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Hi everybody!
I've received a couple of enquires this month and the one I want to address in this month's update came from forum member 'NegiRefutes'. This is a bit of a coincidence because having recently acquired it, I thought the time might be right to start addressing the Parimarjan Negi repertoire book '1 e4 Vs The Sicilian Volume II'. Similarly, from now on I may occasionally refer to the relatively new, ex ChessPublishing co-host texts 'Gawain Jones The Dragon' volumes one and two.

Download PGN of August ’16 Dragon Sicilian games

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Anyway let's crack on and to start with an idea in one of those pesky Negi books essentially recommended for Black!

Accelerated Dragon 6 Be3 Nf6 7 Bc4 with 8...Re8!? [B35]

Check out 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 0-0 8.Bb3 and now 8...Re8!?:

Unless you have taken an extended holiday away from the planet, you will most likely be aware of the series of repertoire books that have been produced by Parimarjan Negi, seemingly aimed (and please note this is just my personal interpretation!) at providing White with an advantage against, well everything!

It goes without saying that his '1 e4 Vs The Sicilian II' volume was going to become relevant to this site as many club and tournament players look to follow his recommendations and therefore Dragon and Accelerated Dragon players naturally needing to be prepared for that eventuality.

For those that don't have the book, the bottom line is that he is proposing 9 Bc4 against the Yugoslav Attack with remedies for all associated Black variations. Regards the Accelerated Dragon, he has gone for this 6 Be3 and 7 Bc4 line which could conceivably transpose to the Yugoslav Attack although in practice Black typically won't want to allow that. A very detailed text but not then advocating the Maroczy Bind.

Especially curious though is that he dedicates a whole chapter to the relatively rare and incredibly subtle 8...Re8!? essentially going against the concept of the series by effectively recommending something for Black.

At first sight one might be forgiven for thinking that it is a beginner's move as it doesn't seem to do that much and leaves f7 a bit weaker! Well, yes it means that Black will have an option to preserve his Dragon bishop should White ever arrange Bh6 and in these 'Modern Classical' type lines over-protecting e7 is often a bonus but the real concept is in its non-committal and yet Anti-Yugoslav Attack nature. Specifically, Black does not yet create the holes that come with an ...e7-e6 advance but retains that, or indeed the immediate counter-thrust ...d5 as options should White's next move be too fruity!

That was pretty much the case in Cernousek - Druska where after 9.f3 e6 10.0-0 (you will see in the notes that an interesting clever alternative is 10 f4) 10...d5 11.exd5 Nxd5 12.Nxd5 exd5 13.Bf2 Qg5, Black was at least equal.

Again after 8.Bb3 Re8, Negi himself implies that probably critical is 9 h4!? d5!? but in his book he is unable to prove a White edge. I intend looking at that in the future but we can already see that the unprepared might automatically respond with 9.f3 and possibly sink into thought after 9...e6. Our previous game saw 10 0-0 where I also discussed the intriguing 10 f4 but in Morozov - Zvjaginsev White opted for 10.Qd2 planning long castles:

I suspect that he should have stuck with that plan even after 10...d5 but instead 11.exd5?! Nxd5 12.Nxd5 Nxd4 13.Bxd4 exd5+ left his king somewhat embarrassed. Black has promising ways to play after 14.Kd1 Bxd4 15.Qxd4 other than 15...Qg5 16.g4 Bd7 17.h4 Qe7 but certainly 18.Kc1 Bc6 19.c3 Qe3+ 20.Qxe3 Rxe3 21.Bd1 d4 22.cxd4 Rd3! left the Super GM with a great ending that he was able to convert.

Dragon 6 h3 Bg7 7 g4 [B70]

Regarding 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.h3 Bg7 7.g4 Nc6 8.Be3 0-0 9.Bg2, for some reason when I see such offbeat lines I feel that I have to at least consider including them in an update and when a game features two strong players as here in Pichot - Iermito, I am tempted to give them the nod:

Regular subscribers will know that this isn't the first time that we have seen this system on the site where typically Black has logically had it in mind to park a knight on c4. Instead, here Black opts for swift piece activity via 9...Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Be6 11.0-0 Qa5 and is rewarded by a White error. However after 12.Nd5?! Black fails to do accurate calculations on 12...Nxd5! and instead settles for 12...Bxd5 13.exd5 Nd7 when 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.Re1 Rfe8 16.Re3 Rac8 17.Qd4+ Ne5! was basically equal.

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 10 Qe1 [B76]

After 9.0-0-0 d5 10.Qe1 e5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.exd5 Nxd5 the variation 13.Bc4 Be6 14.Kb1 Rb8 15.Ne4 f5 has been quite topical recently on ChessPublishing, with us focusing on 16 Ng5.

Instead though forum member 'NegiRefutes' has brought to our attention the concept of 16.Bxa7!? Qe7 17.Bc5 Qb7 18.Bb3 fxe4 19.Bxf8 Rxf8 20.fxe4 Nf4 and now specifically 21.Qc3!:

He believes that through this White can ultimately secure an endgame edge, and after studying the position I'm inclined to agree. I definitely wouldn't say it's game over for Black particularly in the case of the 21...Kh8 22.Rhf1 Bg4 23.Rd2 Konstantino - Hansen game continuation (where Black now erred with 23...c5?). However, he is to be congratulated on his research and consequent submission. Thank you!

Yugoslav Attack Topalov System [B78]

In Fedorchuk - Moussard, after 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rc8 11.Bb3 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 b5 I have to confess that I was somewhat shocked to see the Super GM deploy 13.Qe3?!:

Previously on the site we have pretty much ruled this out because of the concept of 13...a5 14 Bb6 Bh6! Indeed in the notes I revisit that to try and decide what White's thinking was but, frankly, finding nothing favourable for him.

However, if he had something in mind there then it proved irrelevant as instead Black responded with 13...b4 and after 14.Bxf6 exf6 15.Nd5 a5 16.Nb6 a4 17.Nxa4 f5 18.Nb6 f4! 19.Qf2 Qf6 was already seriously on top. All very bemusing!

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Soltis with Kb1 and ...Re8 [B78]

At a glance it seems to me that after 9.Bc4 Bd7 Gawain's repertoire books propose the pure 'Soltis Variation' after 10 h4 but the 'Topalov System' after 10.0-0-0 Rc8 11.Bb3. Although after the 11...Ne5 12.Kb1 move order he gives the 'Burnett Variation' including our topical 12...Nc4 13 Bxc4 Rxc4 14 g4 b5 15 b3 b4 variation as an alternative, it would appear by omittance that he is not enamoured by the likes of 12...Re8 13.h4 h5 14.g4 and the recent Kotronias - Pavlidis is probably a good indicator of why!

Not looked at on ChessPublishing for a while, it seems to me upon reflection that 14...hxg4 15.h5 Nxh5 16.Bh6 Kh7 (I think we can now conclude to be '?! rather than '!?') 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.fxg4 Bxg4 19.Nf5+ Bxf5 20.exf5 Rh8 21.fxg6 Nxg6 leaves White with more than just the original assessment of 'good compensation for the two pawns'. Indeed 22.Rdf1 Nhf4 23.Nd5 e5 24.Rxh8 Qxh8 25.Nxf4 Nxf4 26.Rg1+ Ng6 27.Qd5 was probably close to winning already.

That's all for me for now but back real soon! Chris

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