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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) What about a flirt with a Dragón? (Read 15415 times)
Grunfeldhope
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Re: What about a flirt with a Dragón?
Reply #16 - 07/24/14 at 20:29:49
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dfan wrote on 05/11/14 at 17:39:35:
The two issues I think you may run into are

1) The Dragon has a reputation as a super-tactical opening, so many White players will be scared off from heading into it unless they actually know what they're doing. So I think you will encounter fewer "I'll play 8 moves and then I can wing it from there" opponents than in your French games.

2) A lot of the players that don't fit the above category will play Anti-Sicilians, so you're going to have to prepare for all of them too, and they may not be as much fun.


As the Accelerated Dragon features an early ...g6 by Black, I'd always thought of it as an extremely aggressive version of Sicilian. I remember reading something similar to what you say in Carsten Hansten's book on it. I think the primary difference between the Accelerated line and the Dragon is that Black can avoid playing (or falling into the trap) of...pawn d6
  
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Re: What about a flirt with a Dragón?
Reply #15 - 07/08/14 at 20:28:32
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Tonyro:

"One does not simply "flirt" with the Dragon."

This.

The Dragon is one of the most-analyzed, critical, and tactical openings around.  You cannot out-calculate your opponent's theoretical knowledge at the board.

The Dragon is not a one-night-stand opening.  It is looking for an LTR and expects you to make sweet love to it, not just flirt.

Also, ...d6 invites some fairly significant Anti-Sicilian options (as does ...Nc6).  I play the Taimanov in large part in order to play ...e6 first, since that is, in my opinion, the best move against White's not-open-sicilian options.  So in "flirting" you are also risking a Rossolimo or Grand Prix Attack that your opponent knows better than you.
  
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Re: What about a flirt with a Dragon?
Reply #14 - 06/14/14 at 13:12:48
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The thing that most bothers me about the Dragon is that the currently approved methods for combating the 9.0-0-0 variation are rather dry.  I don't think it's completely a two-result situation for White but it's closer than I'd like.
« Last Edit: 07/03/14 at 17:39:59 by MNb »  
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Re: What about a flirt with a Dragón?
Reply #13 - 06/13/14 at 14:07:22
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One does not simply "flirt" with the Dragon.

If you ask me, if the OP is willing to put in the time and effort to learn the theory, then the Dragon might be one of the best practical choices a club player can make to increase their OTB expectation. I don't think I scored better on the WHITE side of anything than I did with the Dragon when I was playing it religiously @ around the 1800 - 2000 level. I'd bet it's more than fine higher than that too though. On the other hand, if the OP just wants something to mess around with on the side in a handful of games a year, I think he's better off avoiding the Sicilian all together. There's just too much there. I'd choose something that forces White players to enter your line of choice no matter what, e.g. the Scandinavian, the Pirc/Modern/Alekhine, or even just new, offbeat variations in the French.

If the OP wants to seriously take up the Sicilian, then studying the Anti-Sicilians is paramount, but rewarding - once you have a good idea of how to play against them, you'll start hoping for them!
  
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Re: What about a flirt with a Dragón?
Reply #12 - 06/04/14 at 16:27:24
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Re: What about a flirt with a Dragon?
Reply #11 - 06/02/14 at 22:57:05
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I'm rather on the fence about this one. There are certainly some drawbacks to playing the Dragon these days but, on the other hand, only the Yugoslav variation is theoretically critical.
« Last Edit: 07/03/14 at 17:40:36 by MNb »  
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Re: What about a flirt with a Dragón?
Reply #10 - 06/02/14 at 19:07:20
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I agree with the above, and especially the comment that the antidote to anti-sicilians is to begin with 1 e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6.  The Dragon is not a good thing to dabble with, unfortunately; it requires a certain amount of theoretical knowledge, especially in the main Yugoslav lines.  There are places where multiple successive sacrifices are not only theoretical, but forced... and not always easy to find, because the resulting positions do not fit your preconceived notions unless you are already a dragon player.  (For instance, "I'm down a rook for four passed pawns!  Excellent!")

For a French player, the ...e6 lines (which can be either a route to the Scheveningen, Taimanov, or Kan depending on your preference) make a lot of sense because one of the main anti-sicilian lines ends up being an Exchange or Advance French (2 c3 e6 3 d4 d5 / 2 Nf3 e6 3 c3 d5).  This is especially important because THE main Anti-Sicilian line (3 Bb5) just doesn't work against 2...e6, so you'll see a lot of 3 c3.
  
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Re: What about a flirt with a Dragon?
Reply #9 - 05/13/14 at 19:53:53
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RdC wrote on 05/13/14 at 16:59:12:
bragesjo wrote on 05/12/14 at 07:00:13:
The Dragon is not refuted, but it requires a good memory and many lines are long forced draws.


A good eye for tactical defences against being mated is also necessary. Although many refinements have been discovered for the defender, there is an underlying plan for White, which as Fischer put it is, "Open the h file, sac, sac, mate".


I agree but in practical play many White players play the Fischer plan without knowing concrete theory only to lose to a stronger counter attack or some tactical tricks or a forced endgame an exchange up but with black having some pawn(s) and better structure. Many Dragon positions are of the nature of one slight mistake and the opponent wins. I have also seen black players play the Dragon without knowing much theory only to get blasted away by White.
« Last Edit: 07/03/14 at 17:41:18 by MNb »  
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Re: What about a flirt with a Dragón?
Reply #8 - 05/13/14 at 16:59:12
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bragesjo wrote on 05/12/14 at 07:00:13:
The Dragon is not refuted, but it requires a good memory and many lines are long forced draws.


