Throughout my playing career I have found the Hedgehog (with both colours) one of the most difficult type of positions to master. With White (the side with more space) there is always a danger to overextend oneself (or miss your opponent’s pawn break). While playing Black (the side with less space) there is always a danger to mistime your pawn break, or simply to not get counterplay and be overrun.
The complexity of those positions is best illustrated in a Kasparov-Kramnik game – with both players allowing seemingly “obvious” mistakes. Charbonneau-Anand is another good example – a player of Anand’s stature landing in a terrible position, then missing his good attacking prospects. The game result was one of the biggest upsets of 2006 Chess Olympiad. There are different types of Hedgehog positions - many of them coming from the English opening where the White bishop is fianchettoed. In this video course I consider the “basic Hedgehog” pawn structure; like the one coming from the Kan Sicilian for example. Choosing the right plan at the right time is the key here - the ensuing positions are full of dynamic possibilities. I endeavour to show the most common (and a few less common!) plans for both sides and try to pinpoint typical mistakes and motifs. The basic aim of this video is to improve understanding of these complex positions and to help tournament players score better!