Types of Center



Makes sense that if you like to calculate more than make strategic decissions you should aim for an open center. Closed center can be only reached if Black agrees. I wonder about Fixed and Mobile types of center. On the webpage says that in fixed center its about establishing forces (pawns AND pieces) around the center while in mobile center one shall use pawn majority advantage in the center to force enemy pieces back. Both mobile and fixed are a choice of a strategical player but what EXACTLY is the difference?


A mobile center: 1.e4 e5  2. Nf3 Nf6  3. Ne5 d6  4. Nf7 Kf7 5. d4

A fixed center: 1. d4 d5  2. c4 e6  3. e3 c5  4.  cd5 cd4  5. ed4 ed5


There is a wonderful chapter on this subject in the book:  The Art of the Middle Game  by GMs Paul Keres and Alexander Kotov.  The chapter was written by Kotov, and i am positive that you will find it most helpful!


I would like to add my endorsement to "The Art of the Middle Game." Great book. I liked it so much I bought a second copy when my first one wore out.

Kotov's ideas on centers is discussed in "How Chess Games are Won and Lost" by Lars Bo Hansen. I really like this book but it's probably a lot more useful for experts and masters than for amateurs.


Splane, thanks for a reply, by the way I am an expert player. Example of what you call "a mobile center" according to the article is an open center:

Open center:

There are none or only a few pawns in the center files and those which may be present are not playing any important role.

Mobile center:

When one player has a pawn chain at center with at least two united pawns whereas the opponent has none or only one pawn facing the pawn chain, it becomes a Mobile center.


I don't understand how can a center position with White pawns on e4 and d4 versus no pawns for Black be an "open center?" I'll stand by my example.


Ops. I assumed you meant with "4. Nf7 Kf7" - "4.Nf3 Nxe4". But anyway its not example of the chess position I was after with the original question. You know there are players who prefer 1.c4 and who - 1.d4. 1.c4 leads often to mobile center. 1.c4 because it`s more flexible than 1.d4? Easier to deviate despite cost of equalization?


Splane is spot on.

A fixed center (splane's example is one) is sort of in between a closed and open center. There is generally 1 open central file, but many lines are closed and so it can still be hard to attack in the center or penetrate along that open file; of course both players still need to keep tabs on it as just giving the file away is probably unwise. It's not uncommon to advance a bit on the wings here; you need to keep both central and wing play in mind in these structures.

Another example would be in the king's indian where white plays dxe5 and black recaptures ...dxe5, which is more of what I'm talking about.