I am still licking my wounds from the whippings I took during the recent 11-man National. I went there thinking the elimination of prepared lines would level the playing field a little for me.
I have been brought up on favoring moves to the center, forming dikes, holding pyramids, consolidating positions, etc. I realize there are exceptions, but apparently I don't recognize early formations where a side move strategy is stronger than a center move strategy. I believe that may be a crossboard skill that that separates the masters from me.
Repeatedly I was done in by 17 13/22 17 and 24 20/27 24 combinations. I used to think those were beginners' moves, but even Grandmasters were making them, daring me to take the center.
I realize side moves are practically forced in some openings. But many times they are optional. I understand side moves, 25 21 and 24 20 are required to beat the 9-14 Octopus, but they don't seem natural to me.
So I am asking for any guidance you can give on choosing between a center versus side strategy in situations where both are available.
I would appreciate it, although it may be too late for this old coot.