ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
Merry Xmas everybody!
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for subscribing to this site, and proof that these annotations can be of some use, even at the top level, came when Gawain beat Judit Polgar at the recent London Chess Classic. I was excited to be commentating live on that thrilling encounter and when Gawain joined us afterwards to give his views, the first thing he did was to thank me and ChessPublishing for giving him the idea and thus contributing significantly to his victory. Up to 10,000 viewers followed regularly online, but unfortunately on that day a technical problem (apparently in California-don't ask me!) meant that only the present London audience got to see all that.
International Master Richard Pert is another avid follower of our work on the Dragon and we kick off the last update of 2013 with a contribution by him:

Download PGN of December '13 Dragon Sicilian games

>> Previous Update >>

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 with 12...Bxd4 [B76]

First up, thanks go to Richard Pert who has annotated his English County game (that you wouldn't otherwise see anywhere else) with an English GM. However, I would like to say of his comment in Mcdonald, N - Pert, R after 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Qb6 14.Na4 Qc7, that 'Chris and Gawain have mentioned this line on a couple of occasions on this site so I thought I would try it out for the first time' is a bit of an understatement. It's practically become our main line!

However, after 15.Bc4 Rd8, new to us was 16.Rhe1 when the question was whether White could justify sacrificing the pawn on h2. Well, as illustrated below, 16...Qxh2 did occur and I'll leave you to check out the rest!

The game Duran Vega, S - Gonzalez, Be deviated from the above encounter with 14...Qa5 15.b3. Regular subscribers will know that this too has been seen quite a lot on our site, but whereas it had originally been thought that provoking b2-b3 was detrimental to White's position, it seemed to me that Black players were starting to lean more towards the view that it wasn't worth doing and consequently were retreating the queen to c7 immediately.

In fact, in this game though, her majesty stayed where she was and 15...Be6 appeared (not for the first time here on ChessPublishing):

It was only upon 16.Qc5 that Black correctly avoided the queen swap and retreated with 16...Qc7. It is true that c5 is a good square for White, but only one white piece can occupy it! White retains a structural advantage but this encounter shows how Black can be more than adequately compensated through piece activity.

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 Accepting the pawn [B76]

Yes, in Firat, B - Vucinic, G, given 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Nxd5 cxd5 13.Qxd5, effectively White had treated Black's 9th move as an early Christmas present (but not that early!). Of course 13...Qc7 14.Qc5 Qb7 15.b3 Bf5 16.Bd3 has all been seen on this site before:

but when I saw what we had previously concluded as a mistake 16...Rfc8(?) repeated recently, it seemed worth re-investigating. Having now done so, I feel no need to alter any previous assessments in this department, but this game serves as a handy reminder to both sides.

Yugoslav Attack 9 g4 Be6 10 0-0-0 Nxd4 [B76]

This month we have 2 games for you with 9 g4 Be6 but neither involve 10 Nxe6. It's far too early to say that White has given up on that bishop for knight trade and if he has, I wouldn't recommend that 10 0-0-0 is a better place to be. Indeed throughout my Dragon career I have always been content to play 10...Nxd4 11 Bxd4 Qa5 as Black:

although even within that 12.Kb1 Rfc8 13.Nd5 Qxd2 14.Rxd2?! Nxd5 15.Bxg7 is an inferior variation. Nevertheless, in Golubka, P - Antipov, M that is what White did, but after 15...Nb4!? he was always fighting for the draw.

Yugoslav Attack 9 g4 Be6 10 0-0-0 Rc8 [B76]

The second of our 9 g4 Be6 games this month then is Dvoirys, S - Kanter, E where after 10 0-0-0, instead of the most satisfactory 10...Nxd4 11 Bxd4 Qa5, we see 10...Rc8 for the first time on this site:

Again then White has the opportunity to return to the 10 Nxe6 line by playing 11 Nxe6 fxe6 12 Bc4, but rejects transposing to our site annotated Short-McShane in favour of 11 h4. Actually I quite like the way that Black played the majority of this game against his higher rated opponent, but sadly, despite holding a slight edge for most of the time, he errs towards the end and it all goes horribly wrong!

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 with ...Rc8 and ...Nxd4 [B78]

And we have saved the best til last as in this festive time, Polgar,Ju- Jones,G is a right cracker (pun intended!)

We are talking 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rc8 11.Bb3 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 b5 13.h4 a5 14.h5 a4 15.Bxf6 and now 15... Bxf6 as thoroughly investigated by us here in a recent annotation. Gawain had studied it and was happy to repeat our work with 16.hxg6 (illustrated below):

16...e6 17.e5 Bg7 18.Rxh7 Bxe5 being crazy stuff. It seems that our analysis was sound and (no doubt together with some extra home prep) Gawain put it to good use to help earn him his first win at the London Classic, and (as would naturally be the case for such a prestigious event) against a top quality opponent.

Okay, that's it from me for 2013. Just time to say...

Happy New Year! Chris

>> Previous Update >>

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