Ruy Lopez – my variation.

Chess strategy insists that you develop your pieces, and make them take control of the four central squares of the board – either by occupying them, or by exerting control over them. This has to be done quickly, and with least loss of time/tempo.

The question is why? Why should you develop pieces without there being any necessity for them? There is no real check-mating strategy in mind, there is no threat from the other side, there is really no objective. I don’t know what’s my goal, my purpose, my real goal. Why develop pieces when you don’t need them? Why get a masters degree? Why not just move the knight back and forth waiting for the opponent to start his attack? Why not just keep a good job, and do a back and forth from home square to office square? Why open up lines to develop more pieces, even rooks, and not be satisfied with developing just the queen? Why not just make money, and assume that the rest will follow? Why is it considered bad strategy to start a queen-attack in the beginning? Why does investing in money now sound so wrong to me?

I dislike analogies. I especially dislike this one, because it can be stretched so much more. Maybe that’s because it was modeled on what I am analogizing[1] it with. A case of ‘by definition,’ I suppose. But it’s inadequacy is evident because it just cannot capture the most important aspect of my life now. But well…maybe if Chess allowed a player to make two moves together…

Coming back to opening moves, the answer to all the why’s is quite simple: I’ll need resources when I do have a plan later, a goal, a purpose. And some resources are better than none, all are better than some. Developing all pieces is hard, esp. in an adversarial setup. But is Time really adversarial? Developing some pieces is easy, but which ones? A masters degree is harder than learning a new language, or saving money, or doing nothing? But is developing the rook worth it? Can’t we manage to win with just the knight and bishop combinations? It’s been done before. But, I am not that good a player: someone who can win without developed pieces; without good, well-developed pieces. I castled and decided to quit my job[2], thereby got my masters degree, and got my rook into play. I will now try to open up files for further attack, and maybe even double my rooks in sometime by getting a Ph.D.

[2] – The irony of how quittng my job, which is inherently an unsafe thing to do, is being analogized with castling, I think deserves a footnote.
[1] – I like this particular verb form.