The objective: Aim to control the squares in the middle of the board.
The third objective is that you should try to control the central squares and centralize your pieces in and around the center.
The center refers to the 4 squares in the middle (small-center) and the squares directly next to them (the large center).
In the next few lessons we will study the reasons and some examples as to why you should aim to control the central squares.
Control or occupy?
Does center-control meant that you must try to occupy the center with your pieces and pawns or does it mean controlling it from a distance?
It would be ideal if you can safely occupy a central square with a piece, but it often isn’t possible since your opponent is also fighting for the center and will probably chase your piece out of the center with a pawn or attack to neutralize it otherwise. However, conquering a center-square with a piece would be a crowning achievement of your efforts to control the center.
The objective of center-control
The objective of center control can be stated as:
Aim to control central squares with your pieces and pawns because the central squares are the most important squares on the board. If you control the center you will generally also be able to exert more control over the rest of the board.
Next Lesson – How to measure center-control in chess
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