Complete Hedgehog — Volume 1, The

Sergey Shipov

Reviewer: John Donaldson
Mongoose Press
532 pages

These days when you think of English language chess book publishers, the United Kingdom comes readily to mind. Gambit and Everyman are based in England and Quality Chess in Scotland. Since the demise of International Chess Enterprises, Thinkers Press and Chess Enterprises the United States has only had two major players – McFarland & Company and Russell Enterprises, Inc. – but a third has recently appeared.

Mongoose Press, which numbers among its titles the well-regarded Chess Gems and The Genius And Misery Of Chess, recently published a book that will definitely make it better known. The Complete Hedgehog Volume 1 by GM Sergey Shipov is not only the most complete work on this structure, eclipsing two earlier ones by IM Palkovi and GM Suba (both of which are good), but one of the finest opening books ever published.

Based on an earlier work by the author on the same subject that was published in Russia in 2004, The Complete Hedgehog Volume 1 is updated (the latest game appears to be the heavily annotated model game Kramnik – Carlsen, won by the Norwegian) and enlarged. The table of contents gives a good idea of what this book covers and what it doesn’t. The Complete Hedgehog Volume 1 examines all White setups where the first player fianchettoes his King Bishop and Black develops his on e7. This book does not cover Hedgehogs where White’s Bishop is developed on the f1-a6 diagonal or where Black fianchettoes both his Bishops (these will be covered in volume two).

Foreword by Garry Kasparov 4
Introduction 5
The Hedgehog. Its Birth and Development 9
Getting to the Hedgehog Opening Structure 12
The Hedgehog Philosophy 20
Space and Order 25
Evaluating a Position 27
The English Hedgehog

 Part 1 

Classical Continuation 7.d4 34
Preface 35
Chapter 1-1
 History and Pioneers 43
Chapter 1-2
 The English Hedgehog Tabiya – 7.d4 cxd4 8.Qxd4 69
Chapter 1-3
 White Aims for a Quick Attack on the Pawn at d6 92
Chapter 1-4
 Two Plans by Uhlmann 150
Chapter 1-5
 Trading Off the Bishop at f6 214
Chapter 1-6
 Notes on Move Orders in the 8.d4 System 278
Part 2 

The 7.Re1! System 290
Chapter 2-1
 Experiences and Origins of the Theory of the 7.Re1! System 291
Chapter 2-2
 Black Castles Early The Canonical Piece Setup 339
Chapter 2-3
 The Modern Hedgehog. Sunrise to Sunset 425
Chapter 2-4
 The Knight Goes to c6 465
Chapter 2-5
 New Ideas in the 7.Re1 System 490
Index of Players 528

The author of The Complete Hedgehog Volume 1, GM Sergey Shipov, is well qualified to write on this subject. Best known for his roles with and, Shipov is a strong player (2662 peak Elo) who prefers the role of chess commentator these days. His love and fascination for the Hedgehog shines throughout this book where he uses very well annotated games, with plentiful prose and analysis, to explain this dynamic setup.

The Complete Hedgehog Volume 1 has been ably translated by James Marfia. The physical qualities (page layout, paper quality, binding etc.) compare with the top chess book publishers and the price of $27.95 for a 532-page book is quite fair. If you play either side of the English Hedgehog you will definitely want this book.

Highly Recommended

Click to see the review of The Complete Hedgehog Volume 2