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Strong Outpost Station
Station in Front of an Isolani

NO. 95A to NO. 95C ... p138-140, Station in Front of an Isolani,
Tarrasch v. Teichmann, 1910

Without any enemy Pawns on the adjacent files to chase your Knight away, the square immediately in front of an Isolated Pawn (the Isolani) makes for an ideal Outpost Station.

The Knight on such an Outpost Station also serves to block the advance of the Isolani, which might make it easier to to target and attack later on. See Overwhelming Your Opponent, Strategy #2, to learn more about attacking Weak Pawns.

H&M-S say that "the Outpost often proves essential" ...

  1. ... to the "ultimate objective" of capturing the Weak Pawn (the Isolani, in this case);

  2. ... and to the initial objective of occupying the Outpost Station (with a Knight).

Anyway, in this example, White gains the Strong Outpost Station (Nd5) and Black finds himself with the Isolani (d6-Pawn) ...

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the three positions featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.138, No. 95A, after 13.Qg3
  2. PCC, p.139, No. 95B, after 16...cxd6
  3. PCC, p.140, No. 95C, after 24.c4
  4. Result of the Strong Outpost Station in front of the Isolani.
  5. PGN

Station in Front of an Isolani
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.138, No. 95A, after 13.Qg3

After: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bb5 Nge7 5.O-O O-O 6.d4 exd4 7.Nxd4 d6 8.Be3 Nxd4 9.Bxd4 Ba5 10.Qf3 Bb6 11.Bxb6 axb6 12.Rad1 Ng6 13.Qg3

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95A - Page 138
After: 13.Qg3

My interest in all of this is where White's Pawns & Pieces start; the part they play (how they contribute to White gaining the Strong Outpost Station); and where they end up (their last position in the sequence).

1. White's: e-Pawn ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95A - Strong Outpost Station, After 1.e4 - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's e-Pawn,
After: 1.e4
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95A - Strong Outpost Station, After 16.exd6 cxd6 - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's e-Pawn,
After: 15.e5 → 16.exd6 cxd6

White's e-Pawn creates the Isolani at d6. It has to wait a while at e4 before it gets to swing into action, but the result is immediate.

White's e-Pawn must also be sacrificed (16.exd6 cxd6 -- red square), but the outcome is justified ... just look at the LAST POSITION image (above) and you can see Black's d6-Pawn has no friendly Pawns either side to keep out White's Queenside Knight, when it eventually makes its way up onto the d5-Outpost.

2. White's: Ng1 (Kingside Knight) ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95A - Strong Outpost Station, After 2.Nf3 - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's Ng1,
After: 2.Nf3
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95A - Strong Outpost Station, After 7.Nxd4 8...Nxd4 - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's Ng1,
After: 7.Nxd4 → 8.Be3 Nxd4

White's Kingside Knight is sacrificed in an exchange to remove Black's Queenside Knight (when it sits on c6) from guarding e5, which would otherwise prevent the advance of White's e-Pawn.

White's dark-Bishop completes the trade (9.Be3xd4).

3. White's: Nb1 (Queenside Knight) ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95A - Strong Outpost Station, After 3.Nc3 - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's Nb1,
After: 3.Nc3
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95A - Strong Outpost Station, After 22.Nd5 - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's Nb1,
After: 22.Nd5 (on the Outpost)

White's Queenside Knight eventually occupies the d5-Outpost Station. Look at how long the Knight has to waits at c3 (from 3.Nc3 to 22.Nd5), just to get onto the Outpost!

4. White's: Bf1 (Light-Bishop, Kingside) ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95A - Strong Outpost Station, After 4.Bb5 - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's Bf1,
After: 4.Bb5
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95A - Strong Outpost Station, After 14.Bxd7 Qxd7 - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's Bf1,
After: 14.Bxd7 Qxd7

White's light-Bishop mirrors Black's proposed Absolute Bishop Pin against White's Nc3, staying in Black's territory (at b5) until it can be sacrificed in an exchange with Black's light-Bishop, following on from the exchange of White's Kingside Knight (after 7.Nf3xd4).

