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5 Sep 2017

B70 Sicilian Dragon: 6.g3 and 6.Be2 (without a later Be3) (7...O-O)

B70 Sicilian Dragon: 6.g3 and 6.Be2 (without a later Be3) (7...O-O)

This was played at Red Hot Pawn in Clans Challenge. The clans that took part in this challenge were Wycombe Wanderers - The Chairboys and The White Hats. It was played on 3 boards and I played on board 1 for The White Hats. I drew both my games and they were the only two draws in this Clans Challenge. On board two our player was able to win one and lose one. Only on board three one of the players was able to win both games and unfortunately it was the player who played for Wycombe Wanderers - The Chairboys that was able to be the winner in both games, which meant that we lost the challenge 3 - 1.

After the move 5...g6 I have played the move 6.Bc4 previously and in this game I chose to play 6.Bg5. I have also been the one moving the black pieces and in the game my opponent played 6.Bd3 has been seen on this blog before. The game where I played 6.Bc4 can also be found in this blog. All moves should be good enough for a repeat performance, but who knows what else I come up with in my next game in this line. If there is a next game in this opening variation that is. The first huge blunder of the game was played by me in the diagram position below. For some reason I have the idea stuck in my brain that against the Dragon I should castle long, but it was a horrible idea in this position. What I did not think about when I castled was that after 9...Nxd4 10.Qxd4 Ng4, there is no safe way for me to guard f2... Therefore I was in a losing position after 9 moves. These kind of ideas I should see, but I was too careless and paid the price for it.

Somehow I was able to crawl out of the mess I put myself in a few moves later when Smiffy blundered with 12...Bf6 in the position that can be seen in the next diagram. The move was so bad in fact that Smiffy went from a winning position to being clearly worse or at least into a position that should favor me. My best reply to 12...Bf6 was 13.Bxf6, but I chose to capture the bishop with my knight instead and that was only good enough for an even position. Taking with the bishop is better because the knight and the queen work better together than the bishop and the queen.

The game was not played on an equal footing for very long, my 15th move Bh6 that was played in a situation viewable on the next diagram, was again a step into wrong direction. The problem with the move 15.Bh6 is that it only improved the position of my opponent's rook. At f8 the rook is passive, at e8 it generates more pressure to the pawn on e4. In the game Smiffy replied with the move 15...Re8 and then the game continued with the moves 16.Rf1 Nxe4. Then I blundered again with the move 17.Rd4 and I was in a lost position once again. My only reasonable move was 17.Rdd1, but even then I would have been in trouble.

Smiffy then played the sloppy 17...Bf5 and I was not in a losing position anymore. 17...Qxh2 might have ended my resistance quite quickly. The next diagram shows the situation on the board after 19.Bd3. My opponent played his or her biggest mistake of the game in reply to my 19th move. Smiffy played 19...Qc6?? It would have allowed me to win material, but I completely missed the idea starting with 20.g4. The idea behind the move 20.g4 is to divert the bishop from the defense of the knight. No matter how my opponent would have replied, I would have won the piece from e4. For the piece my opponent would have been able to get a pawn. Since I was already a pawn down, I would have had a piece for two pawns.

I played 20.Re1 with the idea of adding more pressure to the knight on e4. Instead of taking the winning advantage, I ended up being slightly worse. Smiffy continued the game with 20...Rac8, to which I answered with the move c3 and I started to get in serious trouble. I was in a lost position when we reached the next diagram position. It is taken after my 31st move Qc7. Smiffy played the awful move 31...Re6, which would have allowed me to force a draw. Had I replied with 32.Qb8+ and continued with 33.Rd8, my opponent has nothing better than take the perpetual check because all other lines would win for me, due to the unfortunate location of Smiffy's king and queen.

I missed my possibility to take the draw, but luckily my opponent did not see the win and took a draw instead a few moves later.

