Mastery: Openings

Understanding the Sicilian Dragon

Understanding the Sicilian Dragon

Learn the key ideas for both sides in the ferocious Dragon Variation!

The Dragon is one of the most ferocious openings in all of chess! Both sides frequently start sacrificial attacks on the opponent’s king right out of the opening. This course will show you the key tactics and strategic ideas for both sides so that you can fight for a win with either color! Get started with the Dragon today!

Here is what you will learn:

  • Learn the key mating ideas for both White and Black!
  • Learn the positional sacrifices that will tie your opponents in knots!
  • Learn which traps to watch out for!

"These lessons are awesome!" - member ChessIcon123


  • Maeder - Levy

    One of the most important pieces in the Dragon is Black's fianchettoed Bishop on g7 which breathes fire down the h8-a1 diagonal.

    • 2 challenges
  • Sznapik - Komljenovic

    The classic way for White to attack against the Dragon is to castle Queenside and then launch his h-Pawn up the board in order to open the h-file. The final stages of such attacks are often crowned by combinations.

    • 3 challenges
  • Van Der Weil - Sax

    In the early stages of White's attacking plan White needs to get the pieces closer to the enemy monarch. This example shows one of the key ideas with which you can do this.

    • 1 challenge
  • Eisen - Nesis

    The half open c-file features heavily in Black's attacking plans in the Dragon, can Black penetrate with the Rooks down this file?

    • 5 challenges
  • Tal - Wade

    Another imporant theme is the fate of Black's dark square 'Dragon' Bishop that starts out on g7. Because this is such a strong piece for both attack and defence, both sides must consier what they can do about it.

    • 1 challenge
  • Janosevic - Mestel

    One of Black's most important resources in the Sicilian Dragon is a positional sacrifice that occurs again and again. Here we see it finely illustrated.

    • 3 challenges
  • Christensen - Ward

    When both sides are engaged in flank attacks, it's often worth remembering that action in the centre can still be the most effective thing to do.

    • 1 challenge
  • Koval - Berman

    The Dragon Bishop is such an important piece that sometimes Black can sacrifice with complete abandon in order to bring it to bear.

    • 2 challenges
  • Polgar - Dely

    Not all combinations in the Dragon are based around the dark square Bishop and the c-file. Here's something a bit different which shows the importance of keeping an open mind.

    • 2 challenges
  • Fossan - Ward

    Here's another combinative idea worth noting, once again with targets that are not directly connected with the Dragon Bishop.

    • 4 challenges
  • Fournier - Ward

    Here's another thematic combination, but this time with White's King on f2 instead of the Queenside.

    • 2 challenges
  • Draskovic - Lazic

    Once White has opened the h-file and exchanged Black's dark square Bishop White can have a plethora of combative possibilities against Black's King. This lesson demonstrates a few of them.

    • 4 challenges
  • Skjoldager - Dalhoff

    This lesson features another position in which White is coming down the h-file, allowing you to polish your combinative skills.

    • 2 challenges
  • Shagalovich - Gufeld

    This lesson features another h-file attack, but unlike the other examples White's Queen can't easily come to h6. So the mode of attack takes the form of a chase rather than a siege.

    • 7 challenges
  • Cullip - Ward

    This lesson features some familiar Dragon themes in a somewhat more complex form.

    • 8 challenges
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