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Superior Development
The Tally of Developed Pieces

Point Count Chess, NO. 128, p181-182
McConnell v. Morphy, 1850

The Tally of Developed Pieces focuses the movement of Pieces, both OFF their Back Rank, AND ON their Back Rank, (e.g. Castling; sending a Rook to a central file, especially to a Half Open File or Useful Open File).

H&M-S note the limitations of the Tally of Developed Pieces method: "We concede at once that this method ignores all pawn moves; also the qualitative aspect of development."

So, while H&M-S confess that it's not a comprehensive method; as the following example shows, the Tally of Developed Pieces is a quick way to assess the development of both armies, during the Opening phase.

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.181, No. 128, after 11.Qd3
  2. PGN

The Tally of Developed Pieces
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.181, No. 128, after 11.Qd3

After: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.f4 Qb6 6.Nf3 Bd7 7.a3 Nh6 8.b4 cxd4 9.cxd4 Rc8 10.Bb2 Nf5 11.Qd3

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 128 - Page 181-182
After: 11.Qd3

H&M-S state that: "The critical point is reached when one side has a lead of two units." Or, in other words: when one side has developed at least a margin of two Pieces more than their opponent, it can be considered enough of a lead, as it "will often produce lasting advantages."

Okay, let's see how this "Tally" works ...

The Tally of Developed Pieces, After: 1.e4 e6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 128 - The Tally of Developed Pieces - After 1.e4 e6
Tally of Developed Pieces
After: 1.e4 e6
DEVELOPED PIECES TALLY
WHITE
No Pieces Developed
0
BLACK
No Pieces Developed
0

The Pawns aren't included in the Tally of Developed Pieces, so the "Tally" stays at zero, for each side.

The Tally of Developed Pieces, After: 2.d4 d5

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 128 - The Tally of Developed Pieces - After 2.d4 d5
Tally of Developed Pieces
After: 2.d4 d5
DEVELOPED PIECES TALLY
WHITE
No Pieces Developed
0
BLACK
No Pieces Developed
0

Still no Pieces developed, and so there's no change in the Tally.

The Tally of Developed Pieces, After: 3.e5 c5

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 128 - The Tally of Developed Pieces - After 3.e5 c5
Tally of Developed Pieces
After: 3.e5 c5
DEVELOPED PIECES TALLY
WHITE
No Pieces Developed
0
BLACK
No Pieces Developed
0

Still no Pieces developed, and so there's no change in the Tally.

The Tally of Developed Pieces, After: 4.c3 Nc6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 128 - The Tally of Developed Pieces - After 4.c3 Nc6
Tally of Developed Pieces
After: 4.c3 Nc6
DEVELOPED PIECES TALLY
WHITE
No Pieces Developed
0
BLACK
4...Nc6
1

Black finally develops a Piece (4...Nb8-c6); but White continues to develop Pawns only.

Black takes a one unit lead in Piece Development.

However, it's only if/when it reaches two units that H&M-S consider a critical margin. Therefore, as things stand, Black isn't considered to have enough of an advantage, in Piece Development, at this stage.

The Tally of Developed Pieces, After: 5.f4 Qb6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 128 - The Tally of Developed Pieces - After 5.f4 Qb6
Tally of Developed Pieces
After: 5.f4 Qb6
DEVELOPED PIECES TALLY
WHITE
No Pieces Developed
0
BLACK
4...Nc6; 5...Qb6
2

Black has a TWO UNIT lead in Piece Development; H&M-S believe this to be a critical lead.

The Tally of Developed Pieces, After: 6.Nf3 Bd7

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 128 - The Tally of Developed Pieces - After 6.Nf3 Bd7
Tally of Developed Pieces
After: 6.Nf3 Bd7
DEVELOPED PIECES TALLY
WHITE
6.Nf3
1
BLACK
4...Nc6; 5...Qb6;
6...Bd7
3

White finally develops his first Piece (6.Ng1-f3), but Black develops another Piece (6...Bc8-d7).

So, Black maintains his two unit lead in Piece Development.

The Tally of Developed Pieces, After: 7.a3 Nh6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 128 - The Tally of Developed Pieces - After 7.a3 Nh6
Tally of Developed Pieces
After: 7.a3 Nh6
DEVELOPED PIECES TALLY
WHITE
6.Nf3
1
BLACK
4...Nc6; 5...Qb6;
6...Bd7; 7...Nh6
4

Black stretches to a three unit lead in Piece Development.

The Tally of Developed Pieces, After: 8.b4 cxd4

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 128 - The Tally of Developed Pieces - After 8.b4 cxd4
Tally of Developed Pieces
After: 8.b4 cxd4
DEVELOPED PIECES TALLY
WHITE
6.Nf3
1
BLACK
4...Nc6; 5...Qb6;
6...Bd7; 7...Nh6
4

Black c-Pawn takes White d-Pawn; this doesn't affect either army's Piece Development Tally.

The Tally of Developed Pieces, After: 9.cxd4 Rc8

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 128 - The Tally of Developed Pieces - After 9.cxd4 Rc8
Tally of Developed Pieces
After: 9.cxd4 Rc8
DEVELOPED PIECES TALLY
WHITE
6.Nf3
1
BLACK
4...Nc6; 5...Qb6;
6...Bd7; 7...Nh6;
9...Rc8
5

Black stretches to a four unit lead in Piece Development.

Black's Queen-Rook moves onto the c-file (9...Ra8-c8), which is in line with the Expanded Center; H&M-S would consider this to be a "Rook moved to a Center File", and so it counts as a Developed Piece.

