He was winning,
but he didn't see it
and I escaped - as usual.

-Levon Aronian

Live from London

By drunknknite

From looking at some other blogs it looks like I'm not the only one who has taken a break for the holidays. But just wanted to give a quick update on my trip... It's been pretty fun, London's a great town. My only internet access is my sister's computer in the hotel next to ours however which kind of sucks. One of the highlights of my trip so far has definitely been the London Chess Centre, it has the best selection of books I have ever seen. Even better than tournament bookstores, if you are ever in London check it out. Fortunately it's walking distance from my hotel.

I've even had some time to study, waking up an hour early here and there to get some rook endings in. And I also picked up Rocking the Ramparts by Larry C and I have been reading that a little bit. It is a very strong book.

The real topic that spurred this post is the concept of chess visualization contrasted with the visualization of a map and learning a city. Since I have been here I have become acquainted with where things are in relation to each other and it didn't take long to be able to 'see' myself on the map and find my way on that virtual map relatively easily. I'm wondering if anyone else has thought about this concept of learning the relationship between real places in relation to chess. I think that my chess visualization skills can easily be translated into location visualization and that this allows me to locate things and keep in mind where things are in relation to each other. Any thoughts?



Crazy Thought in Game Play

By drunknknite

So if you have been reading this you know that I have been focused on wild imbalanced positions and I'm trying to get a better feel for how to play these positions as they arise often. This game I invite a sacrifice because I did not believe his attack was strong enough. We both start making mistakes as soon as the position becomes imbalanced. Like I said in the earlier post it comes down to who is more comfortable and who is able to make fewer mistakes.

This was a nice way to close out the year. I may not post until after new year's so Happy Holidays! See you next year!



I Hate Waiting

By drunknknite

I'm at work, it's 4:22, I have nothing to do. I am leaving for London on Monday and this will give me 11 (!) consecutive days off of work. I am excited; I just wish I could get out of here and meet up with my friend on the slopes. But I can't, I'm stuck here, so I figured I would rant about my year in chess.

Around today one year ago I had just finished school and bought my car and I had accepted a job in Vegas. I was pretty excited to start my job, meet some new people, and of course play the North American Open. I went to school in Chicago and one of my friends lived just West of Denver which is on the way to Vegas and he was driving home too so we had tentative plans to drive together. I left and got to Omaha (I have friends there, too) and he got there a little bit after me. Then, one of the worst snowstorms I've been a part of hit Colorado and Nebraska, literally every highway in Colorado was closed. Anyways so my trip got delayed and I got to Vegas a little bit late and then I told my boss I wanted to play the North American Open and I took two days off. That was the last time I got to study chess for over 4 months.

I was working for an adult cabaret that opened January 13 in Vegas. It was an extension of a club in Reno and I had done some work with them in Summer 2006. I did all the accounting for the club in Vegas. I mean everything, created and implemented procedures; tracked cash; tracked bank accounts; dealt with vendors; dealt with payroll issues; trained cashiers to work in the cage; financial projections; financial statements; capital rationing; etc. My boss was the kind of guy who wakes up at 6-7 in the morning and goes to bed between 9-11 at night and 'works' the whole day. Now by 'work' of course I mean he spends all day on the phone but he can definitely make things happen. Since him and my father were close, I lived with him the first 3 months I was in Vegas, big mistake. I took two days off for the North American Open right when I first got to Vegas, then I worked over 10 hours a day for the next 25 days straight and if I ever complained I got reminded that I had taken days off and that most people aren't getting days off. It was fair because I had much more work than I could possibly finish (working 100+ hours in a week and still falling behind is extremely stressful). So I probably got 4 days off in the first three months I was there.

Then there was the Reno club, which had a momentary lapse in good accounting when I first went back to school, but since then was supposedly fine. Then I find out in mid-February that actually they have been messing around in Reno and I have to go up there (come up here?) and fire the people in the office and train a new girl to help. And then I had to hire someone else and oversee the Reno office too. I was on salary this whole time at a rate that was less than we had agreed upon (it worked out to about $10/hr with the hours I was working) in November before I came out and I was given a promise that after 90 days I would have a review. So 90 days came finally and I asked for the review and it was denied so I quit.

