Introducing the hint button
Many puzzles now have a hint button. Clicking the hint button reveals the main tactical motif that is required to solve the puzzle. It might tell you that you can win with a fork, or with a certain checkmate pattern, or that you can give perpetual check. Many motifs also come with a short explanation, and a link to a guide where you can read more. If you have looked at a puzzle for some time and you don't have a clue, try the hint button.
Using the hint button will help you, but revealing the hint comes at a prize -
solving the puzzle now uses the hint rating, not the normal rating of the puzzle.
Analysis of the many puzzle solvings on ChessPuzzle.net shows that solving a puzzle with a hint can be considerably easier than without any hint - 127 rating points on average. That's why every puzzle on ChessPuzzle.net has two different ratings, the normal rating and the hint rating.
So you should not use the hint button on every puzzle, but only after you've thought about the puzzle for a while and can't find the right idea.
You can read more about ratings in this blog post.
The hint button is available in practice mode, and in the filter mode unless you've already selected a motif in the filter. The hint button is not available in Puzzle Climb nor in Puzzle Academy. The hint button is available before you make the first move of the puzzle. Most puzzles have a hint button, but there are some where we haven't computed the hint yet.
Hint button beta test
The hint button should give you a good idea about the main motif in most cases. Tactics, combinations, checkmate patterns and combinations are recognized very well, and already more motifs are supported than are covered in tactic books. See the Puzzle Academy curriculum for an overview of the supported motifs and patterns.
Defensive motifs are still a work in progress, and currently endgame motifs aren't supported yet, for example Zugzwang. For such puzzles, the revealed hint will be of a more general notion, for example it will tell you that you can win with a promotion, or draw by stalemate.
I've been working on automated recoginition of tactical patterns in chess puzzles since 2019. This technology has enabled the motif selection in the filter mode, the annotations on the solution page, and personalized learning for Puzzle Academy. Now this is the basis for the hint button.
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Saturday, June 11, 2022
Founder of ChessPuzzle.net, International Correspondence Chess Master