What is development? - The Petroff (1)

What is development? - The Petroff (1)

Apr 8, 2016, 2:13 PM |

... and how to calculate. Checks are what I care for, do I?

Since four to five years I play the Petroff or Russian Knight Game with Black and White. Slowly crawling up the small and stony path to understanding the learning comes mostly by the accidents happening to me on the way.

This is an example. I give only the first seven moves of a just finished 5-minutes-game.

Look at it. What happened. White was playing on auto-pilot, Black too. In move 7 White has two serious alternatives to the main move 7.0-0. These are 7.Qe2 and 7.Nc3.

7.c4?! was played because of the main line pattern: 7.0-0 Be7 8.c4 Nb4 9.Be2 and the black move 7... Nb4 was probably played following this line.

But neither White nor Black had followed the first rule in tactical positions: Look for each check. And the Petroff is a tactical opening! If you think it's boring, play the position after 7... Bb4+ against an engine and see what happens. Each tempo counts!


  1. Development is also looking for the security of the king (nothing new).
  2. The Petroff is a tactical opening.

Addendum: For those thinking the Petroff is boring I recommend looking at the gambit 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 Nxe4.