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Strong Outpost Station
The Station at Q5 (d5)

NO. 99 ... p145-146, The Station at Q5, Ivkov v. Letelier, 1955

According to H&M-S, the King Pawn Openings (1.e4 e5) are good for producing an Outpost Station at Q5 (at d5, for White; at d4, for Black). This example shows White succeeding in the battle to secure the Q5-Outpost.

H&M-S say: "...one of the advantages often enjoyed by an Outpost: the power to sell its life dearly."

In other words, if your opponent wants to destroy your Outpost, if you play it right, they will have to lose a significant number of their army to do it.

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.145, No. 99, after 13...Rfc8
  2. Result of the Station at Q5 (d5).
  3. PGN

The Station at Q5 (d5)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.145, No. 99, after 13...Rfc8

After: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 Na5 9.Bc2 c5 10.d4 Qc7 11.Nbd2 O-O 12.Nf1 Bd7 13.Ne3 Rfc8

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Page 145
After: 13...Rfc8

For this analysis, I'm looking at the Pawns and Pieces that contribute to White's Outpost Station; their first moves and their last positions (whether they get captured or remain there for the duration of the example) ...

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

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Strong Outpost Station, After 1.e4 - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's e-Pawn
Outpost at Q5 (d5),
After: 1.e4
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Strong Outpost Station, After 21.exf5 - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's e-Pawn
Outpost at Q5 (d5),
After: 21.exf5

White's e-Pawn secures the d5-Outpost.

After its opening move (1.e2-e4), White's e-Pawn remains on e4 until the d5-Outpost is no longer a necessary component of White's victory.

White's e-Pawn eventually leaves the e-file to take up a new, Black-cramping-position, at f5 (21.e4xf5), completing the Minor Piece exchange of White Knight for Black's light-Bishop.

White's former e-Pawn remains on f5 for the remaining few moves of the game, when Black surrenders.

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

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Strong Outpost Station, After 2.Nf3 - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's Ng1
Outpost at Q5 (d5),
After: 2.Nf3
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Strong Outpost Station, After 18.Nh4 - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's Ng1
Outpost at Q5 (d5),
After: 18.Nh4

From f3, White's Kingside Knight helps support White's d-Pawn as it moves to d4 before trading d-Pawns off onto e5 (14.dxe5 dxe5). That d-Pawn exchange removes Black's d-Pawn, which might otherwise threaten White's e4-Pawn, which secures the d5-Outpost.

Apart from that, White's Kingside Knight doesn't offer anything more to the d5-Outpost (so I've only shown the last position of the Kingside Knight, where it moves away from defending the d4-square).

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

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Strong Outpost Station, After 3.Bb5 - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's Bf1
Outpost at Q5 (d5),
After: 3.Bb5
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Strong Outpost Station, After 9.Bc2 - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's Bf1
Outpost at Q5 (d5),
After: 4.Ba4 → 7.Bb3 → 9.Bc2

I think White's light-Bishop might be used to Deflect Black's b-Pawn onto the light-square at b5 ...

On first appearances, it doesn't look like White's light-Bishop doesn't anything useful; it seems to spend most of the opening moves running away from Black's Queenside Pawns and Pieces, which you'd think would be timewasting.

BUT, on closer inspection, it seems like White's light-Bishop serves to pull Black's Queenside Pawns out of position, so that they cannot form a strong Chain (b7,c6,d5) to attack White's proposed d5-Outpost Station, and the e4-Pawn that's tasked with securing the Outpost.

After Black's b-Pawn comes out to b5, White's light-Bishop retreats to c2 (9.Ba4-c2), where it remains for the rest of the game, supporting White's e-Pawn, even when it moves onto f5 (21.e4xf5).

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

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Strong Outpost Station, After 5.O-O - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's Ke1 + Rh1
Outpost at Q5 (d5),
After: 5.O-O
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Strong Outpost Station, After 5.O-O - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's Ke1 + Rh1
Outpost at Q5 (d5),
After: 5.O-O

Castling releases White's Kingside Rook from its corner square.

