Returning to the subject of thinking protocols a student of mine pointed out that in Chess Made Easy by Purdy and Koshnitsky, there’s a nice section giving five steps. Personally I suspect that this many might get in the way a bit if you try to do enact them consciously on every move. But methodical individuals might find these very useful:
- What are the opponent’s threats? Or objects? The threats must be known but, before parrying them, see if they can be ignored.
- Have I a sound combination?
- If not, what should be my aims?
- Before playing any move, consider: will this allow my opponent a sound combination?
- During your opponent’s turn to move: make a reconnaissance, eyeing quickly all the squares each unit on the chessboard commands. How safe are the Kings? And other Pieces? What Pawns are weak? What squares?