first move

See: onset, outset
References in classic literature ?
When the position is such that neither side will gain by making the first move, it is called temporizing ground.
His first move was to send Davenport to Liverpool to try to find the steward of the WEST AFRICAN, who had told him about Oolanga, and if possible secure any further information, and then try to induce (by bribery or other means) the nigger to come to the Brow.
Our first move will be to send it down to wait at the farm, as, if possible, one doesn't want a scene before servants.
He realized, also, that the first move in the game between them had been made and that he had lost.
Hugh made no answer, but snatching the rope from his companion's hand, proceeded to bind old John himself; but his very first move was so bungling and unskilful, that Mr Dennis entreated, almost with tears in his eyes, that he might be permitted to perform the duty.
To my amazement, however, I could at first move neither one nor the other of these small boxes.
At the two-yard peg she faced round, and said, 'A pawn goes two squares in its first move, you know.
At his first move the lion growled, but after that he paid no further attention to the man, and when at last Smith-Oldwick had regained his feet the lion moved indifferently away.
Slowly, and without taking her eyes from the shadows of that other tree, she moved toward the overhanging branches that might afford her sanctuary in the event of need, and at her first move a low growl rose from the spot she had been watching and she heard the sudden moving of a big body.
Now that medical attendance was no longer indispensable, I played the first move in the game by asserting myself against the doctor.
It occurred to him that an excellent first move would be to find out where she was staying.
In November, 1897, I made the first move in this direction, and that was in securing a visit from a member of President McKinley's Cabinet, the Hon.