20 Dec Outpost Squares – A Complete Guide
An outpost square is a square that cannot be attacked by the opponent’s pawn as it is protected by a pawn, usually on the 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th rank. Outpost is a square that players can launch attacks from, predominantly using a knight.
An outpost is usually on a semi open file.
This square is usually a safe and typically advanced square for a piece. Here, advanced meaning the 5th rank or beyond.
Generally, the opponent finds it difficult to trade or chase away a piece that is positioned on an outpost square. The opponent can try to trade a piece for the square but usually this trade is a bad trade or the opponent sacrifices a piece for this square.
Outposts are not necessarily only for knights, since knights are short range pieces, they are stronger when placed on an outpost. The outpost is usually on a, c, d, e or f file, and controls the central part of the board.
In this example, the knight on c4 is on an outpost square. It is attacking the pawn on b6 and is also defending the pawn on e5. It is also difficult to attack or trade this knight as it is strategically positioned and protected by a pawn.
How to Create an Outpost?
Post every pawn move, there is usually a weak square left, these pawns need to be protected by other pieces. The intention is to eliminate these protecting pieces in order to create a weak square for your opponent that can later be occupied.
You can also create an outpost by attempting to force your opponent to move his or her pawns.
How to Play Around an Outpost?
The main idea is to undermine an outpost, that is instead of trying to attack it immediately, try to build pressure on and around the outpost.
For example, in the position above, Rook on the file to d8 would build a good amount of pressure on the white bishop on d5. If you plan on pushing a piece away then the player must be prepared for a bade exchange or trade.
In some cases, in order to undermine an outpost, the player has to allow his/her opponent to creates a passed pawn.
An outpost restricts the opponent’s move options and promotes the formation of weaknesses. The most important use of an outpost is to use it as a base to develop attacks, much like an outpost used by a military. An outpost square can also be used to transfer pieces to another part of the board.
Aron Nimzovich introduced this concept to the world in his book ‘My System’ where he said that a strategically important point should have more defenders than attackers. He also wrote that overprotecting of a squares and pieces strengthens the position and makes the square more valuable.
Outpost exerts permanent pressure on your opponent’s territory that is very difficult to get rid off. This also helps to block the opponents open files and allows the controller of the outpost to dominate the position. The concept is slightly complicated to teach and study but as the concept gets cleared, the creation of an outpost proves to be extremely useful in game play to attain better positions.
What are the weakest squares in Chess?
A square is weak when it is controlled by the opponent and there is little chance of regaining control due to the inadequacy of pieces that can attack or control that square. Typically, pawns that could have controlled the square have moved on a further row. Single weak squares are called “holes”. Adjacent squares of the same colour can become weak squares. For example, if the majority of the pawns are on the dark squares and the dark-squared Bishop gets exchanged or captured.
How do you identify Outpost Squares?
An outpost is a square, usually in the opponent’s territory on the board that is attacked by your pawn but cannot be protected by the opponent’s pawns. When a piece occupies an outpost, the piece becomes very powerful because it is usually a central square.
What is the strongest square?
The strongest squares or the best squares are the ones defended by pawns. These squares are also very good for knights and bishops. Pieces that are defended by pawns on these squares are also difficult to attack.
What is the rule of square?
The Rule of the Square is used to check if a passed pawn can become a queen when it is not supported by its king and the enemy king can also chase it. One side of the square is the line that extends from the pawn to the square on which it queens. The rule states that if the enemy king can reach the square of the pawn, then it can capture the pawn; if not, the pawn can queen without the aid of its own king.
Outpost exerts permanent pressure on your opponent’s territory that is very difficult to get rid of. This also helps to block the opponents open files and allows the controller of the outpost to dominate the position. The concept is slightly complicated to teach and study but as the concept gets cleared, the creation of an outpost proves to be extremely useful in gameplay to attain better positions.