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It's been done on all of the other openings and systems, but not these two. So which one does everyone like better?
They're pretty similar, but hedgehog is much sounder because it only allows white an e4 c4 center which can be undermined anyways. In the hippo, the double fianchetto is unnecessary and allows white to set up an ideal position like in indian chess but tough to crack. But white should eventually breakthrough, while others lost their patience. Same for the hedgehog though
What is the Hippo? These animal-themed openings tend to have more "official" names in opening tomes.
Orangutan, Crab, Wildcat, Fox, Clam, Elephant, Monkey, Horsefly, Mosquito, Duck, Penguin, Porcupine, Hawk, Snail, Cormorant, Vulture, Rat, Snake... I only made up one of those.
I wonder why white doesn't more often advance one of his bishop pawns two squares in edition to the two pawns. Not that it's better, but usually the white players just develop Nf3 and Nc3. White could play with f4 and keep his strong center solid. I've seen a position like that involving e4, d4, and f4 against the small hippo type center in The Amateur's Mind. I mention this because typically the difficult thing to do against a hippo is to breakthrough. Those pawns can annex more space and try to cramp black, because if white just develops his pieces, the problem is that black's pawns (especially the center pawns) block white's pieces' scope! It's ultra solid indeed. So why not claim more territory instead? Also, black can gain more central territory by ...e5, ...d5, or counterattack with ...c5 and play on the dark squares with ...g5 as in Gonnosuke's game. I wonder which way is stronger.
Hippo is perfectly sound but I don't like the Kingside dark-squared weakness and white's unusually big space advantage.
I prefer Hedgehog (especially after the English or the Sicilian Kan) because it does have more flexibility despite White having a one-move lead in development.
In a game I have going at the moment, after e4 and d4 I followed up with c4 and b4 (not immediately, obviously) in anticipation of it reverting to a KID type structure where my queenside attack is prepped and ready. Worked to perfection!
It was probably a better version of the KID, right? Like what exactly is the point of black's bishop on b7 in a KID type position with the closed center?
Which one? Was it the horsefly?
Yep, you're right, in fact in this case the bishop was a total liability. The opening went like this. Opponent is 2200+ so no mug...
Edit: Black played 14...bxc5 in the game above, not 14...dxc5.
No it wasn't the horsefly, the horsefly is a defence.
Can someone demonstrate exactly what a hedgehog looks like?
But not better.
I don't want to spoil the fun here.
I put the fake in a note on my profile, if you want to see the answer.
I wonder why white doesn't more often advance one of his bishop pawns two squares in edition to the two pawns.
One of the most difficult aspects of the Hippo is knowing when to make the c5/f5 pawn break. If you're playing to win, one of those moves is almost mandatory but the timing is critical.
With the center closed and well defended, the Hippo is always the most vulnerable to flank attacks. For that reason, it's best to wait until after white initiates action on the wings before making the c5/f5 pawn breaks. If you make too many changes to your pawn structure early, you risk not being able to defend the flank attacks later.
For example, the typical response to a4 or h4 is a6 and h6 which protects the bishops and threatens to close the flanks. Example: h4 h6 and then if white ever advances to h5 black responds with g5, closing the h-file and protecting the vitally important DSB at the cost of weakening g6. At this point you can see how important it is for black to have a pawn at f7. Without it, g6 is terminally weak and white has the potential to make the square into an ideal outpost.
The scenario above is one of the reasons why I open with 1...b6 which hopes to nudge white into Nf3 and prevent an early f4. As you'd expect, f4 makes it much more difficult to protect the kingside fianchetto. (f4 is also responsible for my hatred of the Pirc)
Thanks Gonnosuke, but the way I would play against the hippo is very similar to what marvellosity did (though I may go for f4 instead). It's also how I handle what looks like a king's indian but when I'm expecting ...e5 I see ...e6. Basically you just centralize all of your pieces and only then gain space on the flank. I would play with c4, d4, and e4, and after developing if black still doesn't commit in the center, I can manouver my knight to d3 and play f4 and then I can even play myself d5 or e5 with my army supporting everything. So eventually black has to commit somehow to prevent a complete strangle but after that (...c5 or ...e5) all of my pieces are ready to be used in typical Benoni/King's Indian style while black couldn't improve his position nearly as well because he was cramped. That ...g5 plan might be a good option for black though. Reuben Fine recomended a setup with e4,d4,Nf3,Nc3,Bc4,Bf4, and 0-0 and said "white is markedly superior and will be ready to attack". But how exactly? the bishops are blocked by black's pawns (in fact black can keep pushing them around with his flank pawns) so that only leaves e5 and d5 which are probably well controlled by black and then there is gaining space but then one bishop has to move so why not gain space right away? Well against the hippo probably anything goes though!
But this is all patient stuff. I'm sure many people would try to attack and it would prove difficult. I bet it would drive some people insane but someone like petrosian could probably crush it.
I don't want to spoil the fun here.
I haven't heard of several of those! If most of those are real, that's pretty cool. Can you show what they are? The polar bear is also one.
Playing 1.e5 as Black for the first time, your recommendations?
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