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16 Jul 2014

B72 Sicilian Dragon: 6.Be3, lines with h3+Bc4 and sidelines (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.O-O Nc6 8.Be3 O-O 9.Qd2 Ng4 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Bf4)

B72 Sicilian Dragon: 6.Be3, lines with h3+Bc4 and sidelines (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.O-O Nc6 8.Be3 O-O 9.Qd2 Ng4 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Bf4)

I don't know the openings all that well but maybe after I have done enough studying them for these blog posts, I will play them better... That is the hope anyway and hopefully readers will find my posts in some way useful as well. The games so far that I have put here are from my ICC five minute pool games but I will post in the future also probably games from other places as well, for example, some of my correspondence chess games from various sites.

Even though this was a five minute game, the first mistake of note was played on move 17, which just shows that even lower rated players can play quite well for some time with fast time controls. The diagram below shows the situation at the board after my 17th move e5. Vicwill played the horrible 17...Nh5 in reply, which placed the knight on a square from which it can't go anywhere safely. I should have played 18.Be3, but instead I thought that the bishop needed to stay on the h2-b8 diagonal and backed up with my bishop to h2. Had I played 18.Be3, it would have attacked the queen on b6, which in turn would have given me time to perhaps trap the knight on h5. However, had I played g4 after Be3, then the pawn cover in front of my king would have been very much weakened and I am not sure it would be worth it to do so just to trap the knight.

The game then continued roughly evenly up to the move 20.Qxc4. The diagram position is taken after my 20th move. In that position vicwill made another horrible move 20...Qxb2. Taking the pawn on b2 was not a good idea because it allowed me to play 21.g4 and trap the knight on h5. I did not go for the material because I was probably worried a bit too much for weakening the pawn cover in front of my king. I played 21.a4 instead and saved my pawn on the a-file. It was an awful move that turned the tables because my opponent would have been able to win the pawn on e5, so that my opponent would be up two pawns.

Winning the second pawn with 21...dxe5 was probably the best idea for my opponent to take the pawn and gain a clear advantage, but also the moves 21...Qb4 and 21...Bxe5 would have been good alternatives. All three moves should give vicwill a clear advantage. For some reason vicwill decided not to win a pawn from e5 and played 21...d5, which only attacked my queen and reached an equal position. Maybe the move d5 was designed as a trap for me. Had I taken the pawn on c6, then Rfc8 or Rac8 and my knight on c3 would be lost. I saw the problem with Qxc6, so I moved my queen to d3. It was not the best square for the queen, d4 was the right square for the queen. The next diagram shows the situation at the board after my 22nd move Qd3.

Vicwill played 22...Bh8 in order to allow the knight from h5 to have one safe square to which it could go. It was a blunder that turned the tables once again. I was able to take the advantage of my opponent's sloppy move and moved my rook to b1. It forced the queen to go to a3 and then I had the very nice move Nxd5! It wins at least a pawn because it is a discovered attack on the undefended queen on a3, so vicwill could not have taken the knight with the pawn because it would be replied with Qxa3 and the game would be lost for my opponent. If vicwill would take the queen on d3, then I would play Nxe7+ and then cxd3 and then I would be up a pawn. Therefore Qc5 would be vicwill's best reply to Nxd5. I missed my chance and played 24.Rb6?? Vicwill could have replied with 24...Qc5 and I would have been clearly worse. Vicwill did not protect the pawn on c6 at all, instead my opponent played 24...e6. I took my chance to get material equality and took the pawn on c6. After that the position was even again. In reply vicwill made a move so horrible that it could have meant a loss for my opponent, had my answer to it being the correct one. It may not seem at first that it matters which rook to place to c8, but there is a significant difference. The move played in the game, 25...Rac8, would have allowed me to play 26.Nxd5 and win material. Had my opponent played the other rook to c8, I could not have played 26.Nxd5, because of the following line 26...Qxd3 27.Ne7+ Kf8 and I would lose material.

The time control in this game probably had some effect to the inaccurate moves and may have caused me not to see the move 26.Nxd5. I played 26.Qb5 probably because it does not require as much calculating as the move 26.Nxd5. The safer move unfortunately also threw away the possibility for me to win the game and I had to accept an even position. The balance did not last long, my 29th move that was played in the diagram position below put me in some trouble. I took the pawn on a5 and probably thought that I can get something done with my pawn on the a-file. It was more important for me to prevent the rook from coming to the second rank with Rxc2. The rook on c2 would attack the knight on e2 and after it moves, the rook could go to c4 perhaps and I would lose another pawn on a4.

