Control of the Center:
Part of the Advanced Beginner's Chess Guide (Section 1)

Control of the Center
Point Count Chess: [+]


About This Article...

Advanced Beginners Chess Teaser pccThis article includes my notes, additional images and interactive chess positions from my study of Horowitz & Mott-Smith's book, Point Count Chess.

Source:
Point Count Chess,
Chapter 1. Center Control by Pawns (p23-24)

To help in defining Control of the Center, we must first take a few steps back and understand how Pawns and Pieces control squares on the board.

We'll begin by looking at the Pawns and how they control squares ...

In Diagram 1, below, we've isolated the two adverse e-Pawns, as they sit on their respective squares at the start of a game. Notice how each Pawn guards the two squares, diagonally and to the front, as would be their capturing range of movement. With nothing to oppose them, both Pawns Control the applicable, highlighted squares.

Control of the Center, Image 1, Advanced Beginners Chess Guide
Diagram 1: White's Pawn Controls d3 & f3;
Black's Pawn Controls d6 & f6.
In Diagram 2, below, we've advanced White's e-Pawn two squares, as it can do, for its very first move. Now, White's e-Pawn has relinquished its Control of d3 & f3, but instead Controls d5 & f5.
Control of the Center, Image 2, Advanced Beginners Chess Guide
Diagram 2: White's Pawn Controls d5 & f5;
Black's Pawn Controls d6 & f6.
In Diagram 3, below, Black's e-Pawn has been advanced just the one square. As you can see, both Pawns target the same squares (d5 & f5). Now, how you phrase it is up to you, but you could either say "neither" Pawn Controls the two squares, since both Pawns attacking the same square cancel each other's threat out ... Or, you could say that both Pawns "share Control" of the two squares.
Control of the Center, Image 3, Advanced Beginners Chess Guide
Diagram 3: Both Pawns share Control of d5 & f5.
In Diagram 4, below, we see that, if Black's Pawn advanced to the square closest to White's Pawn, then once again, both Pawns would Control two separate squares, with no other adverse troops in place to oppose their current claims, respectively.
Control of the Center, Image 4, Advanced Beginners Chess Guide
Diagram 4: White's Pawn Controls d5 & f5;
Black's Pawn Controls d4 & f4.
Overall, three factors impact an army's ability to Control a particular square. These are:
  1. Force or Quantity (of units available)
  2. Vulnerability (of units involved)
  3. Time (whose turn it is - when it matters!)
Let's take a look at each, in turn ...

Moving On: Force v. Control of a Square (Page 2).



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