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# The 6 Elements of Chess pt2

| 7 | Strategy

The  6 Elements of Chess

by NM Steve Colding

Part 2

Space: The First Element

Space, in chess, is the amount of squares we control especially in the center.

This definition although straightfoward still has to have a few terms defined. The center are the squares e4,d4,e5, and d5. In order for us to be able to develop our piece correctly we need to control at least one of the center squares.

How do we know if we control a square? Here is a little rule: If we stick a piece on a square and nothing bad happens to it then we control that square.

Why is the center important? Well when our pieces are placed in the center they have the option to go to any part of the board. The center gives us more options and more option means a freer and easier game

If we  don't control any squares in the center then we run the risk of giving our opponent a decisive edge in space. Consider the position in the diagram below.  Ask yourself how many squares in the center does Black control?

If you answered none you will be correct. White now has a typical strategem for creating a decisive edge in space when the opponent neglects his center. The move hat White plays is  10. d6! after the moves  10...cxd6 11. exd6  Ng6 we reach the next position.

Let's assess both positions. White's move 10.d6! essentially cut Black's forces into two parts. There are his pieces on the Queenside and his pieces on the Kingside and it looks as if never the two shall meet. White has no such problems. His pieces enjoy tremendous freedom they are able to go to any side of the board that he desires. Freer pieces means stronger pieces. There can be no doubt that White has the advantage and his advantage is in space.

We will be examining this game in the next article and showing you ho White exploited his space advantage.

Next Article: Exploiting a Space Advantage.

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