The Complete Hedgehog volume 1
The Hedgehog is a thoroughly modern defense where flexibility and understanding trump rote memorization. Using deeply annotated critical games from international practice, GM Sergey Shipov traces the Hedgehog`s development - from its origins as a way to avoid well-trodden paths to its current status as a respected weapon in Black`s armory. The Hedgehog has been adopted by the likes of Tal, Larsen, Adams, Kasparov, Kamsky, and Karpov.
Drawing on decades of experience playing this defense, Shipov has put together much more than a simple opening manual full of variations. The author meticulously explains strategic themes, typical formations, move-order subtleties, and explores the thorny question: Is the Hedgehog a ``theoretically sound`` opening - and does that really matter?
Along the way, the reader gets to see the mind of a grandmaster hard at work, and is treated to a lesson on one of the most important skills in chess: how to evaluate a position. Shipov shares his approach to chess and life, and his passion for both, in this entertaining, philosophical, and highly readable work.
The Hedgehog came into prominence in the 1970`s, around the same time I also made my entry into the world of what we call ``big chess`` in Russian. I learned it from my Baku peer Elmar Magerramov as a youth and eventually added it to my repertoire. Thanks to the early black successes of Ljubojevic and Andersson, the Hedgehog was also adopted and promoted by other members of the new wave, such as Psakhis and Ftacnik. Black takes a lot of strategic risks, but the many possibilities of the Hedgehog well represented the coming era of flexibility.
It`s notable that my teacher, former world champion Mikhail Botvinnik, never weighed in on this new-fangled system. As someone who often went against the current of the day`s opening trends when he was in his prime, he likely recognized the Hedgehog`s value despite the unattractive and cramped character that appalled many veterans. And of course, the Patriarch knew practical results counted for something!
In 1981 a pair of wins and a near miss showed me that not only could the Hedgehog be played against anything - e4, d4, or c4 - but it could also be played successfully against anyone. In the same Soviet team event in April I scored a 27-move win against Smyslov and was tantalizingly close to victory against my future world champion rival Karpov. Later that year in Tilburg I beat Robert Huebner employing the classic Hedgehog breaks b6-b5 and d6-d5 on consecutive moves. (And the trajectory of his queen`s bishop, Bb2-Bc1-Bg5-Bc1-Bb2, was extravagant even against the Hedgehog!
From the beginning, the Hedgehog has been about concepts and plans, not concrete variations and memorized lines. Sergey Shipov`s profound interest in these underlying ideas are what make his approach, and this book, so valuable. We had countless ``discussions`` over the board in blitz in this opening while Sergey was working with me in the late 90`s and 2000. He`s not just a strong practical player, but someone who likes to study and to pursue the truth.
I highly recommend this book because it investigates strategic concepts instead of being limited to mere reactions. Knowing what to do and when to do it might allow for a degree of success. But to achieve mastery of anything, you must also understand WHY. With Grandmaster Shipov`s expert guidance, the reader has every opportunity to do exactly that.
Moscow, June 2009
The Hedgehog. Its Birth and Development
Getting to the Hedgehog Opening Structure
The Hedgehog Philosophy
Space and Order
Evaluating a Position
The English Hedgehog
Part 1 Classical Continuation 7. d4
History and Pioneers
The English Hedgehog Tabiya - 7. d4 cxd4 8. Qxd4
White Aims for a Quick Attack on the Pawn at d6
Two Plans by Uhlmann
Trading Off the Bishop at f6
Notes on Move Orders in the 8. d4 System
Part 2 The 7. Re1! System
First Experiences and Origins of the Theory of the 7. Re1! System
Black Castles Early The Canonical Piece Setup
The Modern Hedgehog. Sunrise to Sunset
The Knight Goes to c6
New Ideas in the 7. Re1 System
Index of Players
- Casa editrice Mongoose Press
- Code 6031
- Anno 2009
- Pagine p. 532
- Isbn 9780979148217