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Hi everybody!
Thanks again to everyone who writes in. Have had one or two problems recently but I promise that I'll reply to all the mail real soon. In the meantime I hope you enjoy this month's offerings:

Download PGN of October '12 Dragon Sicilian games

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Modern Classical 6 Bc4 [B70]

"Call this an opening position ?", I hear you ask! Well I could have selected a diagram soon after 6 Bc4, but I specifically chose this middlegame position from the game Emms - Whitely because it is quite a common one from this variation. White has just played 17 c3 and the question really is whether or not he should ultimately be able to win that d6-pawn. That is of course the only real weakness in Black's camp and this game may help you decide whether White really has a significant edge. Not a thrilling game, but as it was played on a Wednesday night in the London league, you wouldn't have got to see it anywhere else!

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

If Muzychuk - Cmilyte is anything to go by (and I think it is), then Black continues to fare quite well in this line. We have already seen quite good results for Black in main games after 15 Bc4 and here White employs 15 Nc5 instead and fails to prove an advantage:

Indeed the casual observer will seemingly see Black turning down a repetition although the notes might have an explanation for that that isn't Black is better! That said I quite liked the second player's side of an imbalanced endgame, although all in all a draw was a fair result.

Yugoslav Attack 9 g4 Be6 10 Nxe6 [B76]

A while back I would never have thought that I would be annotating two 9 g4 Yugoslav Attack games, but mirroring how the trend may be changing, that is exactly what has happened in this month's update. As I suggest in the notes to Olszewski - Kanarek, the point is that compared to 9 Bc4 and 9 0-0-0 there is relatively little to learn and what's more White's results after the once maligned 10 Nxe6 are quite good.

Generally it has been considered that 11...Qc8 is less accurate than 11...Ne5 because of the variation 12 h4 Ne5 13 h5!?. In this encounter White instead tries to punish Black's move order with 13 Qe2, but despite White eventually winning, it is an unconvincing victory.

The game Guliyev - Mamedov returns to 11...Ne5, which prompts 12 Be2 after which 12...Qc8 comes next. Previously we have spent a bit of time on this position and, well the key here is the odd looking novelty 16...Rfd8:

Theoretically speaking, it seems to do the trick (assuming Black is happy with a draw) and the only little wrinkle (by way of an improvement) that I can spot is 20 Rdf1!?. I have a feeling that this line is going to remain in the limelight for a while to come.

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Nxd4 10 Bxd4 Be6 [B77]

Well it was Hikaru Nakamura who started this line off and judging by Grischuk - Nakamura, he is persevering with it. I have to say that this line doesn't excite me at all and the way that Black players appear to be accepting an inferior position but with good chances for the draw, make my favourite opening more reminiscent of a Berlin Defence!

In an attempt to go where others haven't been in order to try to prove a significant edge, White turns to the 16 Rc1 illustrated above but it is no great shakes. There is a moment in the endgame that I quite enjoyed, but that aside you'll probably find some more entertaining paint drying elsewhere!

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Chinese Variation [B78]

Hopeful redeeming this month's update (in terms of excitement for Black) is Nolte - Nguyen Duc Hoa. We are talking main line Chinese and after 13 Qxh6, revisiting the debate of 13...e5 14 Nde2 b5 as compared to the more common 13...b5. Again under the microscope is this whole concept of sacrificing the d6-pawn and the good news for Dragon players is that it does continue to stand up under scrutiny.

Thanks for sticking with us.

Best wishes Chris

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