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Hi everyone!
A bit of a mixed bunch for you this month: two games involving talented youngsters and four involving strong Grandmasters. A bit of same old, same old and some original thought. Anyway, without further ado...

Download PGN of June '15 Dragon Sicilian games

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Classical Dragon with 9 g4 [B72]

We kick off this month's update with a rare sharp Classical line. It is often ominous when White delays castling although after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be2 Bg7 7.Nb3 Nc6 8.Be3 0-0, he still has the option to do just that and transpose to standard quiet lines. Here we have seen a bit of 9 f4 but this is the first time on the site that we have featured a main game with 9 g4:

In Tomczak - Moranda following 9...Be6 there was still the opportunity for White to transpose to a previously investigated line with 10 f4 but instead 10.g5 Nd7 11.h4 offered us something new. What isn't new to the site though is the concept of two very strong players and a very sharp game!

Classical Dragon with 9 Qd2 [B73]

Alas, the sound of the move Qd2 is a bit deceptive when it comes to the Classical system. Specifically, here we are talking 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be2 Bg7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Be3 Nc6, and rather than the main variant of the system 9 Nb3 (putting the brakes on a thematic black ...d5 thrust), the simple 9 Qd2:

In the notes to the game Danin - Jones, I tender some alternatives but Gawain sticks to his guns and plays what he considers to be objectively best i.e. 9...d5 Alas he has faced 10.Rfd1 Nxd4 11.Qxd4 Nxe4 12.Qxd5 before (as has his opponent) and the outcome of this game is no different. It's just a draw! Our ex site host English GM must be getting a bit frustrated by this line by now and as for Mr Danin, well...shame on you!

Yugoslav Attack 9 g4 Be6 10 0-0-0 [B76]

I must start by saying that it is great to see the super-talented Hikaru Nakamura back playing the Dragon again but in Karjakin - Nakamura, frankly, I was shocked to see 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.g4 Be6 10.0-0-0 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Qa5 12.Kb1 Rfc8 13.a3 Rab8 14.h4 b5 appear:

I mean Sergey is a superstar in his own right but with 15.Nd5 Qxd2 16.Rxd2 Bxd5 17.exd5 as good as forced, it is well known that Black has no troubles in this endgame. Not much excitement here I'm afraid guys and a pretty insipid performance by White.

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

The game Rogers - Anilkumar featured as Black a talented young junior that I coach but after 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Qb6 14.Na4 Qc7 15.Bc4, I was about to criticise him for not making use of the multitude of material at his disposal (including of course our extensive ChessPublishing analysis). Yes, my initial thought was to tell him off for not looking at least some of the games featuring 15...Rb8 and 15...Rd8, when it occurred to me that his selection of 15...Nb6 wasn't at all ridiculous. Naturally, White then decided against allowing Black to de-isolate his queenside pawns plumping for 16.Nc5:

Young Anantha though continued dynamically with 16...Bf5 and after 17.Bb3 Rad8, following the inaccuracy 18.Qf2?! went on to defeat his opponent via a neat combination.

Re the above, boy was I pleased that I hadn't criticised the young English talent because the next thing I know, following 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Qb6 14.Na4 Qc7 15.Bc4, I noticed that a better known talent called Hikaru Nakamura had also just previously come up with 15...Nb6. One would surmise that that was probably following a bit of home study which ultimately pays off in Caruana - Nakamura, this game deviating from the last through 16 Bb3:

As it happens Black never gets his queenside pawn structure sorted but 16...Nxa4 17.Qxa4 c5 sees him compensated through White's offside and potentially awkwardly placed bishop.

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 with 10...Nxd4 [B78]

To be fair nothing was expected of the junior training game Watson - Jamroz and typically I would never have included such a game in an update particularly after seeing 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 a6.

However, then when 12.g4 b5 13.Bb3 a5 hit the board it got me thinking:

Compared to the Topalov variation, Black would have got in ...Rc8 by now and instead the second player has sort of lost a tempo by expending 2 moves with his a-pawn. However this game continued 14.a3 b4 when it was clear that in fact it was much better off on the a-file. Following 15.Na4 bxa3 16.bxa3 Black was clearly better although his route to victory wasn't as straightforward as it should have been!

Don't get me wrong, I'm far from suggesting that this novel idea was deliberate, but it has certainly opened up a new avenue!

That's all for now folks. Back real soon! Chris

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