Long live the Hedgehog!

4/12/2006 – Playchess lecturer Andrew Martin presents a grab bag of games today, starting with the Hedgehog system of defence, to the eccentric genius of Oleg Romanishin and a successful effort in a Caro Kann game of his own. Note that from now on the lecture will begin one hour later – so our trainer can get some cricket practice.

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It's ... the Andrew Martin Radio ChessBase Show

German Grandmaster Christopher Lutz opens this week's radio show with a demonstration of everything that is good about the Hedgehog system of defence. Black soaks up pressure like a sponge and then hits back when White has exhausted himself. The position and subsequent play after 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 b6 3.g3 c5 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.Nc3 e6 6.0-0 Be7 7.d4 cxd4 8.Qxd4 d6 9.Bg5

is of theoretical interest.

We slide south to Italy and enter into the mind of eccentric genius Oleg Romanishin. What is he planning after 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.c4 d6 6.0-0 Nbd7 7.Nc3 c6 8.e4 e5 9.h3 Re8 10.Re1 a6!?

Then a recent game of my own in the Caro-Kann where 1.c4 c6 2.e4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5

comes up trumps.

This week's competition

D. G. McIntyre, Natal Mercury 1917

White to play and mate in three.

Entries to predictaresult@yahoo.co.uk please.

Solutions to last week's competition (who said it?)

Congratulations to Zare Agazaryan of California for winning last weeks competition.

The correct answer is in bold.

1) ' Young man, you play well ' (to R.Fine)

  • Lasker
  • Mieses
  • Capablanca

2) ' You have to lose hundreds of games before becoming a good player '

  • Capablanca
  • Fischer
  • Kasparov

3) ' Shove off jerk'

  • Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (on being asked his age)
  • Bobby Fischer (to an Icelandic reporter who congratulated him on beating Boris Spassky in 1972)
  • ChessBase (on being presented with a bill for ten radio shows)

4) 'Why must I lose to this idiot' ?

  • Nimzowitsch
  • Loek Van Wely
  • Viktor Korchnoi

5) The chess-board is the world; the pieces are the phenomena of the universe; the rules of the game are the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us.

  • Florencio Campomanes
  • Thomas Huxley
  • John Nunn (many guessed him)
  • Nostradamus

6) ' All I smelt was burning rubber as she scorched round the track'

  • Don Schulz
  • Paul Truong
  • Bob Long
  • Malcolm Pein (commentating on a Scalextric championship – he has nothing else to do).

The radio show starts this week at 20:30 GMT / 21:30 CEST. Please note the hour difference, which will carry on throughout the summer. This is because Andrew Martin will be attending outdoor cricket practice for his club, and he needs all the practice he can get.

The Andrew Martin Radio ChessBase lecture begins on Wednesdays at 21:30h CEST (European Central time = server time, which translates to 20:30h London, 3:30 p.m. New York, 05:30 a.m. Sydney (on Thursday). You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

The Andrew Martin Chess Academy opens today, March 1st 2006. The site offers a personal game annotation service; a regular newsletter written by AMCA staff; the best online tuition in terms of value and quality; a series of tournaments for children aged under 14; all aspects of chess training, including specific opening preparation; an AMCA room at PlayChess.com, where lessons may be held in complete privacy with our expert tutors – all at a time that is best for you at any time of day or night, anywhere in the world. The motto: "Join us, Improve and enjoy your chess!"


Andrew Martin, chess trainer and teacher

He is not some unknown in the world of chess. Andrew Martin was the star commentator in the 2000 London match between Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik, and he gained recent international fame and popularity with his live audio commentary on Playchess.com during the FIDE world championship in San Luis.

Andrew is also a prolific chess trainer, not just live in British scholastic circles, but also in a series of training DVDs he has produced for ChessBase, taking full advantage of our Chess Media System. His lively, entertaining style, combined with a good dash of humour, makes any lesson with him a delight to follow.

Andrew Martin is 47 years old and lives in Sandhurst, England, with his wife and four children. His book King‘s Indian Battle Plans for Thinkers Press was an international best-seller.

Each week Martin will cast his eye over the contemporary chess scene, presenting a veritable pot-pourri of interesting topics. We look forward to the pleasure of your company.

Andrew Martin: The Trompowsky – The easy way


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