5. White's: Rh1 (Kingside Rook) ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Strong Outpost Station, After 6.Re1 - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's Rh1
Outpost at Q5 (d5),
After: 6.Re1
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Strong Outpost Station, After 22.Re4 - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's Rh1
Outpost at Q5 (d5),
After: 22.Re4

After moving to e1 (6.Rf1-e1), White's Kingside Rook stays there, defending the e4-Pawn securing the d5-Outpost, until the e4-Pawn leaves the e-file to capture on f5, when the d5-Outpost is no longer needed.

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

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Strong Outpost Station, After 8.c3 - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's c-Pawn
Outpost at Q5 (d5),
After: 8.c3
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Strong Outpost Station, After 26.Rg4 - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's c-Pawn
Outpost at Q5 (d5),
After: 26.Rg4

White's c-Pawn advances to c3 (9.c2-c3) to support the advance of the d-Pawn (10.d2-d4), which takes Black's d-Pawn off the d-file, thus neutralizing that threat to White's e4-Pawn securing the d5-Outpost.

White's c-Pawn remains on c3 for the remainder of the game, which ends when Black resigns, after 26.Re4-g4.

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

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Strong Outpost Station, After 10.d4 - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's d-Pawn
Outpost at Q5 (d5),
After: 10.d4
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Strong Outpost Station, After 14.dxe5 dxe5 - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's d-Pawn
Outpost at Q5 (d5),
After: 14.dxe5 dxe5

As mentioned a couple of times already, White's d-Pawn is sacrificed to remove Black's d-Pawn off the d-file (14.d4xe5 d6xe5), so it is no longer a threat to White's e4-Pawn securing the d5-Outpost.

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

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Strong Outpost Station, After 11.Nbd2 - First Move
(FIRST MOVE) White's Nb1
Outpost at Q5 (d5),
After: 11.Nbd2
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Strong Outpost Station, After 1.x - Last Position
(LAST POSITION) White's Nb1
Outpost at Q5 (d5),
After: 12.Nf1 → 13.Ne3
→ 15.Nd5 → 16.Nxf6+ gxf6

White's Queenside Knight works its way up to occupy the d5-Outpost, but only temporarily. There appears to be two purposes for the Knight:

  1. First, the main purpose is to take Black's Kingside Knight (Nf6) off the board, as it targets the d5-Outpost.

    Its first move (11.Nb1d2) initially defends the e4-Pawn against the threat from Black's Nf6, but that's just a useful part of the journey up to the d5-Outpost, not the primary reason for going to d2.

    The next series of moves for the Queenside Knight are all about maneuvering it into position so it can get onto the d5-Outpost. Because of the often awkward pattern of movement of the Knight, it's almost like it has to do three-point-turn, just get it where it needs to go.

  2. Second, the exchange of the Knights on f6 leads to Black gaining a Compromised King-side, with Doubled Pawns (f7,f6) into the bargain. This causes problems for Black, later on, and leads to White's victory.

That's the last of the Pawns and Pieces that contribute to White's Q5 (d5)-Outpost, so we can look at the Result, below ...


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The Result of the Station at Q5 (d5)...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Result, White's Outpost Station at Q5 (d5), After 9...c5 - No Highlights
(RESULT) White's Station at Q5 (d5),
After: 9...c5
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Result, White's Outpost Station at Q5 (d5), After 9...c5
(RESULT) White's Station at Q5 (d5),
After: 9...c5

The images (above) show the point when White gains his Strong Outpost Station, at d5. It occurs after Black's c-Pawn advances to c5 (9...c7-c5), since both it and Black's e-Pawn have been moved beyond the attacking range of d5 (yellow & red arrows).

