As subscribers will know I usually have a grab-bag for mail but the following is a typical submission (well along with the 'how comes your update is always so late?' ones!):
I recently started playing the dragon after reading your wonderful book WWTD2. I also joined ChessPub, and I understand from some comments of yours that the Qa5 setup in the Yugoslav attack favoured in WWTD2 is now in trouble. Why? Does this apply to the lines 9. 0-0-0/g4/Bc4 equally? Maybe you can give the answer in a nutshell, and point to a few key games?
thanks a lot,
Aldo van de Woestijne,
REPLY: Welcome to chesspublishing! In a nutshell then ...Qa5 in the 9 Bc4 Yugoslav Attack has been experiencing problems the likes of which are very apparent from the annotated games on this site. I have switched my attention more to the 'Chinese variation' because I was attracted to the fresh possibilities behind an early ...Rb8. However, I certainly haven't given up on ...Qa5 and clearly neither has the Croatian Miso Cebalo and a few other GMs besides. Important developments in that you will find here as and when they appear as well as how the early ...a6 is holding up. One mustn't forget that this site does cover the Accelerated Dragons too but re your other questions on the Yugoslav Attack, "no" there is no evidence to suggest that Black is in any particular trouble in 9 0-0-0 and certainly not 9 g4 which in my opinion has never been a serious threat to the Dragon. All the games on this site are key! (Well okay perhaps not; I'll get around to supplying the critical variations/games soon although I do usually point out in the annotations when that is the case).
Nice to have you on board!
Okay as for this month's games we have:
Nagy-Woodward: On route to his 2nd IM norm English junior Timothy Woodward tries to transpose the quiet 6 g3 line into a 9 g4 Yugoslav ...Bd7 system:
White doesn't play ball but this game suggests that he really should.
Szamoskozi-Woodward: This 'easy' 'Chinese Dragon' win straight out of this site sets Tim up perfectly, both points wise and psychologically, for a last round chance to get that then obtained norm.
Hermansson-Jones: The frequent English representative in World junior events was teed up nicely for his final IM norm in a recent tournament in Copenhagen. Another 10...Rb8 game:
in which Gawain could easily have gone on to win.
Haslinger-Ward: Alas, fatigue set in during this long last round British Championship encounter. Not the classic that it might have been but an interesting clash (with a twist!) nevertheless. Featuring the early ...a6:
Theoretically things are looking okay for Black.
Lukin-Cebalo: We are into the realms of the 9 0-0-0 Yugoslav Attack:
The Grandmaster Cebalo is a Dragon expert and this is a very instructive encounter.
Tang-Goodman: Beginners corner (well relatively speaking) and probably the first and last we will see of 9...Qa5?:
Thanks to Tim and Gawain for their contributions this month. September's and then October's updates will follow very shortly. Sorry for the delay but please keep those e-mails coming in.