EXPEREMENTING WITH THE DRAGON
© GM Mikhail Golubev
2Nd4 16.Bd4 e5 17.fe5 de5 18.Qg5Nh7 19.Qg6 ed4, and here, insteadof 20.h5?, Lotsov proved that White has an advantage after20.Qf7! Kh8 21.Ne2! Bc6 22.Nf4Be4 23.h5 Rf8 24.Ng6 Bg6 25.hg6!,etc. Instead, I discovered how tostrengthen Black’s game by 23...Ng5! (21...Nf6!? is also possi-ble) and subsequently following up with ...Ra8-b8.
Al. Kovacevic-Golubev, NoviSad 1990
14.Nde2 b5 (14...Ne5)15.Bh6 Bh8 (15...b4!?; 15...Ne5!?)16.g4 (16.Qg5 Kh7!?; 16...Ne5)16...b4 17.Nd5 Nd5 18.Bd5 (18.ed5Ne5, unclear) 18...b3! 19.Bb3!?Nb4?! (19...Qd2) 20.c3?! (20.Nd4!)20...Na2 21.Ba2 Rc3, unclear.
14.g4 hg4 15.f4 Nd4 16.Bd4e5 17.fe5 de5 18.Qg5 Nh7 19.Bf7?Kf7 20.Rdf1 Kg8 21.Qg6 ed422.Nd5 Qc5 23.Qf7 Kh8 24.Ne7Qc2 25.Ka1 Rc6 -+.
Thiel-Golubev, Hof (rapid)1992
14.Nde2 b5 15.Nf4!? b4!?(15...Ne5 16.Ncd5 Qd2 17.Rd2Nd5 18.Nd5 Nc6) 16.Ncd5 Nd517.Nd5 e6 18.Ne7!? Ne7 19.Qd6,and correct was
19...Nc6! 20.Qd7 Qe5 21.Bc1 Nd4 22.f4?! Qe4 23.Rhe1 Qa8!
Neumeier-Golubev, Loosdorf 1993
14.Nd5 Qd2 15.Rd2 Nd516.Bd5 Ne5!? 17.Ne2 b6 18.Bd4 a519.a3 Rc7 20.Nf4 e6 21.Ba2 b5.
14.Rhe1 b5 15.Bh6 Nd416.Bg7 Kg7 17.Qd4 Qb6 18.e5(18.Qd2!?) 18...Qd4 19.Rd4 de520.Re5 e6 21.Ne4 Bc6 22.Nd6 Rf823.a4?! (23.Rc5 Rb6 24.Ne4 Rfb8)23...ba4 24.Ba4 Ba4 25.Ra4 Rfd8.
Rosenberger-Golubev, Ger-many 1996
14.Nde2 b5 15.Bg5 b416.Nd5 Nd5 17.Qd5 Qd5 18.ed5?!Na5 19.Nd4 Nb3 20.Nb3 Bf521.Rd2 Rb5 22.Be7 Be5 23.Bg5 a5,and the results of the opening weregood everywhere.Still, this variation occasionally troubled me, so I avoided using itagainst dangerous opponents. Ini-tially, I considered two dangerouslines: 14.g4 hg4 15.h5 and 14.Bg5!?. The last possibility, based upon thecontinuation14...Nd4 15.Qd4 Nh7?16.Qd5, took much of my time.However, I do not want to wasteyour time here because I have dis-covered at last that
14.g4! hg415.h5! Nh5
practically de-stroys Black’s position. So this ex-periment first contributed to my ELO rating and then to theory.Nevertheless, the more popularsystems with Ra8-c8 prove thatBlack’s condition is good. So,9.Bc4 ceased to be the main lineafter the mid 90’s.
