46 ( +1 | -1 ) Nc3 or Nf3?I am often torn re: which knight to develop first in the opening. According to the databases, the order can have a significant impact on the outcome. But I don't know why. I realize of course that the proper order is dictated by the overall position, but I don't want to memorize lines without understanding them. Could people please outline some of their considerations when deciding which knight to move first? I would be extremely grateful for any thoughts.
36 ( +1 | -1 ) I rarely play Nc3 until after c4. I hate to block in my c-pawn with the knight. I prefer Nf3 first. Depending on how the game proceeds it's often not clear which square is best for the queen's knight anyway. Nc3, Nd2 or even Na3 on rare occasions. I find the queen's knight will go to d2 much more often than the king's knight going to e2.
18 ( +1 | -1 ) This is an interesting issue indeed. I like 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 type openings (Italian) where I exchange the c-pawn and then develop the q-knight. But, sure in Vienna you need f4 so delay Nf3...
21 ( +1 | -1 ) Nf3 is usually best, because it allows the c pawn free movement. This plays a vital role in my own variation of the Italian Game. In fact, I almost always put the queen Knight on d2, occasionally even a3.