ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
Hi everyone!
First up I'd like to thank George from New Jersey for the kind words that he wrote to me about my Sicilian Dragon video. Yes, I can remember making that, along with one on the Anti-Sicilians. Come to think of it I did a Nimzo one and one on the Benoni too. That was back when they were on video and I've still never received any royalties! Sorry I'm changing the subject, but George I will try to answer your question directly. Meanwhile though, yes there are loads of annotated games on chesspub but regarding where one should start, there is one obvious piece of advice: The most recently annotated game in any given variation will (barring an oversight/error by the annotator) have taken into consideration any previous annotations. Thus they will correct any assessment mistakes or alter any views based on newer game developments.

I also received the following...

«Dear Mr. Ward
I`m a new subscriber and went through some games you commented.
While commenting the game Shlakich - Mikkelsen 2008, you mentioned another game Podhorsky - Lakatos 2002.
After 14.g5 I think instead of automatically playing Nh5 it is better thinking about 14...,a4. In my opinion this leads to a position closed to winning for black.
I am interested in your estimation.
With regards, Manfred Kuhn»

So, my reply:
Thanks for that and yes, you are of course right. I stand by my assessment of Black having the initiative with the way he played but 14...a4! would have been much stronger. If you take a look at this month's annotation of Ioannidis-Gazik (where coincidentally and rather bemusingly Black also misses playing the standout ...a4), then you will notice that in a side note I address your point. I think it is probably fair to say that generally in game annotations, references to games given in sidelines aren't as heavily scrutinized as in the main game, with often nothing said about moves that are much of a muchness, a matter of taste etc. I would certainly concede though that there is a significant difference between 14...g5 and 14...a4!.
Thanks again, Chris

Next up I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate Gawain Jones on both his marriage and winning the British Championship. Gawain is now taking a break from ChessPublishing but I will keep in touch with him and I'm sure we'll have more from him in the future.

Now on to this month's games:

Download PGN of August '12 Dragon Sicilian games

>> Previous Update >>

Levenfish with 7 Nf3 [B71]

Okay we kick off with the Hector - Grandelius Levenfish game in which White eschewed the old main line of 7 Nxc6 bxc6 8 e5 in favor of 7 Nf3. Showing similarities with the Anti-Sicilian variation the Grand Prix Attack, White may have a caveman style offensive of Qe1-h4, f4-f5, ,Bh6 and Ng5 in mind. Previously on this site, when this position was reached, Black played the logical 9...Bg4. He is happy to trade his bishop for that f3-knight and that was fine, but the 9...b5!? employed here, is arguably more challenging:

An interesting and entertaining game between two GMs, with an unexpected twist in a tactical endgame.

Classical Old Mainline [B74]

The early ...b5 theme is continued in what I tend to call the old mainline (i.e. before it got more trendy to park the dark-squared bishop on g5 or indeed just leave it on c1 for a while.). As a junior I used to reply with 10...Na5 so that 11 f5 could be met with 11...Bc4, whilst I moved on to 10...Rc8 when it was decided that f4-f5 isn't really a threat. In Wacker - Rausis, Black deploys the comparatively rare 10...b5 to facilitate ...Bc4 but also to bring the concept of ...b4 to the party:

Indeed that is the case after the unique 11 Bf3 b4 sequence, but the annotation also recognizes that the black b-pawn thrust is of course offering a pawn and its acceptance (which weakens the g4-square) is fully investigated in the annotations.

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 with ...Rc8 and ...Nc4 [B75]

Moving on to the Yugoslav Attack and Shamatava - Hayrapetian brought back some memories for me. Okay I spent most of my time playing the lines with ...Qa5, but I did wheel out the ...Rc8 line of the non-Soltis variety occasionally.

Above is the main starting position for White, where I remind subscribers of the various White choices. There is plenty of excitement in all of them and that goes for the 16 Bh6 played here. Frankly there is a forced sequence then (starting with 16...Nxe4!) which if either side didn't know, then they are in trouble! The later protecting of the h7-pawn by fianchettoing the rook(!) is an idea that came flooding back as soon as I saw this game and... well what am I saying, check it out for yourself!

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Bd7 10 g4 [B77]

The annotation of Ioannidis - Gazik kills two birds with one stone. First up it allows me to take a look at 10 g4 as an 'Anti-Chinese variation' system:

and then secondly it enables me in a side note to answer the subscriber supplied question above. The game itself isn't of the greatest quality. It doesn't involve particularly high rated players and it isn't like our usual games, relatively hot off the press. However there are some interesting themes and it has an entertaining finish!

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4: Soltis with Kb1 and ...a6 [B78]

Back in 2008 I speculated on whether we might see 14 Rdg1 and 4 years later in Iordachescu - Mchedlishvili, we have!

Well it appears that 14 Rdg1, obviously preparing g2-g4 and, if taken, h4-h5, is a novelty and thus the theory of this line starts here. It is a good start too with plenty of places for both sides to deviate and with this whole 9 Bc4 Bd7 10 0-0-0 Rc8 11 Bb3 Ne5 12 Kb1 (sort of Anti-Soltis) 12...a6 (waiting for commitment!) 13 h4 h5 variation still in the public eye, then we might see more soon.

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Topalov System [B78]

I took the opportunity in Szabo - Negi to offer a current standing of where we are both trend wise in the 9 Bc4 Yugoslav Attack and then particularly where we are theoretically speaking in the ...Nxd4 with ...b5 variation.

I think the notes should be especially useful for anyone wanting to get an overview of this popular line, whilst the game itself follows along the lines of many before it. Yes a lot of the moves will be familiar to subscribers who have followed our previously annotated games in this system and this encounter essentially only re-enforces our previous conclusions.

That's it for now everyone.

Cheers! Chris

>> Previous Update >>

To get in touch with me subscribers can email me at Chris