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# Developing pieces in the opening

• #1
I have two questions on this topic. First, do you need to develop all of you minor pieces right away in the opening? I feel like I always get into the same position because I’m always developing my pieces to the same squares.

Second, which I guess is more in the middle game, how do you decide if it’s advisable to move the same piece two times in a row. For example, moving a knight twice in a row to reposition it to a better square. And how many times is too many?

Thanks
• #2

It always depends on the position. It is advisable generally to develop all your minor pieces before deciding how to proceed from there. But there are always exceptions - if you can win material its obviously justified. Or can you force your opponent to play an ugly defensive move? If so on balance it may be that you gain more than you lose by moving the same piece twice. Only experience and familiarity can really tell you when you can 'break the rules'. Your 2nd question the same - it depends on the position. The position always dictates what is the best plan/sequence of moves.

• #3

sorry, but there are no easy answers to this because it depends so much on circumstances in the opening. All things being equal, it tends to be best to develop all pieces as fast as possible. This is more important the more open the position is (trading of center pawns). In a position with a blocked center, you can mull around a bit more without being punished.

All things being equal, you should not move the same piece twice...unless you are creating a threat that the opponent is unable to counter while also developing and the threat has to be big enough that it cannot be ignored. Again, this is assuming an open position.

• #4
aaronmoze wrote:
... do you need to develop all of you minor pieces right away in the opening? I feel like I always get into the same position because I’m always developing my pieces to the same squares. ...

It may be that you have encountered some rules and are following them too rigidly. Here are two examples of standard opening textbook lines:

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 c3

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 O-O Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 d6 8 c3

For someone seeking help with openings, I usually bring up Openings for Amateurs by Pete Tamburro (2014).
http://kenilworthian.blogspot.com/2014/05/review-of-pete-tamburros-openings-for.html
https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/tag/openings-for-amateurs/
I believe that it is possible to see a fair portion of the beginning of Tamburro's book by going to the Mongoose Press site.
https://www.mongoosepress.com/catalog/excerpts/openings_amateurs.pdf
Perhaps you would also want to look at Discovering Chess Openings by GM John Emms (2006).
"... For beginning players, [Discovering Chess Openings] will offer an opportunity to start out on the right foot and really get a feel for what is happening on the board. ..." - FM Carsten Hansen (2006)
https://web.archive.org/web/20140627114655/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen91.pdf

• #5
aaronmoze wrote:
... how do you decide if it’s advisable to move the same piece two times in a row. For example, moving a knight twice in a row to reposition it to a better square. And how many times is too many? ...

There are not rules that specify this sort of thing. After 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nf6, one can consider 4 Ng5, 4 d4, 4 d3, or 4 Nc3 and still be within the scope of an opening encyclopedia.

• #6

Chess is a game of analysis.General rules are guidelines that you must learn when to ignore.It will be much better if you post a specific position and a question about a move that violates a principle.You will get much more instructive answers.

Your general questions are impossible to be answered but I will try to give you some general thoughts.

Usually in closed positions it's more important to find the best squares for your pieces than develop fast.

In the above example Black spend 2 moves to position his knight on f5 since that was the best possible square.You can see several violations of opening principles like white moving too many pawns but they are not important because the position is closed and both sides try to find the best positions for their pieces.

In the above game , white does several "bad things".He moves his knight 3 times(Nbd2-Nz1-Ng3) , his bishop 2 times (Bc4-Bb3) and he also plays h3 and leaves Bc1 undeveloped.Black instead of trying to exploit these "awful moves" , plays some "awful moves" himself(7...h6 , 9...Ba7)and violates the same principles.Why?

Well , nothing of all these makes sense unless you see the whole picture.Let's try to understand the moves.The first move you need to try to understand is 4.c3.White wants to play d4 , quite a reasonable plan.But then why not 5.d4?Because it's too premature and Black can take advantage of that to counterstrike in the centre.

So White decides to slowly prepare d4 after his pieces are well placed and his king in safety.But Nb1 has lost it's natural square(c3) and he must find a new destination.That is what white does.In this case it is very important and he doesn't hesitate to spend 3 moves for his knight.But why Bb3?Because many times Black wins the race and plays d5 first so white wants to have the option to strengthen e4 when that happens.That is why he precautionary withdraws first the bishop.

There is no rule that can tell you when to move a piece twice and how many times a piece must play before it is considered a mistake.Only the analysis of the specific elements of a position  can answer that.

• #7

A truly great post, @DeirdreSkye!

• #8

.....

• #9

Thank you everyone, and especially Deidresky for taking the time to explain and show examples!

Can someone tell me how to insert the game board with moves and comments?  Then I can post questions with examples

• #10

Remember that the opening is a fight for space, tempo, and force.  If you move a piece a second time and that causes your opponent to do the same or push a pawn instead of developing a piece or makes him crowd his pieces together, it MAY be worth it.

There is a classic on how to fit it all together, Larry Evans and 6 other GM's, How to Open a Chessgame, and used copies are plentiful and cheap on Amazon.

• #11
aaronmoze wrote:
I have two questions on this topic. First, do you need to develop all of you minor pieces right away in the opening?

The Italian Deride showed is a good example because often the c1 and c8 bishops are already "developed" in a sense on their home square (there are often attacking ideas on the kingside, Bxh3 or Bxh6 for example).

In other openings, usually one of the minor pieces is somewhat of a problem piece. Maybe we could use the QGD where the light square bishop can struggle to find activity after being blocked in by e6. (Still, it serves an important defensive function.)

So in general I'd say 3 out of 4 is fine. You're not going to be able to get 4 ideal minor pieces unless your opponent is really bad.

aaronmoze wrote:
I feel like I always get into the same position because I’m always developing my pieces to the same squares.

One thing to notice is when pieces are blocking other pieces. You'll always be blocking one thing or another, but thinking in these terms may help you choose different squares.

For example

aaronmoze wrote:
Second, which I guess is more in the middle game, how do you decide if it’s advisable to move the same piece two times in a row. For example, moving a knight twice in a row to reposition it to a better square. And how many times is too many?

In closed positions (pawns locked up, no open files) you have much more time for maneuvers. You might even spend 4 or 5 moves on a single piece without getting into a bad position.

In open positions, just be sure not to fall a few moves behind in development. 1 or 2 is not bad as long as it's a solid position and they can't open more lines, but falling 3 or 4 moves behind is dangerous because the opponent can start to think of sacrificing.

• #12
aaronmoze wrote:

Thank you everyone, and especially Deidresky for taking the time to explain and show examples!

Can someone tell me how to insert the game board with moves and comments?  Then I can post questions with examples

To insert a pgn first cick on the tiny board on the  bar with the various tools and emojis(it's the first from the left).

Then click "Load pgn" and insert the pgn.

Once the pgn is inserted you can right click on the moves and a menu will appear.Choose "comment" and write your comment.Once you finish your comment , right click another move to type another comment.

I will post some photos if you still find it difficult.

• #13

Here's a minor example of considering how pieces block each other from a game played yesterday.

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