More Pawns in the Centre are Good

In this week’s edition of Novice Nook, Dan Heisman advises that “more pawns in the center are good”. He illustrates this principle with the following position:middlegame_openlines_08_position Dan argues that White, instead of capturing with the queen, should capture towards the centre with the pawn, based on the following three principles:

1)  If you have a choice of pawn captures, capture towards the centre.

2) More pawns in the centre are good.

3) If one side has a semi-open file and the other side hasn’t, and there are no open files on the board, then this is a distinct advantage for the party with the semi-open file.

I think the last two principles refer also to the idea of “if attacked on the flank, strike back on the center”: White’s attack plan focuses on the semi-open f-file and thus the kingside flank; capturing towards the centre with the f-pawn not only opens attacking chances, it is also a pre-emptive measure against Black’s counterstrike in the centre. And here’s the gif to sum up the idea:



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