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Dear subscribers,
We start this month with a game of Gawain's that he will definitely be disappointed with, but then there is soon a switch of emphasis to the 9 Bc4 Yugoslav Attack and included with that, the nagging thought that we might possibly see a resurgence of the old ...Qa5 variation. Not too much justification behind that statement given that actually there is a Soltis and 2 Chinese Variations, but...

Download PGN of October '14 Dragon Sicilian games

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Classical System with long castles [B72]

The moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Be2 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 looked set to be standard Classical System up until White opts to 'go long' instead of 'short', with 9.0-0-0 making it more like a Yugoslav Attack but with Be2 instead of f2-f3. Previously on the site we have discussed in detail the pros and cons of this concept but in the annotation to Paehtz - Jones we cut to the main action and the challenging 9...Ng4. Following 10.Bxg4 Bxg4 11.f3, Gawain opts for the retreat 11...Bd7 when it is only after 12.Nxc6 bxc6 13.Bh6 that the site witnesses a new move. Yes, instead of trading bishops, Jones allows his opponent to do that herself and immediately whips out the very reasonable looking 13...Qa5:

Theoretically this all looks fine for Black who was making all the running in this encounter. My apologies to Elizabeth who took a big scalp but I've implied didn't really show much ambition throughout this game. Nevertheless if the idea was to frustrate, then she did a good job because ultimately the ChessPublishing contributor overplayed his hand (no puns intended given it was a poker stars event!).

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 with 12 Bd4 e5 [B76]

In the game Anilkumar - Fraser, I broke with tradition by incorporating three different variations, but my main argument is that this encounter isn't about theory. I wanted to include something in this update for our not quite so highly rated subscribers(!) and this annotation certainly had that base covered as the British U-12 champion had three Dragon games in the same event. Sins are committed in each of the three references and the main game sees greed punished as for the first time in a main game, following 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 e5 13.Bc5 Be6 we see White grab the offered exchange with 14.Bxf8?:

It's always been implied that taking the rook isn't wise, but this relative miniature is a model example of why.

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Soltis Variation 13 g4 [B78]

Though once upon a time the main line in the 9 Bc4 Yugoslav Attack, these days it's rare to get a standard Soltis variation. Indeed regular subscribers will know that when h4 and ...h5 does feature, it tends to be when White has played Kb1 and Black has chosen between the likes of ...a6 or ...Re8 as useful 'waiting moves'. Yes, those such encounters were rife for a while but Milenkovic - Mladenovic returns to the variation's roots. Though I guess the direct approach, actually after 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.Bb3 Rc8 11.0-0-0 Ne5 12.h4 h5, this is the first time that 13.g4 has appeared in a main game on this site:

Black clearly knows his stuff and confidently accepts White's offerings, responding with 13...hxg4 14.h5 Nxh5 15.Rdg1 Qa5! 16.Bh6 Rxc3! Viewing this game leads me to the conclusion that this line is probably just a bag of tricks and White is definitely better off sticking to the likes of 13 Bh6 and 13 Bg5.

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Chinese Variation 12 g4 [B78]

I have two Chinese Dragon games for you this month and both feature the Russian IM Eduard Kanter as Black. The second is something a little different but (the first) Demchenko - Kanter revisits a line that we have investigated quite a lot on ChessPublishing already. Specifically, I am talking 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 Rb6 18.h4 e5 19.Nd2 Ra6 20.Ne4:

and this variation highlights just how far the theory of this 10...Rb8 system has developed. Good new or bad news, you decide, but it looks like it's just a draw!

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Chinese Variation 11 Rhe1 [B78]

The second of our Chinese variation games this month sees Savchenko - Kanter feature the novelty 11 Rhe1. Illustrated below, we have previously investigated no fewer than seven different 11th move alternatives, few of which like this, outwardly appear to adopt the positional approach!

You will however note that after 11...Ne5 12.Bf1, although Black plays 12...Qc8 to seemingly facilitate ...Nc4, I speculate about the alternative 12...b5 that I suspect White was trying to dissuade. My early comments are that "As it happens, this game does actually turn out quite exciting but my initial thoughts on this position included the fact that if White is abandoning a swift h-file attack, then Black doesn't need to be in the hurry that he usually does. Hence slow ...a6, ...b5 type moves do now come into consideration".

Definitely worth a viewing, you will see how things liven up after 13.Bh6 Bxh6 14.Qxh6 Qc5 15.h4 Rbc8 16.Kb1 Be6 17.h5 Nxh5 18.g4 Nf6 19.Be2. Yep, the rook craftily returns to h1 and just as we like it, tactics abound!

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 with ...Qa5 [B79]

Gee, it's been a long time since I analysed a game in the good old ...Qa5 variation, but being my old favourite line, how could I resist including this encounter when I noticed it crop up. So, after 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Qa5, in Solovjov - Stets White opts for the h4 and g4 system (illustrated below):

Play continued with 13...b5 14.h5 b4 when White chose to plant his knight on d5. Such is my memory these days that I had to re-acquaint myself with the theory and I discovered that in truth this game, interesting though it is, offers us little new. Black is fine here and 15 Nce2 is more challenging.

Right, that's it from me for now. Back real soon.

Best Wishes, Chris

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