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Two Accelerated Dragons, two Bobby Fischer games and two other Yugoslav Attacks.; Welcome to Chris’s ark!

Download PGN of August ’20 Dragon Sicilian games

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Maroczy Bind 5...Nf6 6.Nc3 Nxd4 7 Qxd4 d6 8.Be2 Bg7 9 Be3 0-0 10 Qd2 a5 11 f3 [B36]

Regards the game Solak, D - Guseinov, G after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Nxd4 7.Qxd4 d6 8.Be2 Bg7 9.Be3 0-0 10.Qd2 a5 11.f3 a4 we have spent quite a bit of time recently investigating 12 Rac1 Qa5 13 Kf2 Be6 14 Nd5 with White’s king being more useful than in the analogous variation in which he had castled instead. This game though causes us to reflect on move order and indeed a reconsideration of plans for Black if White keeps his king in the centre. In particular here 12.Kf2 Be6 13.Rac1 Nd7 occurred:

Then after 14.Rhd1 we do check out the not illogical 14...f5 but instead 14...Qa5 happened when 15.Nd5 required the defending of the e7-pawn. Hence 15...Rfe8 16.Qxa5 Rxa5 17.Rc2 Kf8 which after 18.Bd4 Bxd4+ 19.Rxd4 Rc8 20.Ne3 Ne5 21.Rd1 Rac5 22.Rdc1 Nc6 23.a3 Nd4 24.Rc3 Nb3 25.Rd1 R8c6 26.g4 Na5 27.Rdc1 Rb6 28.R1c2 g5, all in all hadn’t been unsatisfactory for Black.

Maroczy Bind 6...Nxd4 7.Qxd4 d6 8.Be2 Bg7 9.Be3 0-0 10.Qd2 a5 11.0-0 [B36]

The recent game Badelka, O - Sukandar, I ran 1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 g6 6.e4 Nxd4 7.Qxd4 d6 8.Be2 Bg7 9.Be3 0-0 10.Qd2 a5 11.0-0 a4 12.f3 Qa5 13.Rac1 Be6 14.Nd5 Qxd2 and so reached the position that I thought we’d strive for a definitive answer on. Subscribers should be well aware of why the intermezzo 15 Nxe7+ isn’t great but the questions are after 15.Bxd2 which way should Black take on d5 and does White get any advantage either way?

The game continued 15...Bxd5 16.cxd5 Nd7 17.Bc3 Nc5 18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.Rc3 b6 20.Bb5 f5 when there was some (more than I would have expected!) fun and games before an eventual draw. I do seem to be analysing more endgames than I might have liked but anyway my answers are ‘A matter of taste’ and ‘Not really’!

Dragon Fianchetto Variation 8...Nc6 9.Nde2 Bd7 [B70]

Continuing our investigation into an all-time great’s encounters with the Dragon, in Sobel, R - Fischer, R we see a younger version of the controversial genius handling the opening from the Black side. Okay so 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.0-0 d6 6.Nc3 c5 7.e4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Nc6 9.Nde2 was a slightly different way for us to transpose to the tepid (just my opinion!) fianchetto variation where unlike occasions in which he reached such scenarios via the Najdorf, the then 13 year old super talent continued with 9...Bd7 rather than prioritising ...a6.

As subscribers will be well aware, 10 h3 is generally advised here whilst still possible but instead 10.b3 Qc8 11.Bb2 Bh3 occurred:

Black is already fine here but following 12.f3 Bxg2 13.Kxg2 young Bobby demonstrated wonderful understanding through 13...d5! Alas after 14.exd5 Rd8 15.Qc1 Nb4 16.a3 Nbxd5 from a position of strength, things soon went horribly wrong and just when he could have made a brilliant Dragon player, instead a bias against the opening was formed!?

Yugoslav Attack 9.0-0-0 d5 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Bh6 Bh8 [B76]

Following 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 , in the 9 0-0-0 Yugoslav Attack, against 9...d5, all the rage it seems right now is the to the point 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Bh6 variation. Regular subscribers will know how recently on the site we’d investigated various permutations of taking on h6 or not, ...Rb8s ...Be6s and queen moves but with such an opportunity cropping up in the form of Mammadzada, G - Berdnyk, M , I thought it was time to tackle the ‘elephant in the room’ that is 11...Bh8:

The age old debate as to whether the Dragon bishop is worth a rook naturally resurfaces after 12.Bxf8 Qxf8 with both 13 e5 and 13 exd5 discussed in the notes. The main game however featured 13.h4 Bg7 14.e5?! Nh5 (14...Bh6! 15 f4 Nh5 is the accurate response, arguably turning the tables) 15.Qe1 f6 16.g4 Nf4 17.h5 fxe5 18.hxg6 hxg6 19.Qh4 Qf6 when Black’s bishop pair alongside a pawn and an attractive centre supporting a well-placed knight seems like reasonable compensation for the exchange. Alas after 20.Qh7+ Black erred with 20...Kf7?? allowing 21.Ne4!! dxe4 22.Rd8! leaving Black in a right pickle.

Yugoslav Attack 9.Bc4 a5 [B77]

Another historic encounter Fischer, R - Byrne, D allows us the opportunity after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.Bc4 to revisit the offbeat variation 9...a5. With ...a4 in mind to leave White’s light-squared bishop feeling uncomfortable, on previous outings we’ve seen 10 0-0-0 ignoring the idea and 10 a4 halting this pawn in its tracks. With his outlook on Dragon life of prise open the h-file and sac, sac, mate, it’s perhaps no surprise that many people’s candidate of the greatest player that ever lived got straight to the point with 10 h4:

Actually after 10...Ne5 11.Be2 d5 12.Bf4 (other moves are considered in the notes), it seems to me that 12...Nc6!? would have left Black well in the game but instead 12...Nc4?! 13.Bxc4 dxc4 14.0-0-0! had an unpleasant feel about it. Indeed after 14...e5, 15 Ndb5! really didn’t look good but after 15.Bxe5 Nxe4! 16.Qf4! Nxc3 17.Bxg7 instead, it took another error in the form of 17...Kxg7? (17...Nxd1! would have been okay) followed by 18.bxc3 Qf6 19.Qc7! to highlight White’s domination.

Chinese Variation 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Bc4 0-0 8.f3 Nc6 9.Qd2 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rb8 11.h4 b5 12.Ndxb5 [B78]

My apologies but I simply couldn’t resist including the game Playa, M - Golubev, M which is a blitz encounter involving good but not totally elite players. It’s also a relative miniature but in a variation that I had been wanting to re-investigate and boy, you just have to love the finish!

Okay so we’re talking 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Bc4 0-0 8.f3 Nc6 9.Qd2 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rb8 11.h4 when in my opinion 11...b5!? is more accurate than 11...Na5 as in that case the bishop can annoyingly retreat to e2.

It is of course a pawn sacrifice best accepted via 12.Ndxb5 but still 12...Ne5 13.Be2 Qa5 14.Nd4 Rfc8 tenders attractive open lines and active play for the pawn. Admittedly the notes are likely to be of more theoretical interest than the game but demonstrating that such games still exist, beautiful was 15.Nb3 Rxb3! 16.axb3?? Qa1+ 17.Nb1 Nxe4! 18.fxe4 Nc4! 19.Qd4 Qxb2+!

Hope you’re all okay.

Best wishes, Chris

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