5. White's: Ke1 + Rh1 (King + Kingside Rook) ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95A - Strong Outpost Station, After 5.O-O - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's Ke1 + Rh1,
After: 5.O-O
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95A - Strong Outpost Station, After 5.O-O - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's Ke1 + Rh1,
After: 5.O-O

White's Kingside Castling defuses any potential tension in the proposed Absolute Bishop Pin from Black's Bb4, by removing White's King from the equation. It also gets White's King into its "House", freeing the King-Rook which eventually goes on to form a Battery Attack along the d-File, with its counterpart Rook (12.Rad1 → 17.Rd2 → 18.Rfd1).

6. White's: d-Pawn ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95A - Strong Outpost Station, After 6.d4 - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's d-Pawn,
After: 6.d4
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95A - Strong Outpost Station, After 6...exd4 - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's d-Pawn,
After: 6...exd4

White's d-Pawn is sacrificed in an exchange with Black's e-Pawn, which kickstarts the sequence that sees White's Nf3 traded for Black's Nf6 (as already mentioned, above -- 6.d4 exd4) ... and the exchange bit follows after: 7.Nf3xd4 d7-d6 8.Bc1-e3 Nf6xd4 9.Be3xd4.

7. White's: Bc1 (Dark-Bishop, Queenside) ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95A - Strong Outpost Station, After 8.Be3 - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's Bc1,
After: 8.Be3
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95A - Strong Outpost Station, After 11.Bxb6 axb6 - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's Bc1,
After: 9.Bxd4 → 11.Bxb6 axb6

White's dark-Bishop has two roles. First, it completes the Knight exchange on d4 (9.Be3xd4); Second, it's sacrificed in an exchange with Black's dark-Bishop, on b6, after 9...Bb4-a5 10.Qe3-f3 Ba5-b6 11.Bd4xb6 a7xb6, which creates Black's Doubled Pawns (b7,b6).

8. White's: Qd1 ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95A - Strong Outpost Station, After 10.Qf3 - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's Qd1,
After: 10.Qf3
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95A - Strong Outpost Station, After 13.Qg3 - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's Qd1,
After: 13.Qg3

In the image (above-right), the LAST POSITION, after 13.Qg3, it is the same position shown in Position #1.

White's Queen is primarily used to threaten an attack on Black's Kingside Castled King, on the g-file.

White's Queen remains on g3 for the majority of the game, only moving on 30.Qc3, to protect the weakness at White's Queenside Pawns (b3-Pawn). However, this takes us beyond the example of the Strong Outpost in front of an Isolani; (incidentally, by this point, White no longer has the Knight on the Outpost -- it has been replaced by the lead Rook in the d-file Battery).

After 13.Qf3-g3, H&M-S point out that White has a Mobile Pawn Wing on the Kingside (having both Control of the Center & Superior Development). White also has the 4th v. 3rd advantage, which was gained on Move 7 (7.Nxd4 d6).

Okay, so this takes the sequence into Position #2, below ...


[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

Position #2, My Analysis
PCC, p.139, No. 95B, after 16...cxd6

After: 13...Bd7 14.Bxd7 Qxd7 15.e5 Rfd8
16.exd6 cxd6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95B - Page 139
After: 16...cxd6

The analysis continues to look at the different contributions that White's Pawns & Pieces lend to gaining the Strong Outpost Station ...

9. White's: Ra1 (Queenside Rook) ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95B - Strong Outpost Station, After 12.Rad1 - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's Ra1,
After: 12.Rad1
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95B - Strong Outpost Station, After 17.Rd2 - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's Ra1,
After: 17.Rd2

White's Queenside Rook (Ra1) is the first to be sent to the Half-open d-file, after 12.Rad1. It's now ready to contribute its own support for the Nc3's move to the d5-Outpost. (After Position #2), White's Rd1 steps forward (17.Rd1-d2), to allow the Rf1 to move to d1 (18.Rf1-d1), to form the d-file Battery Attack.


[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

Position #3, My Analysis
PCC, p.140, No. 95C, after 24.c4

After: 17.Rd2 Qe6 18.Rfd1 Ne5 19.Re2 Qc4 20.b3 Qc6 21.a4 Re8 22.Nd5 Ng6 23.Red2 Re6 24.c4

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95C - Page 140
After: 24.c4

The image, (above), shows White's Knight on the d5-Outpost, supported by primarily by the c4-Pawn, but also by White's Battery (d1,d2).

