Video Series on Development

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  • | Nov 4, 2010

This simply-titled series takes you from the very fundamental notion of "development" in the opening through to a master-level understanding of this concept-- and some complicated examples in the later videos. Regardless of your level, this course has something for you in it, and is one of your best options for improving your play during the opening phase.

The Course starts with a set of 6 videos explaining the basic concepts around development, and the different ways a game can go due to a development lead. The first three videos are marked for "beginners"-- roughly players rated below 1200 USCF or 1400 on

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Part I: Counting: Learn how to measure a development advantage so that you know how significant it is.

Part 2: Open v. Closed Positions: What kind of position does a development lead matter more or less in? (And by how much)

Part 3: Fluid Positions: Continues the discussion from part 2.

(the next three videos are intermediate level, but if you have watched 1-->3 I believe you can profitably go ahead and watch the next three, even if your overall level is still below 1200)

Part 4: The Importance of Weakness: Discussion of how important it is for the side with a development lead to have one or more weaknesses to focus their forces on.

Part 5: Quality: The quality of squares your pieces stand on-- their activity, their proximity to important targets, their further mobility-- is very important to see how much can be achieved with a development lead.

Part 6: Getting Ahead: This discusses techniques for *getting* that development lead. The mechanics behind opening moves that will lead to a player gaining or losing time.

This completes the intermediate videos, and leaves the student with a good grasp of all the most important concepts related to development. Two further specific advanced modules have been added, dealing with added development-related topics. Each of these is only appropriate for an 1800+ USCF level player OR someone who has studied the first six videos attentively.

Simplification and Simplification Continued: these videos examine the possibility for the side with a development lead to purposely trade off a bunch of pieces in order to highlight their development lead in an endgame with one or two active pieces vs one or two inactive pieces. (instead of 6 active pieces vs 4 active pieces and 2 inactive pieces; it's the same concept as behind trading when ahead in material!)

Attack and Defense 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5: These videos go over one very advanced example, distilling proper thought processes for both the attacker and defender in a situation where a development lead is going to be the basis for one side launching a direct assault against the other's king. You'll learn a lot of good attacking and defending patterns; in addition to being encouraged to work on your own calculation throughout the video. You should gain a much better thought-process if you engage with these videos seriously; and you also learn some useful principles as a reward at the end.

This listing will be edited when any further modules are added! Also, please leave feedback about the series here, particularly if you have questions, as we do not check the comments sections of old videos very often.


  • 12 months ago


    Video #6 raised my capability an order of magnitude.  I practiced on the Windows chess game and fought it to a draw (at the 5 level) on the first attempt.  My opponents on Online Chess suddenly seem helpless.

    A great series.

  • 21 months ago


    Great video. Such high quality material in simple language is what is missing in many books.

  • 2 years ago


    It was in the first couple of videos, but the part about always developing until your rooks can see each other, and my rating went up 150 points because of that alone.

    I would always develop some pieces, but the difference of not leaving a couple of undeveloped pieces makes all the difference in the world.

  • 3 years ago


    Thanks much...very helpful than playing always without familiar the chess concept!

  • 4 years ago

    IM dpruess

    very glad to hear it.

  • 4 years ago

    IM dpruess


  • 4 years ago


    Thanks David, it helped me lot, God bless u tc

  • 4 years ago



  • 5 years ago

    IM dpruess

    ah yeah, thanks.

  • 5 years ago


    Maybe he is looking at the Video Guide.

  • 5 years ago

    IM dpruess

    yes, development is a part of strategy. if you check, you'll see the videos were in fact posted in category "strategy."

  • 5 years ago


    Nice series on Development. Does  not this series better fit to the category strategy ? I am reading My System from A.Nimzowitsch, in Part 1 Elements Chapter 1 Center and Development he says that "Development is the strategical deployment of the troops towards the boundary line", an imaginary horizontal line  that divides the board in two parts

  • 6 years ago



  • 6 years ago



    This is high quality stuff, which we have been looking forward to for some time. We appreciate these videos, and will learn much from them.

    To continue with this vein...we are looking forward to future videos on middle and  end game strategies.

  • 6 years ago


    clear, concise and extremely informative. must watch. Please keep em coming

  • 6 years ago


    These videos, especially the first six, were very helpful to me. I recommend them to any novice. Thanks, David. 

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