Weak Squares and Outposts Part 1 - Alexander Alekhine

Weak Squares and Outposts Part 1 - Alexander Alekhine

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Weak Squares are squares that cannot be defended. Since pawns are the principal defenders of your territory, a weak square usually refers to a square within enemy territory that cannot be defended by a pawn.

In the position above, the weak squares in the Black camp are a5, b6, c6 and d5; while White's only weak square is d3. When we populate the chess board, we see that these weaknesses might be mitigated or aggravated by the other pieces on the board.

A square that cannot be defended by a pawn can more easily be occupied by a piece. Therefore, weak squares often provide opportunities to further improve the development of your pieces. Let us see how Former World Champion Alexander Alekhine took advantage of the weak Squares in his opponent's position, by using them in order to improve his own pieces. Without much activity for Black, his position soon fell apart and the game ended with a nice winning sacrifice.

A single weakness could mean the difference between victory and defeat, therefore, identifying potential outposts and using them is an essential skill in every chess player's toolkit. Alekhine teaches us in a very practical way how to create maximum damage in enemy territory with just one pawn.