Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Keep the Centre!

One of the goals in chess openings is to take control of central squares.

In chess, we call centre the group of 4 squares located at e4-e5-d5-d4.

Why is the centre important? Imagine you place the king in one of those squares. If you count the number of moves the king needs to reach the most distant square in the board, you will discover that that number is 4. If you place the king outside the centre, that number is larger. It means that from the centre, the king reaches more easily any other square than from outside the centre.

You will also agree that the previous conclusion is also transferable to any other piece. So, placing pieces on (or near) the centre is convenient because from there they can be transferred more easily to any part of the board when necessary.

The above explained is what chess beginners are tough after they know how to move pieces.

Nevertheless, sometimes players do not follow that basic rule. Instead, they do not apply themselves in pursuing that goal or even forgot to keep control on their side.

Today’s game is one example of what happens when abandoning the centre.

After conquering a strong central position, Strugatsch neglected to keep the necessary assistance there and lost the game few moves later.
Please, take a look at the post “Understanding the Centre” and you will have an example of how to vigorously fight for the centre.

Great news for players enjoying OTB games: Nairobi Chess Club resumes its activities and chess players meet Saturdays from 2 pm to 6 pm. The venue remains the same at Goan Gymkhana Club, Ngara Road, Nairobi. Only members are eligible to play. Visitors are welcome to try out the club on a complimentary basis on the first visit.

In addition, our virtual club keeps organizing online tournaments and matches.
Almost 450 members enjoy that chance and new players join every week.
New tournaments will start soon and there is Blitz every Saturday.
Join now! Limited slots!.

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