A Puzzle That Tells YOUR Chess Level

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β™› Find this chess puzzle from this blog-post –

In this video lesson, GM Igor Smirnov challenges you with a really interesting chess puzzle that will determine your chess rating level.

Feel free to pause the video, take enough time to calculate the variations, and try to solve this puzzle. After that, you can find out your chess rating level. Also, please let us know the variation(s) you calculated and your chess rating level.

β–Ί Chapters

00:00 This Chess Puzzle Determines Your Rating
00:35 Your Rating Level is 800 IF…
01:25 Your Rating Level is 1000 IF…
01:48 Your Rating Level is 1300 IF…
02:39 Your Rating Level is 1600 IF…
03:25 Your Rating Level is 1800 IF…
04:29 Your Rating Level is 2300 IF…
05:13 Your Rating Level is 2600 IF…
06:46 Your Rating Level is 2700 IF…
07:45 Your Rating Level is 2760 IF…
08:10 How to calculate variations in the middlegame?

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  1. That's somewhat of an eye opener for me. I calculated everything up-to Qxh4 except for the Qc5, I looked at other queen moves but knew the king could escape easily king-side. Honestly as you explained after with your first QxR being quite possibly a blunder from someone as low as 800 I questioned myself really being that low? You had me on the edge of my seat for most of that haha. So this exercise tells me if I'm on top of my game and don't have to worry about time trouble, I may be able to hold my own against a GM. Unfortunately for me I'm inconsistent with my level of skill, I did get a draw which I should've won against an IM rated 2160 20 years ago, if I didn't stop playing for so long I might've had a strong rating by now. Your videos are awesome and give inspiration to a returning player.

  2. I loved this! I really enjoyed the way u went through each response by level. Please more of these…

  3. Bxf3 was my move of choice! πŸ˜€ Still lower than 1600 though cause I suck at openings and endgame….

  4. Yeah, I would love to see more videos like this. it's a brilliant format

  5. Hello everyone,
    This is my take on this puzzle…

    1. … Bxf3!!
    2. Qxb4 – Rg8
    3. g3 – Rg4
    4. Qc5?? – Qxh4
    etc , etc

    how about 4 – Qxg4 !! Instead … variation #1


    1. … – Bxf3
    2. Qxb4 – Rg8
    3. – Kh2 – Rg4
    4. Qxg4 – hxg4
    5. Kg1 – etc, etc

    #2 Variation
    so ,

    I think the Candidate Move is definitely 1. … – Bxf3 !!!
    and the two (2) variations

    since , The Queen takes two (Rooks ) !

    and Black ends up with an extra minor piece – Bishop –

    now ,

    White has an advantage! … but – What if – Time ( clock ) – adds pressure on white ? (; … black can still put up a fight

    Best Regards Igor ,

    I love your RCA

  6. bruh 😨 no 1 will believe but i predicted that queen sacrifice would be best

  7. Interesting how I'm half the elo I got here

  8. After Rg4 and Qc5, you may play … Kd7, to prevent Q:c3, and after white plays any move, Q:h4… is that correct?

  9. One problem i find with puzzles is, that you just know theres something good in that certain position, so you kind of eliminate all the ''boring'' moves that dont do anything in the first place. In a normal game u might not see the forcing line, because you dont know theres something concrete on the board. I like those kind of videos though, please do more.

  10. Love your content Igor! Entertaining but so educational, explained in a very easy to understand format. Thanks πŸ™πŸΌ

  11. One puzzle doesn't decide an ELO. Consistency across many puzzles is needed. It's a statistical system, so this is pretty simple mathematical concept. So you would have to make lots of videos like this so everyone can kind of average out to get a better rating approximation. Here it's +/-1000. After 10 videos it's +/-100. After 50 videos +/-10. For example. Those number of videos and standard deviation are better calculated precisely than made up.

