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Normal Topic Is the Dragon alive??? (Read 4439 times)
DragonPlayer
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Re: Is the Dragon alive???
Reply #7 - 03/31/04 at 17:39:46
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I agree that the variation I recommended above is considered less than satisfactory these days but that is besides the point.

First of all after 17.Qa3 the move 17... a5 is considered the weakest out of the four alternatives (many dragonplayers I know Wink  ). Either rook to d8 should in my opinion be played and there are a lot of intriguing variations. Some variations that are considered as better for white in several dragonbooks, Fritz assesses as about 0.00 even though white is a pawn up or two, which shows blacks potential (knowing that Fritz is very materialistic...)

Secondly, one shouldn't emphasize so much on the statistics. A little homestudy should be enough to get a position which is more than playable. As I said I've seen players with 2300-2400 Elo sometimes chicken out with 16.Qc3 and sometimes been slaughtered after 16.Qxe7 and 17.Qa3

There are a lot of opening variations that are considered dubious or even refuted, but stil give rise to exciting play with winning chances such as the Schliemann variation of the Ruy Lopez or the Latvian gambit to name a few.

Before one (hopefully Wink  ) reaches International Master status, such variations are in my opinion ok once you know a bit of theory and have looked at the position at home.

Even Grandmasters have troubles against a few openings or opening variations that are considered less satisfactory than the rest.

Our own Chris Ward in his book "Unusual queen's gambit decline" says on page 110: "I once went through a two-year period losing only three games with White; amazingly, all of them were to the Chigorin Defence!"

Now I know most 1.d4 players don't fear the Chigorin more than, for instance, the Grunfeld or something...

Just one more comment on this topic: In the Najdorf there is a variation against the English Attack that is considered totally refuted but it didn't stop Vallejo from using it and achieve an advantage as black against Leko himself just recently in Linares.

Bottom line: look at the variations yourself and if you like them, try them and trust yourself, not statistics! Smiley
  
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AmateurDragoneer
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Re: Is the Dragon alive???
Reply #6 - 03/27/04 at 17:10:35
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I also think the Dragon would be "more alive" if people bothered to look at their theory. I played a guy yesterday who wasa 400 pts. higher than me and wasn't even prepared in the 9. Bc4 w/ Qa5 lines. I think we would have a better understanding on the current status of the Dragon if everyone, on both sides of the Dragon, was as theory-conscious as we are. Anyway, here's the game which was not only fun because it was an upset, but I got to pull the Bh6-f8 thing (something I don't get to do very often because I play 9. O-O-O if a normal Dragon move order is used):

Stern,Mitchell (1392) - Gordon,Daniel (1797) [B79]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 0–0 8.Bb3 d6 9.f3 Bd7 10.Qd2 Qa5 11.0–0–0 Rfc8 12.g4 Ne5 13.h4 Rab8 14.h5 b5 15.hxg6 hxg6 16.Bh6 Bh8 17.Bf8 Rxf8 18.Rxh8+ Kxh8 19.Qh6+ Kg8 20.Rh1 Nh5 21.gxh5 Rfc8 22.hxg6 Nxg6 23.Qxg6+ 1-0

  
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notagmyet
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Re: Is the Dragon alive???
Reply #5 - 03/26/04 at 18:04:40
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I dont really play the dragon that often, but have maintained a respect for it. I don't think it'll ever be refuted, because its just one of those sort of openings
  

"When I am White, I am because I am White. When I am Black, I win because I am Bogolyubov" (?!) - Efim Bogolyubov, noted chess player and optimist.
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Re: Is the Dragon alive???
Reply #4 - 03/24/04 at 20:40:42
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As a surprise weapon, perhaps this line works. But after 16. Qxe7 Be6 17. Qa3, white seems to be in command in pretty much every variation; scoring over 80%. Two games which struck as being clear evidence of Black's lack of compensation are:

[Event "TUR-ch"]
[Site "Kusadasi"]
[Date "2004.02.28"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Atakisi,Umut"]
[Black "Bagci,Hikmet"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Eco "B76"]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6
9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 Nxc3 13.Qxc3 Bh6+ 14.Be3 Bxe3+ 15.Qxe3 Qb6 16.Qxe7 Be6
17.Qa3 a5 18.Bd3 Qb4 19.Be4 Qxa3 20.bxa3 Ra6 21.Rd6 Rc8 22.Rhd1 Kg7 23.R1d3 Kf6 24.Rc3 Ke7
25.Rdxc6 Raxc6 26.Rxc6 Rxc6 27.Bxc6 Kd6 28.Ba4 Bc4 29.Kd2 Kc5 30.Bb3 Bf1 31.g4 f6 32.Bg8 h6
33.Bh7 Bc4 34.Bxg6 Bxa2 35.f4 Be6 36.h3 Kd4 37.Bd3 Bd5 38.h4 Be6 39.g5 fxg5 40.fxg5 h5
41.c3+ Ke5 42.Ke3 Bg8 43.Bg6 Kd5 44.Kd3 Be6 45.Bxh5 Bf5+ 46.Kd2 Ke5 47.Ke3 Be6 48.Be2 Kf5
49.Kd4 Bf7 50.Bd3+ Kg4 51.g6 Bb3 52.g7 Bg8 53.Bc4 Bh7 54.g8=Q+ Bxg8 55.Bxg8 Kxh4 56.c4 Kg5
57.Ke5 Kg6 58.c5 Kg7 59.Be6 Kf8 60.Kd6 a4 61.c6 Kg7 62.c7 Kf6 63.c8=Q Kg7 64.Ke5 Kg6
65.Qg8+ Kh6 66.Qg4 Kh7 67.Qg5  1-0

