September Workshop - Catalan Opening - Pawn Structures, Tactical Ideas, Endgames, and Theoretical Trends

Understand the English Hedgehog - Part 2

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Structure 2 - Black Plays d6-d5 in English Hedgehog

As the first structure article, the survey on the d6-d5 break consists of 8 annotated games, as well.

As usual, the concept of the article is best described by the author himself. In the introduction, he says:

It may seem that preparing and carrying out ...d6-d5 is simpler than ...b6-b5 as examined in the previous article. Black can coordinate many of his pieces to control d5 and advance the central pawn under normal circumstances whereas with ...b6-b5 certain tactical premises are needed in most cases.
But the problem is that ...d6-d5 opens the position in an area of high interest for both sides, namely the center. White may have many of his pieces playing a part in the initiated fight as well, so things can turn tactical here, too. On top, the pawn contact is also more complex than after ...b6-b5.
In principle, if White does not have enough resources to simply win the d-pawn with a double capture on d5, his main chance for retaining an advantage is e4-e5. This is an important issue as he typically needs to keep an indirect control on e5 (for instance by doubling major pieces on the e-file). We know already that playing f2-f4 is double-edged, as after ...g7-g6 Black would threaten ...e6-e5, a pawn break examined in the next article.
In the first example, White seemed to be well prepared for the central break, but he overlooked a subtle tactical detail:

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