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Hello dear subscribers!
A slightly lean last 3 weeks in the Yugoslav Attack and so I have taken the opportunity to focus on other areas of the site, namely the Hyper-Accelerated Dragon and Dragadorf variants. Regards the former, 1.Nf3 g6 2.e4 c5 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 is an intriguing move order as it starts as a Reti where Black offers a King's Indian but White suggests he would rather face a Modern or Pirc and the compromise is a Sicilian! Specifically of course a Hyper-Accelerated Dragon after 3...cxd4 4 Qxd4 and I have noticed that there has been small influx of games with 5 Bb5 (i.e. after 4...Nf6). Consequently this month following 5...Nc6 6 Bxc6 I have covered the two available recaptures.

Download PGN of May '14 Dragon Sicilian games

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Hyper Accelerated Dragon 5.Bb5 Nc6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 [B27]

The first of those is with 6...dxc6, which may appear the more boring as it encourages an early queen trade:

Personally, and speaking from experience, I think that 7.Qxd8+ Kxd8 is fine for Black and actually Petrosian, S - Smith, Ax supports my argument. The black king is inconvenienced but his position holds much potential because of the bishop pair. In this game White sacs a pawn to try to expose Black's lack of development but there is never really more than enough play for a draw and through inaccuracy, White doesn't even get that.

Hyper Accelerated Dragon 5.Bb5 Nc6 6.Bxc6 bxc6 [B27]

The b-pawn recapture would appeal more to the neutral and the game Ackermann,Ha-Danin,A really does show how such middlegames can go either way. Following 7.e5 Nd5, in the past we have highlighted how deceptive the tempting discovered attack e5-e6 can be and it seems that is true of 8.c4 Nc7 9.e6(?!) as well:

Yes after 9...f6 10.exd7+ Qxd7, ultimately it would appear that Black's bishop pair and potential for expansion on the kingside outweighs his queenside structural weaknesses. White is probably better off keeping the pawn on e5 and falling back on plans involving Qh4.

Accelerated Dragadorf 7...Nbd7 [B75]

These days it seems that there are so many permutations of moves being trotted out in the different Dragadorf variants. The game Varga,Zo-Fernandez,Dan, for example, is an Accelerated Dragadorf but after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f3 a6 7.Be3, Black, who has obviously not gone through with the fianchetto yet (hence the term 'Accelerated') now also eschews ...b5 in favour of 7...Nbd7 and then after 8.Qd2 continues with 8...Qc7 (see below).

Of course, the latter two moves are characteristic of a Najdorf but perhaps ...b5 is now being viewed by many as premature because of the obvious a2-a4 plan that White is handed on a plate. This encounter carried on with 9.g4 h6 10.Be2 Bg7 11.h4 b5 12.h5 gxh5 13.Nf5 Bf8 when my immediate thoughts were that if I have had a hand in the production of this opening, then I have helped create a monster!

Dragadorf with an early...h5 [B75]

Another game that it has to said doesn't feel particularly 'Dragon like' is Navara, D - Kislinsky, A I suppose it was a Dragon up to 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 and then Black whipped out 7...h5. Unusual, but fair enough in eliminating a future Bh6 and holding up g2-g4. Following 8.Qd2 a6 I would say it was a Dragadorf again (only with ...h5 instead of ...b5) but after 9.Be2 Nbd7 White decides that if he can't challenge Black's queenside expansion, then he is going to put a stop to it with 10.a4:

Roll the game on a few moves with 10...b6 11.Nd5 Bb7 12.c4 e6 13.Nxf6+ Bxf6 14.0-0 and suddenly we had a 'Hedgehog' type position the likes of which typically comes from a Symmetrical English. A Maroczy Bind, of course, but I'm not sure about the presence of that pawn on h5!?

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Bd7 10 0-0-0 Rc8 with ...Nxd4 [B78]

Here the ...Nxd4 in question of course appears after 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rc8 11.Bb3 i.e. 11...Nxd4 when 12.Bxd4 b5 13.h4 a5 14.h5 a4 has received quite a bit of air time on ChessPublishing:

Most recently that would be in the entertaining Polgar-Jones clash that I was also commentating live on at the London Chess Classic. In that game after 15 Bxf6, Gawain utilised an idea that we had uncovered here with 15...Bxf6 and got a superb result (well worth checking out if you hadn't already). I don't know whether White has an improvement on that game up his sleeve or if Black wasn't familiar with it but in Feygin - Carbonnel Black reverted to the old 15...exf6 instead. This too seems to me to be okay for Black, but that wasn't the way things turned out as he blundered in a way that everyone can learn from.

18 g4 may have scored great results for White in practice but I think now that we have discovered the path to equality. Only time will tell!

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Bd7 10 0-0-0 Rc8 with ...Nxd4 [B78]

I have to say that I got a real shock when I saw the game Ortiz Suarez,I-Ibarra Chami,L. It was of course the same variation, only after 13.h4 a5, rather than immediately persevering with his h-file attack, White took time out to safeguard his bishop by advancing his a-pawn. That doesn't sound too strange until you see that it wasn't 14 a3 that was employed but rather 14.a4?!:

In annotation notes in the past I have pointed out that this is a mistake because of 14...bxa4 15 Nxa4 Bxa4 16 Bxa4 Rc4! And if 17 Bb3 then 17...Nxe4! However here White deviated from that through 15.Ba2. We are talking a 2600+ player here, so naturally one has to consider that it might be home preparation, but, frankly I'd have to say if so, not of the good variety! Black has little trouble obtaining a draw, but he should be trying for more.

That's it for now guys!

See you soon. Chris

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