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Strong Outpost Station
Plugging the Outpost Station

NO. 101 ... p147-148, Plugging the Outpost Station,
Jacobs v. Evans, 1955

H&M-S list three ways to Plug an enemy Outpost:

  1. Guard your opponent's Outpost with more pieces than your opponent can attack it with. H&M-S say: "by guarding it with enough pieces to prevent its effective occupation, or to swap off all dangerous pieces."

  2. Arrange your pieces in such a way so that, if an enemy Piece occupies the Outpost, it won't cause you any problems.
    H&M-S say: "by disposing your own pieces so as to render the outpost harmless."

  3. Force your opponent to plug his own Station with a non-threatening Pawn. H&M-S say: "(by) compelling your opponent to recapture with a (harmless) pawn and so plug his own station."

This example showcases the third option, as Black "compels" White to fill his d5-Outpost, with the e4-Pawn.

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position / of the two/three positions featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.147, No. 101, before 1...Nb6
  2. Result of Black Plugging White's d5-Outpost.
  3. PGN

Plugging the Outpost Station
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.147, No. 101, before 1...Nb6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 101 - Page 147
Before 1...Nb6

In the build-up to Black plugging White's d5-Outpost, Black makes a series of moves that forces White to concentrate on defensive duties, instead of playing to get a Piece to safely occupy the Outpost.

Black's defensive-forcing moves are as follows:

Forcing Move (1 of 5): 1...Nd7-b6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 101 - Plugging the Outpost Station, After 1...Nb6 - Forcing Move
(FORCING MOVE) Black's forcing moves to Plug White's d5-Outpost,
After: 1...Nb6
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 101 - Plugging the Outpost Station, After 2.Bb3 - Outcome
(OUTCOME) Black's forcing moves to Plug White's d5-Outpost,
After: 2.Bb3

Black's Queenside Knight forces 2.Ba4-b3, as White's light-Bishop has to defend the c4-Pawn (one of the Pawns securing the d5-Outpost).

Forcing Move (2 of 5): 2...Bc8-g4

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 101 - Plugging the Outpost Station, After 2...Bg4 - Forcing Move
(FORCING MOVE) Black's forcing moves to Plug White's d5-Outpost,
After: 2...Bg4
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 101 - Plugging the Outpost Station, After 3.Ne1 - Outcome
(OUTCOME) Black's forcing moves to Plug White's d5-Outpost,
After: 3.Ne1

Black's light-Bishop forces White's Kingside Knight to retreat from f3 (3.Nf3-e1), where it was helping to support the dark-Bishop (Bg5).

Forcing Move (3 of 5): 3...Ra8-c8

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 101 - Plugging the Outpost Station, After 3...Rc8 - Forcing Move
(FORCING MOVE) Black's forcing moves to Plug White's d5-Outpost,
After: 3...Rc8
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 101 - Plugging the Outpost Station, After 4.Qd3 - Outcome
(OUTCOME) Black's forcing moves to Plug White's d5-Outpost,
After: 4.Qd3

Black's Queen-Rook forces White's Queen to leave its position supporting the dark-Bishop (Bg5), in order to increase support for the c4-Pawn {4.Qd2-d3), as Black would otherwise quite happily capture the c4-Pawn with the Knight (...Nc6xc4), to trade Knight for light-Bishop (Bb3xc4), with Rc8 completing the threatened traded (...Rc8xc4).

With the Queen at d3, White prevents the aforementioned exchange, as Black won't want to lose the Rook at the end (e.g. Qd3xc4), to leave White's Queen attacking through to Black's Back Rank, on the c-file (note it's currently a Half-Open File). But, as already mentioned, the drawback is White's dark-Bishop is no longer supported at g5.

Forcing Move (4 of 5): 4...Bg4-e6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 101 - Plugging the Outpost Station, After 4...Be6 - Forcing Move
(FORCING MOVE) Black's forcing moves to Plug White's d5-Outpost,
After: 4...Be6
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 101 - Plugging the Outpost Station, After 5.Bxf6 - Outcome
(OUTCOME) Black's forcing moves to Plug White's d5-Outpost,
After: 5.Bxf6

Black's light-Bishop forces White into trading his dark-Bishop for Black's Nf6, after Black adds yet another unit of pressure bearing down onto White's c4-Pawn.

The capture of Black's Nf6, and subsequent attack on Black's dark-Bishop, by White's dark-Bishop (5.Bg5xf6) forces Black to stop launching his attack on the c4-Pawn, to complete the exchange (5...Be7xf6). But White was forced into making the trade; it wasn't part of his development plan, which suits Black just fine.

Forcing Move (5 of 5): 6.Nc3-d5

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 101 - Plugging the Outpost Station, After 6.Nd5 - Forcing Move
(FORCING MOVE) Black's forcing moves to Plug White's d5-Outpost,
After: 6.Nd5
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 101 - Plugging the Outpost Station, After 6...Nxd5 7.exd5 - Outcome
(OUTCOME) Black's forcing moves to Plug White's d5-Outpost,
After: 6...Nxd5 7.exd5

Again, this move was also forced, as White launches a Fork Attack against Black's Nb6 & Bf6. The purpose is to entice Black's Nb6 away from attacking the c4-Pawn, in order to reduce the amount of pressure against that key Pawn that's helping support White's d5-Outpost c4-Pawn.

Black is all too happy to make the exchange, as this results in White plugging the d5-Outpost, with the e-Pawn (6...Nb6xd5 7.e4xd5).


[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

The Result of Black's Forcing Moves against White,
to Plug White's d5-Outpost Station...

After 7.exd5, Black has forced White to plug the d5-Outpost with a Pawn, which now blocks Black's Backward d6-Pawn ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 101 - Result, Stations on the Sixth Rank, After 7.exd4 - No Highlights
(RESULT) Black has forced
White to plug his d5-Outpost
with the e-Pawn, After: 7.exd4
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 101 - Result, Stations on the Sixth Rank, After 7.exd4
(RESULT) Black has forced
White to plug his d5-Outpost
with the e-Pawn, After: 7.exd4

Basically, Black benefits from this Outpost-plugging activity, by getting one of White's Pawns to effectively defend his Weak Pawn (d6) in the process of occupying the d5-Outpost.

Contrast the guarded position of Black's Backward d6-Pawn, versus the situation surrounding White's Backward c4-Pawn, which IS vulnerable, due to the frontal attack by Black's Rc8. Of the two Backward Pawns, Black's d6-Pawn would be the preferred weakness to have, right now.

Remember, it's Black's turn to move, so he just has to relocate his Be6, and White's d5-Pawn won't be able to leave the Outpost until White manages to clear the d6-Pawn blocking its path.

White's Outpost will most likely be plugged for some time.*

* Note: I confess I couldn't find the full game for this example, so I don't know how long the d5-Pawn remained there, if it ever managed to move on again!

But, judging by the trouble White would have to go to, just to capture Black's d6-Pawn, it seems White won't be clearing the path for his d5-Pawn, any time soon.


[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

PGN

[Event "PCC, p147 Diagram NO. 101"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1955.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Jacobs"]
[Black "Evans"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "r1bq1rk1/1p1nbppp/p2p1n2/4p1B1/B1P1P3/2N2N2/PP1Q1PPP/R4RK1 b - - 0 1"]
[PlyCount "12"]

{PCC, p147 Diagram NO. 101} 1... Nb6 2. Bb3 Bg4 3. Ne1 Rc8 4. Qd3 Be6 5. Bxf6 Bxf6 6. Nd5 Nxd5 7. exd5 *

End.

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