My opponent had other plans in mind, however, vicwill played 29...Qc5 and immediately turned the tables again. From a clearly favorable position vicwill went to a position where my opponent was worse. The game continued with me taking the queen on c5 and vicwill then took back with the rook obviously. I replied to that with the move 31.c3, protecting my pawn and taking better control over the square d4. After my 31st move it should be clear why 29...Qc5 was so bad move. It only helped me to keep my material advantage. With queens on the board and my opponent's rook wreaking havoc on the second rank, the game would have been much more difficult for me. In the continuation where the rook took on c2, I would have likely lost the a-pawn and maybe even the e-pawn at some point. The last option might have been less likely to happen, but I would have had at least two pawns less than on the game continuation. To 31.c3 vicwill answered with 31...d4, which was a huge blunder that could have lost the game. I continued correctly with the move 32.cxd4 and then my opponent played 32...Rc2 a little bit too late as it would have been much more impactful a couple of moves earlier. The next diagram shows the situation on the board after 32...Rc2.

I wanted to keep everything as well defended as possible, so I played 33.Re1. It is a really passive move that allows my opponent to be more active and therefore get good compensation for the material. Vicwill replied with 33...Ra2 and I played 34.Nc3 because I thought that the pawn on a4 is more important than the pawn on d4. However, I could not protect the pawn on a4 as the move 34...Ra3 basically forced my knight away. I may have tried the move 35.Rc1, but then 35...Nxd4 with the threat of Rxc3 Rxc3 Ne2+ winning my knight and I do not like the position. Then again I may just reply to 35...Nxd4 with 36.Kf1 and the tactic does not work. After driving the knight away, my opponent took the pawn on a4 and it seemed that a draw would be the likely outcome of the game. A draw should have been indeed the outcome, but I tried too hard to win and made a huge blunder because of it. The next diagram is taken after the move 43...Kg6.

I unnecessarily weakened my position with the move 44.h4 and my path towards a loss had started. We played a few more moves, but I resigned after I had accidentally sacrificed my rook... At that point it was pointless to carry on with the game.