  12. didn't see rook hanging but thought taking knight is quite good option huh

  13. I'm 1700 and I did guess the 1600 line correctly, and the 1800 line with an incorrect variation lol

  14. Bishop Capture f3 was my main idea gxf3, Rg8+, Kh1 followed by Qxh4 check mate..then I realized that instead of capturing the bishop the queen can capture the black Rook therefore I calculated Rg8, g3 but I didn't see the Rook lift to g4 attacking the white Queen.. Really Cool puzzle i would definitely like see these types of videos.

  15. Those moves are too obvious. I calculated at the 1800 level, but I saw the position was weak once it got to that point. I wanted to opt for another move. f6. If Qb4 I would move pa5 where the queen would take it, hopefully, and then hopefully white's next move after a waiting move like rook g8, white would take my poisoned pawn on f6. To which, I'd take the knight with the bishop, and force checkmate in a few moves, not before moving my queen to d6, and eying up that diagonal. I'd see that's a stronger attack, and less obvious. With the queen on d6, my rook on g8, I'd take the pawn on g2 with the bishop, and since white's queen is on such a weak square, it'd give me tempo. I don't like the position at the1800 rating, and can't calculate beyond it. I'd rather force my opponent to capture what he thinks are blunders, and then capitalize on it. Though, if there's a level where you can force a checkmate, I can't see it. If the queen checks my king, say, I'd move the king to F7. It'd be a more interesting game, at least. And my queen would be guarding my pawn on c7, making a perfect shield for my king.

    The only downside to my attack, is if white doesn't capture with his pawn on f6. If I take e5, it blocks my attack. So, if I were playing a stronger player, I think my next move, if white didn't capture, would be to advance the pawn once more, and eye up that pawn the queen can attack. Because the queen can't be on D6 with the pawn there, I'd have to find a way to sidestep the defender. And then I'd eliminate the knight with the bishop, and have a strong double attack with the queen and the rook.

    Of course, the real question is, who lifts their rook to that square, undefended? You'd have to sack it in this position, just to keep tempo. At least I would. I'm not smart enough a prophylactic player, to see the 2700 move. I'd have to go a different route, and keep tempo on the king.

    Of course, the funny thing is that the rook dies in the video's variation, too. Huh… moral of the story is, don't hang a rook.

    And another thing, the real beauty of chess, is that there's probably four other moves on the board that are valid and strong. I hate modern pretensions that there's only one way to go. If so, why even play the game?

  16. yes please, many more puzzles of the same kind!!

  17. Knowing it was a puzzle I didn't find it hard to solve for all variations even as a 1100 but I would never find these moves in a real game

  18. I arrived pretty quickly at the 1600 move (I'm 1200 in reality). However, I only briefly looked at the follow up. I did think what happens if my opponent doesn't capture by moving my rook to g8 to pin, but didn't look beyond that.

  19. The time you gave us made this blitz level problem, I was still working through lines when you started telling us the solutions.

  20. I saw all the 2300 level implications after capturing the knight, but I also completely overlooked the hanging rook. That’s why my rating is 500 higher in rapid than in blitz, I guess. 1130 in 15/10, but 650 in 3/2 😒

  21. Me a 900 and you are telling me I should be 2300

  22. as a 1400, I managed to calculate until 2300 rating point.

  23. i got the 1800, and a little farther, though not the next one. i know i'm not 1800 though

  24. πŸ€” I'm at 1300 rating right now but I solve and saw the variation of 2700 queen possible checkmate in less than 2min..🀨 ..πŸ˜… …

  25. I noticed the hanging rook right away, but instead of pushing a pawn to protect it, I went with trading the bishop for the knight and assumed white's G pawn would then take my bishop and then I could go Rh4 with Qd5 next. So this puzzle puts me around 1600 rating, but I haven't been playing that long and I'm actually rated in the 600s πŸ™

  26. I found Bxf3 Qxb4 Rg8 g3 and then I played Qxh4 instantly, forgetting that the white queen on b4 can capture my queen. Guess I still have a lot to learn, although not too bad, I would say, considering I am only a 1400.

