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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Report from a Dragon thematical corr event at ICCF (Read 5056 times)
bragesjo
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Long live the Nimzo Indian

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Report from a Dragon thematical corr event at ICCF
02/06/19 at 07:58:19
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The tournament did not go the way I was hoping for. I only won an a single game but I did not lose any games but did not reach semifinal.
The positive side is that I played 2 draws vs a corr SIM (corr title, over IM but bellow GM) who won the event. I will not post any complete games here or give any names since they are secret to public accordning to tournamnet rules.

I have looked at the other players games since they are viewable after completion in this event since it was large event. Many opponnets often played different systems with both sides in every game and sometimes the lower placed players played total craplines in some games, ending up worse quickly and losing including with white, while I met no bad lines. In a few cases they entered playable but ultra sharp mainlines (but not theory recommendations) even as white and losing quickly when out of book some move later.  I will not post any examples of lines of either category.

But there was also a number of games when it was clear that one side was the better player and there was not opening mistakes involed but it is also still impossible to tell if it would have effected the tournament result if they played that line vs me instead of vs some other player and the opposote. I played the same systems in every game with both sides if given the chance. I belive they played more critical against me since I did not have corr elo when the event started since, but I have it today, since I am new to corr and mainly plays unrated thematical events.

But I am actually happy that I did not reach semi since I now gets more time to focus on other events, I entered without warning both a Najdorf final and a Petroff final that I had not planned for so a Dragon semi would have meant that I would drown in games since I also play rated events too like team matches and rated tournaments and also other unrated thematical events. The event also cleary showed that I need to improve my white repertour vs Dragon. As white I played to weak and tried to win the positional way by playing the Be3 Be2 0-0-0 Yugoslav like variation in every game, where I tried to get the slighty more comfortable endgame after

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Be2 Nc6 8.Qd2 O-O 9.O-O-O Ng4 10.Bxg4 Bxg4 11.f3 Bd7 12.Kb1 Ne5 13.b3 Re8 14.h4 Qa5 15.h5 Rac8  16.Nd5 Qxd2 17.Rxd2

I have been succefull with it in many over the board games, including vs heigher rated. But in corr chess black easely found the correct moves and held the draw, particullary in 2 games where I messed up my move order later. I will not play this line with white anymore thats for certain, at least not in corr.

As black I played the safest mainlines I knew of and all games became draws. I met varius lines in almost every game, including a rare Be2 setup with a quick Re1 in one game. The funny side was that in one of the black games I played a sound queen sacrifice at move 17 but it lead to a draw at move 26. It was the first time ever I sacrificed my queen in a corr game.
 
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.O-O-O d5 10.Kb1 Nxd4 11.e5 Nf5 12.exf6 exf6 13.Nxd5 Nxe3 14.Qxe3 Be6 15.Bc4 f5 16.c3 Re8 17.Nf4 Bxc4 18.Rxd8 Raxd8

Vs Bc4 yugoslav I went for Topalov varition where I met h4 twice and played this 19 .. Rc5 via 2 move orders and sacrificed exchange for good compensation at move 21 reaching comfortable draws. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.O-O-O Rc8 11.Bb3 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 b5 13.h4 a5 14.h5 a4 15.Bxf6 exf6 16.Bd5 b4 17.hxg6 hxg6 18.Ne2 f5 19.Nd4 Rc5 20.Kb1 Qc7 21.Qg5 Rxd5 22.exd5 b3 In in one of these games I even sacrificed the exchange again at move 28.

Vs 9 0-0-0 I played d5 and in 
a .12 Bd4 line I played Bxd4 Bxd4 Qb6 Na4 Qc7 and nothing interesting happened for both sides, we followed a ultimate mainline very long and than took a draw.
b. 10 Qe1 I played e5 where met the trendy 14 Kb1 and played 14 .. a5! that I found at some other forum quating some corr games and dont think white has anything special at all. The idea is 15 h4 Qc7! Shaws book agreed on this for but it was not out until far ahead into the event so no player had that book as help. Shaw does by the way proposed old main line 14 Ne4 instead. I met the latest Stockfish top suggested improvment over the corr games but white still did not get anything anyway disspite that opponent was rated over 2300 (but still an untitled player). In one game in the opponent who played this system as white met 14 .. Re8!? and black even won that game and in one game 14 .. Rb8 became a draw and 14 .. Qd7 lead to a draw too.
c. Kb1 Nxd4 e5 Nf5 exf6 exf6.

My conclusion of this event is that the Dragon is in excellent shape in corr chess if one knows theory and plays the right subvariations.
  
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