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Gee some of these Accelerated’s do ‘Drag on’ sometimes(!) but so long as you’re not hyper, you’ll enjoy every moment of a 100+ move elite tussle this month! Or maybe not! Either way don’t worry, some Yugoslav Attacks for you too including a trip down memory lane (somewhere in South East London!).
Enjoy (well hopefully)!

Download PGN of October ’23 Dragon Sicilian games

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Hyper-Accelerated Dragon 4.Qxd4 Nf6 5.e5 Nc6 6.Qa4 Nd5 7.Qb3 [B27]

Following 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nf6 5.e5 Nc6 6.Qa4 Nd5, by far the most popular move in practice is 7 Qe4 but the game Lagarde, M - Petursson, M shows that 7.Qb3 carries plenty of sting too:

The Norwegian GM is an experienced Accelerated Dragon player but following 7...Nc7 8.Nc3 Bg7 9.Bf4 Ne6 10.Bg3 Ned4 11.Nxd4 Nxd4 12.Qa4 Nf5?! 13.Bf4 0-0 14.g4 Nh6 15.h3 he was already in a right pickle. The offside black steed is the root of all of the problems and frankly 15...d6 16.0-0-0 Bd7 17.Bb5 Be6 18.Rhe1 a6 19.Bf1 b5 20.Qb4 with what followed too, from a Black perspective made for pretty horrible viewing!

Maroczy Bind 7.Be2 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 Bg7 9.Be3 0-0 10.Qd3 [B36]

After 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 d6 7.Be2 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 Bg7 9.Be3 0-0 although 10 Qd2 remains by far the most played move in practice, actually 10.Qd3 has scored quite well.

From a Black perspective, standard plans are:
1) Razz the a-pawn down to a4 to facilitate a ...Qa5.
2) Park that a-pawn on a5 when in controlling the b4-square, a ...Nd7-c5 manoeuvre is facilitated.
3) Target the c4-pawn through the likes of ...Be6 and ...Rc8.
4) Look to make a ...b5 pawn break.

Well in Erigaisi, A - Sindarov, J Black unashamedly plumped for option 4 through 10...a6 11.0-0 Bd7 12.Bd4 and then, yes you’ve guessed it... 12...b5 Play continued 13.cxb5 axb5 14.Nxb5 Bxb5 15.Qxb5 Nxe4 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.a4 d5 18.a5 Qd6 where I give my comments on this type of imbalanced middlegame in the annotation. Nevertheless it was so good to see the likes of 19.Rfd1 e6 20.Qa4 Qc5 21.Qd4+ Qxd4 22.Rxd4 Rfb8 23.Ra2 Kf6 24.Kf1 Ke5 25.Rda4 Nc5 26.R4a3 Kd6 27.Ke1 Ra7 28.a6 e5 29.Ra5 f5 30.Kd1 Rb4 played out and a right grovel it was for White too!

Maroczy Bind 7.f3 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 Bg7 9.Be3 0-0 10.Qd2 Be6 11.Rc1 a6 12.Be2 b5 [B36]

The game So, W - Dubov, D was a marathon encounter in an unusual variation. Yes typically after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 d6 7.f3 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 Bg7 9.Be3 0-0 10.Qd2 Be6 11.Rc1 we might see 11...Qa5 12 Be2 Rfc8 13 b3 and only then 13...a6 when White most usually chooses between 14 Nd5 or the theoretically more challenging 14 Na4. Whilst a transposition isn’t out of the question following 11...a6, that certainly wasn’t to be with 12.Be2 b5 hitting the board. White accepted the offering through 13.cxb5 axb5 14.Bxb5 when 14...Bxa2 15.Bc6 Ra6 16.Bb5 Ra8 17.Bc6 Ra6 18.Bb7 forced the exchange ‘sac’ 18...Rb6 19.Bxb6 Qxb6 20.Nxa2 Qxb7 If you read the notes to the game you’ll discover that I think Black has some compensation in the case of 21 Nc3 and perhaps the American superstar concurred. Hence he opted for 21.Nb4?! instead:

White wanted to invade with the steed on c6 to paralyse the black position but in fact this allowed the stunning 21...Nxe4!!. Do check the annotation for that but whilst it’s great fun, the same isn’t quite true of the played 21...Qb6 22.Nc6 Re8 23.Qf2 Qb5 24.Qe2 Qb6 25.Qf2 Qb5 26.Qe2 Qb6 27.g3 Nd7 28.b4 Bf6 29.Kf1 Kg7 30.Kg2 Rc8 31.b5 Ra8 32.Rc2! Basically White was the exchange up and in full control but that’s now! Yes the game lasts 118 moves and there are several twists and turns before the end with Black missing various opportunities to share the point. Well either that or he was greedy for the full ;point; I’ll leave you to decide!