I made a resignation letter, made copies for the other managers and went into my GMs office to tell him I was leaving. The owner wasn't there but by now I had moved out of his house at least. I gave it to my GM and he gave it back and said I can't leave right now he'll make sure it gets worked out. So finally after I quit a few more times in the next couple weeks finally I issued an ultimatum and got a raise but things weren't ever really the same. I was never really happy with that job again.

Around the time I was trying to get a raise, I came up to Reno for my birthday and to play the Far West Open. The reason I started working for that club in the first place was because my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer in April 2006 (we found out the day before my birthday) and he couldn't work in the office anymore so I stepped in to help. One year later when I came home for my birthday he was extremely weak, I didn't know what to do I felt so helpless. I lost my first three games of the tournament, got a bye (very rare) on the night of the 7th, my birthday is the 8th. So I went to the bar and drank about two-thirds of a bottle of Patron and lost my fourth consecutive game the next day hungover. I won my last game but this is a small consolation.

So after this miserable performance, combined with some troubles with a girl I had been seeing at the time, I started playing and studying again. Intensely. My dad died on June 23 and I moved back to Reno (the club was failing anyway which was more stress) to be with my mom. I ended up quitting my job at the end of July (more study time). By the time I got a job at the end of August I was back in a good routine and I was playing good chess. I have lost only 4 games since July (three of them were absurd blunders where the game lasted less than 20 moves) and I broke through 1900 for the first time and I am now about 1990. I earned 130 points in the second half of this year.

To close out the year I won last night to guarantee at least a tie for first in the 1800+ section of the club tournament (I'm taking a bye in the last round). I put up 2.5/3 against three experts with a performance of over 2340. Next year the long anticipated climb to master from expert begins...



A Crazy Thought

By drunknknite

I knew there was a lofty thought bouncing around my mind trying to get out recently. And it finally makes sense to me. I have been focused mainly on sacrifices and activity and it has led me to a crazy conclusion.

It makes no difference whether your position is objectively better or worse!

Yesterday I was reading some of the commentary on BDK's post and katar gave a link to an article by Kevin Spraggett. I am not really familiar with Kevin Spraggett, although I was born in Canada we left when I was 11. But I was so intrigued I read everything he had written on his website. The link I provided above contains the point that knocked me out of my seat.

You will never catch Kasparov in a sound but passive position...he would much prefer an inferior position with some little counterplay!

So I had always thought about this as if the activity is compensation for positional inferiority. And I favor activity to positional aspects anyways so I thought that I had some understanding of this concept. Turns out I haven't even scratched the surface of exploring this deep idea.

My logic from his point to my point goes as follows, and there are other things he says that helped me reach my conclusion:

Chess is about mistakes. If I make a mistake, the evaluation of the position changes. If I play the best move, the evaluation of the position remains the same.

Sooner or later both players will make mistakes. This point is important.

I must seek positions where my opponent is more likely to make mistakes than I am, regardless if these positions are objectively worse, because the evaluation of the position will change when my opponent makes a mistake!

So to continue the Fritz-bashing that wormwood initiated. It doesn't really matter if Fritz says you're down a half a pawn if your opponent (not Fritz, usually not even a master) cannot play the next 10-15 moves without making a mistake.

This means evaluating a sacrifice does not even have to be by objective reasoning (all talk of assume your opponent will play the best move aside), but rather by weighing how well you think you can hold together the resulting position. If you see that you will have a plan in the position after the sacrifice and you can find good resources, then chances are your opponent will err in the melee. An unbalanced position makes it extremely hard to come up with accurate moves. You get the advantage of entering this crazy position at least with some idea of what your strengths are, and often times sacrificing a weakness frees up sufficient forces for a strong initiative.

I am thinking this is part of a larger discovery, I'll keep you posted.



