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No April fools here and no laughing matter for punished victims of inaccuracy!
Yes, definitely an underlying theme of this month’s update is just how easily those that deviate from theory can be made to suffer so quickly. Pretty cruel really, but well, such is life! What are you waiting for; see for yourself!

Download PGN of April ’18 Dragon Sicilian games

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Dragadorf 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 a6 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.g4 Ne5 10.g5 Nfd7 [B75]

Kicking off this April 2018 update is Kramer, J- Stachowiak, K which actually saw us reach a new to the site position after 5...g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 a6 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.g4 Ne5 10.g5 Nfd7:

Black can usually expect his king’s knight to be challenged at some point but if we haven’t seen the inclusion of h4 and ...h5, more often than not we see it lodge itself on h5 after g4-g5 so as to do an h-file blocking job and hope for a future re-emergence on f4. Now 11.Be2 Nb6 12.b3 d5 all seemed reasonable but then perhaps White should have retained the tension. Instead 13.f4 Ng4 14.Bxg4 Bxg4 15.h3 Bh5 16.e5 e6 left chances about equal with things livening up through 17.Nce2 h6 18.gxh6 Bxh6 19.0-0-0 Nd7 20.Rde1 Bxe2 21.Nxe2 Bf8 22.Kb1 a5 23.h4 Rxh4 24.Bf2 Rxh1 25.Rxh1 but eventually reaching a not illogical drawn conclusion (which I’ll let you check out yourself!).

Yugoslav Attack 9.0-0-0 Bd7 10.h4 h5 11.g4 [B76]

Regards Harshita, G - Chaudhary, S , okay I may like the appeal of annotating a game from Kathmandu but the truth is that as soon as I saw the opening of 5...g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.0-0-0 Bd7 10.h4 h5 11.g4 this game was always going to be hard to resist!

Continuing 11...hxg4 12.h5 Nxh5 13.Nxc6 bxc6 14.Bh6 Qa5 15.Bxg7 Kxg7 16.Rg1, a very visual game in which Black helped his opponent significantly with 16...gxf3? but after 17.Rg5! f5 White offered his opponent a defensive lifeline through 18.Bc4? (instead of 18 Rxh5!) which wasn’t taken and instead 18...Rh8? 19.Rxg6+!! soon ended in tears!

Yugoslav Attack 9.Bc4 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Be6 11.Bb3 Qa5 12.0-0-0 b5 [B77]

We haven’t seen much of 9.Bc4 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Be6 in a while although its results aren’t that bad. The problem is with 11.Bb3 Qa5 12.0-0-0 b5 13.Kb1 b4 14.Nd5 Bxd5 15.exd5 Qb5 16.Rhe1 a5 17.Qe2 forcing the queens off being a main line as in Drygalov, A - Paravyan, D, it’s not exactly a thrill a minute!

The argument is that 17...Qxe2 18.Rxe2 a4 19.Bc4 Rfc8 still leaves White with an endgame advantage but even if it arguably does, it doesn’t seem anything significant to me and 20.b3 Rc7 21.f4 Rb8 22.g3 Kf8 23.Rde1 h6 24.Kc1 Rbc8 25.Ba6 Rb8 26.Bc4 h5 27.Kd2 Rbc8 28.Kd3 Ng8 29.Bb6 Rb7 30.Bd4 Bxd4 31.Kxd4 Ra7 32.c3 bxc3 33.Rc1 axb3 34.axb3 Nf6 35.Rxc3 Ra1 36.Rcc2 Rca8 37.b4 R8a4 38.b5 Nd7 39.Ra2 Rd1+ 40.Kc3 Rc1+ 41.Rac2 Rb1 42.Rb2 Rba1 43.Ra2 Rc1+ 44.Rac2 Rf1 45.Rf2 Rb1 46.Rb2 Rba1 certainly never saw Black particularly troubled.

Yugoslav Attack Chinese Variation 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rb8 11.h4 Ne5 12.Bb3 b5 [B78]

9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rb8 11.h4 Ne5 12.Bb3 b5 basically reaches a Chinese Variation but with Black’s knight on e5 rather than a5:

Obviously the black knight could end up on c4 via either route but that aside there are some pros and cons:

On e5 the black knight controls more squares but it could equally be attacked. On a5 it has the handy option of taking White's light-squared bishop but also gets in the way of the a-pawn. Anyway the game Steiner, A - Schreiner, P continued with 13.Bh6 a5 14.h5 Bxh6 15.Qxh6 when in order to avoid getting mated down the h-file Black was forced to ‘sacrifice’ a pawn through 15...g5 16.Qxg5+ Kh8. For his pawn the black rook can actively defend on g8 whilst the queenside pawns can continue causing trouble by advancing and after 17.Nf5 Rg8 18.Qf4 Bxf5 19.exf5 a4 20.Bd5 Rxg2 21.Qd4 a3 22.f4 axb2+ 23.Kb1 Rg4 24.Rhg1 b4 25.Rxg4 Nexg4 26.Ne4 already we’d had a fascinating middlegame. Definitely chances for both sides but alas after 26...Qa5?! 27.Qxb2?? Ne3! White’s error proved fatal.

Yugoslav Attack Topalov System Mainline 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.Bb3 Rc8 11.0-0-0 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 b5 13.Nd5, 19.Rhe1 Re8 [B78]

In Schmaltz, R - Weichhold, P the first time that White deviates from well trodden paths his problems start to occur. Specifically after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.Bb3 Rc8 11.0-0-0 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 b5 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.exd5 a5 16.a3 b4 17.axb4 axb4 18.Qxb4 Kg8 19.Rhe1 Re8 presumably White played 20.g4?! to deny the black bishop access to the f5-square:

However, this merely allowed Black time to gather his forces through 20...Rb8 21.Qd4 Qa5 and in 22.Re4 f5!, not allow his opponent time to settle. Indeed then 23.Rf4 Rec8 with constant pressure building, 24.Ba4? Bxa4 25.Qxa4 Qb6 26.Qd4 Qb3! was already close to curtains.

Yugoslav Attack Soltis Variation 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.h4 Rc8 11.Bb3 h5 12.0-0-0 Ne5 13.Bg5 Rc5 14.Kb1 Re8 15.g4 hxg4 16.h5 Nxh5 [B78]

Wow, Weichhold, P - Cvitan, O really was a whirlwind of destruction and not in the direction like it looked like being from the off! Indeed, after 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.h4 Rc8 11.Bb3 h5 12.0-0-0 Ne5 13.Bg5 Rc5 14.Kb1 Re8 15.g4 hxg4 16.h5 Nxh5 I’m sure many might have expected White to sacrifice his way through those defending Black pieces to shortly deliver mate to the black king:

Of course, the reality is that we have investigated this complex theoretical position before where White did continue with 17 Rxh5 but here White tried 17.Nd5 However, after 17...a5 18.Nf4?! it was all too slow as Black built up a huge initiative through 18...a4 19.Nxh5 gxh5 20.Bd5 Rxd5 21.exd5 Qb6 22.Be3 Nxf3 23.Qf2 Bf5 before making the killer blow shortly after.

Thanks for reading everybody. Back real soon! Chris

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