Yugoslav Attack 9.0-0-0 d5 10.Kb1 Nxd4 11.e5 Nf5 12.exf6 exf6 [B76]

The game Hrbek, S - Zilka, S felt like a trip down memory lane as 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.Kb1 Nxd4 11.e5 Nf5 12.exf6 hit the board. For those that can remember that far back (or have wisely consulted the archives!) this is where Black has the option of sacrificing his queen through 12...Bxf6 13 Nxd5 Qxd5 14 Qxd5 Nxe3 15 Qd2 Nxd1 16 Qxd1. Good fun but offering the exchange instead through 12...exf6 13.Bc5 d4 is I believe objectively the better way to go.

White is pretty much obliged to accept it with 14.Bxf8 Qxf8 15.Nb5 Ne3 16.Re1 f5 17.Nxd4 f4 tendering Black compensation in the form of a real thorn knight on e3 and an uncontested Dragon bishop. In the annotation I re-check old analysis (fortunately no radical changes to report) and after 18.g3 Qd6 19.Nb3 Qf6 20.Qc1 Bf5 21.Bd3 am impressed with the straightforward 21...Bxd3! 22.cxd3 Qf5 23.Rxe3 fxe3 24.Qxe3 a5! 25.Nd2 Rd8 26.Ne4 Qb5 that left White suffering both now and in the ensuing endgame of 27.d4 Rxd4 28.Nc3 Qf5+ 29.Kc1 Rd8 30.Rd1 Rc8 31.g4 Qe5 32.Qd2 Qc5 33.Kb1 Bxc3 34.bxc3 Qxc3.

Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 e5 13.Bc5 Re8 14.Ne4 Qc7 15.h4 f5 16.Nd6 Rd8 17.Nxc8 Raxc8 18 Bc4 [B76]

d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 e5 13.Bc5 Re8 14.Ne4 Qc7 this whole 15.h4 f5 16.Nd6 Rd8 17.Nxc8 Raxc8 variation is doing my head in. Despite Black having terrible results in the opposite-coloured bishop ending that tends to result after 18 h5 (see the archives), White continues to search for an objectively bigger edge and hence the 18.Bc4 h5 seen in Rosas, J - Elias Reyes,Jorge R. However in this game, White continued a little casually with 19.Kb1 and after Kh7! 20.Qf2 Rb8 21.Bb3 a5 22.a4 Nb4 23.g4 Nd3! Black was already more than fine.

Play continued with 24.Rxd3 Rxd3 25.cxd3 Rxb3 26.gxh5 gxh5 when White really needed to deal with that long diagonal through 27 d4!. He didn’t and following 27.Qc2?! Qf7 28.Rg1 e4 Black was well on top.

Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 e5 13.Bc5 Be6 14.Ne4 Re8 15.h4 Nf4 16.Qc3? [B76]

After 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 Be6 14.Ne4 Re8 15.h4 we have seen how awkward for Black life is if White gets in h4-h5 without provisions being made for it. With that in mind we have spent plenty of airspace here on the h-pawn advances 15...h5 (blocking it outright) and 15...h6 (intending to meet 16 h5 with 16...g5). This month though prompted by games played around the World this month we take a look at the other main alternative 15...Nf4. Black won’t get mated with the queens off but as played in Mikhailovsky, V - Novikov, Ma, 16.Qc3? is not a good way to keep them on!

Admittedly this left a discovered attack on the black queen but no doubt then White was stunned by the clever reply 16...Bh6! The double check on e2 is massive but in trying to deal with his problems via 17.Nd2 Black’s response of 17...e4! 18.fxe4 Bg4! 19.Re1 Nd5 20.Qd4 Qa5! 21.Bc4 Bxd2+ 22.Qxd2 Qxc5 basically left the second player a piece up.

Take care everyone! Chris

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