Understanding before Moving 106: A remarkable plan in the hedgehog

by ChessBase
1/1/2023 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In the 106th instalment of his ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving", Herman shows a game that every chess player should know and continues to explain why it is good to study and to play the Sicilian. | Photo: Pascal Simon

Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2 Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2

In this two-part course the emphasis will be on typical pawn-structures.


First of all, a  happy new year to you all!

We continue our series on the Sicilian, which is an opening that often leads a typical structure known as the "hedgehog". In hedgehog structures Black - or, less often, White - puts at least four pawns on the  third (or sixth) rank to keep enemy pieces away. Exactly what a hedgehog does when it is in danger: it rolls up, causing its spikes to come out and makes very difficult to approach.

The diagram  position is from a famous game Fischer-Andersson, 1970. The black player is  Ulf Andersson from Sweden, who was still an IM at that time but who would later emerge as a  strong grandmaster. For a long time he was a top 20 player.

In this game Bobby Fischer confronted him with a kind of "hedgehog  system", a style of play that Andersson would later also adopt in his own games with great success.

In this position Fischer found a highly remarkable strategic plan. Many years later that plan is a staple of black players who like to play hedgehog systems. What is now commonplace was once devised by a genius mind!

But are you familiar with the plan? If not, would you like to take a stab at devising the plan that Fischer came up with?


Master Class Vol. 12: Viswanathan Anand

This DVD allows you to learn from the example of one of the best players in the history of chess and from the explanations of the authors how to successfully organise your games strategically, consequently how to keep your opponent permanently under press

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