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Hi everyone!
I didn't notice any supersonic GM encounters in the last few weeks but Tiviakov was in the Dragon arena again and this month's update features its fair share of 2500 and 2600 players.

Download PGN of January '09 Dragon Sicilian games

We kick off the action in the Classical Dragon which intriguingly Sergei preferred when trying to defeat the Dragon as White:

Tiviakov - Gaponenko: It's an old school variation and although I don't like the way Black plays, there was nearly a shock twist at the end.

Then we move on to the Accelerated Dragons with

Gajewski - Macieja heralding a debut appearance (on this site) for 8 c5 in the Maroczy Bind:

Can White really hope to get an advantage this way? Well he can, but not if Black knows what he is doing!

Guliyev - Loetscher is more in the Semi-Accelerated mould and I think that Guliyev's 12 Qe2!? needs to be taken seriously:

Now to the Yugoslav Attack and...

Solodovnichenko - Premnath ticks all the right 'thematic White tactical hit' boxes in this ...Qa5 variation but I still don't buy into 15 Qe1:

Tan - Papp is the second time that 13 Rdg1 in the 'Soltis' variation has appeared here:

This relative side line is not to be under-estimated and hopefully Black will have learnt from this amusing (but not for him!) encounter.

Simacek - Kashlinskaya offered me a good opportunity to revisit the queen for rook and bishop 'sac' in the 9 0-0-0 d5 10 Kb1 variation. This is a great game by Black and may well buck the trend of recent results that have been in White's favour.

Hope you are all well.

Cheers, Chris

To get in touch with me, either leave a message for me on the Dragons Forum, or email me at Chris (for subscribers only!)