This paper proposes a novel algorithm for an optimal reduction of object description for object matching purposes. Our aim is to decrease the computation needs by considering simplified objects, thus reducing the number of pixels involved in the matching process. We develop the appropriate theoretical background based on centroidal Voronoi tessellations. Its use within the chamfer matching framework is also discussed. We present experimental results regarding the performance of this approach for 2-D contour and region-like object matching. As a special case, we investigate how the snake based representation of target objects can be employed in chamfer matching. The experimental results concern the use of object part matching for recognizing humans and show how the proposed simplification leads to valid replacements of the original templates.