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

Control of the Center
Point Count Chess: [+]

Control of the Center is simply a matter of one army Controlling more Center squares than the enemy. So, if Black were to Control three of the four Center squares, Black would have Control of the Center, and claim the plus point.

However, Diagram 11, below, is a reminder of the ever pressing need to not be blinded by a single perceived advantage, only to lose sight of the overall picture ...

Control of the Center, Image 11, Advanced Beginners Chess Guide
Diagram 11: Black to Move.
White Controls the Center (3:1),
but Black has the stronger game.
White does Control the Center, with a single Pawn (f3) and the Rook (Re4), but Black's two remaining Pieces (two Rooks) are superior to White's (Rook & Bishop), not just in material worth, but also where they're positioned, allied to the fact it's Black's turn.

Note also the Absolute Pin on White's dark-Bishop, by Black's Ra2. Because the Bishop cannot move (else it'd place the White King in Check), the Pin also serves to cancel out that Bishop's contribution in the Center (d4).

Further Reading

Point Count Chess (Horowitz & Mott-Smith, 1960)
  • The Center, (p22)
  • Center Control by Pawns, (p23)
  • What Center Control is NOT, (p24)
  • Center Liquidation, (p24)

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