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Yippee everyone!
I got a Dragon!!! Yep they are few and far between these days, partly because I don't play that much and partly because those anticipated Open Sicilians have a mysterious habit of turning into c3 Sicilians or Grand Prix Attacks. Actually it was quite an entertaining one, but that's not where we start this month's update.
No... first up we have...

Download PGN of October '13 Dragon Sicilian games

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Classical Dragon Karpov System 10 Re1 [B70]

In a game from the recent World Junior Championship, Narayanan,SL-Kanarek,M reminds us that we mustn't forget that the Classical variation still exists and not only of that Be3, Qd2 and 0-0-0 (more fun to cover) variety!

So, 6.Be2 Bg7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Bg5 Nc6 9.Nb3 saw White playing the Karpov system, strictly speaking, but following 9...Be6, rather than 10 f4 or 10 Kh1 as Anatoly originally intended, instead 10.Re1 transposed to that variation that was once very trendy and even these days still makes an appearance from time to time:

Pressure against e7 is what White is ultimately after, but Black is the only one that gets any serious pressure in this game.

Yugoslav Attack 9 g4 Be6 10 Nxe6 [B76]

Kicking off our Yugoslav Attack coverage this month we have Szabo,Krisz1-Arngrimsson,D and to be honest it is a refreshing look at the 9.g4 Be6 10.Nxe6 fxe6 line which was all becoming a tad predictable. Actually, though, it transpires that 11.0-0-0 Rc8 12.Kb1 Qa5 13.Bc4 Nd8 is quite an old line:

The game continued 14.Be2 a6 15.a3 Nd7 16.Na2 and although generally I think that Black is fine, here he opted to avoid the trade of queens and went on to suffer.

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

Following the thrills and spills of the British Championship after a long period of not having played any tournaments, I decided that I couldn't allow myself to get that rusty again. Consequently I found myself competing in my first weekend chess congress in years and the round 4 encounter Ciuksyte - Ward saw me get not only a Dragon, but a Yugoslav Attack. Even when I was playing more regularly, I didn't seem to get too many of those as more often than not my opponents seemed to mysteriously favour the quieter lines or suddenly acquire a taste for the Anti-Sicilians!

After 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Qb6 my opponent unleashed the novelty 14.Qe5:

Not a move to be under-estimated, I wouldn't say that I dealt with it in objectively the best way, but my treatment certainly led to an exciting game. The highlight, though, is undoubtedly the wonders that can be achieved with just a queen and knight. All good fun!

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 Pawn Grab [B76]

By 'pawn grab', I am of course referring to the variation 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Nxd5 cxd5 13.Qxd5 Qc7 14.Qc5 where White challenges his opponent to prove that he has enough compensation for the pawn that would most likely prove decisive if an endgame was reached. From here 14...Qb7 15.Qa3 Bf5 16.Ba6 Qc6 17.Bd3 Rab8 18.c3 reaching the position below has all been seen on this site a few times before:

Then 18...Rfc8?! has featured in main games but comments have previously been offered up on 18...Qd5 and 18...Qd7!?. New to this site though is 18...Be6 and in Markovic,Iv-Mladenovic Black certainly appears to obtain adequate action and he soon has his higher rated opponent begging for a draw!

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 10 Kb1 [B76]

There is no way on Earth that I could have avoided the temptation of including Asgarizadeh, A - Kanarek, M in this update as it features a delightful end to the game. The annotation itself includes a current summary of this whole 9.0-0-0 d5 10.Kb1 Nxd4 11.e5 Nf5 12.exf6 exf6 line, but just when you might have been sure that 13.Nxd5 Nxe3 14.Qxe3 Be6 15.Bc4 f5 16.c3 Bxd5 17.Bxd5, as illustrated below, was heading for a draw, something very entertaining happens.

All in all, it seems to me that Black has few worries in this line and if the opponent makes a mistake, then you can't rule out a full point!

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Bd7 Chinese Dragon [B78]

Cynics might suggest that with the last game of this month's update, reality kicks back in! Indeed I must confess that I wasn't enamoured by the concept of including Saric,Iv- Cvitan,O in an update, but it is sort of my duty to report to you the state of play in topical variations and so that is what I have done!

Okay, so after 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rb8 11.Bb3 Na5 12.g4 b5 13.Bh6 Bxh6 14.Qxh6 b4 15.Nd5 Nxb3+ 16.Nxb3 Nxd5 17.exd5, generally we have to date reached the conclusion that 17...Rb6 (flexible in offering up a swinger to the a-file and the ability to recapture with the f7-pawn should ...e5 follow and that pawn be captured) is a bit dodgy. Hence Black has started returning to the immediate 17...e5 which is reliable but after 18.dxe6 Bxe6 not really that much fun. We recently saw how White can pretty much force a draw with 19 h4, but in this month's encounter White tried to prove an edge through 19.Kb1:

The game continues with 19...Bxb3 20.axb3 Rb6 and then goes on and on and on. Oh no, is the Dragon just a draw!?

That's it from me for now, but I will be back real soon.

Best wishes, Chris

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