Understanding before Moving 107: Play the Sicilian (8)

by ChessBase
1/8/2023 – 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 107th instalment of his ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving", Herman 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.


In the last episode we saw a remarkable game between Bobby Fischer and Swedish grandmaster Ulf Andersson, in which the American adopted a kind of "hedgehog setup" and played a strategic model game with White.

That these "hedgehog" structures would later be popularized by Andersson may have something to do with this loss against Fischer. Andersson - who was  praised for his fine strategic insight - later gained great fame for his handling of these positions, in which Black at the beginning of the game is content to play on his first three ranks.

Andersson's defensive ingenuity and the subtleties of this set-up proved to be a good mix for the Swedish grandmaster that brought him a lot of success. And those who thought that Andersson was just stereotypically following the established patterns of the "hedgehog" were again and again proven wrong.

For example, let's have a look at the diagram position below, in which Andersson had Black against Robert Byrne, U.S. Champion from 1972 and World Championship Candidate in 1974. Byrne had just played 17.Rd1-c1, obviously thinking that this would prevent Black from playing the typical central push ...d6-d5. However, Andersson still played 17...d5!. Do you see why this breakthrough is justified?


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

This week’s show (for Premium Members only)


Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.