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:
- connected his rooks;
- 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.