I'm troubled by guessing puzzles like 2581, are they fun?


#1

I’m looking for a little feedback here about puzzles like this one. Usually it’s 2 captures, here it’s 3 to choose between. It can be tough to choose the right one and people often guess, here twenty have gotten it right, 19 have gotten it wrong.

Are these fun? I’m hesitant to limit the problem generator to only those puzzles that start with non-capturing moves, but maybe there is a middle ground? That’s why I’m looking for feedback, are these fun?


#2

If you jump the other ways, the other side gets a king and your advantage is lost. So the choice is really a strategic one and so the puzzle is a good one.


#3

I agree and this may come up in a game and these are the choices you have to make and make the wrong one and you lose your advantage I got this wrong twice and right So hopefully learning out of it.

Leave them please is my opinion We want every sort of puzzle


#4

Thank you both for your feedback, I think I’ll leave these alone for now.

But I should do a better job of explaining my worry and a possible solution. My worry is that against puzzles like this, players have a very high chance of guessing correctly. Once you’ve made the first move, every subsequent move is forced. That means more lower rated players get it right and the puzzle’s rating is low for its difficulty. This in turn means getting it wrong is more punishing, loses more points, than most puzzles of the same difficulty.

I know the usual advice is to care about your play and not about your rating, the rating will follow. But the fact of the matter is that people do care about ratings and losing a bunch to a puzzle that is tricky but guessable may be frustrating. And I really don’t want this site to be frustrating. Hence my question.

As for the solution, I’m definitely not going to prevent all puzzles that start with captures, that’s way too large a class of puzzles and variety is clearly important. But there are all kinds of things that make puzzles bad, like too many good moves, or ending too soon, or not ending soon enough, and maybe being too guessable. The generator has gotten better at avoiding the other errors. I could, during puzzle creation, look at the number of legal player moves over the puzzle’s tree and skip creation if that number is less than or equal to 4.

This could be a refinement. But if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. From the sounds of things I would be doing more harm than good. Thank you both for the feedback. If you or anyone else have any other thoughts, please share them.