Originally posted by basso
Just read an article which said, "You should aim to get your pawns to the center as quickly as possible . . ." and "It is very important to develop as quickly as possible to the center . . ." Is this principle rebutted by hypermodern theory, which, if I understand it rightly, tells black to go ahead and let white take control of the center, but then proceeds to attack white's center?
There are very few *extremely* hypermodern openings, where black (typically black) just ignores the centre. Perhaps there is only one - The Hippopotamaus - and it's not really seen much at the highest level.
Most hypermodern openings involve *controlling* the centre, or at least some of it, rather than *occupying*. So both hypermodernism and classicism typically *stress* the importance of the centre - one its control, the other its occupation. They are two sides of the same coin.
But there is quite a lot more to say about them than that. It's interesting that the two most classical openings - the Queen's Gambit Declined & the Closed Spanish, where black attempts to hold white in the centre - are both rare visitors to the very top tier. The consensus seems to be, and I think it's right, that they are not quite good enough for equality - or at least if they are, then they're not quite good enough for dynamic counter chances. Compare with, say, the Sicilian or the King's Indian Defence.
On the other hand, a lot of openings that we term hypermodern might perhaps be better called 'classical delayed'. For instance, in the main line of the Queen's Indian Defence (w g3, ..Ba6, ..Bb4+-e7 etc) black typically avoids the centre until he's castles and has developed quite a bit of stuff - and then just goes right a head and occupies it with pawns to liquidate it. A lot of GM draws recently have come this route. Black gets comfy, then starts play d5 and c5 and swapping pawns and heh presto, it's an endgame with nothing to play for. At move 12 you think black's being all hypermodern - at move 20, you couldn't even guess the opening, so much stuff has gone.
Hope this helps you think about this stuff a bit.