It was rare to play this line inthe period beginning in the 50’s(when 9.Bc4 started to be fashion-able) until about 1977, when Tim-man used 9.0-0-0 against the origi-nator of
Sosonko.Even afterwards, the move 9.0-0-0 was less fashionable than 9.Bc4. Incomparison, it was not easy to findthe checkmate promised by Fischerin the 9.Bc4 line. But, 9.0-0-0 wasthe move that the discoverer of thisattack, Vsevolod Rauzer playedagainst Chekhover in Leningrad,1936: 6.f3 (now White plays 6.Be3!)6...Bg7 7.Be3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0! Nd4 10.Bd4 Be6 11.Kb1! Rc812.h4 Nh5?! 13.Bg7... I concludedlong ago that Rauzer was right. After the natural and logical 9.0-0-0, Black is presented with quite dif-ficult strategic problems.
This is the most popular line versus 9.0-0-0, first suggested by A.Konstantinovsky in 1937. All otherreasonable replies for Black werealso found in the 30’s
. 9...Nd410.Bd4 Be6
, is Chekhover’s plan. Italso has an extensive theoreticalhistory (whenever I play against theDragon as White, my opponentsoften choose to play this lineagainst me). After 11.Kb1! Whiteexerts an unpleasant pressure and issuperior in all variations.
(Lisitsin 1938) has beenrejected long ago (11.Kb1!;11.Bc4!). The cunning move
(Lisitsin 1938) has not found itsjustification after 10.Kb1 (and thereis also 10.Ne6!?).Only
(Veresov 1938)remains. Frequently it transposesfrom 7...Nc6 8.Qd2 Bd7 9.0-0-0 0-0. Several years ago I preparedmaterial on this line for the
Corre- spondence Chess Informator
, analyzing 10.g4 Ne5 11.h4 b5 12.Nd5(12.h5!?) 12...Nd5 13.ed5 b4. Whiteis superior after 14.h5 Qa5 15.Kb1!Qd5 16.Nf5!, but Black has morechances in other lines. A related idea was seen in thegame Maes-Golubev, Leuven 1995:6.g3 Bg4 7.f3 Bd7 8.g4 Nc6 9.Be3Bg7 10.Qd2 0-0 11.h4 h5 12.gh5Nh5 13.0-0-0 Rc8 14.Rg1 e6!?
15.Nb3 (15.Rg5!?) 15...Ne5 16.Be2Qh4 17.Bg5 Qf2 18.Be3 Qh419.Bg5 Qf2 20.Be3, draw.
This is strongest. Versus LeonidMilov’s idea -
Nd4 11.e5!!- I found probably the best con-tinuation in 1996 with 11...Nf5!?12.ef6 Bf6! 13.Nd5 Qd5! 14.Qd5Ne3. Subsequently many playershave tried it and no White advan-tage has been found. Against Dvoiris’s move
I have played 10...e5 11.Nc6 bc612.ed5 Nd5 13.Bc4 Be6 14.Ne4Qc7 15.Bc5 Rfd8. Here the essen-tial difference between similar po-sitions arising after 10.ed5 is that White has no time to fix the pawnstructure on Kingside. Instead, theline 12...cd5 13.Bg5 Be6 14.Bc4!favours White. The contemporary theoretical viewpoint of 10...e6 isnot bad. I studied this move with S.Savchenko in 1989 but always fa- vored 10...e5. Stanislav later usedhis idea 10...e6 11.g4
againstMorozevich. My idea was 11.h4
- I told Boris Alterman aboutthis move, and he later played itagainst Kramnik (1990).
10...Nd5 11.Nc6 bc6 12.Bd4!
Suetin introduced this move in1955. Till then, the important variation with
cd5 13.Qd5Qc7 14.Qc5 Qb7 15.Qa3 Bf516.Ba6 Qc7 17.Qc5 Qb6 18.Qb6ab6 19.Bc4 Rfc8 20.Bb3 Ra221.Rd8 = (Ravinsky-Beilin) hasbeen explored. Instead, after 15.b3Bf5 16.Bd3 it is best to play 16...Rac8 with the idea of 17.Qa7Bd3 18.Qb7 Rc2 = (Rychagov-Savchenko, 1988). Many theoreti-cians recommend 17...Qb5, but