Tagging Guidelines

Tag definitions

Please read the Tactical Motif list and Positional Motif list pages before starting to tag problems. Those pages have a short description and example of each tactical motif and their associated tags. Some chess authors have slightly different definitions for some motifs, so the descriptions on the page might differ slightly from what you have read elsewhere. In such cases please try to use the Chess Tempo definition in order to keep the tags as consistent as possible.

How the tag voting works

Tag voting adds up all the votes for and against a particular tag on a problem and if there is more votes for the tag than against then the problem will be marked as having that tag. This means that if you already see a problem with a tag that you agree with, then it would be useful for you to add your vote for the tag even though the problem was already marked with that tag. The reason for this is that if there was only one vote for the tag and someone else incorrectly voted against the tag, then the tag would become inactive (coloured red), however if you add your vote for the tag then it would take two votes against the tag to disable it.

Users can only vote for a particular tag once on a problem, however users CAN vote for multiple different tags per problems, so if you see more than one appropriate tag for a problem, please vote for all of them.

The number of votes for and against a tag are shown when hovering over the tag. You can click on the + or - votes to add for or against votes to an existing tag, or you can use the + button beneath the tags to vote for new tags, and the available tags to select from will be displayed.

On the list of tags already applied, you can click on the tag name to see a description of the tag if you want to check your understanding of the tag definition before voting. If you haven't voted on a tag before or haven't voted recently, you'll also be shown the description view, even when clicking directly on the up/down vote scores to add your vote.

When choosing a new tag, the tags are layed out in a folder structure in the tag selection panel. Higher level folders such as 'Non-mate Motifs' can't be voted on directly, however some folders are also voteable tags, for example inside the 'Non-mate Motifs' folder you'll find a 'Discovery' folder. You can vote directly on the 'Discovery' folder (click on the name instead of the expand/collapse icon to vote on a folder tag). Voting on child tags of such a voteable folder tag will also vote on any voteable parents that lead to the child tag being voted on. For example there is a 'Discover Checks' tag inside the 'Discovered Attack' folder that is inside the 'Discovery' folder. So the 'Discover Checks' tag has the full folder path of 'Tactical Motifs -> Non-mate Motifs -> Discovery -> Discovered Attack -> Discoverer Checks'. If you vote on 'Discoverer Checks' then 'Discovered Attack' and 'Discovery' will also have your vote applied. This allows more flexibility in the custom set search, as it means by voting for 'Discoverer Checks' people will also be able to find items you've tagged in this way via the higher level motifs of 'Discovery' or 'Discovered Attack'. Down votes work in the same way as up votes in the folder hierachy, so a down vote for 'Discoverer Checks' will also down vote its relevant parents.

One of the reasons we tag positions is to allow users to find positions that contain a tactical motif that they want to study. For example, if a person wants to study pins, they can create (or use a pre-made) custom set which targets pins. The search results will include only those positions that have previously been tagged as pins. This is important to remember when tagging a position. Let's say that you are solving a tactical puzzle and you want to add the tag 'pin' to that particular problem. Before adding that tag, ask yourself the following question: If I were searching for pins, is this an important position that I would want to see in my search results? If the answer is "yes", then add the tag. If the answer is "no", then the tag should not be added.

Tag modifiers

Tag modifiers allow more specific versions of tags to be represented without creating a massive number of new top level tags. For example it may be useful to recognize that a motif occurs with check, or that a particular piece was moved during the tactic. For example a Fork with check could be presented by Fork[Check,Knight] indicating that a Knight delivered a fork with check.

Modifiers can only be added when creating a new tag. You can't add a modifier to a tag that has already been added to a problem. This means if there is an existing Fork tag with no modifiers, and you want to add a Fork[Check,Knight] tag, you would need to add a new tag using the '+' button , and then on the add tag panel, choose the Check and Knight modifiers. We also want to avoid an acculumation of the same tag with different sets of modifiers , so if you believe your new tag with modifiers is the most specific available, then you should also vote down Fork tags without modifiers. The tag without modifiers is not wrong, but your new tag is more specific, so we would prefer that it becomes the primary way of tagging the Fork on the problem. People using tag searches based on 'Fork' will still find the modifier version, with the added bonus of also being able to search for problems with more specific versions involving check or the specific piece involved. If other taggers agree with your modifiers, they can click directly on your modifier version of the tag to vote it up without having to add their own modifier version, and they can also vote down the less specific version.

We currently support three types of modifiers, the Check modifier, the attacking piece modifier (Pawn, Bishop, Knight, Rook, Queen , King) and the Prophylaxis modifer. The Check modifier is to be used when the motif involves checking the opponent king. The attacking piece modifier designates the piece(s) involved in the attack. The Prophylaxis modifier provides a way of indicating that a move is required in order to protect against a potential attack from your opponent. It is most commonly applicable on mixed mode defensive problems, but may also be relevant in non-defensive tactics.

