Chess lesson 113: Sicilian Defense – Hedgehog Variation

The Hedgehog variation in the Sicilian is one of the most flexible and you can find and such flexibility is part of what you will experience in lesson # 113 of this Chess course. Once you understand some of the main middlegame plans of this variation, you will see how we use it to deal with the 5.Nb3 line of the Kveinys variation. At the end, your coach will play a quick blitz game and hopefully it helps you appreciate the concept of transposition, which we will also address during this lesson.

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First tactics book:
Mixed tactics book:
Advanced tactics book:
Advanced tactics book (II):
Carlsen’s book (excellent):
Kramnik’s book (excellent):
Pirc Defense book:
100 endgames you must know:
Endgames book:

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Chess is an intellectual battle where players are exposed to numerous mental processes such as analysis, attention to detail, synthesis, concentration, planning and foresight. Psychological factors are also present on and off the board; playing Chess stimulates our imagination and creativity. Every single move a player makes is the result of a deep analysis based on the elements presented on the battlefield.

Chess in its essence teaches us psychological, sociological and even moral values. In a Chess game, both players start with the same amount of material and time. The fact that the white pieces move first is considered to be practically irrelevant —especially because a player typically plays one game as white and one game as black. Consequently, the final result of the battle solely depends on each player. It doesn’t matter if you win by taking advantage of your opponent’s mistakes or by simply avoiding mistakes yourself. Truth is that Chess is an extremely individual sport and our defeats can only be blamed on ourselves and no one else. And this, in the end, only benefits us because we learn to be and feel responsible for our actions and never come up with excuses to justify ourselves.

We also learn that when it comes to our victories on the board, our opponent’s mistakes play a more significant role than our own skills. Let’s not forget that a Chess game without any mistakes would be a draw. This way, Chess provides us with another valuable life lesson: be humble at all times.

About National Master Robert Ramirez:

With an outstanding background as a professional Chess player and over 8 years of teaching experience, Robert Ramirez brings both his passion and his expertise to the board, helping you believe & achieve!

Robert Ramirez was introduced to the fascinating world of Chess when he was 5 years old and has participated in prestigious tournaments such as the World Open Chess Tournament and the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Championships. Thanks to his performance, he has earned his National Master title from the United States Chess Federation.

Currently, NM Ramirez and his carefully selected team teach at several private schools in the counties of Miami-Dade and Broward and they also offer private lessons. He says the key to their success as Chess coaches is their ability to adapt to every student and to make lessons fun and interesting for students and even their family members.


  1. We finally have a strong and well organized opening course for White and one for Black. With these and the FREE beginner to master level playlist from this YouTube channel, it’s all about consistency over an extended period of time 😎💪 ⬇Course on Black Opening (Counterblow) on White Opening (First Strike) Playlist (beginner to master level) the Endgame Knowledge I have the Strategy Knowledge I have

  2. I have played a game with qb6 and I won

  3. Thanks coach this is what I'm waiting.😁 long live you channel!

  4. Before watching…. you are number one . Thank you🌷

  5. Need a video on Queen endgames sir I am losing 100 percent in queen endgames after dead draws diagonal checks series check oh man 😖🤯

    Endgame is becoming more and more important.
    With sicilian my scores are better now(+12%) starting to feel like I have more control over the endgame

    Stuck in the low 1400s 😅

  6. Great lesson! I enjoyed the game, very much. I will think about what you said, about playing different openings. I was playing the Colle quite a bit, and struggling. I went back to the Italian Game last week, and it felt so comfortable, and familiar😀 I won almost every game, and reached my highest rapid rating ever. But I do think playing a different opening with the white pieces improved my game with the black pieces. Have a great day, coach!

  7. Do you personally prefer the Sicilian or the Pirc in response to 1.e4 when you're playing stronger player?

  8. Robert, In many of my games, I am getting an advantage, or even up a piece or more.. and losing in the end games. I use your lessons in the PIRC and or KID and I can usually get a solid chance at winning. they say the hardest thing is to WIN a game once you are up. what do you suggest? I seem to get up say where I have both rooks and they only have 1 and a minor piece and I have trouble closing out.

  9. On lichess you have the option to create a tournament of any opening like a thematic tournament that way you can select the starting position for all the boards.

  10. HI Rob, some people says King's indian defense is for advanced players and masters, beginners and intermediate players should not play that opening what is your opinion????

  11. Coach play KID as black. Do u advice me to play the Sicilian instead ? Which one is better ? Thx a lot

  12. I break down the sicilian by attacking it from the outside. Then it collapses from there.

  13. The sicilian is 1 of those openings that are fun to both play and play against.

  14. Hey robert do u mind writing out the moves in the description, thank u.

  15. Tank's coach, the Sicilian defense is one of my worst nightmare and for this reason I want to learn how to use it. These variations are very interesting and quite easy to learn, but what about if white don't push his d pawn on d4 and so I don't exchange my c pawn?

  16. ok .you should wipe out English subtitles. because We can't see clearly.Thanks

  17. Reached 2003 on lichess 5+3…thank you for all the knowledge that you shared….pls share some endgame knowledge as well…it ll be very very helpful…. Nd thank u for d sicilian course as well…

  18. These was excellently timed, I'm currently working hard on expanding my opening repertoire from always playing the modern scandi, and so I decided to learn a new opening that just happens to transpose to the open Franco-Sicilian sometimes. I was having trouble finding videos about it, only one by Yasser on the pin variation, so you were my saviour this time! Thanks for the lessons and ideas with Qb3, looking forward to getting it on the board 😀

  19. Anybody else thought a pen15 drawing was about to happen? Also, great video I love your lessons you're an amazing teacher!

  20. Hii
    I just Subscribed your channel,I really like your content.

  21. Thank you for your lessons.Hoping to learn english opening from you😄

  22. Wow! Thank you! I just started searching for a more positional, strategic game as black against e4 and ran into this.

  23. Robert, first, thank you very much for all this wonderful, and free, content. You are a very talented teacher.

    As for the Sicilian Defense, I would prefer to see lessons on the Anti-Sicilians before more lessons regarding the different flavors of the Open Sicilian. The reason being, as a 1500-ish player, most of my opponents have an Anti-Sicilian opening prepared, because they themselves don't want to learn the theory behind the Open Sicilians because there are too many variations!

    Either way, please keep up the fabulous work!

  24. Please add time stamp in this video & previous sicilian video that'll be very very helpfull, and this video only is more powerfull then the whole combine videos of sicilian in YouTube.

  25. Do one on the Dragon Siciilian! Great lessons, thank you!

  26. I really like your voice although it may sound strange. Congratz on the vid!

  27. 🦔🦔🦔🦔🦔🦔🦔🦔🦔🦔🦔🦔

  28. How can I get access to that study on lichess…..plss provide links

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