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Hello people!
Plenty of top level Dragon clashes for you this month:

Download PGN of September '09 Dragon Sicilian games

Karjakin - Shirov: is the trendy ...Nxd4 Bxd4 with ...b5 system. I had previously wondered about delaying the pawn offering 16...b4 and indeed here Alexei uncorks 16...Kg8:

with initial thoughts being that it could be a good idea.

Wang Puchen-Smerdon: Staying with the 9 Bc4 Yugoslav and we have a main line Soltis only with 16...Nc6!? instead of the more standard and generally considered critical 16...Nc4.

Vachier Lagrave-Kasimdzhanov: It's the Forum's favourite variation and we finally get a practical outing with the much speculated on 17...g3:

Alekseev - Caruana: Moving over to 9 0-0-0 and this heavyweight clash is an excuse to summarise any theoretical changes in the 12...Nxc3 alternative to 12...e5 in this position:

It might not always be fun but results-wise Black continues to hold his own.

Szabo - Odendahl: The delayed castles system here seen after 8 Qd2 Bd7 9 0-0-0 h5 has provided some new ideas for Black and tendered some good results:

However, this game does serve as a warning to Black that if he is too casual he can easily get punished through the middle of the board.

Nakamura - Ljubojevic: Finally away from a Yugoslav Attack and here we have a 7 Bc4 Accelerated Dragon with the tricky 7...Qa5 turning out even trickier than I'm sure the talented young American would have wanted!

Hope you are all well. Best wishes.

Chris (and Gawain!)

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