[Event "Bayern-chI Bank Hofmann 1st"]
[Site "Bad Wiessee"]
[Date "1997.11.15"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Xie Jun"]
[Black "Heuer,Thomas"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Eco "B76"]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6
9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 Nxc3 13.Qxc3 Bh6+ 14.Be3 Bxe3+ 15.Qxe3 Qb6 16.Qxe7 Be6
17.Qa3 a5 18.Bd3 Qb4 19.Be4 Ra6 20.Rd6 Rc8 21.Rhd1 Kg7 22.Qd3 Ra7 23.a3 Qc5 24.Rxc6 Rxc6
25.Bxc6 Rc7 26.Ba4  1-0

All in all, why not learn a little more theory (there isn't that much more) and play one of the more solid main lines because if white knows his theory, he should win easily as the endgames do not look tenable for black.
  
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DragonPlayer
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A line against 9.0-0-0
Reply #3 - 03/24/04 at 19:32:39
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As an active dragonplayer I would like to recommend (after 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4)
the pawn sacrifice 12... Nxc3 13.Qxc3 Bh6+ 14.Be3 Bxe3+ 15.Qxe3 Qb6

In the main lines after 16. Qxe7 Be6 white has to be very careful and just a little knowledge can give you an easy win. I myself have found several evaluations to be incorrect in for example 'Easy Guide ... Dragon" and other books just by analyzing with Fritz.

Another advantage is that the variation is very rare and most whiteplayers are not ready for it. I've seen several times that strong whiteplayers (Elo around 2200-2400) don't take on the gauntlet with 16.Qxe7 and instead play 16.Qc3 which should put a smile on your face Smiley

  
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Re: Is the Dragon alive???
Reply #2 - 03/22/04 at 22:19:21
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It is far from dead, it is just that some major reevaluations are happening in several lines and they happen to be occurring in several popular lines at exactly the same time. The Chinese Dragon certainly has a lot of territory to be explored given that the current main line (w/ h4 and Bh6 for white) seems to offer black at least equality, if not more. I also feel that the "old" (the Qa5 line is actually older) ...Rc8 lines w/o h5 (though I wouldn't write off the Soltis Variation either!) are still pretty solid for black. While the 12. Kb1 lines still looks a bit troublesome, I still feel that Black has decent chances. I think the only reason that 9. Bc4 seems so fearsome all of a sudden is that pretty much everyone around (ie on this site and in the tournaments I've been to) is/was playinig Qa5, largely due to Chris's support for it in WWTD 1+2. However, now that the h4+g4 line has shown to be much more effectively than was initially believed (and, given the practical results, one can hardly blame Chris and others for their initial enthusiasm), people have started to desert the Qa5 system. While Chris's recommendation of 18...Qe5 still stands rather untested, it is certainly unclear whether black is fighting back and it has been seen is so few games that Black players are seeking clearer lines. Overall, I feel that the mass pandemonium over 9. Bc4 is pretty much due to an overraction by people to the theoretical reversal of the line's evaluation.

9. O-O-O was/is, I believe, a different story. Nowadays, the Yugoslav games where the top GMs are getting beaten are in the 9. O-O-O Yugoslav Attack. 9...Bd7 looks very weak at this point and some strong white novelties have raised some serious questions as to the soundness of 9...Nxd4 10. Bxd4 Be6 (though I continue to play it online and rack up tons of scalps with it!!!). However, I have hope in the latter line as there are definitely some old ideas that may be revived.

Now we come to 9...d5. A move which, though I find it most annoying to meet from the white side of the board, I dislike playing with black. Looking at the lines posted by new and highly enthusiastic member  "Da Costa Junior", I think Black can definitely equalize in these lines if he knows what he's doing. As members will see from my game which Chris annotated from this months update (I hate to brag, but it feels so good!!), there are some very sharp sidelines in the 9...d5 lines, including 10. Qe1 and my current weapon, 10. h4. If black knows his theory, he should equalize, but if he gets caught by surprise things can get very ugly very fast. So I think the Dragon is very much alive and playable, but the theory is both changing and increasing rapidly in the critical/main lines.
  
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Glenn Snow
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Re: Is the Dragon alive???
Reply #1 - 03/22/04 at 18:54:00
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Although I don't know a great deal about either variation I like the Chinese Variation after 9.Bc4 and the variation recommended by (or at least brought to my attention by) Da Costa Jr versus 9.O-O-O.  The latter is 9.O-O-O d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Qc7 (see the previous posts on this).  I still think there is plenty to discover in the older variations though.
  
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Is the Dragon alive???
03/22/04 at 09:14:40
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Hi everyone!!!

first of all I would like to say that I really like the Dragon forum as it's one of the most dynamic of all!
On to my question: havaing played the dragon from time to time over the years, I am wondering what is its theoretical state nowadays...
when I look at a few topics, it seems that Black is struggling in the two main lines,that is, 9.0-0-0 and 9.Bc4.
I am missing something???
As I was considering playing this marvellous opening again, any comment would be greatly appreciated!
  
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