The Principles of Openness (Part 2)

The central squares

The central squares and those immediately surrounding them are of particular importance. The “center” of the board consists of the four squares: d4, e4, d5, e5. It is natural that these boxes are extremely important. Any piece placed in the center of the board has a greater chance of acting and is easily transferred to either wing. Sometimes it is spoken of a “widened center”, taking into account the square delimited by boxes c3, f3, c6 and f6. The pieces placed in the squares next to the center also have an active position and press on the center. We will examine the position of the game Ortega, R – Kortschnoj, V 0-1 of the International Tournament Memorial Capablanca, in Havana, 1963.

White’s dominance of the d5 square. Botvinnik completed the conquest of the central square d5 with special mastery. Let’s get to a position of the game Botvinnik, M – Lilienthal, A 1-0 (Moscow 1936).

Such a scheme of the distribution of the white forces (as we have seen in the Botvinnik-Lilienthal game, previously commented) is carried out in many cases and in different openings under the condition of a somewhat passive game by Black. Let’s see an example: Sokolsky, A – Strugach 1-0 (Championship of Belarus, 1959).

Petrosian (white) took advantage of the d5 square for his pieces in the match against Kozma, played at the XIII Olympiad in 1958. Opening Peón Dama. Petrosian, T – Kozma, J 1-0.

Black domination of the d4 space. For black, box d4 is of equal importance to box d5 for white. But Black has a harder time pinning down his dominance, and they only do so sometimes by taking advantage of an inaccurate play by White in the opening. In the game Beni, A – Tal, M 0-1 (XIII Olympiad, Munich 1958).

The first player greatly weakened the d4 box in the opening. By occupying a square in the center, make sure that the piece can be kept in it. With special care every pawn movement must be meditated. Isn’t this giving a strategically important space to the enemy? Let’s see the position that was reached in the game Petrosian, T – Bronstein, D 0-1 (Amsterdam, 1956).

We will continue to study this topic in Part 3 of the opening principles.

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