- Control beforehand.
- Looking for inspiration.
- Control afterwards.
I use the term "control" in stead of "checks" to avoid confusion with "giving check". I like to keep the TP as minimalistic as possible. It makes no sense to cover every exotic idea you can think of. The goal of a TP must be simplifying a complex position. The idea is, that as much as possible, the TP must be automated. That implicates that steps that can be envisioned as a picture are preferred. I formulate the steps as questions, you need to interrogate the position for answers.
- Is my king in check?
When solving puzzles, it is a good idea to check if your king is in check, because if it is and you don't know it, you are wasting a lot of time. While controlling if your king is in check might take less than a second. It is a typical board vision exercise.
Looking for inspiration.
When doing tactical exercises, there are two questions to be asked (= my personal TP):
- Which are the squares from which to attack?
- Which pieces are overworked?
- Is the box around the king closed?
- Which move fixes the hole in the box around the king while giving check at the same time?
- Which move gives check?
This category adds standard chess knowledge to a move. It takes in consideration all possible logical answers to your move.
- Is the piece you intend to move pinned against your king?
- Is the square that you intend to move to protected?
- Can the opponent interpose the intended check?
- Creates the intended move a new hole in the box around the king?
If you can answer all the blue questions from the three categories within, say, 5 seconds, there can't be going on much thinking in your head. That would be good enough for me. Since that equals about 12 mates per minute, that would be an outstanding performance. For mate in one "hard".