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Sicilian Defence, Dragon Variation

The Dragon Variation belongs to the Sicilian Defence family of variations. Black plays 5...g6 with the purpose of fianchettoeing his bishop with ...Bg7. The preparatory move 2...d6 makes sure that the bishop will have an open long diagonal on g7. This is one of the sharpest openings in chess.

The name "Dragon" is given to all Sicilian Defence opening variations in which ...g6 is played, namely the Accelerated Dragon variation and the Hyper-Accelerated Dragon variation. Historically, the first try of ...g6 in the Sicilian was with the following order of moves:

In this variation, it was found that White's 6th move was an inaccuracy that allowed Black to have a comfortable position by responding with 6...g6. Better moves for white are 6.Bg5 and 6.Bc4, which put immediate pressure to Black. In this case, Black has to respond immediately and can't spend two moves for developing a single piece. Today's mainline Dragon was introduced later, after 2...d6 became popular.

In the first attempt for a "Dragon Variation" as in today's main line black has a kingside pawn structure that resembles the star constellation Draco. This has given to the variation its distinctive name.

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