I just finished reading Logical Chess Move by Move (should have read it before) and I just started with the Classic My System. I'm still on the beginners' part that talks about the center (can't wait to get to the positional chapter) and Nimzowitsch posts a game in which he says Qe2 is stronger. Here is the game.

 [FEN ""]
 1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.Nc3 Qe6 5.fxe5 Qxe5 6.Be2

Nimzowitsch says that in the arising position Qe2 is stronger, why? Because we would have a development advantage of one piece? That doesn't look too of an advantage to me? (Note that Qe2 is referring to white's 6th move.)


Be2 makes no threat, leaves g2 undefended, and seals in the Queen. Black has Bg4 which prevents 6... Bg4 7.Nf3 Bxf3 8.gxf3 as this leaves White with crummy pawns.

Black also has Be7 followed by Bh4, exploiting White's weak black Kingside squares.

Finally, Black also can move either Knight. Black simply has no problems.

  • Thanks for helping out with the answer and with the diagram, I still dont get how to do it lol. – Antonio Aguilar Apr 26 '16 at 3:02
  • @AntonioAguilar the diagrams are fiddly. In your browser, do a "view source" on this page, search for FEN (or scroll down a ways), and you'll see one way to do it. – Tony Ennis Apr 26 '16 at 4:19

I think that Nimzowitsch wanted to demonstrate that after 6. Qe2, if black exchanges the queens with 6... Qxe2+, he will have no development because the only piece that was developed was the queen.

That is good for white since his advantage (the difference between black and white) in development has grown bigger.

If black doesn't exchange queens, he will have to protect his lady (for example with 6... Nc6), but then white is winning more time anyway with 7. Nf3.

I understand that 6. Be2 is more natural, because you want to keep queens on the board for an attack on the undeveloped black's army.

It's not that easy, thought, mainly because of the unpleasant move 6... Bg4.

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