maandag 25 februari 2008

Taking Development into account

One of the subjects that is treated very poorly in chess literature is development and more specifically the question of how to measure an advantage in development. In most books a method of tempo-counting is used which is unnecessary complicated. There is a far better way to judge a position in terms of development. This system is comprehensible as well as practical.

In this position white has an obvious lead in development. But how large is this lead? The system I endorse works as follows. It takes a fully developed position as starting point for measuring development. Here white is completely developed. He has:

  1. Castled;
  2. connected his rooks;
  3. put his rooks on open files.

For black to reach the same level of development he has to play at least 3 more moves (0-0, Bd7 and Rc8). So we can say that white has a lead in development in this position of 3 moves. Besides having some more space and the more active pieces, this is basically his compensation. Three moves to create some new problems for black while he is finishing his development.

8 opmerkingen:

transformation zei

the elegant wooden chess board. how sweet the joy--chessBase9 triumphs again!

Phaedrus zei

The chessbase diagrams look great I agree. Now that I have learned how to mark squares and to make arrows, I will keep using them.

It's a pitty though that Chessbase does not allow you to make illegal diagrams (with one or no kings).

Christian zei

I like your use of full development as a reference point. Not only this is easier to count than from the starting position. It also helps to prevent time wastes in the opening - move every piece once before moving twice, etc. As to rooks I ask myself if open files always are best. Sometimes they may be better on a file that is not yet open but can be opened with heavy impact.

Phaedrus zei

Hello Christian,

You are right. The competely developed position I use as a point of reference must be regarded as a rule of thumb. Sometimes a rook on the h-file is already developed (e.g. in the Yugoslav attack of the dragonwariantion) as it is ready to support the pawnstorm on the kingside). Still the counting is so easy that these nuances do not make the system any less practical in my opinion.

takchess zei

I hope to find my way back and read when I have some time. looks like well thought out material.

Phaedrus zei

Thank you takchess. I hope to be able to deliver enough qualitystuff and to keep you interested for some time to come.

takchess zei

I hear the voice of Purdy emphatically stating that a position is not fully developed until the Rooks are connected!

Phaedrus zei

Hi Takchess,

It was indeed Purdy who came up with this method. And indeed did he mention the connected rooks as one of the criteria for full development. As a rule of thumb this certainly works. There are however exceptions and when the queen is best positioned on the first rank, there are situations where you can consider the position to be full developed.