After reviewing each of the games from my previous tournament in Chessmaster, the most common mistake was missing the final safety check to see if my opponent had a killer reply to my last move.
My thought process is something along these lines.
- 1. What did he just do? If he had a free move, what checks, captures and threats do I need to be aware of? This sets up the constraints of the next steps.
- 2. Based on step 1, I need to either:
- a) prevent something
- b) look for an offensive tactic using checks, captures and threats and if nothing comes up
- c) develop my pieces to give me more activity
- 3. Once I decide on the move, I need to give my opponent another "free move" to see what checks, captures and threats he could do. Can he just take my piece off the board?
It seems like a simple thing to fix, but I will need to try really hard to do it every move to prevent some of the disasters from recent games.