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Surrender of Center (3 part series)

Surrender of Center (3 part series)

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Surrender of Center ((3 part series)

Surrender of the Center, a concept postulated by Aaron Nimzowitch in his uber-famous book 'My system', is shorthand for 'surrenders the pawn center' by giving up one's center pawn. For example, after 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4, the Scotch Game, when Black plays exd4 he is 'surrendering the center.' In this case he does so because it cannot be reasonably maintained. In other situations, like the Philidor Defense or the Steinitz Defense to the Ruy Lopez, Black may be able to maintain his pawn in e5, since he has played ...d6 and also either ...Nc6 or ...Nd7 to reinforce. In such cases, it is a different decision to 'surrender the center' with ...e5xd4, but still may be the correct one. Black hopes to gain play on the half-open e-file against the White pawn in e4, and possibly to use the e5 square for his pieces at some point. A Knight may land there, or the King Bishop 'see' a diagonal through it. In this series, Watson shows us how this idea has been again used in recent times, by elite GMs.

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