Puzzle Academy Content Update

Puzzle Academy now includes seven new levels, two new skills with guides, the start of a new "Attacking" course, and 30,000 new puzzles.

Puzzle Academy is already the most comprehensive tactics course. We've added 30,000 additional puzzles across all levels. Puzzle Academy now includes more than 150,000 puzzles in 336 levels for learning 114 skills in seven areas.

Join Premium now and start learning chess tactics systematically with Puzzle Academy, or read on for details and examples about the new content.

Watch a video with an overview of the new skills and levels:

New "Attacking" course

The new "Attacking" course starts with a chapter on "combining threats". This chapter builds on what you've learned in "Tactics", "Combinations", "Checkmate patterns", and "Checkmate combinations". The first skill is "Weak back-rank", where the threat of back-rank mate leads to either checkmate or a winning material advantage.

Here is a tricky example:

White already has a decisive material advantage, but with the last move ...Rc1 Black has defended against back-rank mate, is attacking the rook on c7 and threatens to promote the pawn on d2.
White can exploit the weak back-rank with the clever interference 1.Nc4!!, renewing the threat of Rc8#.
Now White wins in all variations:

  • Promoting the pawn with 1...d1=Q does not prevent 2.Rc8#.
  • 1...Rxc4 2.Rxc4 doesn't help because 2...d1=Q still allows 3.Rc8#.
  • 1...Kb8 prevents checkmate, but White can win with the intermediate check 2.Rb7+ Kb8 3.Nxd2.
  • Finally, the clever 1...Rg1+, hoping to decoy the king and promote with check after 2.Kxg1? d1=Q+ fails to 2.Kh3!, for example 2...Kb8 3.Rb7+! Ka8 4.Nxd2.

Additional skills and levels will be added to the "Attacking" course in future content updates.

New levels

In the "Fundamentals" course, there is a new skill "X-ray capture", including a new guide.

In the "Tactics" course, we've added "Capture Defender" level 4.

In the "Combinations" course, there is a new "Decoy into pin" level 2, for example:

Black can win with the double decoy 1...d4!. White is forced to capture 2.Bxd4, as the Bishop has no retreat. Now Black can play the second decoy 2...Rxd4! and after 3.Qxd4 pin and win with 3...Bc5.

In the "Checkmate patterns" course, you can now play "Double knight mate" level 2. This is a beautiful checkmate pattern, for example:

Joseph Henry Blackburne checkmated his opponent with the queen sacrifice 1...Qg2+!! 2.Rxg2 Nh3#.

In the "Checkmate combinations" course, you can learn "Decoy into checkmate" level 5. Decoy into checkmate is one of the most common checkmate combinations. Here is a typical example:

White can win with the decoy 1.Rh8+!! Kxh8 2.Qh6+ Kg8 3.Bh7+ Kh8 4.Bg6+ Kg8 5.Qh7+ Kf8 6.Qf8#.

In the "Defence" course, you can practice to force stalemate in "Desperado" level 2. These puzzles are always a lot of fun. Here is a nice example:

It looks like Black is losing the endgame, but with the surprising double desperado 1...Rg7+!! 2.fxg7 Rg6+! 3.Kxg6 Black can force stalemate and escape with a draw.

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