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Hi everyone!
To begin with I would like to congratulate Gawain on a recent non-chess achievement. His chess is clearly moving along in leaps and bounds. I just hope his wedding dance went okay!
Now straight down to this month's action:

Download PGN of June '12 Dragon Sicilian games

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6 Bc4 'Modern' Classical System [B70]

Of course anyone with their head screwed on is going to take the ideas of Super GMs seriously, although the 8 Nf3 of Yu Yangyi-Khusnutdinov did surprise me a little:

First up I wondered about the immediate response 8...Bg4 (and keep an eye out for 9 e5 dxe5? 10 Bxf7+!), before moving on to the game continuation. As it transpires the position that occurred after 8...Nc6 9 h3 has been reached a fair few times in practice, but it shouldn't be too challenging if Black plays sensibly. In fact that is exactly how Black played throughout this game and a solid draw was a fair result.

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 10 Kb1 [B76]

I'm still not too sure what to make of this line which regular subscribers will recall, amongst others, saw Nigel Short suffer with White against Magnus (although ultimately still scrounge a draw).

The game Paragua - Lu Shanglei brings another interesting development in this line and in particular highlights how things can go wrong for the first player if he gets too greedy. In particular White tries the 17 f4 that was dismissed by Nigel in his London Chess Classic post mortem.

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Soltis Variation [B78]

The game Solodovnichenko - Smith is basically the old main line Soltis of Bh6 but with the moves Kb1 and ...a6 thrown in:

Gawain takes these inclusions into consideration whilst comparing it with the more traditional theoretical analogous position and it is pretty hair-raising stuff! Definitely worth studying if you are an exponent of the h4 h5 lines.

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Nxd4 10 Bxd4 Be6 [B77]

Mainly due to Hikaru Nakamura, this old fashioned line has been played quite a lot recently, with White struggling to prove a significant advantage. I must admit that the positions frequently reached aren't that thrilling for a Dragon player, but I guess a draw is objectively a good result. In Fedorchuk - Socko, White manages to stem that flow of draws by deviating from 11 Bb3 with 11 Nd5:

It doesn't strike me that this should really cause Black problems in the long run, but over the board Black was unable to come up with an adequate response and after 11...Bxd5 12 exd5 it would appear that his 12...Nd7?! was a tad premature.

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Chinese Variation [B78]

We have two games for you this month in this key trendy line:

First up in Darini - Khusnutdinov where Black has just played 18...e5, White eschews the en passant in favour of relocating the knight to e4 via 19 Nd2. This position has featured before on the site but here Gawain's previously recommended 19...Ra6!? finally gets a practical outing.

Fascinating stuff in a lively encounter, with as usual, tremendous Gawain annotations.

In Szabo - Jianu we see White twinning the usual Kb1 (typically headed for a1 in anticipation of the b-file becoming open) with g2-g4 rather than h2-h4:

This seems to work in dissuading ...h5, but as you will see in this thrilling (from Black's point of view!) encounter, the 2nd player simply gets on with some attacking of his own, and in that department he certainly prospers!

Hope you are all enjoying the Euros. Now come on England! Chris and Gawain

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