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Hi everyone!
Hi guys! I have obtained a copy of 'Chess Developments: The Sicilian Dragon' and hopefully within a couple of updates I should be able to put together some sort of review of it (it certainly looks interesting). For this month though I am going to start by offering up 'DV' for how my colleague Mr Vigorito views the variations selected in this update, theoretically-speaking.
Okay on to the action!

Download PGN of March '12 Dragon Sicilian games

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

If you replace 15 Nc5!? by 15 Bc4 then we have had quite a lot of coverage of this line on this site:

In fact after the 15...Rb8 16 Bc4 of Kryvoruchko - Jones, transpositions are/were possible to previous notes. Sort of anyway(!), but do check this game out to discover more.

DV rates 14...Qc7!? as looking quite solid but doesn't mention 15 Nc5. Though he hung on in there, this game didn't look like much fun for Gawain and hence his moaning about everyone playing 9 0-0-0 against him all the time!

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

The game Nitin - Rogozenco brings 11 Nb3 to the table for the first time in a main game on this site:

We reach an endgame after 11...dxe4 12 Qxd8 Rxd8 13 Rxd8+ Nxd8 14 Bxa7 Ra8 15 Bb6 which DV suggests is 'unclear but no worse for Black' (so it is clear then!?).

In a previous annotation Rogozenco himself implied that after 15...Bf5 the option 16 g4 'achieved nothing'. Not quite true in this game as it ultimately got the full point! I wouldn't say that that was down to the opening though here, and I would agree that Black has his share of the chances in this endgame.

Yugoslav Attack 9 g4 Be6 10 Nxe6 [B76]

Following the standard 10...fxe6 11 0-0-0 Ne5 12 Be2 in Socko - Robson after the selected 12...Qc8 (the choice is typically between this and 12...Rc8) rather than 13 h4 we see a first on this site for 13 Bh6:

DV observes that 13...Bxh6 14 Qxh6 Qc5 leaves Black with 'sufficient counterchances' and Gawain's annotation would seem to agree although Black goes a bit wrong in this encounter.

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Soltis Variation [B78]

In Kosintseva - Videnova in the main line (14 Bg5) Soltis, White eschews the aggressive 15 g4 in favour of the older more positional 15 Rhe1. I once wrote in an annotation on this site that then '15...Qc8 was worthy of consideration' and clearly some people have agreed with me enough to play it!

It looks to me that in this game the higher rated player seems to run out of ideas and in the end, using the initiative well, it is a very nice game from Black's point of view.

DV is basically a little scathing of 15 Rhe1 and limits comments to the observation that Black has done well with both 15...Qc8 and 15...b5.

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 with ...Qa5 irregular [B77]

Okay, the game Baghdasaryan - Kabanov is unlikely to be of much theoretical interest. Indeed DV doesn't cover the ...Qa5 lines at all as he says the line has 'fallen on hard times'. Well no arguments from me there! As we know a tendency of White players to whip out 10 h4 to avoid the Chinese, there might be some nuance involving ...Qa5 that doesn't simply transpose to those struggling main lines, but I selected this game for the wonderfully visual queen sacrifice. Fantastic entertainment!

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Chinese Variation [B78]

In the above position on this site we are used to seeing 13...Bxh6 14 Qxh6 b4 (remember 14...e5?! walks into 15 Nf5!) and indeed that is what DV focuses on. Instead 13...Nc4 14 Bxc4 bxc4 15 h4 occurred in Stukopin - Mikhalevski and although that sequence is relatively rare in practical play, it is interesting making the comparison with similar variations (in particular the one with the white pawn on h5 but the g4-pawn back on g2). Despite the outcome of this game, I would have thought that Black has enough resources at his disposal and my notes appear to justify that assessment. Definitely food for thought though!

Hope you are all well, Chris and Gawain

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