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Hi everyone!
Once you recover from the shock of a relatively early Dragon update hitting your screen (and I'm aiming to get better!), you will note that I also start things off rather calmly. Indeed, I thought this month I'd take a little look at what was happening in the Accelerated Dragon department. Specifically, a nuance in the Hyper-Accelerated Dragon, and a lost tempo that doesn't seem to matter in a Maroczy Bind. Following those is a Dragadorf, but don't worry, then it's back to Yugoslav Attack territory and a couple of interesting (sort of) novelties! Okay, without further ado:

Download PGN of September '13 Dragon Sicilian games

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Hyper-Accelerated Dragon [B27]

1.Nf3 g6 2.e4 c5 started off as a Reti, could maybe have been a Pirc or a King's Indian but is now a Hyper-Accelerated Dragon. We have seen 3.c3 Bg7 4.d4 cxd4 5.cxd4 d5 6.e5 a few times before but with 6...Nc6 and 6...Bg4. In Slipak, S - Felgaer, R though we see the flexible 6...Nh6:

when although transpositions are very possible, 7.Nc3 0-0 8.h3 Nc6 9.Be2 f6 was new for the site.

Accelerated Dragon Maroczy Bind Classical Variation [B38]

The game Svetushkin, D - Iturrizaga, E began 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Nc3 0-0 8.Be2 d6 9.0-0 Bd7 when White decided to side-step the ...Nxd4 and ...Bc6 lines with 10.Nc2:

Nothing unusual about that, but then Black's response of 10...Be6 raises an obvious question about how Black can justify moving his bishop twice in succession, particularly as in the lines where White adopts an earlier Nc2, Black can get in ...Be6 in one turn. Indeed, many sources recommend an earlier Nc2 for White or then a swift ...Nxd4 for Black if White's knight isn't retreated. The over 2600 rated Iturriziga isn't worried by all this, and has kept faith with 10...Be6, and with pretty good results.

Accelerated Dragadorf [B75]

The game Groszpeter, A - Fernandez, Dan was an Accelerated Dragadorf as after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 a6 7.f3 Nbd7 8.Qd2 Black has elected to leave his Dragon bishop at home. Here he continued that theme with 8...Qc7 (illustrated below):

seemingly deliberately avoiding the well analysed 8...b5 9 a4. Indeed 9.Be2 b5 10.a4 was then subtly different although after 10...b4 11.Na2 e5 12.Nb3 Black ended up in trouble following 12...a5. Instead, as recommended in the notes, he could consider breaking in the centre with ...d5 although certainly White has the option of deviating first with 9 0-0-0 or 9 g4.

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 10 exd5 with 12...e5 13 Bc5 Rb8 [B76]

Though not new to this site, the concept of the rare 13...Rb8 (seen below) in Quesada Perez,Yu -Corrales Jimenez,F after the standard 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 e5 13.Bc5, is an exciting one. Black appears unconcerned by mounting pressure on d5 and instead focuses on his b-file action:

A couple of years ago we saw GM Ray Robson whip up some excellent play after White took the on offer pawn, but in this game the first player isn't so greedy! White continued with 14.Bc4, when, unfortunately, it looks as though this line will be of less independent significance with 14...Be6 most likely returning to well-trodden paths after 15 Ne4. Instead Black was tempted by 14...e4 which, despite initial tactics on offer, appears to offer White a choice of favourable (though by no means necessarily winning) endgames. Possibly, then, a worthwhile surprise weapon for Black, but whilst objectively not necessarily lost, against good play, not much fun!

Yugoslav Attack 9 0-0-0 d5 10 exd5 with 12...Bxd4 [B76]

Well these days it does seem that after 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4, instead of 12...e5 the main line is 12...Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Qb6 14.Na4 when the only question is whether Black provokes 15 b3 with 14...Qa5 first or plays 14...Qc7 immediately. It was the latter that was the case in the recent Kovacevic, A - Ristic, Nen. However, although it is typically 15.Nc5 or 15.Bc4 that occurs then, instead we got the illustrated below 15.h4:

Comparing this with those well analysed alternatives, I guess it is not surprising that one line of thought for White might be instead; 'let's not hang about!'. Indeed the h-pawn thrust may signal an intention for an attack, but of course that would actually translate to more of a structural advantage if after h4-h5xg6, Black is forced to recapture the his f-pawn to avoid getting mated.

It certainly seems a reasonable idea for White, although with deviations possible for Black too, the game continuation probably wasn't too bad for the second player until he made a serious miscalculation.

Yugoslav Attack 9 Bc4 with 11...Nxd4 [B78]

We see something quite interesting in the game Stukopin, A - Blechzin, I. Yes, after 10.0-0-0 Rc8 11.Bb3 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 b5 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.exd5 a5 15.Bxg7 Kxg7 16.a3, just when the pawn sacrifice 16...b4 has become pretty automatic (well barring the occasional outing with 16...Kg8), instead we see the provocative looking 16...Bf5 (as illustrated below):

Although this was only a rapidplay game, in fact it seems that 17.g4 a4 has been seen before. Indeed, I would even go so far as saying that this line has snuck under the radar because it has been played a couple of times before by the same strong player. Again, a pawn sacrifice, and it is a deceptive one. Upon first viewing it is difficult to believe that Black can have enough, but on closer inspection... well so far not so bad!

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

Best wishes, Chris

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