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Was this concept ever implicitly understood, like controlling open files with rooks?

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    Please limit yourself to one question per post
    – Brian Towers
    Commented Apr 30 at 21:13

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I think that this opinion has varied over time. In the nineteenth century, players in the gambit style generally preferred Knights. Tarrasch strongly preferred Bishops. I think he once humorously said that it does not matter where they are. If they are on the board they will find good squares. But the preference has at all times been personal, and there are many positions where any player would prefer to have the Knights.

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