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Hi again everyone,
A little bit of everything this month with a look at old and new lines, the Accelerated Dragon and Dragadorf, Yugoslav Attacks, passive play and fireworks. What are we waiting for? Let’s get stuck in!

Download PGN of October ’16 Dragon Sicilian games

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Accelerated Dragon Maroczy Bind [B38]

Admittedly the annotation to Rohrer, F - Ward, C smacks of me punishing myself for an encounter that never otherwise making it to any database, I could just as easily sweep under the carpet! There is also a bit of an anti-climax regards the finish to the game but that aside I thought that it had some interesting themes that might be of some interest.

You will note how after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4, I eschewed a standard Dragon via 4...Nf6 5 Nc3 d6 in a quest to provide more material for you guys in Negi’s 8...Re8!? variation but then ended up facing a Maroczy Bind after 4...Bg7 5.c4 Nc6 6.Be3. From there though the move order was unusual and after 6...Nf6 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 I decided to be a little creative and avoid returning to main lines through 8...e6!?:

My idea was pretty clear and after 9.Nc3 d5 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.0-0-0 Qc7 12.e5 Nd7 13.f4 Rb8 14.h4 f6! I had implemented it with success as it’s not so often that Black gets an edge so early in this opening. Complete with some interesting discussions on move order and psychology in the game (don’t expect too much there!), this encounter is far from a disaster but I shall definitely be playing the board rather than the man next time!

Dragadorf with ...h5 [B75]

After 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 a6 8.Qd2 the move 8...h5 has proven to be an interesting little concept as Black takes Bh6 out of the equation for now whilst simultaneously inhibiting a few of White’s potential kingside expansion plans. Previously, amongst other responses we have seen 9 0-0-0 b5 10 Nd5 but here Black discovered why 9.Nd5!? isn’t going to transpose!

In the annotation I discuss Black’s alternatives but seemingly on autopilot Black bashed out 9...b5? and consequently suffered a rude awakening after 10.Nxb5! axb5 11.Bb6 Qd7 12.Bxb5. Black tried to wiggle his way out in Smirin, I - Azimov, I but his highly rated opponent never looked like letting him off the hook!

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 Nxd4 [B76]

You may recall from last month that I have promised a subscriber to review this system and after 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Be6 11.Kb1 Qc7 12.h4 Rfc8 13.h5 Qa5 14.hxg6 hxg6 15.a3 Rab8 16.Bd3, just as I was about to put the move 16...b5?! To bed in view of the annoying b-pawn pin 17.Qg5! the game Wang Hao - Rakesh, K suddenly appeared where Black tried the counter-interference 17...d5:

Black’s idea is to get in ...b4 at any cost but alas rather than mate, the result was an endgame through 18.exd5 b4 19.Ne4 Qxd5 20.Nxf6+ exf6 21.Qxd5 Bxd5 22.Bxa7. White was careful to avoid Black’s tricks but I guess you would expect that of a 2700+ player!

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 10 Qe1 with 14 Kb1 Re8 [B76]

It now definitely seems that after 9.0-0-0 d5 White is turning to 10.Qe1 to seek an edge, and specifically it is now 10...e5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.exd5 Nxd5 13.Bc4 Be6 14.Kb1 that is under the spotlight. Recently, and again in this update, we have been investigating 14...Rb8 but in Leko, P - Trent, L Black tries the almost as popular 14...Re8:

It was nice to see the English IM manager of Fabiano Caruana making what was described as a ‘comeback’ (following retirement from the game!) but after some good play, albeit against an ultra-strong opponent, he will be disappointed with the manner of this defeat. I have much to say in the notes but I think we can all agree that 15.Ne4 Qc7 16.Bc5 h6 17.g4 Nf4 18.Bd6 Qb6 19.Bxe6 Rxe6 20.Bc5 Qb5 21.b3 Ree8 22.h4 Qe2 23.Qxe2 Nxe2 24.g5 h5 25.Rd6 a5 26.Rxc6, obtaining a grim endgame, is not what the Dragon is all about!

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 10 Qe1 with 14 Kb1 Rb8 [B76]

Once more, regarding 9.0-0-0 d5 10.Qe1 e5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.exd5 Nxd5 13.Bc4 Be6 14.Kb1, it was only a couple of months ago that the possible variation 14...Rb8 15.Ne4 f5 16.Bxa7 was drawn to our attention by an enthusiastic and industrious forum member:

Specifically there it was 16....Qe7 that was the focus of investigations. You may recall much fun and games there but in Ganguly, S - Cuenca Jimenez, J Black opts for 16...Ra8 instead but I’m really not keen on his position after 17.Bc5 Rf7 18.Bb3 fxe4 19.fxe4 Rd7 20.exd5 Bxd5?! That just feels wrong to me although you will see that there are plenty of inaccuracies in this strong GM encounter.

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 Soltis with Kb1 and ...Re8 [B78]

I guess it’s not so theoretically important but the game Ghvamberia, N - Beradze, I immediately caught my eye for obvious reasons.

After 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Ne5 11.Bb3 Rc8 12.Kb1 Re8 13.h4 h5 White opted for the more positional 14.Bg5 but rather than the more standard 14...Rc5, Black went straight for 14...Nc4 15.Bxc4 Rxc4. This of course threatens ...Nxe4 and so White dealt with that with 16.Rhe1 when the flexible 16...Qb8!? prepared a b-pawn advance and facilitated the doubling of rooks on the c-file. In 17.Nb3 Be6 18.Ne2 Rec8 19.c3 b5 20.Rc1?! White’s play was a tad passive but he probably felt didn’t deserve 20...Ra4! 21.Nf4 Bc4 22.Rc2 Rxa2!!:

I’m not going to ruin the rest for you, but I enjoyed it so check it out!

Happy Halloween! Chris

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