Defense Wins Championships

By drunknknite

I was scheduled to play the Club Champion, Bill Case, last Thursday. We had never played before so I was excited to see what would come of this game. The game really only lasted about 9 moves from the end of the theory to the forced endgame but it was a tense 9 moves. I put the hood of my sweatshirt on after I missed 16...Bxd5 until I played 27...Rc2. This is something I normally do when I am defending and am wearing a hooded sweatshirt. It helps me block everything out. I ended up finding a nice continuation that muted his threats. This is a sign of my maturity at the board. I accepted the fact that I had missed my chance and the best thing to do was simply end the game and try again next time. I only used half an hour, this was a pretty easy game. I played well.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was a little frustrated with how my opening turned out. I expected to have more fighting chances in this variation. In reality as long as I can consistently draw this position my opponent should be the one looking for a new variation, so I'm not worried about it.

I have one more game left this year, as I will miss the final round of this weekly tournament due to a family trip to London (I'm not sad about it). It is against Terry Alsasua, who lost to Bill Case in the Club Championship last year after winning in 2006. I am going to have to be able to beat both these players if I want to make a run for the title this year, but I think I have a pretty good chance.



The Problem with The Black Pieces

By drunknknite

A while back Reassembler wrote a post detailing the problems with building a repertoire for White. Now I will explain some of the problems we run into when building a repertoire for Black.

In the opening Black is fighting primarily for equality. Black prepares responses to White's ideas and in most lines it is ultimately Black who decides the flavor of the position. As Black we do not have to prepare as many variations, we just have to prepare a few very well.

Take for instance the Sicilian. When White plays e4 we will play c5. What are White's options? Aside from the Open Sicilian, White only has a handful of choices, and all of them require very little theoretical knowledge for both sides. White can fianchetto his kingside bishop and play the Closed Sicilian, he can play the c3 Sicilian, he can play the Smith-Morra, he can play the Grand Prix Attack, or he can play ideas with Bb5. Now if you are Black you need one line against each of these (I will mention here that you can eliminate preparation against the Smith-Morra completely by playing 1 e4 c5 2 d4 cd 3 c3 Nf6!? which pretty much forces 4 e5 Nd5 which is a known position in the c3 Sicilian). So including the Open Sicilian (and excluding the Smith-Morra) we have to be prepared to play against only 5 lines when we play against e4.

Black gets to choose his specific variation of the Sicilian, and this is where Black's real work comes into play. In any particular variation of the Open Sicilian there are probably two or three really good White tries, so we learn those. Except that a lot of books recommending openings discount these or mention the best tries very briefly (this is the advantage of having survey books that analyze both sides of a position rather than repertoire books recommending one side of a position). So it may take a long time to actually find the best tries for White. Here's where things get really tricky. The best tries for White continue to maintain a slight advantage well into the middlegame, meaning that for you to play such a variation you have to be making the best move in a worse position for 20-30 moves until your opponent slips and you can equalize. But the longer you go in this worse position the greater the chance that you will not be able to win at all, but rather will have to equalize by forcing a drawn endgame and ending the game (this is what happened last night in my game which prompted this post).

Let's talk about last night for a little bit, not the game, just the opening. We played my pet line the Accelerated Dragon, there are two main White tries, he chose the Maroczy Bind. Basically White gets a space advantage and tries to deny Black any active plan, the drawback of this line for White is that even if he succeeds it is very hard to win. If you're Black in this line you have to patiently create play, there are several plans at your disposal, but you are lacking space and the pressure is always there. For an active player like me this is a little uncomfortable however I have studied the opening enough to know that the activity is there if you are patient. But it is clear, especially after looking at the line in more detail last night, that White can practically force a favorable endgame, even if he can't win. So basically if you want to play this line as Black you might have to play a cramped position for the whole game and then try to equalize in the endgame which will almost certainly result in a draw. That's not fun at all.

Here's the point: I have played the Accelerated Dragon against e4 for almost 10 years. Everyone knows I play it, everyone knows I would rather play White's other main try than the Maroczy. And if I do play against the Maroczy, I have to accept this shitty position that could just fizzle out before I even get a shot in. So what are my options?

There are options within the Maroczy which may provide me with a more complicated game and this may be where I should look, but what about when my opponents find the best try against those? The line I played last night is the most highly respected try against the Maroczy (I talked about it in an earlier post) and it leads almost by force to a slightly favorable endgame for White. I am confident that I can draw this endgame, but I don't know that I'll ever be able to score a point.

