It is a really succinct but mysterious piece of code. I understand the diff == 0 part, but the diff == rowID - i, I do not understand at all? How did they come up with this?

# How does n-queens isValid check work?

**damluar**#2

the `diff == 0`

condition checks if both queens occupy the same column

the `diff == row - i`

checks if they are on the same diagonal.

Just draw a 4x4 matrix and try to understand when 2 queens are on the same diagonal. There are 2 cases: newly added queen is to the left or to the right of the queen we check against.

**triplethreat**#3

It still doesnâ€™t make too much sense, but its ok. I found that an easier way to check the diagonals is to see that for a given diagonal, either i +j = constant or i - j = constant where i and j are the row and column of a given cell in a given diagonal. The absolute value and diff were too hard for me to remember/reason about. THANKS

**laserrabbit**#4

Hi, I would also like to understand an easier approach to determine the validity of placements. Could you provide me code chunk or point me to the resource to understand please? I appreciate it.

**triplethreat**#5

I used the leetcode solutions to understand the i+j = constant and i-j = constant, I never understood the EPI way

**laserrabbit**#6

I understood the EPI way. I used different variable names than given in EPI for better understanding.

```
private static boolean isValid(List<Integer> colPositions) {
Integer last = colPositions.size() - 1;
for (int i = 0; i < last; i++) {
int diff = Math.abs(colPositions.get(last) - colPositions.get(i));
boolean inSameDiagonal = (diff == (last - i));
if (diff == 0 || inSameDiagonal) {
return false;
}
}
return true;
}
```