Understanding before Moving 35: Development advantage (1)

by ChessBase
7/11/2021 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In the 35th instalment of his ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving", Herman explains why it is so important to develop one's pieces as soon as possible. | Photo: Tommy Grooten

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In the previous show, we discussed 1.Nc3, the "Van Geet opening", and had a look at ways to exploit a development advantage.

It is important to determine in the opening how to put one's pieces into play as quickly as possible. The smooth and straightforward play of Paul Morphy and Bobby Fischer has  been highlighted in these video shows before.

Recently, I saw how a Grandmaster instructed his students to make sure that after 10 to 15 all their pieces would be developed, the rooks connected and and preferably positioned on an open file or in the center. In the  Netherlands we know this principle from the famous "The Steps Method" as "the golden rules of the opening".

Last time we looked at a somewhat irregular opening set-up with 1.Nc3, now we focus on the beloved opening of  the English grandmaster, Julian Hodgson, the Trompowsky attack that arises after 1.d4  Nf6 2.Bg5. Again, rapid development, sometimes at the cost of a pawn, is of  paramount importance.

In the diagram position, taken from a Trompowsky,  Hodgson's opponent has just played ...e6-e5? which seems to win material as the knight on f4 and the rook on h3 are under attack. But what power move did White have in mind to counter this attack?


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