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is there a simple / basic / quick checklist that beginners can use when in super easy games? I am not worried about questions like pawn structure, applying pressure, maintaining momentum, I am talking super basic like, will my knight move open my queen to attack? did his pawn open his bishop to wreck my back line?

I am not worried about getting outplayed, I get frustrated that I didn't see the fact his bishop had a direct shot at my queen. Losing my queen isn't as much of an issue as the fact that I didn't even see it coming.

yes, super beginner, yes, I need a quick and dirty checklist to start with before I can even THINK about maintaining pressure and pawn formations.

  • Voting to close because this is a very broad question. Good question, but broad. – Brandon_J Feb 16 '19 at 19:38
  • maybe I don't know enough about chess to be less broad in the question. maybe change the first sentence to add "per move"? I tried to reduce it down to what I was looking for (not strategy) and "D M" answered exactly what I needed. He broke it down to what I was trying to get at "The focus is mostly on the piece your opponent just moved, and the piece you are moving." and the check list to make sure the results of the actions of those 2 pieces are at least known to you. – BillyNair Feb 16 '19 at 21:46
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The focus is mostly on the piece your opponent just moved, and the piece you are moving. Most of the time, a blunder will involve one of those two pieces. Most of the rest of the time, a blunder will involve a discovered attack or not noticing that a piece was pinned to something more valuable.

Ways to lose your queen in one move mostly consist of:

You move your queen to a spot where it can simply be taken.
You move another piece which was pinned to your queen, allowing it to be taken.
Your opponent moved a piece which is now attacking your queen, and you ignore it.
Your opponent moved a piece which allowed another of his pieces to attack your queen, and you ignore it.

So that suggests a basic checklist of:

  • Make sure the piece you're about to move can't be taken for free.
  • Make sure the piece you're about to move isn't pinned to another piece.
  • Look at what the piece your opponent just moved is attacking.
  • Check if your opponent's move allowed another of his pieces to attack you.

Ways to lose your queen in two moves mostly consist of:

Your queen gets pinned.
Your queen gets skewered.
Your queen gets forked.
Your opponent plays a discovered check which also attacks your queen.
Your queen gets trapped.

So the slightly less basic version of the checklist makes sure that your move does not allow any pins, forks, skewers, discovered checks, or trapped pieces, and that your opponent's last move does not threaten any of those.

And you should, of course, always be watching out for checkmate. It doesn't matter if you lose your queen if the game is over.

This is not comprehensive - there are other ways to lose your queen fast. But it does check for some of the most common basic-level blunders.

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  • yes, the bullets, this is what I was looking for. ty. And yes, it is good to trade your queen for his knight if the next move or 2 results in checkmate. – BillyNair Feb 16 '19 at 21:40
  • basically it comes down to 1) who is he attacking 2) who did he open up 3) {find a piece to move} 4) who can attack you in the new position 5) who is now exposed – BillyNair Feb 16 '19 at 22:00

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