  27. I'm sorry, but I have to call complete bs on this one. I saw up 'til the very end which would make my rating 2700. And no, I did not cheat and I only thought about it for 2-3 minutes (I saw the first move within 10 seconds). Yet, I am only at 1200 and doing puzzles I am at 1900. This was an incredibly easy puzzle to solve, because literally every single move was unbelievably straight forward. Granted, I don't play very often and when I do I only play 3-5 minutes. But that shouldn't account for such a huge difference in rating. If you really want a hard puzzle, you should pick one in which you fight for a better position, not going for a mate.

  28. okay so i saw the 2700 but im only 1000 rated in rapid blitz and bullet, given i did start at around 800 from my account being super old. HOWEVER! i am 2700 in puzzles and i dont know what to get from this

  29. I saw the queen takes pawn line instead of the rook sacrifice but I didnt see the rook sacrifice

  30. I guess I'm 1600 according to this. Meanwhile my ELO is 685.

  31. This is a weird logic. When I see a puzzle I am already biased because I know there is a solution. In a real game I don't have this. It does not matter here if I overlook the rook because it actually helps to overlook it … so the only logical move is to take the Knight and from that moment on there is no chance from white to save that position at all at least if you don't blunder horribly

  32. Hmm, this is missing the key variation of Bxf3, Qxb4, Rg8, g3, Rg4, Qxg4, hxg4. It should be easily winning for white with a two point material advantage and the inactive white rooks and relatively weak white king, but it doesn't look like there's any immediate checkmate patterns as the Queen can't that easily infiltrate the white position (Kd7, Qg8, Qg4 and finally Qh3, which gives white ample time to mobilize his rooks and get his king out – of course, the monster bishop in f3 kind of boxes white in and makes the mobilization incredibly inefficient and probably still leads to white getting caught). Of course, given white doesn't really have any meaningful counterplay in this variation, I think it's safe to say black should be clearly winning, but it seems like the strongest response white has.

  33. The movement, which was right as the first Bxf3 I have seen at once but I have not seen the movement of white Qxb4 at all. So the strange mixture of good view and bad view. That is my characteristic of play generally for years, but I play generally only once a week for several hours with the players at about my quality of playing. Sorry for not giving something valuable to the opinions here given. This commentary rather is again for me for signalling me that I have watched this video. I should like to watch every video from GM Smirnov. I must admit in the end that I have even seen this movement of the black queen Oxh4 before it was said by GM Smirnov. So I think this video has shown me that I am partially blind in the chess like it has been generally through all these years when I have played once a week.

  34. My thought process was to sacrifice the rook which was being targeted by the queen by taking the pawn in g3/b3 idk. After he recaptures I take the knight he captures my bishop then ladder checkmate with queen and rook on a1/h1 idk

  35. You looked at Qc5, but I considered Qb7 instead. Qb7 allows for taking on c6 and also prepares the line Rxh4, gxh4, Qxh4, Qc8+, Ke7, Qxc7, Kf8, Qd8+ Qxd8 where the black king can escape. Therefore, both Qc5 and Qb7 are worth considering. Why was only Qc5 given points? Qb7 is equally good and should also be counted. Any comments?

  36. Yes this video is great. I like testing my skills.:)

  37. This video was helpful to me. Like to see more like this one. I think I got the 1600 rating

  38. Spotted Bxf3 queen takes rook Rg8 G3 Qxh4 blundering a queen

  39. With rook to g4 black is attempting to deflect white Queen in order for black queen to capture on h4, (g3 is pined) and threatening checkmate. The best option for white is to take the rook on g4 with a fair chance in the end game given two rooks and good pawn structure against white queen, bishop, and not so good pawn structure. Newer the less, I would prefer to play black in this situation.

  40. I spotted the 2700 hundred yet I’m a 750, I don’t get where I mess up in game 😒

  41. Wait what if Queen e7 defending rook and still attacking pawn

  42. Huh? 2,300 would require the opponent to blunder the game by moving their queen instead of sacrificing it to buy time for their king. That doesn't seem like solid calculation to me.

  43. i immediately spottedbthe 1600 level but failed to calculate if white doesnt take the bishop

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