as I learnt at School of Chess, there are 7 different school with unique 'accentuation',

  1. Philidor, believed that maintaining the mobility of pawns was the most important strategic factor of chess
  2. Modenese school, emphasized rapid development of the pieces for an attack on the opposing king, aiming for checkmate or winning material in the process
  3. English school, allowed attacks after strategic advantages were obtained when the position was prepared – control was gained over the center and key points
  4. Romantic chess, characterized by brash sacrifices and open, tactical games
  5. Steinitz, strengthened defensive techniques and advocated strategic maneuvering to gain enough of an advantage before launching an attack
  6. Hypermodern school, emphasizes control of the center by attacking it with pieces especially from the periphery
  7. Soviet hegemony, believed that a weakness that could not be attacked was not a real weakness

So I 'separated' them then I have two condition, Center Control and Flanking.
When I played with my houdini, Top 3 as first move is always represent and replied (White view) with [d4 or e4 or f4] which means that houdini rules implement Center Control.
And if I used Flanking method, I always seem to lost too quickly
[or maybe just because my stupidity.. ^^].

Are there real Flanking advantages against Center Control (some official game and/or proved calculation) since 'it' born after Center Control??


  • Are you asking what advantages there are to the hypermodern approach of controlling the center with pieces, as opposed to occupying it with pawns?
    – ETD
    Jul 6, 2013 at 3:16
  • emm.. something like that.. I think Flanking is just more than controlling with pieces, It seem to allow White to be 'over aggressive at the center' which will make White defenseless.. Jul 6, 2013 at 4:29

3 Answers 3


This is a hard question to answer because you take a very broad, abstract, historical concept (the existence of "schools" in chess, with a particular list that I've definitely not seen before) and then you connect that with a very concrete, peculiar little thing (the moves Houdini suggests in the opening position if it doesn't have an opening book).

I'll just write a bit about both and then I hope you'll understand the difficulty. This is all completely my unsourced opinion and impression of current chess, I'm not going to give sources.

Those schools are a broad overview of the history of the development of chess strategy. First people thought one thing, then that got refined, then someone wrote a book claiming the opposite... That's interesting to read, but there are lots of reasons why it's not that useful to someone currently learning chess, in my view:

  • Reality wasn't as black and white as those "schools" make it seem. In the end, all of them played chess, they were good, and often if a strong move was available, they would play it. Some players used some techniques more often than other players did. And when they wrote books, they would argue vehemently against other books, because that sells.
  • That said, most of these discussions were pre-WWII, and the thinking nowadays is closer to what is "Soviet hegemony" in your list: if it works, it works. And since the coming of computers and their great defensive skills, we've found that there are way more things that work than we used to think. Flank openings, classical openings, extremely deep tactical lines, very quiet endgame openings, they all turned out to be playable. Both "hypermodern" and "classical" openings are extremely popular nowadays, and most players play both!
  • A discussion of "schools" is at such a high level of abstraction that you to wonder if that could ever help you find the best move in some concrete chess position during a tournament, which is in the end the only thing that counts when you're trying to get better at chess.

Then, Houdini. Chess programs aren't very good at the opening, compared to established opening theory. Some reasons why that is:

  • They don't need to be good at opening theory, because they use opening books. So they are tuned so that they perform best at the later stages of the game.
  • Opening theory is the compiled knowledge of hundreds of years of human research. Computers are strong, but not remotely close to strong enough to recompute the equivalent of that research in a couple of minutes.
  • Even if they were, thousands of people have computers running continuously to work on openings, and your single Houdini is up against that too.

So, forget about using Houdini in the opening position. Look at what is popular among strong players. And they use a broader selection of openings than ever.


Do Hypermodern techniques work? Certainly. Hypermodern openings include the Pirc, Nimzo-Indian, Grunfeld, the Catalan Opening, King's Indian Defense, Alekhine's Defense, and the Queen's Indian Defense. There are probably a dozen others. These are commonly played by GMs, especially the Grunfeld and KID. Surely this is proof enough that the Hypermodern ideas are valid.

The definition of what is playable also depends on a player's skill level. Non-masters can pretty much play what they want because their opponents will not be able to punish them for small mistakes.

Other observations:

  1. There is no silver bullet in chess except to make good moves.
  2. Losing to Houdini is easy. It's a GM-strength program.

The center (e4, d4, e5 and d5) has to be firmly controlled before a flank attack can be initiated. The reasons are many. A piece in the center can quickly enter the battle on either flank, while a piece on one of the flanks takes a long time to enter a battle on the opposite flank. Also, having pawns in the center will allow to kick back the opponent's pieces, e.g. e4-e5 to kick back a black knight from f6. Having said this, there are opening systems for black with the three row concept, where white is allowed to dominate the center, while black is ready to strike at a later point. I am thinking about the Hedgehog variation:

[FEN ""]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nb5 d6 6. c4 Nf6 7. N1c3 a6 8. Na3 Be7 9. Be2 O-O 10. O-O b6

White has more control in the center, while black has a clear idea to strike with b6-b5 or d6-d5, as well as a third idea with h7-h5-h4. White will strike on the queenside using the a-pawn and b-pawn and try to get a passed pawn on the queenside. I would not call this a flanking advantage. Rather, a strategy of giving the opponent more space and then striking the center at a later moment.


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