that threatens the black queen, as well as Qxg7#
Puzzle #10 Solution
Diagram above: 1.Rxf6 removes the defender of black’s queen which means white is now threatening Qxf8+. At the same time white’s rook now defends the queen on c6. (1.Rxf6 Qxc6 2.Rxc6 wins a bishop in the process or 1.Rxf6 Bxf6 2.Qxe8+ is even worse for black.)
Note: If you want to make an in-depth study of tactical motifs (and take your tactical skill to a new level), you can check out my course on chess tactics here.
Chess Tactics Quiz Results & Feedback
0-2 points (Beginner); Est. Tactical Rating: 0-900
You had a hard time with this but that is okay. The good news is that you can improve your game significantly by studying tactical motifs! Studying tactical motifs is an effective way to improve your overall tactical awareness. You will be able to take advantage of your opponents’ mistakes and you will in turn make fewer mistakes. At this stage of your development as a chess player, you will get a lot of benefit from studying tactical combinations.
3-4 points (Novice); Est. Tactical Rating: 1200
You have a few tactical tricks up your sleeve and you can surprise a careless opponent. But that said, there is still a lot you can do to improve your tactics skill. Maybe you aren’t guilty of this but–chess players on this level often blame their “bad openings” for their losses, when instead it was their tactical skill that let them down – not their opening.
5-8 points (Intermediate); Est. Tactical Rating: 1600
Impressive result! With a score like this it’s clear you are an above-average chess player. Your well-developed tactical skill makes you a very dangerous opponent. To take your tactical skill to an even higher level, you should study how tactical motifs can be used to create new targets in your opponent’s position. In fact, making an in-depth study of tactical motifs should probably be the most important aspect of your chess training at this point of your development. Your understanding of chess tactics will improve significantly if you make a serious study of all the important motifs.
9-10 points (Advanced); Est. Tactical Rating: 1900+
Congratulations! You aced the quiz. Your performance indicates you have probably already made an in-depth study of tactical motifs. But if you haven’t done so yet, I highly recommend you do. Your understanding of chess tactics will benefit from it.
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The purpose of the chess tactics quiz on this page was to determine your current skill level and give you specific recommendations on how to further improve your tactical skill. I trust that it helped you along the way and that you will in future get many opportunities to show your opponents what you can do!