Sicilian Defence, Accelerated Dragon
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Buy Now. Buy in bulk and save. We now know that the Sicilian — Dragon structure often leads to complex and sharp games, and we have a rough idea of what each of the players should be trying to do.
However, in chess practice and theory are two distinct fields, and we need to put all of these ideas to the test. As you have read in the previous section, a major decision for White is whether to castle Kingside or Queenside. Both are interesting options with their own ideas and characteristics, but we will start by the one many players with the Black pieces will be most afraid of: castling Queenside and producing an attack.
Since a direct attack to the King is very objective and tactical , this can of course be deadly if Black does not find a way of defending against it or creating his own threats. Karpov, who is best known for his positional masterpieces, starts building up an attacking setup from early on: he places his Bishop on c4, prepares to castle Queenside and advances the h-pawn, creating threats of h4-h5 and g2-g4. Karpov decided to sacrifice a pawn in order to make the attack go faster, while Korchnoi had not started advancing his Queenside pawns yet.
The exchange of the dark-squared Bishops favours White, as it makes the weaknesses around the King stand out even more. Karpov was at this point thinking about bringing the Knight over to g3 to help the attack, and kicking the f6 Knight away with g4-g5. This tactical blow finishes off the game in great style. If anything else, White will simply take on f6 and checkmate will also be peeking at every corner. When you see such a game with Black, you might feel discouraged to play this structure: but fear not, since dangerous attacks also happen all the time with colors reversed!
Take a look at diagram 1q, extracted from the game Erenburg — Sakaev, played in the World Cup of In this situation, Black has clearly arrived first in the opposite-castling attack. White has tried to advance his Kingside pawns, but the structure offers him no possibilities to pursue an attack at this point, since the h4-h5 break is no longer available and f4-f5 will be extremely unlikely, since Black is defending this square with both the e6 and g6 pawns. At the same time, Black has already placed all of his pieces in excellent squares : the Knight on c4, eyeing the b2 pawn; the Rook on c8, the open file Black always strives to exploit; and the Queen on a5, threatening a3 and overall controlling the dark squares.
In addition to this, Black has also advanced the b-pawn all the way up to b4, where it helps the attack be even more threatening. A few moves later, we see Black triumph:. The attack comes to an end and Black emerges victorious, as both the Rook and mate on a1 are threatened. White has no effective defense.
As you can see, tactical ideas are flooding the position for both sides — but what makes the Dragon so incredibly rich is the fact that you can also find positional masterpieces as easily. The proof that these ideas can be as dangerous as opposite-side castling positions is that when the current World Champion faced this structure with the White pieces, he decided to go for this positional approach , calmer and more strategic than the double-edged attacks we have just analyzed.
In this kind of variations, White tries to achieve a long-term advantage. As you have read before, the Knight jump to d5 is very effective, as if it gets taken, Black will be tied to the defense of the weak e7 pawn. Another game in which White chose this plan was Karjakin — Maki, dating from In diagram 1t you can see how the structural transformation favors White, who got an unbearable pressure on the e7 pawn and won a smooth game.
In addition to this, the major pieces are controlling the central files , and even the Bishop on a4 is in an ideal square, pinning the d7 Knight to the e8 Rook — it must also be noted that this Rook on e8 has a hard time moving, since it plays an important defensive role. This plan definitely seems to be effective for White , but Black also has more than enough ways to avoid getting such a passive position for himself. The most effective way to get counterplay against this positional setup is to place a Knight on e5, where it will be prepared to jump to c4. A few moves later in the above game, the following position was reached:.
White was obliged to exchange Knights on e5, which granted Black a very well supported Bishop on that square. With patience, he maneuvered his pieces to attack the newborn weakness on b2 — the Rook and Queen are extremely active on the b-file.
The fact is that if you come to find the Sicilian — Dragon pawn structure in your chess games, you will already know how play should follow for both sides. This is the perfect moment to finally draw some conclusions about what all the things we have just learned about the Sicilian — Dragon pawn structure.
We have reached the end of our coverage of the Sicilian — Dragon pawn structure, which was hopefully interesting for you to read, and useful for your chess games from now on. Remember that even if you do not have the chance to actually play this structure during your games, studying pawn structures will provide you with a lot of knowledge that will definitely be useful to increase your chess level.
From this article, there are definitely some conclusions to draw:. Congratulations on reaching the end on yet another pawn structure article!
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If you keep on studying pawn structures, be prepared to see your overall chess knowledge increase — and most likely the rating points you desire will follow. Stay tuned for a lot more pawn structure articles coming your way! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
What does the Sicilian — Dragon pawn structure look like? Diagram 1a: The Sicilian — Dragon pawn structure. Diagram 1b: The critical d5 square. Diagram 1c: Imbalances created by the g7-g6 advance. How do you reach this pawn structure? It is also possible to transpose to the above position with the Hyper Accelerated Dragon, with the moves: e4 c5 Nf3 g6 d4 cxd4 Nxd4 Nc6 Nc3 Bg7 Be3 Nf6 Bc4 Bb3 d6 After this theoretical introduction, you can not only identify a Sicilian — Dragon pawn structure on any chess board in the world, but you also know exactly how to reach it with many different variations.
Diagram 1h: Typical Classical Dragon setup. Diagram 1i: The strong d5 break. Diagram 1j: Typical Dragon position with the Nd5 move. How do you play in this pawn structure? Diagram 1p: Karpov — Korchnoi, Position after Diagram 1q: Erenburg — Sakaev, Position after Diagram 1s: Carlsen — Radjabov, Position after Diagram 1t: Karjakin — Maki, Position after A few moves later in the above game, the following position was reached: Diagram 1v: Silva Lucena — Perez Mitjans, Position after Conclusions We have reached the end of our coverage of the Sicilian — Dragon pawn structure, which was hopefully interesting for you to read, and useful for your chess games from now on.
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