Chess.FM: Chinese Dragon in the Sicilian Defense #1
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Published on Mar 10, 2012
2012 is the Year of the Dragon in China. We could not miss the opportunity to get into this popular and widely debated Opening Defense.
Belgian Fide Master Luc Henris, who was living in China with his Chinese wife, christened the variation "Chinese Dragon" (e4 b5 Nf3 d6 d4 cxd4 Nxd4 Nf6 Nc3 g6 Be3 Bg7 f3 Nc6 Qd2 0-0 Bc4 Bd7 0-0-0 Rb8) when he wrote a ground-breaking article about it for Yearbook 62, and that is when the name Chinese Dragon came to the world.
If you like aggressive action, then you are in for a treat. The Chinese Dragon is a new way to look at the Sicilian Dragon Defense, and allows Black to strike first in the pawn race. Many strong GMs play this variation, such as Magnus Carlsen, Teimour Radjabov and Vassily Ivanchuk.
Usually in the Sicilian Defense, and especially the Dragon variation, Black will put his rook on c8, to get maximum pressure down the c-file. However, in the Chinese Dragon, Black puts his rook on b8 to allow a quick push of his b-pawn. The pawn is immune from capture due to the quick and deadly attack Black gets on both the b and c files. However, many opponents fall for the trap and eat the pawn. After putting his rook on b8 on move 10, Black's goal is simple. Play b5, Na5-Nc4, and force white to capture the knight, opening the b-file to attack down. After the b file is open, play Qb6 to double up on the b file, bring the other rook to c8 for maximum pressure, and if needed push the a pawn as well. It is a simple formula that can be played almost automatically.
In his new series of the always interesting "Opening Survey" show, GM Ronen shows you all the "nip 'n 'tips" of this intriguing variation of the Sicilian Defense.
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