A good eye for tactical defences against being mated is also necessary. Although many refinements have been discovered for the defender, there is an underlying plan for White, which  as Fischer put it is, "Open the h file, sac, sac, mate".
  
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Re: What about a flirt with a Dragón?
Reply #7 - 05/12/14 at 07:00:13
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The Dragon is not refuted, but it requires a good memory and many lines are long forced draws.
I agree with RoleyPoley that if one is comfortable with particularly 9 0-0-0 lines and also 9 g4 lines then I see no problem, 9 Bc4 yugoslav leeds to interesting play for both sides.
There are also several other lines that a critical like Be3 Be2 (not f3) 0-0-0 but black has no problems from a theoretical point if view.

I can also say that anti sicilians are 9 times more common at club level than any open sicilian with d6. 3 Bb5+ or 3 c3 is pretty common as well.

In many cases even title players that allow the Dragon and plays sharp lines without knowing theory. A few years ago in a team match in Swedish Superrettan(division directly bellow elite) I crushed a FM since he knew theory one move to short.

For myself I have been toying with the idea of playing some e6 based sicilian like Kan or Taimanov but I lack the time to study them, I choosed Caro Kann to get more time to study other things than openings and I already had a line vs Panov since I play Nimzo Indian. While I do have a +4 =2 -1 in Caro Kann in "real" games right now I will probably not play Caro Kann forever but in blitz game I have found it very effective against some higher rated players .
  
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Re: What about a flirt with a Dragon?
Reply #6 - 05/12/14 at 03:52:30
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Pingudon wrote on 05/11/14 at 19:37:05:
Wow it is not easy to play sicilian as most of the time you will be facing anti sicilian. When you play 1...e6 you will most of the time play a French. It seems i will have to keep playing the French. I wll play some blitz with the dragon just to get an idea


Sure, but if you'd picked 2.Nf3 e6, then you'd be able to meet a lot of Anti's with 2...e6 and 3...d5 (without fearing a transposition to an Open Sicilian you don't play). I don't have a problem with being handed easy equality out of the opening, but horses for courses.
« Last Edit: 07/03/14 at 17:41:47 by MNb »  

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Re: What about a flirt with a Dragón?
Reply #5 - 05/11/14 at 19:37:05
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Wow it is not easy to play sicilian as most of the time you will be facing anti sicilian. When you play 1...e6 you will most of the time play a French. It seems i will have to keep playing the French. I wll play some blitz with the dragón just to get an idea
  
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Re: What about a flirt with a Dragón?
Reply #4 - 05/11/14 at 17:39:35
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The two issues I think you may run into are

1) The Dragon has a reputation as a super-tactical opening, so many White players will be scared off from heading into it unless they actually know what they're doing. So I think you will encounter fewer "I'll play 8 moves and then I can wing it from there" opponents than in your French games.

2) A lot of the players that don't fit the above category will play Anti-Sicilians, so you're going to have to prepare for all of them too, and they may not be as much fun.
  
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Re: What about a flirt with a Dragon?
Reply #3 - 05/11/14 at 17:31:12
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Pingudon wrote on 05/11/14 at 13:42:26:
I have allways play the French. But I want to play some thing different. Schevenningen, Najdorf, Dragon. Really my first choice would be the Dragon but I am afraid that after reading some comments it seems black is against the ropes. But I wonder how many people under 2300 really know that much theory. Even in those lines where black is suffering doesn't he has chances to fight for an advantage? Most of the time when I play the French against 2200 players they do not know theory after the move 10 or so. The schevenningen is alzo very good but white seems to have all the fun in a lot of positions although of course black has counterplay. I would like to hear your opinion. Thanks a lot


One thing you should remember is that you'll be a Sicilian player first, i.e. the better you play your chosen main defence the more often will you face 2.c3, 3.Bb5, 2.Nc3 and so on.

So, if you just want to get something different than the French middlegames, then 1...g6 or 1...Nf6 would be options that require less theoretical devotion and would still result in typical play for each defence in most games.
« Last Edit: 07/03/14 at 17:42:17 by MNb »  
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Re: What about a flirt with a Dragón?
Reply #2 - 05/11/14 at 16:44:26
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Does this mean that you wont be following Nigel Short's repertoire now?  Wink

Unfortunately, as a 1500 i am in no position to answer your question, however you will notice that the Dragon's sub forum does appear to be fairly quiet. Also, one of the guys who had done much of the posting here, Bragesjo, now apparently plays the Caro Kann instead. Although, he recently played it against a GM with a reputation in the Dragon circles and almost came out on top. (he also seems to be a really nice bloke from his posts and you could probably get some good advice from him).

I would think that it is nowwhere near as popular anymore as other lines in the Sicilian and so there is a good chance that white players will not know the lines as well as they do in the Najdorf etc.

I also think that most of the lines are fine for black outside of the Yugoslav stuff (Levenfish and g3 setups etc). Key problems  are probably still in the 9.0-0-0 and 9.g4 lines of the Dragon so if you look at those and find lines you are comfortable with you shouldnt have too many problems.

Not sure at 2300 level but against people 1800 and below most favoured 9. Bc4 lines of Yugoslav (probably because they knew no theory and it seemed logical) which although dangerous is probably not as much as the other two lines. It maybe that people play this because they have a simple idea of what they are trying to do, without knowing the theory. It's a fairly thematic opening which is part of the fun of learning it (at least at lower levels).

I would say give it a go and see for yourself how well 2300 players know it.
  

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