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Hello everyone,
Am about to come out of retirement on the tournament front and play in the British Championship and am tired already! I am going to have 5 or 6 Black games and I wonder how many of those are going to be Dragons? I know you'll all be rooting for me, but anyway enough about me and more about this month's update!
Okay it's entirely Yugoslav Attack based and well... enjoy!

Download PGN of July '13 Dragon Sicilian games

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

It seems to me that from a practical point of view it's worth wheeling out old lines even if they have become theoretical suspicious as it amazes me how strong players either forget what the critical lines are, or else are incapable of reproducing analysis for the challenging variations over the board. Just one example is the game Ponkratov, P - Amonatov, F that after 9.0-0-0 Bd7 10.h4 Rc8 11.g4 Ne5 saw 12.Kb1 Qa5 13.Nd5 as illustrated below:

It's fair to say that 13 Nd5 is tempting and often a way to punish a queen on a5. It's also true this whole 9...Bd7 line hasn't been fashionable for a while, but ages ago here on ChessPublishing we provided analysis to show why White can expect no advantage here. Ironically the higher rated player in this counter probably did expect an advantage, but only got one due to erroneous play on the part of his opponent.

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 Old main line [B76]

I thought that it was about time that we had an old fashioned main line and in checking out the games around the World this month, I came across Samuelson, A - Bodek, M.

Yes after 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 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4, rather than the trade of bishops it was 12...e5 13.Bc5 Be6 14.Ne4 as was once standard. Black chose 14...Re8 which again used to be the ultimate main line, and after 15.h4 we reach this position:

Now, rather than playing the most popular 15...h6, looking to keep the h-file blocked, Black utilised an old favourite line of Tiviakov's, 15...Nf4, but although White rejected that offer with 16.Qe1, when they did eventually come off, it was seriously to Black's advantage. Plenty of improvements for White along the way though!

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 with 12 Bd4 Bxd4 [B76]

In Haslinger, S - Pijpers, A, the English GM seemed to have his finger on the pulse of cutting edge theory of the ChessPublishing variety with 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Qb6 14.Na4 Qc7 15.Bc4 Rd8 16.Nc5 Bf5 17.Bb3. He was no doubt very aware that (in the position below) after 17... h5?!, White should play 18 g4!.

To be fair possibly Black was as well, but either way he came up with the TN 17...Nf4. Intriguing stuff, but ultimately White sneaked into what looked like a winning endgame.

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Bd7 10 h4 [B77]

The game Solodovnichenko, Y - Arngrimsson, D is only a 'B77' classification because it fails to turn into a main line. Regulars will be very aware of why 10 h4 is a move order that avoids the odd trendy Black variation (including the 'Chinese'). However, this fails to become either a 'Soltis' or an old style main line ...Rc8 without ...h5, because following 10...Rc8 11.Bb3 Ne5 White plays 12.h5 and after 12...Nxh5 13.g4 Black dabbles in 13...Ng3!?. Actually we have had the extremely visual 14 Rg1 Rxc3 15 bxc3 Nxf3+ (illustrated below) before in a main game.

Black won that time and although White comes up with an improvement here and ultimately goes on to be victorious, all in all it still seems to me that this line should favour Black.

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Nxd4 10 Bxd4 Be6 [B77]

The game Ortiz Suarez, I - Gagare, Shar continues with the trend of 11.Bb3 Qa5 12.0-0-0 Rfc8 13.Kb1 b5 14.Rhe1 Bxb3 15.cxb3 Rab8 before White attempts to halt Black's b-pawn in its tracks with 16.a3 as illustrated below:

Previously in notes I had commented on why I didn't think that should deter Black and indeed here Black appeared to take my advice with 16...b4 17.Na2 Qb5. Unusual for this line, some very interesting tactics crop up although Black ultimately only defeats his highly rated opponent because of a blunder. Definitely worth a viewing!

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Chinese Variation [B78]

Following 9...Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rb8 11.Bb3 Na5 12.h4 b5 13.Kb1 Nc4 14.Bxc4 bxc4 15.Ka1, amongst others we have seen quite a lot of the h-pawn blocker 15...h5 on ChessPublishing and it has been rather successful for Black. After 16.Rb1 Qa5, we are used to seeing 17 Bh6 but in Khanin, S - Geller, J we see a first (and surely last!) appearance from 17.Bg5?! (illustrated below).

White makes the cardinal sin of casually conceding his dark-squared bishop for a knight and soon falls foul of tactics on the b-file. Warning, this game makes horrible viewing from a White perspective!

Back in August (Wish me good luck!) Chris

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