Knight Outpost

A knight positioned on an outpost controls opponent territory, restricting movement of the opponent’s pieces on the opponent’s side of the board. An outpost is defined as a square on the fifth or sixth rank, occupied by a minor piece (usually a knight), supported by its own pawn, and positioned such that it cannot ever be attacked by an opposing pawn. In other words, the opponent has no pawns on the neighboring files, or if the opponent has pawns on the neighboring files, they’ve advanced even with or beyond the outpost square. Red highlights in the above position indicate squares… Continue Reading

Controlling Space

Controlling board space- especially central squares- provides room to maneuver pieces. It cramps the opponent’s position, who will have difficulty bringing pieces out from behind their pawns. And it enables a quick redeployment of pieces from one zone of action (queenside, for example) to another zone of action (kingside) to initiate an attack or muster a defense around the king. Be careful not to overextend when grabbing space. In the following position, white appears to control more space than black. Black’s counterplay demonstrates, however, that white merely occupies space but does not control it. Black moves his knight to safety… Continue Reading