The Fighting Dragon Video Series

The Fighting Dragon Video Series

| 13 | Opening Theory

If the Sicilian is the vehicle driving Black’s equalizing chances, the Dragon is its engine. For years, White has struggled to find a definite answer to counter the Sicilian. The Dragon variation, also known as the Draco Star, has only further complicated White’s dilemma.

How can one simple change in development, that weakens Black’s own kingside dark squares, cause so much trouble? The answer, like most other openings, lies in the center of the board. Black’s initiative towards those squares may seem passive, but its snake-like minor pieces slowly take control of the center. By the time White gets castled, Black’s ahead in development and has a trove of tactical opportunity, in large part due to the dark-squared bishop controlling the h8-a1 diagonal.

Open Sicilians are dangerous for White, but there are many solid counterplays. For weaker players looking to shock an opponent, the Draco Star may provide the best opportunity. If you’re Sicilian or 1.e4 player. then this video is for you. International master Keaton Kiewra joins us to orchestrate the segment as perhaps the only college-educated chess player left in the world!

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Who said anything about snakes in the grass when there's obviously dragons at our door?!

The Fighting Dragon -- Part 1: The Yugoslav Attack 

With so many variations, the Dragon is a complex system for either side of the board. Luckily, IM Kiewra is a walking Dragon encyclopedia. He narrows down the most most prevalent lines, starting with 9.0-0-0 and 9.Bc4. If you’re learning the opening this video has the education you need. (Intermediate to Advanced

The Fighting Dragon -- Part 2: 9. 0-0-0 with Nxd4! 

Typically, in the Dragon, the winner is the fastest to their opponent's king. In this video, Keaton continues his Yugoslav analysis with one of his own games. Amazingly, he manages a crafty defense to White’s pawn storm that’s not a counter attack. There’s much to be inspired by from this segment, especially for our Sicilian advocates.  (Intermediate to Advanced

The Fighting Dragon -- Part 3: 9. 0-0-0 with d5! 

By now you’ve realized the problems White causes Black with 9.0-0-0. Black does have effective strategies against White’s refusal to utilize minor pieces. Keaton demonstrates just how painful it could be for White to push a kingside pawn storm too soon. Watch another great game accompanied by Black’s 9...d5 variation. (Intermediate to Advanced

The Fighting Dragon -- Part 4: The Prophylactic 12...h5! 

Black’s Dragon bishop always proves to be a real nuisance for White. Usually it’s in White’s best interest to get rid of it quickly, for defensive and offensive purposes. As the Dragon player, you’ll have to learn how to protect the bishop or lose it in attacking fashion. As Keaton explains here, Dragon players must be brave and well prepared. Watch now and learn from the best! (Intermediate to Advanced

The Fighting Dragon -- Part 5: Clash of the Titans 

When LeBron says jump the entire league asks how high! Magnus Carlsen has the same effect on chess, and this video demonstrates why. With brilliance like this, it’s no wonder everyone wants to play the Dragon now. In this segment, Keaton takes his talents to South Beach to analyze the world's greatest player.  (Intermediate to Advanced

The Fighting Dragon -- Part 6: The Offbeat 9. g4! 

For both sides of the board, there are variations that can catch an opponent off guard. Yet most of these sidelines will leave a position lost if countered by a studied opponent. Most of all, White’s 9.g4. It’s the hastiest route to satisfying the kingside pawn storm hunger. If Black does not know how to play against it, then he will be in serious trouble. Watch this video, learn the proper defense, and you’re sure to improve winning chances against any greedy opponent! (Intermediate to Advanced

The Fighting Dragon -- Part 7: The Chinese Dragon 

Keaton is a black belt in Dragon karate. He’s well versed in every variation. He’s very familiar with the game's best players and their take on his favorite opening. Watch his next segment to learn more about patterns within the openings positional structure.  (Intermediate to Advanced

The Fighting Dragon -- Part 8: The Classical System 

Moving on from the Yugoslav, Keaton turns his attention to the Classical variation. This line is a bit more subtle for White, but perhaps more effective against experienced Dragon players. Watch as Keaton further demonstrates his knowledge of our fire-breathing friend.  (Intermediate to Advanced

The Fighting Dragon -- Part 9: Levenfish and g3 Variations 

Although the Dragon is a flexible opening, every last gear runs in harmony with the next, like a well-oiled machine. Watch out for some of White’s tricks, trying to entice Black into a faulty move order. We put to rest some of the unorthodox variations earlier. Keaton will bring them back for a quick reference in this video. Let’s not get caught offguard.  (Intermediate to Advanced

The Fighting Dragon -- Part 10: The Finale and Fireworks! 

Sometimes, the most interesting part of the Dragon is the resulting endgame or middlegame. With such similar positions manifesting game after game, it’s important to understand how to play in the Dragon after the opening has fully developed. Watch Keaton’s epic conclusion to the series. This fantastic game is the prime example of Sicilian aftermath! (Intermediate to Advanced

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