1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6
5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 d6 7.Be2 b6

In this Hedgehog Masterclass I have tried to (easy to understand) structure plans for White and Black (and how to counter them). As seen on the diagram positions examined are with white pawn on e4 and bishop developed to e2. White plans involving queenside castle or a brutal kingside pawns roll (like in Sicilian) are also examined. PGN for download contains 15 illustrative examples. Hedgehog positions are (for the both sides) difficult to play. Knowing the plans is important, but (implementing them) timing is everything! I hope this video to help viewers improve their knowledge of those complex positions.

Charbonneau,Pascal (2510) - Anand,Viswanathan (2803) [B44]
Turin ol (Men) 37th Turin (12), 03.06.2006
[Black pushes the g-pawn – Fischer’s plan]


A standard “hedgehog-type” position. Vishy Anand (playing as Black) is following on one of the most common hedgehog plans (g-pawn push) and seems to have gotten serious attacking chances on the kingside. How should White react?


[30.Nd5!! A positional sacrifice, turning Black two ‘powerful bishops’ into two ‘lousy pawns’.

30…exd5 31.cxd5 Ne8

  1. a) 31…Bd8 loses a piece after 32.Rc8 Bb7 33.Rb8;
  2. b) 31…Qd8 32.Bxg5 (32.Ng3 with Nf5 to follow also should win) 32…Nxe4 33.fxe4 Rxg5 34.Rxc7+–;
  3. c) 31…Bb8 32.Bxa6+–;

32.Bxa6 with Ng3–Nf5 to follow 32…Rh4 33.Bb5+– Bd8 34.Rc8]


[Anand now likely noticed that in the case of 30…Rh4 White would still have 31.Nd5!! exd5 32.cxd5 Ne8 33.Bxa6+– with Ng3–Nf5 to follow.]


This is a logical pawn break…however, White’s Be3 is soon to leave his post making the …g5–g4 pawn push possible for Black.

31…dxc5 32.bxc5 bxc5 33.Rb1 Bc6 34.Bxc5 g4! 35.f4

35…g3? Unusual for a great attacker like Anand, but misses his chance!

[The way to go was 35…Nf3! when Black gets a strong attack.]

36.fxe5! Charbonneau , neither sees the ghosts, nor gets bluffed by his formidable opponent!

36…Nxe4 37.Nxe4 Bxe4 38.Bd3! Bxg2+ 39.Qxg2 gxh2 40.Bxg6 Rxg6 41.Ng3 Rxg3 42.Qe4 Rg4 43.Be7! Elegant finish.

Upon 43…Rxe4 44.Bf6 Qg7 45.Rb8 Bxb8 46.Rd8 mates.

Sandipan,Chanda (2555) - Nisipeanu,Liviu Dieter (2686) [B44]
Pune Pune (5), 07.09.2004
[Black’s h-pawn push]


Black Nisipeanu uses one of the standard hedgehog plans and wins a brilliant game!

17…h5! 18.a3 Qb8 19.Bf2 h4! 20.Bxh4 Nc5 21.Qa2 Nfxe4 22.Nxe4 Nxe4 23.Bxe7 Nf2+ 24.Kg1 Nxd1 25.Bg5 d5! 26.Bxd1

[26.b4 Qe5 27.Qd2 Nb2 28.f4 Qe4 29.Qxb2 dxc4 30.Bf1 Qe3+ 31.Kh1 e5 and Black is slightly better.]

26…Qe5 27.Bd2 dxc4 28.Rxc4?

[28.Bc2! Qd4+ 29.Kh1 Qf2 30.b4 cxb3 (30…e5) 31.Qxb3 Red8 32.Qe3 Qxe3 33.Bxe3 Rxc2 34.Rxc2 Rd1+ 35.Bg1 Rxb1 and Black is slightly better.]

28…Bd5–+ 29.Rxc8 Rxc8 30.b3

30…Rc1! 31.Nc3 Qd4+ 32.Kf1 Bxb3 33.Qxb3 Qxd2 34.Qxb6 Rxc3

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    Hedgehog Strategies Revealed

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    Hedgehog Strategies Revealed

    In this Hedgehog Masterclass Ivan Sokolov explains (in an easy to understand structure) the most common plans for White and Black (and how to counter them). As seen on the diagram positions examined are with white pawn on e4 and bishop developed to e2.


    Runtime: 164 min.