I have a bit of ambivalence about this, but I’ll post it anyway. I pulled it, but everyone’s updater said I posted something yesterday, so I’ll put it back. The thing is, like on FICS, but even at tournaments with faster time-controls, people will use the clock as a weapon, when that happens, or if you are playing a typical online game such as 15 0 or 15 5, there is not enough time to do any of this. What I am saying is that what I put below is what raises my OTB rating, but my online rating is crap because people blitz and I reserve the right to suck at blitz and be alright OTB. I think people who like to say that Blitz correlates to OTB are probably GM’s that like matches to be decided by blitz playoff games.
How I Blundercheck
What do I mean by “blundercheck”? I mean, assuming this isn’t some crap-shoot time-scramble, that you play the move in your head before you do it on the board. I’ll be more specific, when I make “the move”, I first make it in my mind and then pretend that my opponents clock is now running, and he is looking for a move, and then I look for his best cheapo continuations (some cheapo’s are considerably positionally elaborate, yes; in fact most of them are positional first, and tactical second, as that is the basis for all tactics).
This isn’t all that I do when I analyze, it’s simply the most critical part when it comes to attaining rating points.
When it comes to my whole process, first I find a move that I like, which usually jumps out at me, then I analyze it for soundness. Then I look for other possible moves to become candidate moves. I usually narrow it down quickly to two candidate moves. I analyze both of their continuations and then I usually know which one that I like better. Then, I do my blundercheck described above.
A better blundercheck is my best advice for attaining Class A player level. When I was a D player I once asked an A player, whom I admired, how to get to that level and his reply was “stop dropping pieces” and he wasn’t talking about any of my games.