Black's d6-Pawn is the "Isolani".

My analysis is now into assessing the final moves that help to gain White the Strong Outpost Station ...

10. White's: b-Pawn ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95C - Strong Outpost Station, After 20.b3 - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's b-Pawn,
After: 20.b3
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95C - Strong Outpost Station, After 20.b3 - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's b-Pawn,
After: 20...Qc6

White's b-Pawn advances, (20.b2-b3), with two functions. The first, driving Black's Queen away from c4, (20...Qc4-c6), is just a by-product of the real purpose, which is for the b-Pawn to become the support point for White's c-Pawn (the one that helps to secure the d5-Outpost Station, from c4).

11. White's: a-Pawn ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95C - Strong Outpost Station, After 21.a4 - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's a-Pawn,
After: 21.a4
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95C - Strong Outpost Station, After 21.a4 - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's a-Pawn,
After: 21.a4

White's a- and b-Pawns form a Chain (a4,b3,c2), prior to White's Nc3 moving to the d5-Outpost (22.Nc3-d5), and prior to White's c-Pawn securing the d5-Outpost (24.c2-c4). White's a- and b-Pawns are also in position to form a Reverse-Salient formation with the c-Pawn.

12. White's: c-Pawn ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95C - Strong Outpost Station, After 24.c4 - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's c-Pawn,
After: 24.c4
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95C - Strong Outpost Station, After 24.c4 - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's c-Pawn,
After: 24.c4

White's c-Pawn secures the d5-Outpost Station from its position at c4 (24.c2-c4), where it forms a Reverse-Salient formation with the other Pawns on the Queenside (a4,b3,c4).

However, the Reverse-Salient formation is incidental to the Chain within it (b3,c4), which supports the c4-Pawn, which in turn gives strength to the Outpost Station, which is made Strong because there are no Black Pawns that can dislodge Nd5, as we'll look at in the Result, below ...


[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

The Result of the White's d5-Outpost Station
in front of Black's d6-Isolani...

After 24.c4, we reach Position #3, and White's achieved the d5-Outpost Station in front of Black's d6-Isolani ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95C - Result, White's Strong Outpost Station, After 24.c4 - No Highlights
(RESULT) White's
Strong Outpost Station,
After: 24.c4
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 95C - Result, White's Strong Outpost Station, After 24.c4
(RESULT) White's
Strong Outpost Station,
After: 24.c4

The Reverse-Salient structure remains intact throughout the remainder of the game, with Black's Weak Pawns (Doubled Pawns and Isolated Pawn) reducing the threat on the Queenside.

The yellow arrows show there are no Black Pawn able to rush down the adjacent files to chase away White's Nd5. This is key to White's Outpost being a confirmed Strong Outpost Station (that and the accompanying White Pawn -- at c4, in this case).


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PGN

[Event "Hamburg (Germany)"]
[Site "It"]
[Date "1910.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "8"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Siegbert Tarrasch"]
[Black "Richard Teichmann"]
[ECO "C46"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "85"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bb5 Nge7 5.O-O O-O 6.d4 exd4 7.Nxd4 d6 8.Be3 Nxd4 9.Bxd4 Ba5 10.Qf3 Bb6 11.Bxb6 axb6 12.Rad1 Ng6 13.Qg3 {PCC p.138 No. 95A} Bd7 14.Bxd7 Qxd7 15.e5 Rfd8 16.exd6 cxd6 {PCC p.139 No. 95B} 17.Rd2 Qe6 18.Rfd1 Ne5 19.Re2 Qc4 20.b3 Qc6 21.a4 Re8 22.Nd5 Ng6 23.Red2 Re6 24.c4 {PCC p.140 No. 95C} Rae8 25.h3 Qc5 26.Kh2 h6 27.Ne3 Ne5 28.Rd5 Qa3 29.Nf5 Rg6 30.Qc3 Qa2 31.R5d2 Qa3 32.Rxd6 Rxd6 33.Rxd6 g6 34.f4 gxf5 35.fxe5 Re6 36.Qg3+ Kh7 37.Qf4 Kg8 38.Rd7 Re7 39.Rd3 Re6 40.Qxf5 Qc5 41.Rd7 Qxe5+ 42.Qxe5 Rxe5 43.Rd6 1-0

End.

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