For me, Cheese is considered to be a strategy that will give you a win by taking advantage of the fact your opponent will not expect certain things that early in the game and will have no reasonable way of defending against it without a Spawning Pool, Gateway, or Barracks. People will argue that this includes early aggression, it doesn’t. Certain things just hit below the belt and I for one don’t like it, so I’ve come up with ways to defend against cheese so I don’t lose to it. Now just so you know, the cheese I mention here is what’s happened to me in matches, I’m sure there are more different kind of cheeses, but there is no point in me telling you how to defend against it when I’ve never experienced it myself.
Protoss 2 Gateway in your base.
This is one I’ve seen a few times. I hate this one the most. The thing that tips it off is the scouting probe. You need to keep an eye on it. The last time this was done to me, I noticed the probe a little early (I was on Desert Oasis, and the probe got there just as I was finishing my pylon). That did raise my awareness a bit, but what gave it away was the fact that he didn’t even scout me, he just went south, I let him go to make him think I wasn’t paying attention, I quickly made sure that the gateway I was making would get a zealot out ASAP. Sure enough when I pretended to discover the 2 Gateway and Pylons coming up I had a zealot on the way, but so did he. The most important thing to remember in this case is that even though he may have caught you off guard, his economy is pretty shot. It becomes a game of who can macro better. Buying enough time and splitting his forces up is key. Don’t try to take down the gateway, take his units down one by one, as soon as they are all down, he can only build 1-2 at a time. At this point his economy will catch up to him, but the key to winning this engagement is spotting that probe scout early on and keeping an eye on him.
Protoss Cannon Rush.
This has to be one of the easier ones to approach. Spotting that probe scout early on and keeping an eye on him is key, if you know he’s doing it, Continue as you were build a few early units, lings, zealots, marines, and send them at your opponent. His resources are being consumed by cannons, which are immobile and cost 1.5 zealots. His base will most likely be undefended leaving your small attack force to have some fun. Now the strategy isn’t over, he can simply decimate your mineral line and your Nexus/Hatchery/Command Center and it will end with him technically winning as your small force won’t be able to take down his cannons. So do your bst to conserve resources and get an expansion going as this will be your new main base. With his resources gone, and no units to defend, you can simply build up your base again. Get more units to finish him off, if he hasn’t already left after realizing your building an expansion.
Void Ray Rush
This has to be one of the more difficult strategies to deal with. Some people consider it Cheese, some don’t. There is a way I personally think that decides whether it is cheese or not. If the Protoss player was expanding and still getting ground units, I don’t consider it cheese. The player is preparing himself to go into the later stages of the game. A cheese play is meant to end the match soon, so all resources go into making those Void rays. The best way to counter this is to see if the player has walled himself in. Protoss do not completely wall themselves in unless they are buying time to get those Void Rays. One easy give away is a PvT match up. Terran players normal wall themselves in anyway so the Protoss player usually doesn’t. If you see him walling himself in, expect a Void Ray rush. Getting a lot of Marines can help counter this, or teching up to Vikings can also help. Keep an eye out for the common spots to place a Stargate, remember, you only need to take out the Pylon to render the Stargate useless.
6 Pool Zergling Rush
This has to be the most annoying as it causes you to change where you build. There is no realy way to spot this early on unless u send your probe over on 7 food. The only way to be safe is wall yourself in when you are up against a Zerg. Leave a small place for 1 zealot to fit and put him there on Hold Position, then tech to some Stalkers to hold off any advance until your economy and unit production are stable to push back. With this cheese his ability to tech up and macro well are shot. Hang in there and wait until you can push back.
If you notice, the key element is early spotting of these actions. If you don't take the effort to actively watch your base and his, then you only have yourself to blame.