The Turkish Hedgehog

by Nicholas Whyte

So you thought there were only two Turkish openings, the one where you move to Con, or the one where you move to Arm? Severely wrong, my friends, very wrong. Apart from the tainted joys of the Juggernaut: F(Ank)-Con, A(Smy) Std., or, to Ank; or the outright silly F(Ank)-Con, A(Con)-Smy, A(Smy)-Ank, or pathetic anything with F(Ank) stands or to Armenia (which I hove seen happen before now) there is in fact another sensible Turkish opening. It is: A(Can)-Bu1, A(Smy)-Arm, F(Ank)-Con. I like to call it the Turkish Hedgehog.

The biggest concern for Turkey must always be the Black Sea. Statistics prove that Russia will go there four times out of five. So what if he has?

The Turkish hedgehog should be negotiated as a Black Sea stand-off; best of all, convince Russia to let you in. Then go ahead and play the Turkish hedgehog. A competent player will see Armenia as a fair exchange for the Block Sea. If Russia has moved in, you are very well defended; you can stand-off A(Arm) and F(Con) in Ankara, and build that vital fleet if you need it in Ankara or Smyrna if circumstances dictate.

If on the other hand Russia has played ball and left the Black Sea open, you can work minor mayhem with A(Arm) while capturing the vital Aegean with F(Con). As long as Russia has not moved to Sevastopol and the Black Sea, which he will not do if he thinks you are are going to the Black Sea, you will be all right, perhaps better off than most Turkish players.

Reprinted from Dib Dib Dib No.52 (October 1985)