Reports | November 26, 2009 17:53

Play the Dragon!

ChessVibes Openings 47Cuban GM Leinier Dominguez Perez is a world-class player known for almost always going for the absolute main lines. When David Smerdon was preparing for Dominguez, his opponent in the World Cup, the Australian GM decided not to avoid theory, but to play... the Sicilian Dragon! The diagram position contains an important finesse he found while preparing - before you click on 'full story', see if you can find what Black should play...

The diagram position is from the second rapid game Dominguez-Smerdon, World Cup (Khanty-Mansiysk) 2009, played last Monday, after the moves 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 Ne5 12. Kb1 Re8 13. h4 h5 14. g4 hxg4 15. h5 Nxh5 16. Bh6 e6 17. Rdg1 Qf6 18. fxg4 Bxh6 19. Qxh6 Qg7 20. Qe3 Nf6 21. g5 Nh5 22. Ndb5 Bxb5 23. Nxb5 Red8 24. Qxa7 Nf3 25. Rg2 Qe5 26. Qe3.

Here Smerdon played 26...Ne1! because 26... Qxb5 fails to 27. Qxf3 Qe5 28. Rxh5!! and wins. After 27. Rxe1 Qxb5 28. c3 Qe5, ChessVibes Openings editors IM Merijn van Delft and IM Robert Ris write:

In the first round of the World Cup five interesting Dragon games were played. After 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 Shabalov beat Baklan with 12. ..Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Qb6 14.Na4 Qa5 15.b3 Rb8!? while the first game Dominguez-Smerdon (with 12...Nxc3) saw Black neutralising 17.Bd3 with 17...Qe3 18.Rd2 Rfe8!N 19.Qh4 Bxa2! although 19.Qf6 seems to be the critical move here. In the next encounter Dominguez went for the big 9.Bc4 line, to be confronted with the new 25...Qe5! 26.Qe3 Ne1! distracting the White pieces from a succesful exchange sacrifice on h5. The engines think White is better in the diagram position, but Black turns out to be rock solid. Finally Dominguez managed to beat Smerdon with 7.Be2, but that can never be a theoretical problem for Black. Areshchenko-Corrales followed Motylev's recent victories in the old 10.h4 labyrinth.

All this was published yesterday in ChessVibes Openings #47, only two days after this theoretically important Dragon game was played!


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  • What's hot? A round-up of this week's important opening developments, with statistics about the frequence and score of the week's most important opening novelty (page 1)
  • What's not? Which openings are not recommended at the moment, according to the top players? And why not? (page 1)
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ChessVibes Openings no. 47

This week's issue: #47, November 25, 2009

ChessVibes Openings #47
The latest opening developments of the fourth week of November 2009, covering the Tal Memorial World Blitz Championship and the complete first round of the FIDE World Cup. All about the Marshall Gambit of the Slav which was analysed in our Game of the Week Jobava-Robson, Khanty-Mansiysk 2009. Other lines that are covered:

  • Scotch, 4...Bc5
  • Dragon, 9.Bc4 main line
  • French, Rubinstein
  • Slav, 6.Ne5, 11...g5

This week's Opening Expert is Swiss GM Yannick Pelletier.

ChessVibes Openings no. 46

Last week's issue: #46, November 18, 2009

ChessVibes Openings #46
The latest opening developments of the third week of November 2009, covering the Tal Memorial, the Bundesliga and the Haije Kramer tournament. All about the Najdorf/Scheveningen (English Attack) which was analysed in our Game of the Week Carlsen-Ponomariov, Tal Memorial 2009. Other lines that are covered:

  • Ruy Lopez, sidelines
  • Ragozin, 8.dxc5
  • Vienna, 8.e5
  • Slav, 11...g5

This week's Opening Expert is Ukrainian top GM Pavel Eljanov.

ChessVibes Openings no. 45

Previous issue: #45, November 11, 2009

ChessVibes Openings #45
The latest opening developments of the second week of November 2009. All about the Grünfeld, Exchange Variation which was analysed in our Game of the Week Kramnik-Svidler, Tal Memorial 2009. Other lines that are covered:

  • Sicilian Rauzer, 6...Bd7
  • Anti-Moscow Gambit
  • Grünfeld-Indian, 8.Rb1
  • Nimzo-Indian, 4.Qc2

This week's Opening Expert is the World Champion, GM Vishy Anand.

Ehm... can I have a look?

Here's what ChessVibes Openings #16 (April 22, 2009) looks like:

FREE SAMPLE ISSUE - ChessVibes Openings #16 - click to download!

  • What's hot? A round-up of the most important opening developments of mid-April, including statistics about the frequence and score of the Chebanenko position after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.c5 Nbd7 6.Bf4 Nh5 7.Bd2 Nhf6
  • What's not? This week 1.e4 e5 was hot, as the top players categorically avoided the Semi-Open Games. Interestingly, the classical 1...d5 was also much more popular than the more modern answers to 1.d4, at the FIDE Grand Prix in Nalchik.
  • Game of the week "‚ÄúI didn‚Äôt spend much time on it before the game, but I prepared seriously for this tournament and we did investigate this line,‚Äù Peter Leko said at the press conference in Nalchik, after his game against Sergei Karjakin. Page two has a closer look at this highly interesting draw in the Chebanenko.
  • This week's harvest For more opening ideas from the Ruy Lopez Marshall, Sicilian Taimanov, Queen's Indian and Ragozin Defence.
  • Opening expert This week Rustam Kasimdzhanov is highlighted. The former FIDE World Champion and current second of Anand has a broad repertoire, switching from hypersharp openings like Dragon and Anti-Moscow to positional Queen‚Äôs Gambit lines.

FREE SAMPLE ISSUE - ChessVibes Openings #16 - click to download!

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July 1, 2009: Eugene Manchester reviews ChessVibes Openings for ChessCafe

In the July 1 issue of ChessCafe's Book Review (mirror here) ChessVibes Openings was reviewed by Eugene Manchester. Some quotes:

CVO in ChessCafe"So, who-ya-gonna-call? Opening busters? Not quite. For the reasonable price of 25 euros per year, once a week you can receive intelligent, interesting opening surveys and analysis presented by a team lead by Dutch IMs Merijn van Delft & Robert Ris."

"The format and presentation are consistently of high quality, with variety of coverage and opening analysis."

"The cost per year is roughly equivalent to a good chess book. Each week you get a four- page issue packed with opening analysis, at least two thoroughly annotated games with one or more of that week's featured openings, a glimpse into the world of the latest opening novelties, in short, a quality weekly opening report."

May 7, 2009: GM Hedinn Steingrimsson reviews ChessVibes Openings for Chess Today

In issues 3103 (Thursday, May 7) of Chess Today, the daily chess newspaper which also comes into your inbox by email in PDF, ChessVibes Openings was reviewed by GM Hedinn Steingrimsson from Iceland. Some quotes:

CVO in CT"What I like about ChessVibes Openings is their focus on the trend and discoveries that are revealed in super tournaments and by very strong players. It makes sense for all tournament chess players and opening theoreticians to follow these developments and getting an overview from ChessVibes Openings definitely saves time."

"I find it positive that there is consistency in the openings covered so that the readers will with time have a certain repertoire available based on different theoretical articles from ChessVibes about e.g. the Anti-Moscow Variation."

"For those that really want to find out how to get a better position out of the opening and are willing to enter complications and do some homework in order to succeed, ChessVibes Openings can be recommended."

What's hot and what's not?

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Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

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