ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
To ‘B’ or not to ‘B’? Well that is the question elsewhere but not here! We have B70s, B72s, B76s and B77s. Where else would you rather ‘B’?

Download PGN of June ’19 Dragon Sicilian games

>> Previous Update >>

Classical Dragon 6.Be2 Bg7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Bg5 Nc6 9.Nb3 a6 10.a4 Be6 11.Kh1 Rc8 12.f4 [B70]

Regards 6.Be2 Bg7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Bg5 Nc6 9.Nb3 a6 10.a4 Be6 11.Kh1 Rc8 12.f4, Hernandez Gonzalez, W - Espinosa Veloz, E is not the first game we’ve seen on the site where White has tried to control Black’s queenside expansion whilst initiating his own kingside attack but I definitely think this approach is too greedy. After 12...Na5 Black eyes the c4-square, challenges the b3-knight and unleashes his rook on the c-file. White plodded on with 13.f5 but we’ve seen this fail before!

Yes, long-term subscribers may recall (and others should check the archives for) the 13...Bxb3 14 cxb3 Rxc3! that we saw Kramnik dismiss Kazimdzhanov with. That would certainly be my choice but of course there is certainly nothing wrong with the instead chosen 13...Bc4 14.Nxa5 Qxa5 15.Bxc4 Rxc4 Indeed, no doubt Black was quite content with his position with obvious pressure along the c-file and against e4. A g4-g5 plan seems miles away and so the only real issue is White parking a knight on d5. Essentially then that is what we got to see:

16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.fxg6?! when actually 17...fxg6! would have left Black clearly better but 17... hxg6 18.Nd5 Rxa4 19.Rxa4 Qxa4 20.Nxf6+ exf6 21.Rxf6 ultimately saw White grovel a draw!

Classical Dragon 6.h3 Bg7 7.g4 [B70]

Given the opening of 6.h3 Bg7 7.g4 I couldn’t resist including the game Winkelman, A - Huang, R in this month’s update and more so because of the new to the site approach of 7...0-0 8.Be3 d5!?:

Black logically responds to his opponent’s wing play with action in the centre even before incorporating ...Nc6 with his idea being 9.e5 Ne4 White seemingly was intent on not losing his e-pawn but then after 10.f4 Nxc3 11.bxc3 Nc6 12.Bd3 f6 promptly sacrificed it to restrict his opponent’s activity. However 13.e6 Nxd4 14.Bxd4 Bxe6 15.f5 Bf7 16.0-0 Qd6 17.Qf3 e5 18.fxe6 Bxe6 ultimately proved insufficient and though 19.Qf4 Qxf4 20.Rxf4 offered drawing chances, it was Black who emerged with the full point.

Yugoslav Attack 9.0-0-0 d5 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Bh6 Bxh6 12.Qxh6 Rb8 [B76]

After 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.0-0-0 d5 I have never felt too threatened by the concept of 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Bh6 because Black has an attractive centre as well as attacking chances courtesy of the b-file. Nevertheless, it is clear that after 11...Bxh6 12.Qxh6 White has very direct h-file ambitions of his own and I’ve noticed that this line has been quite popular in recent times. Black has choices in this position and starting with 12...Rb8, two of them are featured this month.

Though I discuss deviations in the annotation, a not uncommon continuation here is 13.e5 Nd7 14.h4 Nxe5 15.h5 Bf5 16.g4 f6 when White must take care not to take the bishop and get his queen trapped through ...g5 and ...Nf7. So he retreats his queen and in Noritsyn, N - Findlay, I we see the novelty 17.Qd2. As you will read, this rather craftily avoids the queen trading ...Qb6 option and after 17...Be6 18.hxg6 definitely advisable for Black is recapturing on g6 with the pawn (after which his king can safely flee the danger zone!). Instead 18...Nxg6? happened with White having plenty of attractive options thereafter and 19.Bd3 Rf7 20.Ne2 Qb6 21.b3 Rg7 22.Ng3 working out pretty well too.

Yugoslav Attack 9.0-0-0 d5 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Bh6 Bxh6 12.Qxh6 Qb6 [B76]

After 9.0-0-0 d5 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Bh6 Bxh6 12.Qxh6 certainly 12...Qa5 and 12...e5 are possible and 12...Rb8 has been seen already this month but Bersamina, P - Huang, R features the most popular continuation 12...Qb6 which sees the black queen scrutinise the b-file whilst escaping the pin along the d-file:

From a Black perspective though there is a cause for concern as after 13.h4 Rb8 14.b3 Qc5 15.Kb2 dxe4 the move 16.Qg5! looks annoying. Black could certainly roll the dice and try 16...Qf5 but 16...Qxg5 17.hxg5 Nd5 18.Nxe4 Bf5 looks like a comfortable endgame advantage even if (following the odd inaccuracy) the game continuation of 19.Bd3 Nf4 20.g4 Nxd3+ 21.Rxd3 Bxe4 22.fxe4 Kg7 should probably have seen Black hold the draw.

Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 e5 13.Bc5 Be6 14.Ne4 Re8 [B76]

Viewing 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 e5 13.Bc5 Be6 14.Ne4 Re8 15.Bc4 Qc7 16.h4 h6 17.g4 Red8 18.g5 h5 was to me like stepping into a time machine and travelling back to my Dragon playing junior days. Yes, Zufic, M - Grant, D 1was the sort of complex middlegame scenario that was regularly seen only here through 19.Kb1, White refused to withdraw his queen from the d-file firing line as nearly everyone had done before him:

When analysing this game I decided that objectively Black should try to take advantage of this situation through 19...Nb6 as it forces the bishop back to the less desirable post d3. Instead though Black opted for 19...Rab8 and after 20.Bb3 Nf4 21.Qe3 should probably seek counterplay along the d-file. Instead he tried 21...Qa5?! when 22.Be7 Rxd1+ 23.Rxd1 Bxb3 24.axb3 Nd5 25.Qc5 Qa6? 26.c4! Nb4 led to the delightful combination that started with 27.Qxb4!! A warning to Dragoneers and a tactic to add to the collection!

Yugoslav 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.h4 Rc8 11.Bb3 Ne5 12.h5 Nxh5 13.Bh6 Bxh6 14.Qxh6 Rxc3 [B77]

We finish the month in entertaining style in the form of the relatively offbeat Amonatov,F - Vasquez Schroeder, R and 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.h4 Rc8 11.Bb3 Ne5 12.h5 Nxh5 13.Bh6 Bxh6 14.Qxh6 Rxc3!:

You know the story... The more interesting 9 Bc4 variation where White prevented the ‘Chinese variation’ but then Black deliberately didn’t play the ‘Soltis’. White hoped to make Black regret that decision and we get an offbeat line where White doesn’t castle!

Regards 15.bxc3 Qa5 16.Ne2 Rc8 you will note my fondness for having flicked in ...Nf6 but whilst that wasn’t the root of Black’s problems he was certainly made to pay after 17.Rd1 Bb5 18.Rd5 e6?! 19.Rxh5! gxh5 20.Rxe5! dxe5 21.Qg5+ Kf8 22.Qxe5 A delightful double exchange sacrifice leaving the white queen bossing and Black seriously suffering after 22...Rd8 23.Qc5+ Kg8 24.Bc4! a6 25.a4!

Best wishes, Chris (A very busy B!)

>> Previous Update >>

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