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I play the Accelerated Dragon regularly and I have a decent record against. I think it is good for both blitz and otb games. The problem I have been running to is the Maroczy. Here is Melik's suggestion:
This position is ok for a GM like Melik who views draws as a sucess. However, I view it as an insufficient for a Swiss style otb tourney where one must get as many points as possible and in blitz where all counterplay is restrained.
I have been trying this method recently.
I have been playing this as it gives me the two bishops but the knight on d5 and the rook on d1 end up to be very strong and it is still hard to get play.
Do any Maroczy experts have a line which have more winning chances? What would you guys recommend?
I don't think Black should play the Accelerated Dragon if you need to win every game. Perhaps you could try 1...e5 or a different Sicilian. When I need to win as Black I play 1...c6 and try to stir up a vicious attack on White's castled king, so you could try that as well.
The Maroczy Bind is tough to play against because it is designed to block Black's typical avenues of counterplay. But it's a trade-off, too, since White has to forego his own typical attacking chances for a solid but somewhat static positional "bind." It requires a lot of patience on both sides.
I agree with Expertise87: it's not the ideal to play into where you need to win as Black.
I studied the accelerated dragon with Dzindzi's book for a while, eventually I returned to my Najdorf because like Expertise said it's really hard to win against the Maroczy. You do have counterplay on the queenside, but even imagining that you can win white's 3 pawns for your 2 (imagining, I don't see how you could do that) you still can never really win.
Having said that, white can decide to play Maroczy type of positions even against the Najdorf. So I'm afraid the Maroczy is something us Sicilian players have to live with.
Anyway, Dzindzi's dragon is a bit different:
I think in this move order black is better prepared against the Be3 variation, or at least it's supposed to be. I don't fully understand the difference, actually if somebody could comment on this new variation I would appreciate.
Thank you pellik! Do you mind showing me what variations you could play f5?
I've played the f5 variations in blitz, usually turns out ok although it does damage your pawn structure. If White plays Nc3 on autopilot I usually get a reasonable game.
Here's a couple of brief lines.
Here's my game with it:
White can't force a Maroczy structure against the Najdorf as far as I know...
If you're thinking of 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.f3, Black can avoid this with 3...Nf6 and White has no meaningful lines other than transposing with 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 a6.
4.Bb5+ is well-enough met by 4...Nbd7 or more commonly 4...Bd7, and 4.dxc5 gives Black a choice between 4...Nxe4 and 4...Qa5+. I think the former is a much better try as 4...Qa5+ 5.Bd2 Qxc5 6.Nc3 is probably a bit more pleasant for White to play. 4...Nxe4 5.cxd6 Nc6 6.Bd3 Nxd6 must be equal, and 6.dxe7 Qxd1+ 7.Kxd1 Bxe7 leaves White a pawn up but Black with a threat to the f-pawn that must be met by 8.Be3 O-O (now eyeing the d8-square for the Rook) which even looks uncomfortable for White to me.
This may help!
Accelerated dragon is not a very good opening if you really need to play for a win. However it's very strong if you are satisfied with a draw and like more slow positional games.
Maroczy Bind is probably my favorite variation to face in the whole game. Mainly because I really don't fear loosing anymore. Then I can safely try to win on my opponents inexperience.
Are you recommending the Maroczy Bind for white or black? I can't tell from the context.
Wow, you like facing it as black? I know it's considered balanced, but I think white has all the fun. Obviously there's a lot of chess to be played, but I feel like I'm playing with a draw in hand as white.
Well it's still a game of chess, I could certainly lose it a dozen different ways I'm sure, but I feel comfortable at least haha.
I have read Soltis' book and it dose have a nice section on the bind as pelik said, so maybe I just know it better than most of the people I run into.
I was thinking mainly these lines:
1. e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ (the Moscow) Bd7 4.Bxd7 Qxd7 5.c4
1. e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4! (it's a legit variation) Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6. Bxc6 Bxc6 7.c4
In both cases they are sidelines, but they do make sense. White makes a Maroczy without his lsB. In theory the lsB would be white's "bad" bishop but I'm not really sure how good it is to trade it off (mainly because you alleviate black's space problem). In any case these are playable lines that are discussed in Ftacnik's book. By the way I love this book and I got it after reading an old post of yours, so I need to thank you :)
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