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what to do with center control

  • #1

    Hey I am some what a beginger I have an understanding of opening prencipas and playing beginner players I am more often than not able to get controll of the center however once the middle game begins I have trouble exploiting my advantage center control for is there a good video or chess mentor course on here to help me with this

    I have a understanding of the tactics but I have a problem setting up the oppertuity to use them  

  • #2


  • #3

    There's no single thing you do with more central space/control, it just depends on the position... your opponent may even be fine (or winning heh).

    Usually though you'll have better squares for your pieces.  This may mean further advanced or more flexible or they may be better due to specific tactics that exist.  It's very hard to say where you go from there.  For specific answers best to post a game where you thought you handled it poorly and people could offer suggestions.

  • #4

    Yes there are videos that will help you to some degree. Your question is  hard to get easy answers for however. Because it has to do more with positional play, pawn structures,outposts, weak squares, light and dark weakness, and square control, when to start a pawn break, pawn rush, timing, space etc, etc.

    It can include tactical as well as strategical ideas, good luck, you will need more help than I can provide. They have videos on all these topics, it will also take lots of time, and you have to implement them in your games, to really get the experience to learn them fully, at least in my opinion. 

    Your basic question what to do once you have control of the center is really an open ended question. All pieces exert more power from the center, however, you have to make sure those pieces are safe also. Many attacks come from the center, or at least thru it.

    So if you control it, you want to utilize that control to exert your will, and forces (pieces) upon your opponents forces and half of the board. Usually by making him give up more space, or material, or both, and ultimately forcing checkmate. Not really sure if this was the answer you were seeking though, hopefully it was of some help to you, and best of luck.

  • #5

    thanks yes "I understnd it was kind of open ended but I know right now more than anything my weakness is statagy and I was hoping for a lesson on how to develop stratagy from the center in open games and closed games and analyse the opposing structue to develop a plan. 

  • #6

    Find some material about middlegame planning. I'd recommend you to look for a book, not a video, because they have much more analysis, explanations, variations, examples, etc. and also they're easier to look through.

  • #7

    I was thinking a book as well KK.  I only have old ones, and others more experienced than me can probably recommend better ones. With new notations and more modern ideas. You should do a search within the forums, look under recommended books, there probably are quite a few threads. Good luck.

  • #8

    In my option the reason successful action happens for one player can be summarized as because your opponent has deficient mobility/activity (another way to say this is pieces aren't, or cannot easily influence sqaures).  Either in general, in an area (e.g. queenside), or on a set of squares (e.g. dark squares).

    So in the most general terms, successful plans are those where you seek action where you have more mobility/activity.  The most basic areas where this is true are where you have more space, areas where you have more pieces, or both.  So after the opening, once you've brought a sufficient number of pieces into the game off the back rank (and sufficient usually means all of them) then one general thing you can think to yourself is which area of the board (queenside, center, or kingside) will I have the possibility of superior mobility/activity.

    When looking at space with large pawn chains, look to where the pawns "point" and that's the area where you have more space.  You can also divide the board in two and see how many pieces you have on the kingside vs their pieces on the kingside.  This just gives a rough idea because obviously pieces can cross over haha, but it's useful to notice when there's a large imbalance going into the middlegame.

    Another basic idea of seeking play is to look for your useful pawn breaks.  Pawn breaks are pawn moves that will, one way or another, force a pawn exchange which means lines will be opened for the pieces (increase activity).  Whoever's pieces stand better (number of/mobility/space) will benefit more.  So usually each side will seek different pawn breaks.  Post some games and I could give you some examples, or google pawn breaks or something.

    Other times it's not so obvious, or maybe I should say, there's nothing immediate to do.  Both sides will jockey for position.  Some common mistakes I see newer players make when they feel "there's nothing to do" is to spend 3 moves to set up a threat that can be defended in 1 move... so they pull themselves out of position.  Also try to keep your forces centralized unless you have a good reason.  If you feel lost on what to do find your least active piece and improve its position.

    And of course no matter the position it takes care to pursue your advantage.  You always have to look out for tactics which can immediately lose the game regardless of how clever your strategy is.  It's hard for me to be more specific without examples games.

  • #9

    very useful tip 

  • #10

    I've read a chess book where among other things there was some material about the center - its types and possible game plans. Here's in short what they were (because the book was Russian and I read it in original, I'm not sure about some of the English translations; also, the examples here are about White but they have analogues for Black):

    - mobile pawn center - a pair of pawns on d4 and e4 or on c4 and d4 against a single (or none) pawn on e6 or d6. White's goal is to advance the pawns, gaining central space, restricting Black's pieces and creating an attack or trying to promote a pawn. Black should play against White's center - try to exchange it, blockade it, pressure it with pieces, or destroy it with a sacrifice (or exchange sacrifice).

    - blocked center - all central pawns are present, forming a chain, and there's an opponent's pawn immediately in front of every own central pawn. As waffllemaster wrote, in such a position the plan is to play at the side of the board where there's more space, and that's the side where the central pawn pair is pointing towards. Usually one player is trying to push the f pawn, and the other - the c pawn, while simultaneously trying to prevent, hinder or slow down the enemy's favorable break, but it depends on the pawn structure. Often players castle in different directions.

    - fixed center - one of the central pawns has been exchanged for an opponent's central pawn. At the center there's an open file, or there are two semi-open files. Both players should aim to control the unoccupied central squares.

    - pawns & pieces' center - like the previous one, but one of the sides can (and does) place and keep a piece in the center (usually a knight). This side gets a positional advantage and should try to prepare an attack. The opponent should try to eliminate the centralized piece.

    - open center - there are no central pawns. The side which gets a stronger central influence with pieces and manages to better centralize its pieces gets an advangate, and should try to prepare an attack.

    Whatever the center, if it favors you, you should look how to keep it (including favorably advancing it); if it favors your opponent, you should attack it - trying to exchange pawns with pawn breaks, blockade/pressure/sacrifice a piece for passed pawns.

    That's it in short. I hope you'll make use of some of those ideas, and while gaining more experience and additional knowledge you'll be able to formulate principles that work best for you. Good luck!


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