Download PGN of February '14 Dragon Sicilian games
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Dragon 6 g3 [B70]
We kick off this month's update with an entertaining encounter in the so called 'Fianchetto Variation' (so named in the Dragon because White fianchettos their bishop as well as Black!) and frankly it's not that often that I can say that! In Zivkovic - Radovanovic, after 6.g3 Nc6 7.Nde2, rather than continue with the standard ...Bg7, ...0-0, ...Rb8 intending ...b5 stuff, which is all very acceptable, Black got a bit fruity on the kingside. Indeed, ever since I wrote about the idea in my first WWTD book, I have always been attracted to the concept of swift kingside (specifically h-file) action, and hence 7...h5 was right up my street. Of course 8.h3 Bd7 9.Bg2 Qc8 is hardly new with Black having achieved his aim of (for the time being at least) preventing White from castling kingside. However Black didn't rest there and after 10.b3 Bg7 11.Bb2 leading to the position below:
he persevered with 11...h4!?, with his intention being declared through 12.g4 Nxg4 13.hxg4 Bxg4. Although there is a choice of fascinating material imbalances that could result, I can't see an obvious refutation of Black's idea and it certainly worked out in this game.
Dragon 6 Bg5 [B70]
I have to say that it is very nice to see my older brother Jeremy regaining an interest in chess after such a long time away from the game, but all the same I could never have conceived of a situation whereby I could justify including one of his blitz games in an update! However, when he notified me that he had just played a GM (with a 2127 rating no less!), I was intrigued. Then I learnt that it was an online encounter against an 80 year old evidently very much at home in this internet era, who in the past had just happened to have defeated the likes of Tal and Petrosian. Finally, of course, that it was a Dragon (an opening which Megabase 2014 suggests that Evgeni Vasiukov last faced in a win against Gufeld in 1975!) and in a line that hasn't previously been seen on ChessPublishing.
For a 5 minute a side game, VasiukovEvgeni - wardjp was certainly rather eventful and up till the last move, of pretty good quality. After 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.Bc4 Bg7 8.Qe2 0-0, this game belongs with the 'other 6th moves' roadmap as although White's light-squared bishop makes it to c4 on move 7, it is less like a 'modern classical' as White doesn't intend castling kingside. Indeed 9.0-0-0 a6 10.f4 Qc7 was the game continuation:
Now White erred with 11.Nd5?! and the rest of the game is rich in ideas.
Accelerated Dragadorf [B75]
Thanks very much to Kevin for a submission that came with the following note:
Happy new year from Singapore!
Here's a game of mine played roughly 2 years ago. Seems like this has gone unnoticed on ChessPub and I thought now would be a good time to spread the love. Please do everything you can to make me believe in the Accelerated Dragadorf again! Thanks, Kevin»
The start to Sax - Goh Wei Ming was 6.Be3 a6 7.f3 b5 8.Qd2 Bb7 9.a4 b4 10.Na2 e5 11.Nb3 d5, illustrated below:
and now 12.Bg5 Nbd7 13.exd5 Bxd5 14.Qxd5 Nxd5 15.Bxd8 Kxd8 16.0-0-0 after which Black struggled a bit in the ensuing late middlegame/endgame. A very nice offering with a recommendation of 13...Qb6!? but in actual fact we did look at that, back in 2012 in the site annotated Egglestone-Zhou. Anyway Kevin, your thoughts on 13...Qb6 14 0-0-0 Bxd5 15 Kb1 are well noted though and that may have to be revisited.
Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 Old Main Line 14...Re8 [B76]
In this month's update I have two games for you in what was once considered to be the main line of the 9 0-0-0 Yugoslav Attack. I am of course talking 9...d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 e5 13.Bc5 Be6 14.Ne4. This is of course where Black has the choice of 14...Rb8 (which I focused on in my first WWTD book) and 14...Re8 which even back then was the more popular move:
So 14...Re8 was really the main line and previously here we have investigated 15 h4 and 15 g4. We have also looked at 15.Bc4 before, but in Zufic,M -Armanda,I I do so again, only this time after 15...Qc7 16.g4 Red8 17.Qf2 when Black opts for the 17...Nf4 that I had put forward in those previous annotations. I think that Black is fine in this middlegame, and in truth in this game, White should feel very lucky to escape with a draw.
Although subscribers will know that I prefer to concentrate on relatively hot off the press games so as to keep tabs on trends in our favourite opening, I have chosen to break from that tradition in order to annotate the 1989 encounter Stertenbrink - Watson purely for the purpose of completion. Again regarding 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 e5 13.Bc5 Be6 14.Ne4 Re8, what was missing in our archives regarding White's choices was 15.c4. This seeks to budge the black knight from its attractive post on d5 but, of course, things aren't that easy! What I particularly like about this game is Willy Watson's determination to keep the game alive where others might acquiesce to a draw, including by the simple repetition that is on offer via the arguably correct 15...Qc7 16.Bd6 Qb6 17.Bc5 Qc7 18.Bd6 etc. This was an English GM whose Dragon games I admired as a junior and here his perseverance was definitely rewarded.
Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Bd7 10 h4 Na5 [B77]
And we finish this February 2014 update with the possible opening of a whole new avenue. Okay, so we are all familiar with the arguably 'Anti-Chinese' system of 10 h4 and we have seen Black meet that with 10...Na5. Typically White retreats the attacked bishop to b3, but intriguingly two high level games this month saw the continuation 11 Be2 Nh5 with Black seemingly trying to exploit the early h-pawn advance by looking to invade on the odd hole (specifically g3!):
Yes, in Bauer - Sebenik Black obviously didn't adopt the 'knights on the rim are dim' approach as he tried to get White's light-squared bishop by hook or by crook, and well, here particularly for the king's knight so that its compatriot could make an appearance on the attractive c4 post.
Could we be seeing the start of a new line? Watch this space!
See what I mean! Hope you weren't disappointed and I will see you all back here soon.
Yours sincerely, Chris
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To get in touch with me subscribers can email me at Chris Ward@ChessPublishing.com.