Monday, October 15, 2007

The Hedeghog

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 e6 4. g3 b6 5. Bg2 Bb7 6. O-O Be7 7. Re1 d6. This is the mainline Hedgehog where White has fianchettoed his/her Queen bishop. See the game of the week for for a different idea, the placement of Black's double fiancheto Bishop's is worthy of serious attention. It is good to learn these positions as a nice change of pace because black gets a much bigger piece of the center than usual.

The ideas behind the Hedgehog were originally developed in the English Opening, (hence the game of the week). The Hedgehog Defence in particular refers to a variation in the Symmetrical English. (1.c4 c5) where Black adopts this setup: 1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 b6 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.Nc3 e6 6.0-0 Be7 7.d4 cxd4 8.Qxd4 d6. Other openings where Black often uses the setup include the Queen's Indian Defence and the Taimanov and Kan Variations of the Sicilian Defence.

It is also possible for White to adopt a Hedgehog setup, but this happens more rarely. However, this did occur in the game Fischer - Andersson, Siegen 1970, one of the first games to feature this method of development. Fischer's crushing victory in this game, in which the Kh1/Rg1/g4 method of attack was vividly demonstrated, so impressed Andersson that he would later become one of the foremost Hedgehog exponents himself.

Some people get confused that the Marcozy Bind is almost the same as a *Hedgehog* set-up! But this is not true, the Maroczy Bind is a set up by White, the Hedgehog is a setup by Black. The Maroczy can be used both against the Hedgehog and against the Accelerated Dragon. The Hedgehog does not blatantly stop being a Hedgehog if White meets it with a Maroczy Bind.. any comments?

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