The Queen in the Opening
The following opening moves are extremely popular among inexperienced chess players:
When I ask my students who play Black why they trade the knights and bring the White Queen into the center the usual answer is: "it is a bad idea to develop your Queen too early in the game and so I force my opponent to do exactly that!"
Even though generally speaking the rule they quote is correct, still this way of playing the opening cannot be recommended. Why? To answer this question let's first see what is the point of the rule that says that you don't want to move your Queen out too early in most cases.
When we just start playing chess, it is natural to use the most powerful piece you have as quickly as possible. So, the strategy is pretty simple: let's move the Queen out and her unlimited power coupled with our natural talent will bring us the deserved victory. I have encountered this simple plan in simultaneous exhibitions countless times. Usually the game continues like this:
You see what happened? While White was developing his pieces, Black had to waste time again and again by moving his Queen which was constantly attacked by White pieces. As a result, at some point the Black Queen was fighting almost the entire White army. The outcome of such a "fight" is easy to predict. And this is precisely the reason why you don't want to 'develop' your Queen too early in most situations. This is one of the oldest positional rules in chess. Look at the following games played about 400 years ago. Moving the Queen in front of her army in the opening was as bad then as it is now.
The rule about moving your Queen out too early is one of the most basic rules known even by beginners. Amazingly, sometimes even Grandmasters forget about this rule:
But just like almost any rule in chess, this one has exceptions (actually many of them!). We are going to discuss such exceptions in the second part of this article.