Sicilian HA Dragon: The Levitating Bishop

  • #1
    Hey folks, in this thread I want to show you an idea of my own for White in the Hyperaccelerated Dragon Variation of the Sicilian Defence. As I kinda hinted by specifying it's HYPER (since most Hyperaccelerated Dragon positions transpose to the regular Accelerated Dragon), it's a line that arises after 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4!?, one of the deviations exclusive to the HAD (or HD, call it as you like :) ). After Black takes necessary precautions with 4... Nf6, White plays the interesting 5.Bb5, which seems to leave the Bishop just floating there and doing nothing, waiting to be kicked! But in reality, it's waiting for Black's Knight to come to c6 to harass White's nicely centralized Queen, so it can chop it off. On one hand, that would give Black potentially a very powerful pawn center, but on the other, White would get a slight lead in development and active piece play, with the idea of maintaining the initiative with attacking chances. These are in fact the most common plans for both sides in the Sicilian, so let's see how you like it:
  • #2

    P.S. In the light of IM Jeremy Silman's most recent article (, I should say that I expect my own engineless home analysis, like this one, to be very prone to flaws (since I'm not even an expert!), and I could use your help evaluating some relatively quiet strategic positions featured here. Thanks in advance! Wink

  • #3

    Also, three more things:

    1. In the main line, after 6. e5, Black's got three additional Knight moves at his disposal: 6... Ng4, 6... Ne4 and 6... Nd5 (and no, the number of the beast wasn't intentional, nor do I have any interest in it Laughing). They look interesting for dispositioning the White Queen, however, since after any of them Black must lose a pawn one way or another (and since White's already ahead in development), I dismissed them, because I fail to see any compensation whatsoever. But I just thought I should mention them.

    2. Really, go through all the variations! I wouldn't include them if they weren't fun! Smile

  • #4

    Thanks for pointing that out, ajedrecito! I'd already checked it once or twice, and only now I saw what could be a problem there. I've updated my analysis in the original post, so check it out. Also, there's an additional line, 6...axb5 7.exf6 Ra4, so I'm definitely going to need help with that one too.

  • #5

    Hm... are you just going to let me score a TKO with this variation via Chewbacca Defence???

  • #6

    Great news everyone! After 6... axb5 7. exf6, the best should be 7... e6 8. Nc3 Nc6 9. Qh4, after which 9... Ra5 is suggested as "more logical" than 9... b4?! After ajedrecito's suggested 7... Nc6, White just plays 8. Qd5, and then black has to play the awkward 8... Nb4 (not too sure why, guess there's some necessary advantage to kicking the Queen here) 9. Qb3 e6, after which 10. Nc3 looks preferable to White. This is all according to a book on the Accelerated Dragon written by Heine Nielsen and Carsten Hansen. So, enjoy your opening, I wasn't even aware there was any theory, and the Levitating Bishop is actually David Bronstein's idea. It's all quite viable! Wink

  • #7

    Exactly, paulgottlieb, but 8. fxe7 isn't forced at all, and as I've found out, 8. Qd5 should be completely satisfactory for White. And you mean 8... Qxe7+, right? Laughing

  • #8

    Very nice thorough analysis of this line! To throw your opponent off even more I suggest looking at some computer lines in later positions and find something really complicated that you know the lines to, the one bad thing about this is your opponent has the play the dragon.

  • #9

    Thanks, SerbianChessStar, but perhaps I'll steer into more positional waters if I start encountering theory-pumped up HA Dragoneers on a regular basis. This is supposed to be a practical weapon! Smile

  • #10

    Another thing you can do is join a HA dragon thematic tournament or perhaps make one (membership needed), and see how you do with your analysis with both sides

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