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Even against center with three pawns where white didnt play Bc4 or a4? o.O
Being a former supporter of the Modern, you pretty much nailed it. If White doesn't play Bc4 or a4 (the latter being the preferable one), the Hippo is a sorry defense, and White gets a huge advantage. Different story all together if White commits to Bc4 or a4 (or Both is actually the best scenario for Black).
Now-a-days, Petroff, all the time! All attempts to avoid it by White are futile. I had 5 opponents all attempt to avoid the Petroff at the US Open, and I scored 4.5/5 against the scrubs. The last round I only needed a draw. I'd have taken the win if I could find one, but was content with the draw.
Two of them basically played an Exchange French by transposition (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d3 Nf6 6.d4 d5), and the other 3 all played the Spanish Four Knights (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Bb5). The only two games I've lost since taking up the Petroff against 1.e4 were both cases where White went straight into the main lines against the Petroff. I've also won a time or two when White has done that, but when White tries to avoid the Petroff, I'm really happy. I almost already know that I won't get beat. Draw in the worst case scenario.
Well, I've been playing the hippopotamus since more than 20 years,
and I play it even against grandmasters. Against a 3-pawn center d4,e4,f4
I usually play f5, the right order of moves is important to reach the
following position: Kg8, Qd7, Rf8+a8, Bg7+b7, Ne7+b6, pawns h6,g6,f5,e6,d6,c7,b5,a6. Against a 3-pawn center c4,d4,e4 I usually
play f5 (no b6, bishop remains on c8) or d5. Against a 4-pawn center
I normally play f5, d5 or c5. I admit that the hippopotamus is a very
difficult defence and I often lost in the beginning (cause I didn't know
the strategies well enough).If many players think it's a bad opening it
makes me happy cause it puts them under a big pressure to refute my
"bad" opening. So each learning player should be patient: If you
have arrived at understanding the essential strategies of this opening
you have a very strong weapon.
Taimanov Sicilian.I play e4 too and the Taimanov annoys me the most.
Almost always play 1. ... e5.
If I'm feeling aggressive, I'll play the Sveshnikov, but usually just play the Caro-Kann.
1...e5 and the Sch*pleghm*eveningen
Any of the Sicilians.
Modern Defense, the most elastic opening with black.
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