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Hi everyone,
Yugoslav Attack wise a bit of everything this month with some 9 g4, 9 0-0-0 and 9 Bc4. Some new ideas early doors and some theoretical novelties deep into standard variations.
I am a little bemused about the sudden switch to 9...Nxd4 rather than 9...d5 after 9 0-0-0 and you will read why I am so surprised to see England's Luke McShane entertaining an old variation in 9 g4.
Still, the key main line in 9 Bc4 is 9...Bd7 10 0-0-0 Rc8 11 Bb3 Ne5 12 Kb1 and in this update you will see a game with each of 12...Nc4, 12...a6 and 12...Re8. Not such a good score for Black, but no draws! Enjoy!

Download PGN of March ’16 Dragon Sicilian games

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Yugoslav Attack 9 g4 h5 [B75]

Following 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.g4, previously we have taken a look at each of 9...Be6, 9...Nxd4, 9...Bxg4 and even 9...Ne5, 9...e6 and 9...e5 but Iljiushenok - Arribas Lopez brings us yet another option in the interesting 9...h5:

Well it may be making its debut on this site but in fact it was the second time that this tournament had seen the position after 10.gxh5 Nxh5 11.0-0-0 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Be6. On that occasion White waded in with 14 f4 but here White deployed the more restrained 14.Qd2!? when complications following 14...Qa5 15.f4 Bxa2 16.f5 occurred. Perhaps White had found the antidote but it is still a fascinating idea that perhaps shouldn't be given up on quite yet.

Yugoslav Attack 9 g4 Be6 10 0-0-0 Nxd4 [B76]

Regards the 9.g4 Be6 10.0-0-0 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Qa5 12.a3 Rfc8 13.h4 Rab8 14.Nd5 Qxd2+ 15.Rxd2 Nxd5 16.exd5 that occurred in McShane - Fedorovsky, I was very surprised to see Luke playing this line. Regular subscribers and readers of my WWTD books will know that I personally like these lines as Black, considering the knight versus bishop scenario after 15...Bxd5 to be most satisfactory. Black's selection here also isn't bad although I would have to recommend that White at least plays 16 Bxg7. Instead after the text and 16...Bxd5 17.Bxg7 Bxf3 18.Rh3 Bxg4 19.Rg3 Kxg7 20.Rxg4 we reach an intriguing endgame:

Of course this whole 3 pawns for a piece situation is familiar to Dragon players (just like the 4 connected passed pawns against rook ones!) and maybe objectively he does stand worse in this particular position. In practical play, though, it is much easier for Black to play and after 20...Rc7 21.a4 f5 22.Rgd4 Kf6 23.b3 Rbc8 24.Kb2 Rc5 25.c4 Re5 26.Bd3 a5 27.Kc3 h6 28.b4 g5 29.hxg5+ hxg5 30.bxa5 Rxa5 31.Kb4 Rca8 32.Bc2 g4, it was clear that White hadn't found a good plan and was now floundering.

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 Nxd4 with 11 h4 [B76]

I must admit when I saw the starting moves of Sjugirov - Petrosian I was quite excited. It seems to me that following 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.0-0-0 without justification we have seen a spate of 9...Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Be6 11.Kb1 Qc7 12.h4 Rfc8 games recently, but here when White played the critical 13.h5 Qa5 14.hxg6 hxg6 15.a3 Rab8 16.Bd3, I thought that we might be about to witness some new big idea after 16...b5 17.Qg5:

This paralysing pin of the b-pawn prepares the likes of Rh6, Rdh1 and Qh4 but surely Super GM Petrosian had some assessment changing plan up his sleeve? Well I'm afraid that wasn't the case as through 17...Qc7 18.e5 dxe5 19.Bxe5 Qc5 20.f4 Rb7 21.Bxg6! he soon perished in the way that 7 other people (out of 7 cases!) had before him. Alas, no novelties here, just poor preparation. Please don't let my subscribers make the same mistake!

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 ...Rc8 with 12 Kb1 and 14 g4 [B78]

Let's face it, the variation 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rc8 11.Bb3 Ne5 12.Kb1 Nc4 13.Bxc4 Rxc4 14.g4 has got a pretty lousy reputation for Black with 14...b5 usually being crushed by 15 b3 and possibly Ne6 tactics. In Bromberger - Vuilleumier, however, White wants to demonstrate that he doesn't need to 'compromise' his queenside in order to defeat his opponent and instead perseveres with kingside action through 15.h4:

Previously on ChessPublishing we have had the position after 15...b4 16.Nce2 Qc7 but in this encounter Black decides not to commit his queen yet and instead hopes that his a-pawn can play a role. Hence 16...a5 but it's all a bit slow and after 17.h5 e5 18.Nf5!? I'm afraid the writing was already on the wall!

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Soltis with 12 Kb1 a6 [B78]

In the variation 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Ne5 11.Bb3 Rc8 12.Kb1 a6 13.h4 h5 14.g4 hxg4 15.h5 Nxh5 16.Bh6 we had previously concluded that both 18...e6 and 18...Kh7!? are very playable but in Alekseenko - Kalashnikov Black came up with a 3rd option in 18...Bf6:

The underlying concept is that, especially with pawns bagged, Black is more than happy to offer his rook for White's dark-squared bishop as that would leave his Dragon bishop totally dominant on the dark squares. However, White understood that too and instead kept up the pressure with 17.Nd5! Then 17...Re8 18.Rdg1 Rc5 19.c3 b5?! followed, when, to be fair, White missed a few ways to turn the screws on his opponent before eventually coming good with some deadly accurate moves.

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Soltis with 12 Kb1 Re8 [B78]

To complete our hat-trick of 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Ne5 11.Bb3 Rc8 12.Kb1 games we have Frolyanov - Kalashnikov in which instead of 12...Nc4 or 12...a6, Black opted for 12...Re8. This encouraged the standard 13.h4 h5 14.g4 hxg4 15.h5 Nxh5 16.Bh6 e6 17.Rdg1 Qf6 18.fxg4 Bxh6 19.Qxh6 Qg7 20.Qe3 Nf6 21.g5 Nh5, all of which (plus earlier deviations) has been seen and analysed plenty here on ChessPublishing. However, just when we are used to seeing White play 22 Nb5 in an attempt to exploit the weakness on d6, instead White whipped out 22.Nde2!?:

The clear aim is to remove the h-file blocking knight from h5 via Ng3 or Nf4 and if that aim is achieved then a trebling of White's major pieces on that line would inflict serious pain. Black's attempt at counterplay through 22...a5 was seemingly short-lived after 23.a4 Bc6 (I suggest he needed to continue deflecting White from his own game plan with 23...b5!?) when 24.Ng3 Nxg3 25.Rxg3 Kf8 26.Rgh3 Ke7 27.Rh7 Qf8 28.Qf2 Kd7 was one way traffic enforced by the rude awakening 29.Nd5!

That's all for now, but I'll be back soon! Chris

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