This is GM Marin's last article on the English Hedgehog structures. This time, he explains when Black should go for the advance ...e6-e5. Marin presents the article in the following way:
The pawn breaks examined in the previous two articles (...b6-b5 and ...d6-d5) are mainly aimed at questioning White's stability on the light squares. Since White's central space advantage is ensured by the c4- and e4-pawns we may call these the main pawn break plans.
Additionally, Black disposes of ...e6-e5, which we can consider as an auxiliary break. The usually favourable circumstances for Black are with the g-pawn on g6 (or else with Nd4-f5 inoffensive) and the white pawn on f4, in order to clear the e5-square for the black pieces or else provoke the opening of the e-file with increased pressure on e4. Sometimes, ...e6-e5 can prove effective even with the pawn on f2, as driving the knight away from d4 would make ...b6-b5 easier to carry out. And of course, it would help if White has played g3-g4, chronically weakening the e5-square. If White plays h2-h3 Black can sometimes try combining ...e6-e5 with ... h5-h4, gaining control over f4.
All these aspects make us understand that the potential danger of the break on dark squares tends to inhibit the active plan based on f2-f4, or at least, provoke the willingly knight retreat from d4. We had this situation in the previous articles, but now we will examine games in which this pawn break came true.
In the first game, we will see that in such cases not all that glitters is gold actually.
The article consists of 8 extensively annotated games. You can find an example below.