Strong Outpost Station:
Part of the Advanced Beginner's Chess Guide (Section 1) and the
Chess Strategies Guide (Section 3: Studying the Pieces)
Strong Outpost Station
Point Count Chess: [+]
Now we've identified the basic Outpost Station, we need to ask:
"What does a Strong Outpost Station look like?"
A Strong Outpost Station is one where a Knight is defended by a Pawn, which cannot be dislodged without disadvantage to the attacker (Diagram 4a), or which is ahead of a Pawn which it is blocking from advancing, and is not easily forced away by a Pawn on an adjacent square (Diagram 4b).
Diagram 4a: Strong Outpost Station
Attacker will be vulnerable
Diagram 4b: Strong Outpost Station
Outpost (Nb4) blocks Pawn advance;
not easily forced away
A Pawn is almost always involved in an Outpost (with rare exceptions). For now, do not count a point unless a Pawn is involved in the defence of the Outpost.
A "Weak" Outpost would make it either impossible or highly unlikely that the piece (e.g. Knight) could remain on its post for very long - for instance, it could be that the enemy has positioned enough troops all targeting the square, to survive any potential swap-off.
Finally, if there is an enemy Pawn on an adjacent file, that could eventually dislodge the Piece, do not count it as a Strong Outpost. It is just a Temporary Outpost
, such as it is in Diagram 5, below ...
Diagram 5: Nd5 on a Temporary Outpost Station;
Black's c-Pawn can dislodge White's Nd5.
Black's c-Pawn can advance to c6, attacking White's Knight, which would have no choice but to move, vacating its current Outpost Station, provided by the e4-Pawn.
Moving On: Point Count Chess, Examples (Page 3).
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