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Hi everyone,
In contrast to the last, definitely some higher level tussles this month as normal service is resumed and we see all the key variations being tackled. Pretty entertaining stuff with results being okay for Black as is reflected in the following offerings:

Download PGN of May ’16 Dragon Sicilian games

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Dragadorf with ...h5 [B75]

Regards 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 a6 8.Qd2 h5, actually this isn't an unappealing system for the less theoretically minded (if there is such a thing!) Dragon player to want to deploy. Black has already signalled his intention to want to expand on the queenside but the text stakes a claim on the kingside too. Specifically, Black prevents g2-g4 and the Bh6 that would have sought to remove the Dragon bishop.

The recent Swathi - Can now saw 9.0-0-0 Nbd7 when I call into question 10.Bg5 (the 3rd most popular move here) and suggest that after 10...Qc7 11.Be2 b5 12.Rhe1 Bb7 13.Nb3 Rc8 14.Kb1 White has done a lot of posturing but is yet to get to the point:

Certainly 14...Nb6! was most satisfactory for Black who was clearly on top after the desperate 15.f4?! Nh7!? 16.e5 dxe5 17.Bxb5+ axb5 18.Nxb5.

Yugoslav Attack 9 g4 Be6 10 Nxe6 [B76]

6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.g4 Be6 10.Nxe6 fxe6 continues to appear regularly in tournament play, when after 11.0-0-0 Ne5 12.Be2, justifiably or not, 12...Qc8, flexibly defending the weak e6-pawn and adding control to the c4-square, remains the most popular black response.

We have seen 13.h4 Nfd7 14.h5 Nc4 15.Bxc4 Qxc4 16.hxg6 hxg6 17.f4 before on ChessPublishing and the conclusion is that Black's next move is forced.

Yes in view of the likes of e4-e5 he must go with 17...Bxc3 when, in Braeuer - Fedorovsky, the recapture 18.Qxc3 looks inferior, as the game continuation of 18...Qxc3 19.bxc3 Nf6 20.Bd4 Nxe4 21.Rde1 d5 left White with insufficient compensation and destined to suffer.

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 with 12...e5 [B76]

In Dubrovin - Mikhalevski we saw the old main line of 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 e5 13.Bc5 Be6 14.Ne4 Re8, and then White deploying the 4th most popular choice of 15.c4:

Those that have followed this old variation in the past and are aware of associated tactics will know that 15...Qc7 is a very possible reply, but, frankly, the selected 15...Nb6 seems as good if not better. Certainly Black doesn't have to worry about avoiding repetitions (via Bd6-c5) and after 16.Qf2 Nd7 17.h4 Qa5 Black was already on the offensive. There is a lovely positional pawn offering in 18.Ba3 Nf6 19.Nxf6+ Bxf6 20.Bd3 Rab8 21.g4 e4! 22.fxe4 Be5 and later in the game my colleague makes an excellent (if not totally necessary!) rook sac that all in all makes the game great viewing.

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

If you followed my notes to the second game in this month's update then you may well reach the conclusion that I chose the wrong Gawain Jones game to annotate, although like it or lump it Akopian - Jones is more theoretically important and probably more correct. It does pain me to say that though, as basically through 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Qb6 14.Na4 Qa5 15.b3 Be6 16.Qe5 Qb4 17.c4 Nf6 18.Bd3 we reach a standard scenario in which Black has those queenside isolanis and if he is to avoid defeat, needs to either generate significant counterplay, or dig deep and grovel a draw in the endgame.

Specifically, here Jones came up with the novelty 18...Nd7:

but 19.Qc3 Qa3+ 20.Qb2 Qb4 21.h4 indicates that it was White pushing for the full point. Black needed to budge that knight from a4 to get any real queenside play, although with 21...Nc5 22.Nxc5 Qxc5 23.h5 Rad8 24.hxg6 fxg6 25.Be4 Bf5 26.Bxf5 Qxf5 27.Rhe1 it was more the latter of my scenarios. Not much fun (although by way of entertainment, at least this encounter features an under-promotion!), but a draw with Black is a good result; right?

Yugoslav Attack Soltis Variation With Kb1 and ...a6 [B78]

Regards 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rc8 11.Bb3 Ne5 12.Kb1 a6 13.h4 h5 it always seems to blow my mind making comparisons with the old Soltis main lines regards the inclusions of Kb1 and either ...a6 (as here) or ...Re8. Actually, that task was less laborious in the case of 14.Bg5 Nc4 when I have previously already considered 15 Bxc4 and 15 Qe2. Jens - Pijpers, though, was a first outing with 15.Qd3:

Given that White's dark-squared bishop had already moved to g5, as the black knight wasn't actually forking two serious pieces, it was I guess quite logical to, for now at least, preserve the light-squared bishop (previously we had investigated the immediate bishop for knight trade and White's attempts to blast through the centre). Nevertheless, the inclusion of ...a6 proves rather useful for 15...b5 and after 16.Nd5 Nxd5 17.exd5 Ne5 18.Qe2 a5! 19.a3 Qb6 it was pretty amazing how bad White's position managed to get so quickly.

A lovely Dragon game for Black to play, and most certainly nice work if you can get it!

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 with 11...Nxd4 [B78]

It's such a shame as Zilka - Cernousek was so nearly an absolute masterpiece. We are talking the variation 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rc8 11.Bb3 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 b5 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.exd5 a5 16.a3 Kg8, when after 17.h4 Black made the standard pawn offering 17...b4 18.axb4 axb4 19.Qxb4, and then continued dynamically with 19...Rb8 20.Qc3 Qb6 21.Qd4 Qa5 22.Bc4 Rfc8 23.b3 Bf5. Then, with 24.g4 White called Black's bluff:

And guess what? That's right, it wasn't a bluff after all as 24...Bxc2!! hit the board, and well, I won't ruin the rest of it. Great stuff bar the very end!

That's all for now I'm afraid. Back soon! Chris

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