Beware 13. Rdg1!

Beware 13. Rdg1!

spassky
spassky
Dec 13, 2009, 12:00 AM |
15 | Opening Theory

As I noted in the previous article, "No Fire From This Dragon", English GM Jonathan Mestel recalls receiving a telegram from the British Chess Federation at the World Student Chess Olympiad in Mexico City in August of 1977 that read  "Miles says beware of American analysis of 13. Rdg1."  He said he had not the slightest doubt as to which position the telegram referred.  It was the Soltis Variation of the Yugoslav Attack vs. the Dragon Variation of the Sicilian Defense.
In the following two games, White gets to try two different followups to 13. Rdg1 against the same opponent two years apart.  Black helpfully duplicates his moves up to move 16, at which point White tries two different continuations.  In the first game, the rook on g1 plays no factor in the attack due to the way Black played, but sometimes I think the move may influence the way Black plays.  Just as some police never use their gun in 20 years, criminals may give up just by knowing that it could be used on them.  Similarly, Black may allow the h-file to be opened just to keep the more sensitive g-file closed.

In the second game, I try a suggestion that I saw in the notes to another move in a book on the Soltis Variation.  It really unleashes the rooks on g1 and h1.

So while I can't claim that 13. Rdg1 is the winning move against the Soltis Variation, it does create certain opportunities for White not available to him in other lines.  And if White is familiar with these motifs and Black is not, they can form a potent surprise to the unprepared Dragon player.
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