Hedgehog Strategy (Chess is Fun)

Hedgehog Strategy (Chess is Fun)

The “Hedgehog” is not a chess opening at all, but rather a structure that players can reach from many different openings. You can reach Hedgehog formations routinely from the Sicilian Defense, from the Queen’s Indian, from the English, and even from the Nimzo-Indian. Among many possibilities:

The Sicilian: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6
The English: 1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 e6 4.g3 b6 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.0-0 Be7 7.d4 cxd4 8.Qxd4
The Nimzo-Indian: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4 4.Qc2 c5
The Benoni: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6

Unlike the Vulture and the Rat, the Hedgehog is an indisputably sound strategy that has figured prominently in grandmaster chess for more than four decades.

The Hedgehog structure involves black pawns on a6, b6, d6, and e6. The black c-pawn exchanges for the white d-pawn only when White can only recapture with a piece. As a result, there is no white d-pawn, an important feature of the structure because Black gains access to key squares at c5 and e5.

Years ago, I read Adorjan’s article, “The Quill of the Hedgehog.” It was clear that it was the start of a beautiful friendship… a structure that was very well suited to my style … clear positional themes, thematic pawn breaks, and some rather lovely tactical ideas. All of the black pieces have well defined roles, there is good coordination in the black camp, and white aggression is relatively easy to contain and even beat back.

This e-book contains ten examples from my correspondence play, all interesting struggles against tough opponents. In all, I used the Hedgehog four times in the tenth US Correspondence Championship. Without any doubt, my success there depended completely upon the soundness of the Hedgehog structure… I went four for four with it.

The e-books in the Chess is Fun series are fully annotated in understandable, simple language. The profuse use of diagrams make these among the first chess books that you can read WITHOUT A BOARD at your side.

Jon Edwards won the 10th United States Correspondence Championship in 1997 and the 8th North American Invitational Correspondence Chess Championship in 1999.

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