A tempo

I was rather surprised to see the rating of this problem. I considered it to be a fairly simple problem. Mainly that was because my system I was continuously shouting the first move.

 Black to move
r5k1/p4pq1/1p2pn2/PP1p1P2/1P1B1Qn1/8/4BK2/2R5 w - - 4 1
[solution]

After solving the problem correctly, I was surprised to see that I had used more than four minutes for the solution. Where had the time gone?

Mainly I was busy to convince system II that this was the right solution.

This story shows one important aspect of  what we try to accomplish. We must familiarize system II with the principles of this position. Why is 1. ... e5 correct and 1. ... Nxg4+ wrong? The difference lies in the move 2. Kf3.

2.Kf3 solves the check after 1. ... Ng4+ AND attacks the black knight on g4. It is a defensive move AND an attack.

When I see the move 2.Kf3, I just see the the defensive side of the move. But I fail to appreciate the offensive side of the move. I see of course that my knight is under attack. But I fail to see that it is outnumbered. More precise: I see that it is outnumbered, but I don't realize the importance of that fact.

Exactly at this point, the education of system II begins.

I have showed you a whole bunch of 2100 (blitz)rated position in the past, where my gut feeling said: this is a simple position. Often readers tried to convince me that it were actually complex positions. My system I told me that it were simple positions in essence. But my uneducated system II failed time and again to appreciate the importance of what was shown by system I. That is, in a nutshell, the problem I need to solve.

1. This problem isn't hard, it's just tricky. I spent 2 min, 1 second on it, thought I had spent quite a bit longer. I fell into this trap that you mentioned, not seeing that Kf3 was an offensive move.

I don't think that a system for solving this problem is necessary, however. This problem is basically an optical trick. If you blindfold the problem, it's very easy to notice this trick, but if you think the position looks ridiculously easy, like this one does, then you aren't likely to blindfold it, instead trying to solve it on sight, and then it becomes almost natural not to notice that Kf3 threatens the knight.

I don't look at a position and blindfold it, I have to tell myself to blindfold it. The "solution" is to tell myself to blindfold it every time someone gives me a tactics problem. Now that I think about it, I realize that, to me anyway, most chesstempo problems aren't hard compared to a book on combinations from real games, they are mostly optically tricky positions that require blindfolding.

1. At chesstempo you get only problems from real games, their complexity is adjustable in the settings. If the problems are simple.. then you find the solution.. then your rating gets higher.. then you get harder problems.. then you will fail more often OR get a rating of 5000++

2. I don't spend much time on Chesstempo, mostly use books. The chesstempo problems I do are mostly when I come here. Also, Temposchlucker is basically saying the same thing "I have showed you a whole bunch of 2100 (blitz)rated position in the past, where my gut feeling said: this is a simple position." Most book problems I see, there is no obvious place to start, in the way I've found with the problems given here.

Why did you come here with a handle of Unknown to do nothing more than attempt to invalidate my truth? You didn't tell me anything new; also very condescending to say OR I would get a 5,000 rating.

3. I am hesitate to comment on this one, but ... nothing ventured, nothing gained.

The RCCM [Robert Coble Chess Module™] first tossed up 1. ... Nxg4+, and then immediately screamed, "NO! You're NOT considering the pin from the WBd4!" Yes, there is one check, temporarily restoring the material balance (somewhat) but then, what can be done to stop the attack on the Black Queen AND the attack on the Black Knight after 2. Kf3? Oopsie, mistakes have been made; toss that move onto the back burner and try something different (but keep the IDEA in the background).

How about a different FORCING move? There IS an immediate fork available with 1. ... e5! AND, regardless of which White piece captures the cheeky Pawn, there is now a double attack (with CHECK) available on the White King and the occupant of the e5 square, which now has a [1:2] ratio in Black's favor after 2. ... Nxg4+! [That original IDEA pops back into consciousness!] SERENDIPITY!! Black ends up a piece ahead.

I have no idea WHY my mind works this way SOMETIMES, and at other times it is totally oblivious to the obvious. Since embarking on training with PoPLoAFun emphasis [in conjunction with Dr. Lasker's ideas on motifs), it does "feel" easier and faster to "see" these types of things.

FWIW: While watching the Tactic Training videos by the GingerGM, I was able to "see" the crucial line as fast as (or faster) than the GM - WEIRD!. [In one case, I was actually talking to the screen, trying to get him to "see" the point - like he was actually listening - HA! HA!] Does that mean anything relative to our respective playing strengths - I think NOT. But it does indicate that this kind of training CAN provide improvement in tactical skill - and isn't that the point of the training?!? YMMV, of course.