That leaves the e4-Pawn securing the d5-Outpost Station for White's army. The only concern White now has is Black's d6-Pawn, which could advance to threaten White's e4-Pawn. As we've seen above, White's own d-Pawn sorts out that potential banana skin.

The next image set features the same position from H&M-S's diagram NO.99 (Position #1) ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Result, White's Outpost Station at Q5 (d5), After 13...Rfc8 - No Highlights
(RESULT) White's Station at Q5 (d5),
After: 13...Rfc8
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Result, White's Outpost Station at Q5 (d5), After 13...Rfc8
(RESULT) White's Station at Q5 (d5),
After: 13...Rfc8

The position (above) is just before the two adverse d-Pawns exchange on e5 (red arrows), and subsequently White's Ne3 gets to complete its journey from the Queenside, onto the d5-Outpost (green arrow).

The next image set just shows the outcome of White's Queenside Knight occupying the d5-Outpost ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Result, White's Outpost Station at Q5 (d5), After 15.Nd5 - No Highlights
(RESULT) White's Station at Q5 (d5),
After: 15.Nd5
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Result, White's Outpost Station at Q5 (d5), After 15.Nd5
(RESULT) White's Station at Q5 (d5),
After: 15.Nd5

Soon after this, the Knight is sacrificed to take out Black's Nf6, which currently makes life awkward for any White Piece wanting to occupy the d5-Outpost, while Nf6 also guards g4 & h5, preventing White's Queen from accessing those two squares along the d1-h5 diagonal.

The next image set shows the aftermath of the Knight exchange, including Black's Compromised King-side, plus how White's Queen has been able to move to h5, now that Black's Nf6 no longer exists ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Result, White's Outpost Station at Q5 (d5), After 19.Qh5 - No Highlights
(RESULT) White's Station at Q5 (d5),
After: 16.Nxf6+ gxf6 → 19.Qh5
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Result, White's Outpost Station at Q5 (d5), After 19.Qh5
(RESULT) White's Station at Q5 (d5),
After: 16.Nxf6+ gxf6 → 19.Qh5

And then, we get to the point where White appears to no longer require the d5-Outpost ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Result, White's Outpost Station at Q5 (d5) is dissolved, After 21.exf5 - No Highlights
(END) White's
Station at Q5 (d5) is dissolved,
After: 21.exf5
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 99 - Result, White's Outpost Station at Q5 (d5) is dissolved 21.exf5
(END) White's
Station at Q5 (d5) is dissolved,
After: 21.exf5

White used his Nh4 (from the previous image set) to coax Black into a Minor Piece exchange (Knight for Black's light-Bishop), and the outcome of that (20.Nh4-f5 Bd7xf5) provided the opportunity for White's e4-Pawn to capture onto the f-file (21.e4xf5), which dissolves the d5-Outpost, as there's no longer a Pawn to secure the Outpost square.

So, White's d5-Outpost was always just a temporary feature of White's overall plan to weaken the Pawn Guards surrounding Black's Kingside Castled King.

As soon as Black's King-side became Compromised, White just had to maneuver his Queen and Knight into position on the Kingside, trade Knight for Black's light-Bishop, and then the d5-Outpost could be deemed surplus to requirements (no longer needed).


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PGN

[Event "Mar del Plata"]
[Site "5"]
[Date "1955.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Borislav Ivkov"]
[Black "Rene Letelier Martner"]
[ECO "C84"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "51"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 Na5 9.Bc2 c5 10.d4 Qc7 11.Nbd2 O-O 12.Nf1 Bd7 13.Ne3 Rfc8 {PCC p.145 No. 99}14.dxe5 dxe5 15.Nd5 Qd6 16.Nxf6+ gxf6 17.Qe2 b4 18.Nh4 Kh8 19.Qh5 Rg8 20.Nf5 Bxf5 21.exf5 Rad8 22.Re4 Rg7 23.Bh6 Rdg8 24.Bxg7+ Rxg7 25.Rd1 Qc6 26.Rg4 1-0

End.

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