Outpost

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An outpost is a single stone standing somewhere close to an edge ready to be used as a ladder escape.

Due to the popularity of openings in the 'A' column, it is very common for a player to have a piece along the opponent's edge, near the acute corner. Such pieces can work as ladder escapes or switchbacks. This article summarizes how to use such pieces as ladder escapes or switchbacks.

Ladders towards a2

This is easy. a2 is a valid ladder escape for 2nd and 3rd row ladders.

Ladders towards a3

a3 is a valid ladder escape for 2nd row ladders, but not for 3rd row ladders. However, a3 works as a 3rd-to-5th row switchback. See A3 switchback. See also A3 escape trick.

Ladders towards a4

a4 isn't a valid ladder escape for any kind of ladders, but it works both as a 2nd-to-4th row switchback and as a 3rd-to-5th row switchback. See A4 switchback.

Second row ladders

Red plays at the star. Blue has to play to the left of the star, and Red can start a new ladder from a4 to the left.

Third row ladders

Red first plays at (*). When Blue plays between Red's ladder and this piece, Red plays his next piece at (+).

Ladders towards a5

a5 isn't a valid ladder escape for any kind of ladders, but it works both as a 2nd-to-4th row switchback and as a 3rd-to-5th row switchback. See A5 switchback.

Ladders towards a6

a6 isn't a valid ladder escape for any kind of ladders, but given enough space, it works as a 2nd-to-4th row switchback. See A6 switchback.