A "development" battle
Even the most inexperienced of players know the so called basic rules of chess opening: Controlling the center, develop the pieces, castle and bring king to safety etc. But the player, being aware of these facts ( even with good ideas of tactical attacks and defence), still, to his utter surprise and somewhat horror, keeps on getting busted in the opening phase by the more advanced and experienced ones. He finds that there is no apparent problems in his moves, they are tactically flawless, bears an idea to some extent, but still gets overpowered. Time and time, being perplexed, he faces a question from deep within : Is the opening really that simple? Does the apparant " bringing in pieces" development and central pawn moves suffice? It turns out that the term "development" is often misunderstood, by the player of lesser knowledge and skill, and the so called golden rules are often not good enough to save the day.
The game which I am going to show you today, is just a display of two sides developing with inherent ideas; but one gets the things more accurate, while the other one ( None but I) , keeps on playing routine developing moves, not always consistent to his own ideas, and eventually finds himself in a deep blue sea.
The game started as follows:
Black, having played 7...c5, has somewhat drawn the line for both sides. His idea is clear cut, expanding on the queenside with pawn breaks ..b5 , ..a5 etc. He will develop the b8 knight to c6, and set iron grip over the central dark squares ( e5 and d4). This is absolute necessary, as the move c5 itself weakens d5, so black needs some dark sqaure control to claim anything in the center. He possesses a semi open e file, so a Re8 should be in the planning list. the e7 bishop ( a useful key defender as we shall see later on) can go to f8 to allow such file control. The a8 rook can go to b8, supporting b5, but the position of the c8 bishop is hard to determine.
White, on the other hand, already enjoys central space. His g2 bishop really stops black's b5 for some moves. he has kingside space, and a kingside pawn storm f4,g4, etc is very much likely to occur. He also has the move a4 in case of emergency to restrict black's queenside idea.
The first problem for black is , his queenside and central idea has been too slow to execute, and his pieces are placed in such positions that they require attantion themselves. Black unfortunately has to think defending now, so his strategy of queen side play is stooped for now. He can still play Re8 and Bf8 and hope for the best, but white is already threatening attacks. The play for black is getting harder and harder. It may be still true that white has no clear advantage, but black needs supreme precision.
However, if black were consistent to the initial plans, it could have been easily like this : ( as I mentioned in the side variations before)
The difference is clear, white does not have that freedom. The e4 pawn needs attention, black is about to play b5 successfully, there is ideas of ..b5, ...Qc8 (targetting h3) or even centralizing with ...Ne5. Black always finds some counter and hence white is bound to measure his play.
Lets go back to the game and see how it went on