ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
Hello everyone!
I won't say Merry Xmas, because I'm expecting to be back before then, but I do hope that this update serves as an early present! Some interesting new (at least to the site) ideas in the normal Dragon, and Dragadorf, but first we kick off with a defeat for an expert of the Accelerated Variant:

Download PGN of November '13 Dragon Sicilian games

>> Previous Update >>

Accelerated Dragon Maroczy Bind [B36]

As Sergei Tiviakov is one of the World's leading exponents of the Accelerated Dragon, I could hardly ignore the recent encounter Smeets, J - Tiviakov, S. After 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Nxd4 7.Qxd4 d6 8.Be3 Bg7 9.f3 Be6 10.Rc1 0-0 11.Qd2 Qa5 12.b3, we reached a standard position:

Here 12...Rfc8 is normal. Instead Black tried an immediate 12...a6 but although playing for ...b5 is a standard plan, here with the b6-square weakened, following 13.Nd5 Qd8 14.Bb6 Qd7 15.Be2 Bxd5 16.cxd5 Rfc8 17.0-0 he had obviously landed an inferior position. Tiviakov is still typically difficult to beat in such positions, but it seems on this day he didn't fancy toiling and consequently went down in uncharacteristic fashion.

Classical Dragon 6 Be3 Bg6 7 h3 [B72]

In the encounter Popilski, G - Jobava, Ba I'm not even entirely sure whether after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.h3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.g4 White was being aggressive or simply looking for a more space gaining method of fianchettoing his king's bishop:

Either way Black's treatment was the same in the form of the thematic 9...d5! We are talking two very strong players here representing their countries in the European team championship. An offbeat variation unlikely to be seen again on ChessPublishing as White got horribly flattened, and very quickly.

Dragadorf [B75]

By now we are all familiar with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 a6 but after 8.Qd2, in Areshchenko, A - Jobava, Ba, rather than commit his b-pawn to b5 and allow White to get all positional with 9 a4, White employed 9...h5 instead:

This is an interesting move with a few ideas behind it:
1) The bishop trade Bh6 is prevented.
2) White is prevented from launching his standard kingside initiative of g2-g4.
3) Black doesn't commit himself to the ...b5 that as just mentioned, offers White the chance to deploy the queenside challenging a2-a4.

The obvious downside is that now Black is a little tender around f7 and g6 which could prove awkward if White arranges f3-f4-f5 or e4-e5-e6. White didn't manage to in this game and it is Black that gets in an ultimately decisive tactic.

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 10 Qe1 [B76]

Here on ChessPublishing we are familiar with the variation 9.0-0-0 d5 10.Qe1 e5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.exd5 Nxd5 but in Kozionov, K - Dolzhikova, K rather than the typical 13 Bc4 Be6 14 Ne4, White came out with the rare 13.Bb5 (illustrated below):

Black has an option to sac a pawn there but opted not to with 13...Bb7. Presumably then White had achieved his aim of forcing his opponent to misplace his light-squared bishop. Indeed 14.Bc4 Qe7 15.Ne4 Rfd8 16.Bc5 Qc7 17.h4 felt a bit better for White. Certainly White does have some interesting possibilities in the game, but instead things go spectacularly wrong as when Black comes to life, he is ruthless.

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

You may recall that last month I annotated a game of my own in which after 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Qb6, my opponent thought for a while and then came up with 14 Qe5. I was of course familiar with 14 Na4, but whilst sitting there waiting for my opponent to move, I wondered about the possibility of 14.Nxd5 cxd5 15.Qxd5:

Lo and behold, what should come up this month but exactly that in the game Baramidze, D - Jones, G. Of course, when I checked the archives, I noticed that I had previously annotated a game with this greedy White idea. That time Black opted to go in for scrutinising the c2-pawn with 15...Bf5, but as illustrated below, here Gawain chose to put the question straight to the white queen with 15...Be6.

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

Following 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rc8 11.Bb3 Ne5, Ruiz Aguilar, P - Gonzalez, Be is the second time that we have seen the illustrated below 12.Bg5 on this site:

but the first time that Black has responded 12...Nc4 13.Bxc4 Rxc4 which invited the complications of 14.e5. An interesting imbalance ultimately occurs of rook and knight for two bishops and pawn, and although White converts that slight material advantage here, I remain unconvinced that that should really be case. Plus of course Black is far from forced to enter such lines, all in all making this line a prime candidate for future investigation!

The London Chess Classic is up soon. Here's hoping we might see some Dragon action there!

Best wishes, Chris

>> Previous Update >>

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