Please note that piece modifiers (Pawn, Bishop, Knight, Rook, Queen , King) only refer to the moving piece, please don't use these to denote the type of pieces attacked. So for example a Fork[King] is a fork made by a King on two pieces, NOT a fork on a king. Similarly Pin[Rook] is pin where a rook is pinning another piece, NOT a pin on a rook. You can use the piece modifier for opponent pieces when combined with the Prophylaxis modifier, indicating the opponent piece is the piece capable of making the potential threat. Similarly if a move is a prophylactic move that defends against check from your opponent, then tagging with both Prophylaxis and Check as modifiers is also fine.

For a small number of tags , modifiers will be redundant , as we decided to have a specific tag that overlaps with a modifier. For example 'Discoverer Checks' could be 'Discovered Attack[Check]'. To avoid clutter it is best to avoid marking 'Discoverer Checks' with the Check modifier, given the name already holds this information.

Using positional motifs

Initially, positional motifs were only available for tagging positions in the Guess the move feature. However we now allow positional tags to be used in chess problems. When deciding if a positional tag could be used on a problem, please try to limit tagging to features that were relevant to the problem solution. For example, if a tactical position has connected pawns, but they don't feature in the tactic, then they should not be tagged. If however, the tactic involves utilising an advanced pawn to gain material, it is possible the connected nature of your pawns was relevant, and if that is the case, they should be tagged. Some positional motifs will tend to be more commonly associated with tactics than others. For example motifs in the positional list like 'Rook On 7th Rank', 'Pawn Storm', 'Rook Lift' will tend to be more commonly featured in tactics problems than some of the less aggressive positional tags.

Tags for tactical threats that are not played out

Sometimes a tactic involves the threat of a particular tactical motif , but the tactical motif itself is not actually played out on the board (for example the opponent gives up a minor piece to avoid a fork on more valuable material). In these situations it is ok to tag the problem with the threatened tag as long as the threat was important in making the tactic work. Incidental threats that are not relevant to the main line should not be tagged.

Needs more Moves and Needs different opponent moves tags

These are special purpose tags that prompt the user for a move suggested the user feels would lead to an improvement in the tactic.

'Needs more moves' should be used when the problem finished early and would benefit from more moves in order to force the user to see the point of the tactic. You are asked to enter a single move which would be the next move in the move sequence (usually an extra opponent move). While you may feel that multiple extra moves are required, you are only asked to enter the very next move. This will make the automatic extension of problems much easier to handle (although it may mean that sometimes a subsequent move extension vote may need to be made, in many situations the auto-extension will be able to fill in more than one extra move once the first move has been provided). So for example if the the move sequence ended after two user moves with 1...Nf3 2.Rxf3 Qxf3 and you felt that 3.Bxf3 Rxf3 should have been played, then you would use the 'Needs more moves' tag and enter 3.Bxf3 as the extra move.

The 'Needs different opponent move' tag should be used when you believe a move played by the opponent prevented the main point of the problem being shown, or that a different opponent move would have been more instructive. In this case you enter the the move that you believe should replace an existing move, for example if the main line was 1...Nf3 2.Rxf3 Bxf3 (with white giving up the rook to avoid losing the queen in the future), and you think that forcing the user to find the longer queen winning move would be more instructive, then you could suggest 2.Rf4 which might be a move that would force black to prove they can see the more difficult queen winning sequence. Note that the 'Needs different opponent move' tag should not be used to suggest 'silly' moves that a human wouldn't play just in order to reveal a pretty tactical line. The suggested move should always be a move that gives the winning side a chance to go astray and miss the win (even if the move might have lower computer evaluations in the longer term).

If you are unsure of the quality of your suggested move then using an engine to check your analysis would be beneficial. There may also be some situations where there is no clear good move and a human player would probably just resign. A good guidelines here (and in other situations) is to suggest the move that poses the most difficult questions of the opponent (which in this case is you).

As with the standard tactical motif tags, it is very useful for you to add an extra 'for' vote for a 'need more moves' or 'needs different opponent move' tag if you see an improved move suggestion that you agree with. Not only does this help keep useful suggestions around in the situation where other users incorrectly vote against the tag, but once auto-adjustment of problems is implemented, the problems that are processed first will be the ones with the most tags.

Common Tagging Mistakes

Hanging Piece : This should be used only when a piece is hanging and can be taken on the first move of the problem. It is NOT to be used when you play a Fork/Double Attack or a Skewer and then take a piece on the next move.

Back Rank Mate or Weak Back Rank? : A problem should be tagged with only one of these, not both. If mate occurs in the solution, use Back Rank Mate. If material is won because of threats on the back rank, use Weak Back Rank.

Blocking or Interference? : These are not the same and shouldn't both be used for the same tactical idea. Please read the Tactical Motif description page to see the difference. In short Blocking blocks an escape square for an opponent's piece (usually the King) while Interference cuts one or more of the opponent's communication lines between pieces or between a piece and a square.

Distraction or Attraction? : Often confused with each other. Distraction is making a piece move away from its defensive task so that something else can be attacked, while Attraction is drawing a valuable piece closer so it can be attacked more.