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My OTB rating is 1710. So, far be it for me to criticize a GM. However, I really think that Roman's very hard and fast opinions about the worth of this opening are probably appropiate for people who are rated 2000 and above. For most of us chess players (80% or more!?) just about anything is playable. I understand that this video is targeting intermediate to advanced players, but the Hippo gives us "lesser" players a chance to play something different!
I don't think that's the hippo.
Love the way Roman thinks about chess.
Kapish and Palmilx are clear examples of the kind of player that doesn't want to improve but just play standard systems hoping to win without having to prepare or think. Kapish has a high rating (at least compared to me) but the advice he/she gives is still illogical. Chess should be played objectively and there's space for subjectivity or style only when you like a certain kind of position provided that position is objectively not worse. I say this because they accept the premise that the hedgehog might be inferior but they say they want to play it anyway, and the reasons they give are very weak. However, it's interesting that GM Shankland still comments the hedgehog is not horrible and Ben Finegold has a very long lecture on Youtube defending it. I'd love to see a debate between Roman and them.
@elindauer Did you investigate your question further? I didn't see a reply above. The only engine that I have is Chessmaster 10, which I've heard isn't as good as the others, but it gives 8. a4 as best in your variation, and with best play by both sides white maintains good pressure and a winning position (admittedly a long game and with both sides playing the computer's recommended moves, but even in that case, black has to play weakening moves such as h6 to keep the white knight out and has trouble castling, eventually losing a piece and the game).
What was a4 for? What was it's purpose?
Actually Bird's defense was not named after an animal it was named after a man. When he was born his parents gave him the Bird. He had a Bird brain and a little Birdie told him to play chess. Whether or not you like these puns, please don't give me the Bird.
this isnt hippo i use to play it although this still owns it either way
the video made me more aggressive in games and also more careful about tactics i can use. So thanks Dzindzichashvili!
Excuse me but why in earth king would go f8?
This ain't no Hippo. The Hippo has g6 and b6, not g6 and b5. The latter is just a Modern Defense and this video is great at attacking that set up.
The famous World Championship game Petrosian-Spassky was a Hippo. Boris drew that one. http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1106734
Of course Petrosian was not the attacking type....
I liked seeing some of the attacking possibilities for white. I don't play the Hippo but I agree with the comments that Black does not have to play the options in the video.
Hedgehog isn't so horrible
nice video Roman,
Roman, you make an excellent case against the Hippo. I look forward to playing this variation if it ever occurs in a tournament. ^^
Yeah a very solid case for sure, I've never even seen the hippo before, I'm not suprized either now! The first 3 moves looks like it's heading towards a King's Indian defence - then black goes silly and wastes tempos and by move 10 is strategically busted - awesome viewing! :)
LOL! Love the final humor at the end. It was a great lecture Roman, and you appear to make a solid case.
Spassky held his own against Petrosian with The Hippo in their 1966 World Championship match. I really don't think it falls into the same pile of bad openings as the others he mentions.
All Roman's videos are very interesting indeed. But they would be even better if printed text or pgn were included so that I could run the moves on my own chess computer and check them out at my own speed!
by GM Roman Dzindzichashvili
In the words of the Dzindzinator: "Any opening named after an animal is bad"! Well, after watching this video lecture, its hard to argue... Roman takes us through his repertoire to the Hippo, and implores everyone to make his approach, "their" approach. Develop quickly, open the center with e5, allow tactics to happen, and punish this ridiculous opening! Enjoy his hilarious commentary too!
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GM Roman Dzindzichashvili
GM Dzindzichashvili was once one of the top players in the world. Born in Georgia, his chess first developed in the USSR. While still an International Master, he defeated opponents like Botvinnik and Bronstein before emigrating, first to Israel where he became a Grandmaster, and then to the United States. His accomplishments in the U.S. include two U.S. Championship first places, and one World Open. He has not played actively in tournaments recently, but has become even more famous perhaps in the U.S. for quality instructional materials, in particular chess videos! Roman Dzindzichashvili now teaches chess classes and seminars for Chess.com University. Feel free to contact him for more information!
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