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March '00 Update

The big question that you guys asked this month related to the ...b5 pawn sacrifice in the ...Qa5, Kb1 and h4 Yugoslav Attack variation (I'm hoping you all know what I'm talking about!).

Hence I've tried to put this topic to bed with extensive coverage over four games in the ending that Black reaches a pawn down.

New Games

After the moves 9 Bc4 Bd7 10 Bb3 Qa5 11 0-0-0 Rfc8 12 Kb1 Ne5 13 h4 b5 14 Ncxb5 Qxd2,

the subject of the first game is 15 Rxd2 Rab8 16 a4, with the 2nd encounter deviating with 16 Nc3.

You will see why in my opinion 15 Bxd2 is better, with 15...Nc4 being practically refuted in Reeh - Ward. If life goes on for Black in this line it is therefore in 15...Rab8. I've given my view (also check out the ), read the annotations and decide for yourself!

The Dragon featured in a nice family weekend of the most recent 4NCL rounds. Unfortunately Littlewood Senior had little joy. On the Saturday he tried to bash our favourite opening on the head (with the tricky 6 Nd5) but ended up being stunned himself (see CW120.. Then on the Sunday as Black he was pushed aside by the 6 Bc4 variation whilst attempting to resurrect a line deemed bad by NCO (see CW118..

At the same time Littlewood Junior (IM Paul) was showing him how things should be done by obtaining a good position through the more traditional approach (see CW119.. That was until things went a bit pear-shaped!

New Games

Yugoslav 9 Bc4

Peaceful Aggression! The event 'Chess For Peace', the game far from it!

Life Without Queens Yes it is possible for Black to sac a pawn, trade queens and still win. Whether all is sound is a different matter!

Game, Set And Match! Could this be the end of the line for the 13...b5 pawn sac?

In The Balance Is this the way forward in the 13...b5 pawn sac and is it enough?

6 Bc4

Preparing For The Pawn Structure! Pre-match prep is left wanting as Black unknowingly walks into an inferior line that his opponent has had once before.

Black is OK! Indeed far more than for most of this game until he loses his Dragon bishop and his opponent, also Black(!) takes over the operation.

6 Nd5

Not Quite As Planned White sets an opening trap in the form of 6 Nd5. However it is Black who wins quickly!

Keep those e-mails coming in and remember that I cannot answer you personally, but anything interesting will appear here (generally without me giving names).