Wednesday, 3 April 2013

kasparov's octopus knight : Outpost

An outpost is a square where you can place your piece safely which can not be attacked by opponent's pawn and your opponent can not capture it without giving up some material advantage. Normally piece is protected by pawn but sometimes it can be protected by other pieces also. Any of your piece (Rook, Bishop and Queen) works well on an outpost but knight (Octopus) works better because its impact on nearer squares being short range piece.

Power of Octopus

Benefits of an Outpost :

  • When a piece occupies an out post it becomes more powerful ( We have been told that knight on the 6th rank equals to rook)
  • It creates problem in opponent's piece improvement. ( For example white knight on e6 creates problem in getting d and f files, pressure on g7 etc ), cramping your opponent's position
  • Sometimes it is not favorable for your opponent to exchange the piece which is on outpost because it may create strong passed pawn or if protected by other piece than that piece will get outpost.
  • An Outpost is used to launch to create successful king-side attacks

Strategy to find an outpost :

  • Look for Isolated pawn, when your opponent has an isolated pawn then the front square  of that pawn can become outpost for you.
  • When your opponent has advanced his/her pawn then it creates hole. Space behind the pawn can be outpost for your piece,  For example in the diagram white has advanced his pawn to d4,e5 and f4 which creates hole in e4 that is protected by  d5 pawn would be a great outpost for Black's knight or bishop. Even you can place knight on f5 but first need to play h5.

Remember : NOBODY will force your opponent to create hole in his position, you have to create it.

Now for better understanding lets look at Kasparov's game against Karpov; World Championship Match Game No 16

Kasparov's Octopus Knight

In this game Kasparov sacrificed a pawn in order to get his knight on d3 and went on win. This is one of the Garry's Masterpiece and in the book 'The Mammoth Book of the worlds's Greatest chess Games' credit given to the knight on d3 which they called Octopus knight.

Kasparov wrote : Such Games are remembered for a long time, and in particular by the winner himself after literally putting part of his soul into sustained realization of his plan.... None of my earlier creation are compare with 16th game as regards the grandiosity of overall plan. " There is one other important reason why I can confidently call this game my supreme creative achievement. The Value of any brilliantly won game 
increases in accordance with the strength of the opponent. What is noteworthy is the fact that this victory was achieved over such a super-class player as Karpov"

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