[Event "Clan challenge"] [Site ""] [Date "2016.02.01"] [Round "?"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "Smiffy"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B70"] [WhiteElo "1927"] [BlackElo "1814"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 {Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. General} 6. Bg5 (6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. Bc4 (9. g4 { Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation, Yugoslav Attack, Panov Variation}) 9... Nd7 {Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation, Yugoslav Attack, Sosonko Variation} (9... Nxd4 10. Bxd4 Be6 {Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation, Yugoslav Attack, Czerniak Variation})) 6... Bg7 7. Qd2 O-O {B70 Sicilian Dragon: 6.g3 and 6.Be2 (without a later Be3)} 8. Be2 Nc6 9. O-O-O $4 $146 {gives the opponent counterplay} (9. Nb3 Be6 (9... Rb8 10. O-O Bd7 11. Rad1 Qc8 12. Kh1 Re8 13. f4 Bg4 14. Bf3 b5 15. Rde1 Bxf3 16. Rxf3 a5 17. Nd5 a4 18. Nc1 Nxd5 19. exd5 Nd4 20. Rc3 Qd7 21. Rd3 e5 22. dxe6 Rxe6 23. Rxe6 Nxe6 24. Rxd6 {Lengyel,B (2390) -Szalanczy,E (2300) Budapest 1982 1/2-1/2 (34)}) 10. Bh6 Bxh6 11. Qxh6 Qb6 12. h4 Nb4 13. Qd2 Rac8 14. h5 Rxc3 15. bxc3 Nxe4 16. Qf4 Nxc2+ 17. Kf1 Nxa1 18. Qxe4 Nxb3 19. axb3 Qa5 20. g4 Bd5 21. Qb1 Bxh1 22. f3 Qxc3 23. Kf2 Qd4+ { Ricciardi,A (1745)-Migliorini,M (2108) Biella 2015 0-1}) (9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. O-O Be6 11. Rad1 Qb8 12. b3 Re8 13. Bh6 Qb4 14. Bxg7 Kxg7 15. f3 d5 16. Qd4 Qxd4+ 17. Rxd4 Red8 18. Rfd1 c5 19. R4d2 d4 20. Nb5 Rdc8 21. c4 Bd7 22. Na3 a5 23. e5 Nh5 {Grimm,G-Szajbely,Z (1760) Balatonlelle 2009 0-1 (60)}) (9. Nb3 $142 $11 { would allow White to play on}) 9... Nxd4 $19 10. Qxd4 Ng4 11. Qb4 (11. Qd2 Nxf2 12. Nd5 f6 $19) 11... Nxf2 12. Nd5 Bf6 $4 {spoils everything} (12... Re8 $142 $19 {would have given Black a clear advantage}) 13. Nxf6+ (13. Bxf6 $5 exf6 14. Qd4 Nxd1 15. Nxf6+ (15. Rxd1 $143 Kg7 $17) 15... Kh8 16. Rxd1 $16) 13... exf6 $11 14. Rxd6 {White forks: f6+d8} Qc7 {Black has a cramped position} 15. Bh6 { White threatens to win material: Bh6xf8} (15. Rxf6 $142 $5 {is noteworthy} Nxh1 16. Bf4 $11) 15... Re8 $17 {Attacks the isolani on e4. Black threatens to win material: Re8xe4} 16. Rf1 (16. Re1 Nxe4 17. Bb5 a5 $17 (17... Qxd6 $4 {Black will choke on his greed} 18. Rxe4 Rxe4 19. Qxd6 $18)) 16... Nxe4 17. Rd4 $2 ( 17. Rdd1 a5 (17... Qxh2 $6 18. Bf4 Qh4 19. Bb5 $11) 18. Qa4 Bf5 $17) 17... Bf5 $4 {overlooking an easy win} (17... Qxh2 $142 {and Black can celebrate victory} 18. Rxe4 Qxh6+ 19. Kb1 Bf5 20. Rxe8+ Rxe8 $19) 18. Bf4 $17 Qc8 {Black has a cramped position} 19. Bd3 Qc6 $4 {Black loses the upper hand} (19... Ng5 $5 $17 ) 20. Re1 {White threatens to win material: Re1xe4} (20. g4 a5 21. Qc4 Qxc4 22. Rxc4 Bxg4 23. Rxe4 $18 (23. Bxe4 $2 Be2 24. Rd4 Bxf1 $19)) 20... Rac8 (20... a5 $142 21. Qb5 Qxb5 22. Bxb5 Re6 $11) 21. c3 $4 {White is ruining his position} ( 21. Rc4 $142 {and White hangs on} Nc5 22. Bxf5 gxf5 23. Rxe8+ Qxe8 24. Qc3 $14) 21... Nf2 (21... Ng5 22. Rxe8+ Rxe8 23. Bxf5 gxf5 24. h4 $19) 22. Rxe8+ Rxe8 23. Bxf5 gxf5 24. Bg3 $2 (24. Bh6 $142 Qxg2 25. Qe7 Qf1+ 26. Kc2 Qe2+ 27. Qxe2 Rxe2+ 28. Rd2 Rxd2+ 29. Kxd2 $17) 24... Qxg2 $19 25. Rd2 (25. Bxf2 Qxf2 26. Qd6 Re1+ 27. Rd1 Qe3+ 28. Kc2 Re2+ 29. Kb3 $19) 25... Qf1+ 26. Kc2 Ne4 27. Rd7 (27. Rd1 {doesn't change the outcome of the game} Qe2+ 28. Kc1 Qe3+ 29. Kc2 $19) 27... Nxg3 (27... f4 $142 {and Black has prevailed} 28. Bh4 Qe2+ 29. Kc1 Qg4 $19) 28. hxg3 Qg2+ 29. Kb3 Qxg3 30. Qc4 (30. Ka3 b6 31. Rxa7 Qb8 $19) 30... Qg6 31. Qc7 Re6 $4 {forfeits the advantage} (31... h5 $142 32. Rd2 Qg5 33. Qh2 $19) 32. Rd3 $4 {gives the opponent new chances} (32. Qb8+ $142 {is the best option White has} Kg7 33. Rd8 Rb6+ 34. Ka3 Ra6+ 35. Kb3 Rb6+ 36. Ka3 Ra6+ 37. Kb3 Rb6+ $11) 32... Rb6+ (32... f4 $142 {might be the shorter path} 33. Rd8+ Kg7 $19) 33. Ka3 Ra6+ 34. Kb3 Rb6+ 35. Ka3 1/2-1/2