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Sorry guys for my tardiness this month,
Although most of this update was completed before I left, I have just returned from the British Championship and am exhausted! That playing chess lark isn't easy! Anyway, I was hoping to bring you a Dragon game of my own but in truth I didn't even come close to one. There was another relatively high profile game which as you will see is included, though. The August update will be more punctual, but for now here is July:

Download PGN of July '14 Dragon Sicilian games

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Fianchetto System 7 Bg2 [B70]

I have included the World Championship blitz game Onischuk - Nielsen,PH in this update because it includes a shock opening (sort of) novelty, which I can certainly see lesser players wanting to try in slower play competitions. Yes, following 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.g3 Nc6 7.Bg2 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 Bg7, just when Black would have been expecting 9 0-0 and the white queen's swift vacation of its potentially in the firing line central post, instead White suddenly hit his opponent with 9.e5!?:

Okay, I reiterate that this game would have been played at some pace but clearly following 9..dxe5 10.Qxd8+ Kxd8 11.Be3 Ng4? 12.Bc5 Bd7 13.h3 Nf6 14.0-0-0 Kc8 15.Bxe7, Black had walked himself into a lot of trouble.

Peter Heine is as we know a Dragon expert but either 9...dxe5 was his judgement call or he is saving something for a more important game. I have awarded 9 e5 with a '!?' but in this instance that is mainly for shock value as my annotations suggest that this 'surprise weapon' move may not stand the test of time.

Classical Dragon with 0-0-0 [B72]

The game Nakar - Mordechai was selected in conjunction with the next game partly so that I could make the interesting comparison with the analogous 9 0-0-0 Yugoslav Attack variation. Specifically we are comparing the relative use of the moves Be2 and f2-f3 and this encounter inadvertently puts forward an argument for the pawn advancement!

Indeed, following 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Be2 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Be6 11.Kb1 a big point is that unlike in the 'B76' counterpart, Black is able to play 11...Qa5 as 12 Nd5 is no longer a problem due to e4-pawn not being protected further down the line:

Instead 12.a3 Rfc8 13.h4 Rab8 14.h5 b5 15.hxg6 hxg6 was played when White tried another Yugoslav Attack thematic move in 16.Qg5?! but 16... Qc7 17.e5 Ne4! again exposed White's lack of control over the e4-square.

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

It was then interesting to compare Suarez - Alonso Alvarez with the analogous Classical variation, long castles system although this was definitely the one to be White in!

We are of course talking 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 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Be6 11.Kb1 when this time the immediate 11...Qa5? isn't playable because of 12 Nd5! Hence of course the manoeuvre 11...Qc7 12.h4 Rfc8 13.h5 Qa5 when the accurate sequence 14.hxg6 hxg6 15.a3 Rab8 16.Bd3 again puts the ball in Black's court. He promptly errs with 16...b5?! After which 17.Qg5! is an idea that all White Yugoslav Attack practitioners should be aware of:

Working significantly better than in Nakar-Mordechai, I won't give any more moves here, but let's just say that it was an absolute crush!

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 10 Nxc6 bxc6 11 Bh6 [B76]

Following 9.0-0-0 d5 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Bh6 Bxh6 12.Qxh6 Qb6 instead of 13 e5 Nd7 13 h4 (which requires Black to be familiar with the idea 13...Nxe5 14 h5 Bf5 15 g4 f6! i.e. 16 gxf5? g5 trapping the queen with ...Nf7), in Atalik, S - Vucinic, G White came out with the rather rare 13.h4, I guess keeping his options open (i.e. in not committing himself to e4-e5).

In the position above 13...Rb8 14.b3 made sense when Black has a few obvious looking queen moves to choose from in his quest to balance holding his kingside and making inroads on the queenside. Hopefully my annotations to this game will form a good grounding for possibly more encounters to come in this line.

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 10 Qe1 [B76]

I have to say that the game Sanal - Chatalbashev looks incredibly impressive from a Black perspective. Upon 10.Qe1 he elected to keep the tension with 10...e6 and it is fair to say that following 11.h4 Qc7 12.Ndb5 Qb8 (illustrated below)

13.g4 a6 14.Nd4 dxe4 15.h5 exf3 16.hxg6?! fxg6, White's attack never really gets going. Indeed the black queen soon returns to active duty and dominates. Black's kingside pawn majority is always there to be pushed but ironically it is White who gets closest to being mated! I have suggested a couple of possibilities, but clearly it is White who needs to find improvements on this.

Yugoslav Attack 9 g4 Be6 10 Nxe6 [B76]

The game Zhou - Pert,R was always going to be of interest as both are hungry IMs and both Dragon experts. Subscribers will be familiar with Yang Fang's outings on the Black side of the Dragon, but well he also tackles our favourite opening from the White side. In this encounter then they tussled in the trendy 9.g4 Be6 10.Nxe6 fxe6 variation and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Richard for submitting this annotation. Theoretically speaking, well the game continued 11.0-0-0 Ne5 12.Be2 Qc8 13.h4 Nfd7 14.f4 Nc4 15.Bxc4 Qxc4 16.e5 Rad8 17.exd6 when it was Pert's 17...Nf6! (illustrated below) that is new to the site:

Clearly Richard is of the impression that Black is alright in this line and in this encounter, ultimately he was much more than okay!

That's all for now everyone but I really will be back real soon

Best Wishes, Chris

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