[Event "ICC 5 0"] [Site "Internet Chess Club"] [Date "2014.05.25"] [Round "?"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "vicwill"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B72"] [WhiteElo "1532"] [BlackElo "1470"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "92"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 {Sicilian Defense: Dragon variation. General} 6. Bc4 (6. Be2 Bg7 7. Be3 Nc6 8. Nb3 {Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Classical Variation} (8. O-O O-O 9. Nb3 {Sicialian Defense: Dragon Variation. Classical Variation Normal Line} (9. Qd2 {Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Classical Variation Battery Variation}) 9... Be6 (9... a5 { Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Classical Variation Alekhine Line}) 10. f4 Na5 {Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Classical Variation Maroczy Line} ( 10... Qc8 {Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Classical Variation Tartakower Line}) 11. f5 Bc4 12. Nxa5 Bxe2 13. Qxe2 Qxa5 14. g4 {Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Classical Variation Stockholm Attack})) 6... Bg7 7. O-O Nc6 8. Be3 O-O 9. Qd2 Ng4 10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. Bf4 {B72 Sicilian Dragon: 6.Be3, lines with h3+Bc4 and sidelines} Qb6 {Black threatens to win material: Qb6xb2} (11... Be6 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. f3 Qb6+ 14. Kh1 Qxb2 15. fxg4 Bxc3 16. Qe2 Rxf4 17. Rab1 Raf8 18. g3 Rxf1+ 19. Rxf1 Rxf1+ 20. Qxf1 Qxc2 {0-1 (20) Garcia Cruz,J (1408) -Acosta Sosa,J (2141) Las Palmas 2012}) 12. Bb3 $146 {White has an active position} (12. Nd1 Be6 13. Be2 f5 14. exf5 Bxf5 15. h3 Ne5 16. Be3 Qb7 17. Rc1 Rfb8 18. c3 Be6 19. b3 a5 20. Rc2 c5 21. f4 Nf7 22. Bf3 d5 23. Bxc5 Qc7 24. Bd4 Nh6 25. Bxg7 Kxg7 26. Bxd5 Qc5+ {Arsenault,Y (1402)-Duret,S (990) Gatineau 2009 1-0 (38)}) (12. Rab1 Qb4 13. Bd3 Rb8 14. h3 Ne5 15. a3 Qa5 16. b4 Qc7 17. Bh6 Be6 18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. Be2 f6 20. Qd4 Qb6 21. Qxb6 Rxb6 22. Rfd1 Rfb8 23. Na4 R6b7 24. Ba6 Rc7 25. f4 Nc4 26. Bxc4 Bxc4 {Buldrova,M-Cedikova,K (2082) Klatovy 1999 1/2-1/2 (42)}) 12... Qd4 13. Qe2 a5 14. h3 Nf6 15. Rad1 {White threatens to win material: Rd1xd4} Qb4 {White has an active position} 16. a3 { White threatens to win material: a3xb4} Qb6 {White has a very active position} 17. e5 {White threatens to win material: e5xf6. White forks: d6+f6} Nh5 (17... Ba6 18. Qe3 Qxe3 19. Bxe3 $11) 18. Bh2 (18. Be3 $142 Qa6 19. Bc4 $16) 18... Ba6 $15 19. Bc4 Bxc4 20. Qxc4 Qxb2 $4 {letting the wind out of his own sails} ( 20... Bxe5 $142 21. Bxe5 dxe5 $11) 21. a4 $4 {there were better ways to keep up the pressure.} (21. g4 $142 $16) 21... d5 {Black threatens to win material: d5xc4} (21... dxe5 $5 22. Rb1 Qxc2 23. Rfc1 $17) 22. Qd3 (22. Qd4 $142 Rfb8 23. g4 $11) 22... Bh8 $4 {hands over the advantage to the opponent} (22... Qb4 $142 23. Ne2 Bh6 $17 (23... Qxa4 $143 24. g4 $16)) 23. Rb1 $16 Qa3 24. Rb6 $4 { White loses the upper hand} (24. Nxd5 $142 $5 Qc5 25. Nb6 $18) 24... e6 (24... Qc5 $142 $5 25. Rb7 Ng7 $17) 25. Rxc6 (25. g4 $142 Qc5 26. Rfb1 $14) 25... Rac8 $4 {Black is ruining his position} (25... Rfc8 26. Nb5 Qxa4 27. Rxc8+ Rxc8 28. Nd6 $11) 26. Qb5 $4 {White threatens to win material: Qb5xa5. simply marches past the door to victory} (26. Nxd5 $142 {secures victory} Qxd3 27. Ne7+ (27. cxd3 $2 exd5 28. Rfc1 Ra8 $19) 27... Kg7 28. cxd3 $18) 26... Ng7 {Black's piece can't move: h8} 27. Ne2 Nf5 28. Rxc8 Rxc8 29. Qxa5 (29. c3 $142 $15) 29... Qc5 $4 {Black prepares the advance d4. Black has let it slip away} (29... Rxc2 $142 30. g4 Nh4 31. Qd8+ Qf8 32. Qxh4 Rxe2 $17) 30. Qxc5 $16 Rxc5 31. c3 ( 31. Ra1 $142 Ra5 32. Nc1 $16) 31... d4 $2 (31... Ne7 $142 $14 {and Black can hope to live}) 32. cxd4 $18 Rc2 33. Re1 (33. g4 $142 $5 Ne7 34. Re1 $18) 33... Ra2 $14 {Black threatens to win material: Ra2xa4} 34. Nc3 {White threatens to win material: Nc3xa2} (34. a5 $5 $14) 34... Ra3 $11 {Black threatens to win material: Ra3xc3} 35. Nb5 {White threatens to win material: Nb5xa3} Rxa4 { Attacks the backward pawn on d4} 36. g4 Nxd4 37. Nxd4 Rxd4 38. Rc1 Kg7 39. f4 h6 40. Bg3 Rd3 {Black threatens to win material: Rd3xg3} 41. Kg2 g5 (41... Kh7 42. h4 $11) 42. fxg5 (42. f5 $5 $14) 42... hxg5 $11 43. Rc7 Kg6 44. h4 $4 (44. Rc5 $142 $5 $11 {is an interesting idea}) 44... gxh4 (44... Rxg3+ 45. Kf2 gxh4 46. Rc5 Rxg4 47. Rc1 Bxe5 48. Rh1 Kg5 49. Ke2 Rg3 50. Kd2 h3 51. Kc2 Rg2+ 52. Kb3 h2 53. Ka3 Rg1 54. Rxh2 Bxh2 55. Ka2 Kf5 56. Kb3 Ke4 57. Kc4 Rc1+ 58. Kb3 Be5 59. Ka4 Kd5 60. Kb4 Rb1+ 61. Ka4 Kc5 62. Ka3 Kc4 63. Ka2 Ra1#) 45. Bxh4 $17 Bxe5 46. g5 $4 {causes further problems for White} (46. Rc5 $142 Re3 47. Rc4 $17) 46... Bxc7 (46... Bxc7 47. Kf1 e5 48. Be1 Kxg5 49. Ke2 e4 50. Bd2+ Kg4 51. Be1 f5 52. Bd2 f4 53. Kd1 f3 54. Kc2 f2 55. Bc1 f1=Q 56. Bd2 Qe2 57. Kb2 Qxd2+ 58. Ka1 Be5+ 59. Kb1 Rb3#) 0-1