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i_play_slowly 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.
wellhairedbeast 41 ( +1 | -1 )
In a kings pawn opening Nf3 is great as it develops a piece, helps to enable castling and also attacks an opponents pawn (assuming they replied e5).

However i often play Nc3 (vienna game/gambit) so i can play f4 before developing the kingside knight.

I wont comment on queenside openings as i rarely play them except Reti's but then that starts with Nf3 anyway.
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thunker 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.
mormel12 12 ( +1 | -1 )
i think that if you want to castle early, you best develop the kings knight first.
Further i don't know.
thecatcool120 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...

giuco_piano_guy 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.