No Fire From This Dragon

No Fire From This Dragon

spassky
Dec 9, 2009, 12:00 AM |
16 | Opening Theory

The Dragon Variation of the Sicilian Defense has always been considered an enterprising, adventurous opening for Black.  The Yugoslav Attack vs. the Dragon has always been considered the "acid test" of the variation and is one of the most heavily analyzed openings in chess, with entire books devoted to popular subvariations.  This game follows main line theory until White's little-played 13th move.  Black's response is not quite energetic enough and gives White the initiative, which, as is typical for this opening, proves fatal.

The Soltis Variation of the Dragon Sicilian (12. h4 h5) is often a tough nut to crack, so White needs to have a few tricks up his sleeve to get the job done.  In this game, 13. Rdg1 worked like a charm, not because it is objectively best in that position, but because Black did not respond to the move well and played moves designed to combat the main line move 13. Bg5.  This just goes to show that sometimes just a slight deviation from the norm is enough to throw some players off of their game and swing the balance in your favor.  It's a lot like a drag bunt in baseball or an option pass in football.  They aren't the best plays in the book, but they often work because they are unusual and catch the opponent off guard.  A little research in the books to find such moves can pay off again and again.

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