27 July 2016

What is Development

Every chess player is taught to develop his or her pieces. When did this term come into being as a cardinal principle? How is the term defined?

I offer this selection of quotes as a partial definition. All quotes have been typed from a physical copy of the book in question.

“The process of moving pieces from their starting positions to new posts, from which they control a greater number of squares and have greater mobility.” Yasser Seirawan, Winning Chess Strategies (1994), 240.

“By development is to be understood the strategic advance of the troops to the frontier line.” Aron Nimzovich, My System (1930), 4.

“[I]t is essential to bring pieces into play quickly at the start of the game. This process is called development.” Graham Burgess, Chess: Tactics and Strategy (2002), 459.

“The whole art of the Opening consists in bringing into action pieces which are first shut in, in freeing pieces by a very few pawn moves, and in getting them to favourable positions and that as quickly as possible. … A game is usually already more or less developed when, after the necessary pawn moves, the minor pieces are out, and the player has castled, generally on the King’s side.” Siegbert Tarrasch, The Game of Chess (1935), 231.

“Development is getting the pieces out. … The basic principle is that it is essential in the opening to develop all the pieces harmoniously and in such a way as to secure the most favorable position possible in the center.” Reuben Fine, The Ideas Behind the Chess Openings (1943), 2.

“To have the better development is to have one’s pieces more effectively placed, always an advantage; to be ahead in development is to have a greater number of pieces in play, usually but not necessarily advantageous.” David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld, The Oxford Companion to Chess (1992), 107.

“The process of moving chessmen into positions where they can play an active and aggressive role, either defensively or offensively. … To get the chessmen into organized, cooperative and active positions, as quickly as possible, is the essence of sound development.” Byrne J. Horton, Dictionary of Modern Chess (1959), 50.

“In a chess game, develop means to move the pieces off their starting squares on the back row to squares where they have more freedom.” Jeff Coakley, Winning Chess Strategy for Kids (2000), 46.

“The main opening principle is rapid development of your pieces. What this means is that you should bring your pieces into play as quickly as possible.” Roman Pelts and Lev Alburt, Comprehensive Chess Course, vol. II (1986), 35.

“[T]he principle of bringing into play the greatest number of pieces in the shortest possible time.” Valeri Beim, Paul Morphy: A Modern Perspective (2005), 16.

“[I]t is essential to develop the pieces without delay, to bring them quickly into action and not lose any time.” Richard Reti, Masters of the Chessboard (2012 [1930]), 20.

“First of all we shall mobilize our troops, make them ready for action, try to seize the important lines and points which are yet wholly unoccupied.” Emanuel Lasker, Common Sense in Chess (1917), 10.

“The process of increasing the mobility of the pieces by moving them from their original squares.” Larry Evans and Burt Hochberg, How to Open a Chess Game (1974), x.

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