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

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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?

 

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