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Hi everyone,
Really sorry that this is late. All my fault, but I promise that the March update will be with you well before the end of the month, after which I will be back on track.
Okay on with this month's action:

Download PGN of February '13 Dragon Sicilian games

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Classical Dragon, Karpov System [B70]

The position below was reached in Ganguly - Narayanyan, and although I have actually called it the 'Karpov' system, rather than the traditional 10 f4 or 10 a4 or even 10 Kh1 for that matter, we have seen 10 Re1, kind of providing a crossover with the Re1 and Bf1 line only with Bg5 employed slightly ahead of schedule:

Intriguing stuff, but all in all, just as with most of the quiet lines, it shouldn't be a serious threat to the Dragon.

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 Bd7 [B76]

In a month of apologies, I can't quite figure out if I should also be saying sorry to Charlie, as in the game Georgiadis - Storey, Black opted for 10...Qa5?! (rather than the more standard 10...Rc8):

Back in 2005 I covered a game which then saw 11 g4 Rfc8 12 h4 Nxd4 13 Bxd4 Be6. Yes, in her game against Yakovich, Miss Pogonina had lost a tempo by playing ...Bd7-e6, but had of course gained one through not having to stop her queen off on c7 first. All very nice, the only problem is that the 11 Nb3! played here is a much more logical continuation. Black plays in a spirited fashion in this encounter, but never really gets adequate value for material sacrificed.

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 Nxd4 10 Bxd4 Be6 [B76]

The game Jina - Anilkumar isn't going to be that interesting from a theoretical standpoint, but this month I thought that it was worth taking a break from our deep opening investigation to remind ourselves of some of the basic principles. The notes to this encounter contain some fascinating reminders of why things aren't always as bad as they might seem for Black when he has his Dragon bishop but its counterpart has gone.

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 10 Nxc6 bxc6 11 h4?! [B76]

I'm not enamoured with 10 Nxc6 anyway, but if he is going to do that, then White really needs to follow up with 11 Bh6 to try and neutralise the Dragon bishop. The 11 h4?! of Geller - Travkina is a little slow:

Despite being almost 400 pts lower rated, Black has no problem getting a draw after 11...Rb8. He was the one who had the option to play on, and besides it could well be that 11...Be6 is even stronger! I could be wrong, but I would be very surprised if we ever see this repeated (on ChessPublishing at least!)

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 10 exd5 [B76]

On we are now all experts on the trendy variation 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Qb6 14.Na4 Qc7 15.Bc4. In Sutovsky - Melia we saw the familiar 15...Rb8 but then the novel sequence 16.Bxd5 cxd5 as illustrated below:

Following 17.Nc3 e6 18.Qf6 White never did manage to get his knight in on the act and with reasonable defence (as in the game), I can't see this idea troubling Black.

Yugoslav Attack 9 g4 Be6 10 Nxe6 [B76]

Up until the just played 14 h5, it almost seems as though this variation has become standard fare on our site:

More commonly we have seen Black clinging on in there after 14 f4 Nc4 15 Bxc4 Qxc4 16 e5 although the position above is not new to us. Previously here White opted for 14...Nxf3?! only to be shocked by 14 Nd5!, but this month, in Yu Yangli-Cmilyte, Black opted for the more circumspect 14...Nc4 instead. Following 15 Bxc4 Qxc4 16 hxg6 Rxf3, an interesting endgame is soon reached in which it is my opinion that Black errs. Worth considering, but all in all I don't think this should be too dangerous a variation.

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Bd7 10 g4 [B77]

Igor Gazik wrote to me concerning the August Dragon update, and the game Ioannidis - Gazik, pointing out that "the game is not as bad as it looks". Apparently 20...h7-h5 was played, and not the blunder 20...Bh5 as in the official bulletin:

He further mentions: "There is quite a big difference between the moves. After 20...h5 the move 21. Ne6 is impossible and the position after the moves 25. Rd4 or 25. Kb1 is unclear."

Well, first up, thanks for the information, and for your kind words. Alas, games are occasionally entered incorrectly and are thus inaccurate in either bulletins or databases. One example: you check out my games in any edition of 'Megabase', then you will allegedly see some of my 1902 games with Marshall. Only I have to confess, I'm not that old ... honest!

Anyway, thanks for that Igor. I have replaced the game with the correct notation and altered the annotations accordingly. Let me take this opportunity to wish your son Viktor the best of luck in his chess career. Maybe we'll see another of his Dragon victories on the site one day!

Thanks for your patience everybody and I really will be back soon.

Best wishes, Chris

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