Hippopotamus Defence


The internet chess club is a great place to practice openings you would not be brave enough to play in a USCF or FIDE chess tournament. In the following rapid game at ICC, Black plays both of his Knights to passive squares in an attempt to inveigle White into overextending his forces.

The opening setup where Black places his Knights at d7 and e7 is amusingly called the Hippopotamus Defense or the Hippo for short. The StockFish chess analysis software has a very low opinion of this defense as it indicates White has circa a 1.5 pawn advantage. White has a similar opening advantage in other more respected openings such as the Benoni Defense.

This is no reason to be overconfident if your opponent plays the Hippo against you. Chess legends such as Spassky and Petrosian have played both sides of the Hippo. Also Andrew ¬†Martin produced an excellent write up on the Hippopotamus defense at Jeremy Silman’s Website, however Silman is constantly reorganizing the links at his site which costs him with respect to the web traffic(back links)he would otherwise get.

Finally, for some reason there is a lot of interest in this super hypermodern defense in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. I would like to know why.

Hippopotamus Defence

2 comments on “Hippopotamus DefenceAdd yours →

  1. Joseph dupree can tell you Ohio chess is rich in its chess history and also quite notable for producing chess talent that emerges very prominently and then drops out of sight. I think Joseph Dupree, formerly an Ohio middle school champion, played the hippo defense with moderate success.

    joseph dupree was a strong junior who just dropped out of sight! Both Westley Russell and Benjamin Burkholder were stronger chess players than Dupree and they were a year younger.
    All three of these talents must have realized chess was a waste of intellectual energy.

  2. To admin of this site: your link to silman’s website on the hippo defense is broken. It points to Jeremy silman international master website now. Silman is actually a professional reviewer of Asian films now and he has obviously achieved international recognition in this very important niche of evaluating chinky eyed movies.

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