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Chess Openings - The Centre Game

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The Centre Game
1. e4 e5
2. d4 exd4
3. Qxd4

In the Open Game (1. e4 e5), white can attack the centre directly with an advance of the Queen's Pawn: 2. d4. This is The Centre Game. The match typically continues with a trade of centre Pawns: 2... exd4 3. Qxd4.

In the Centre Game, white is exploiting a weakness in black's position: the undefended pawn on e5. White attacks this weakness with the Queen's pawn move. White also opens up lines for his Queen and Queen's Bishop.

The main disadvantage of the Centre Game is that black can gain time by attacking black's Queen with a developing Knight move: 3... Nc6. White must retreat, and black now has the initiative. Because of this, the opening is considered to favour black. Although it was popular over a century ago, the Centre Game is not currently played at the master level.


How Common is the Centre Game?

Green Flag

Common at Novice Level

Red Flag

Rare at Master Level

After reaching the Open Game, white plays the centre game very rarely (perhaps only about 1% of the time at all levels). However, because this opening is very straightforward, beginners and novices can expect to see it much more often.


Back - Next
Chess Openings - Table of Contents
Introduction
Open Games - Centre Game - King's Gambit - Bishop's Opening - Vienna Game - King's Knight Opening - Spanish Game (Ruy Lopez) - Italian Game - Scotch Game - Philidor Defense - Petrov Defense
Semi-Open Defenses - Scandinavian Defense - French Defense - Caro-Kann Defense - Sicilian Defense - Alekhine Defense - Modern & Pirc Defense
Closed Games - Queen's Gambit
Indian Defenses - Nimzo-Indian Defense - King's Indian Defense - Queen's Indian Defense
Flank Openings - Reti Opening - English Opening - Bird's Opening
Conclusion