The Tally of Developed Pieces, After: 10.Bb2 Nf5

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 128 - The Tally of Developed Pieces - After 10.Bb2 Nf5
Tally of Developed Pieces
After: 10.Bb2 Nf5
DEVELOPED PIECES TALLY
WHITE
6.Nf3; 10.Bb2
2
BLACK
4...Nc6; 5...Qb6; 6...Bd7; 7...Nh6; 9...Rc8
5

White makes only his second Piece-move (10.Bc1-b2), during the development phase.

Black removes a Piece that has been developed once already (7...Ng8-h610...Nh6-f5), so his Piece Development Tally doesn't increase. But, Black still has a THREE UNIT lead, in Piece Development.

The Tally of Developed Pieces, After: 11.Qd3 Bxb4+

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 128 - The Tally of Developed Pieces - After 11.Qd3 Bxb4+
Tally of Developed Pieces
After: 11.Qd3 Bxb4+
DEVELOPED PIECES TALLY
WHITE
6.Nf3; 10.Bb2;
11.Qd3
3
BLACK
4...Nc6; 5...Qb6;
6...Bd7; 7...Nh6; 9...Rc8; 11...Bxb4+
6

Both sides develop a new Piece, so while their respective Tallies increase, the overall Tally continues to show Black maintains his THREE UNIT lead, in Piece Development.

What's more significant is that Black appears to be "spending" some of his Piece Development lead, by sacrificing one of his Pieces (his dark-Bishop, at b4).

We see the completion of this sacrifice, and how it affects the overall "Tally", in the next move ...

The Tally of Developed Pieces, After: 12.axb4 Nxb4

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 128 - The Tally of Developed Pieces - After 12.axb4 Nxb4
Tally of Developed Pieces
After: 12.axb4 Nxb4
DEVELOPED PIECES TALLY
WHITE
6.Nf3; 10.Bb2;
11.Qd3
3
BLACK
4...Nc6; 5...Qb6;
6...Bd7; 7...Nh6;
9...Rc8; [11...Bxb4+
]
5

White is compelled to develop a Pawn, in capturing Black's Bishop (12.a3xb4), which means he doesn't get to develop a Piece.

BUT, the very act of capturing Black's Bishop, removes one of Black's Pieces from the overall Tally, and so White manages to close the gap to Black's Tally of Developed Pieces, by one unit.

However, this still leaves Black with a two unit lead in Piece Development, which gives him the choice to re-move an already developed Piece, to still maintain his critical advantage!

We can also now see the strategic development of Black's Pieces, which have combined to blow open White's Queenside. The result is Black has gained two Passed Pawns (a7 & b7), as well as having his Queen Rook Control a Useful Open File (the c-file, in this case).

But it doesn't end there, as Black continues to reap the benefits from the Superior Development of his Pieces ...

The Tally of Developed Pieces, After: 13.Qd2 Rc2

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 128 - The Tally of Developed Pieces - After 13.Qd2 Rc2
Tally of Developed Pieces
After: 13.Qd2 Rc2
DEVELOPED PIECES TALLY
WHITE
6.Nf3; 10.Bb2;
11.Qd3
3
BLACK
4...Nc6; 5...Qb6;
6...Bd7; 7...Nh6;
9...Rc8; [11...Bxb4+]
5

Supported by the Nb4, Black gets a Rook on the 7th Rank, as his Queen Rook infiltrates White's camp.

There hasn't been any new Pieces have been developed, but that's no longer a priority for Black -- the only opportunity for Black to add to his Tally, is to Castle (Kingside). However, he chose not to Castle, in order to pursue his mating attack; making good use of the Pieces already activated.

The Tally of Developed Pieces, After: 14.Qd1 Ne3, (0-1)

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 128 - The Tally of Developed Pieces - After 14.Qd1 Ne3
Tally of Developed Pieces
After: 14.Qd1 Ne3, (0-1)
DEVELOPED PIECES TALLY
WHITE
6.Nf3; 10.Bb2;
11.Qd3
3
BLACK
4...Nc6; 5...Qb6;
6...Bd7; 7...Nh6;
9...Rc8; [11...Bxb4+]
5

Black still has his TWO UNIT lead, in Piece Development, at the point when White resigns, (0-1).

What we've seen is, even though the Tally of Developed Pieces ignored the development of the Pawns, there is merit in using this method: to make a quick assessment as to the relative development of the two armies.

In addition to keeping you alert to fluctuations of Piece Development, the Tally of Developed Pieces analysis method also seems like a useful gauge to help decide when to sacrifice a Piece, in order to transfer a developmental advantage into a new and better advantage ...

For example, like when Black sacrificed his dark-Bishop (11...Bf8xb4+ 12.a3xb4), to convert his lead in Piece Development into two Passed Pawns, and managing to safely infiltrate the enemy camp, with his Queen Rook, which all played a significant role in Black winning the game.

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PGN

[Event "New Orleans"]
[Site "New Orleans"]
[Date "1850"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "James McConnell"]
[Black "Paul Morphy"]
[ECO "C02"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "28"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. f4 Qb6 6. Nf3 Bd7 7. a3 Nh6 8. b4 cxd4 9. cxd4 Rc8 10. Bb2 Nf5 11. Qd3 {PCC p.181 No. 128} Bxb4+ 12. axb4 Nxb4 13. Qd2 Rc2 14. Qd1 Ne3 0-1

End.

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