So I'm stuck. In order to avoid the Maroczy I would have to learn a new Sicilian or (even worse) a new response to e4. So now instead of my original 5 lines against e4, which is what I enjoyed about being Black in the opening, I will have to prepare several additional lines against e4. It is true that I was planning on unveiling a couple new lines against e4 anyways, but I shouldn't have to.

This is the misery of building a repertoire for Black, I enjoy all the positions except for one and it makes me want to change my first move and start all over again.



French Domination

By drunknknite

Check out this rampage against the French...

This game's dedicated to BDK, for today's discussion on combinations. The only combinations are moves 17-18 and 23-25. I didn't 'see' what happened afterwards only that my pieces looked very active. Fritz confirms that my play is extremely accurate from move 13 onwards. (19 Nh7 may have been better, other than that, I challenge you to find an improvement.)



Gafni-Garingo II

By drunknknite

So coincidentally I got paired with Garingo once again. I have never felt more comfortable playing a chess game. After last game I guess I have rid myself of the tension. I am confident in my moves and my ability and I am able to find very strong ideas and make them work (for both sides). I still have a smile on my face from this game...

(This game does not have annotations in Chess Publisher because I normally just annotate the game in ChessBase and then hit File>Send>Send Game...TXT, which brings up the game in text, then just Copy and Paste, but this time I did that and it didn't work at all, so I'm just going to post the annotations here and the game from Chess Publisher)

Because boxing has been a recent topic of discussion. And because I happened to catch the Mayweather-Hatton fight earlier tonight (another happy coincidence). And because I think boxing and chess have a lot in common (if you agree, tell me why you think so). I have decided to throw some boxing analogies in my annotation.

Gafni,Kevin (1956) - Garingo,Nathaniel (2105) [C18]
Return December (1), 06.12.2007

Round 1: Definition of Pawn Structure

1.e4 e6!? Last time he played the Dragon 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 This position is the Main Line of the French and dates back to the 30's

[7...Qc7 The famous "Poisoned Pawn" variation (the Najdorf isn't the only one) 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 cxd4 10.Ne2 An interesting position; 7...Kf8 is the other main alternative to 0-0]

If Round 1 is any indication, this is going to be a lively fight.

Round 2: White's Kingside Play Against Black's Queenside Play

8.Bd3 Nbc6 [8...Qa5 is an alternative that has recently become popular]

9.h4?! Although this move becomes useful in the game, it is too slow

[9.Qh5!? is very strong here 9...Ng6 (9...h6? 10.Bxh6 gxh6 11.Qxh6 Nf5 12.Bxf5 exf5 13.0-0-0!) 10.Nf3;
9.Bg5!? Qa5 10.Ne2 cxd4 11.f4 dxc3 12.0-0 Ng6 13.Qh5 with attack; 9.Nf3 is the old move, but after 9...f5 Black can achieve equality in all known lines, this is the line Garingo had prepared]

9...Qa5 10.Bd2 f5

[Nathaniel suggested 10...Qa4 which pins the d4 pawn 11.Qh5 Ng6 (11...Nf5 12.g4 g6 13.Qg5 Nfxd4 14.Qf6! Nxc2+ 15.Kf1 winning on the spot) 12.Nf3 cxd4 13.Ng5 h6 14.Nxf7 Rxf7 15.Bxg6 with advantage]

11.Qg3 c4?? Black loses all counterplay with this move, this is a strategic error that makes itself felt over the course of the entire game [11...Qa4!? threatens the d4 pawn and 12.dxc5 leaves White with targets]

12.Be2 Bd7?! 13.Nh3 Qa4

14.Nf4! A light jab to leave myself looking open.

[14.Ra2!?+- Black's play has been brought to a complete stop, his pieces are in gridlock (the knight on c6 has nowhere to go while the knight on e7 and the bishop are headed to c6!! And Black's Queen after spending two moves hopping out, must turn back). I was aware of this idea in this variation and I saw the move during the game. But I got caught up in the moment and didn't realize how much time I had to let this position come together. 14...Kh8 (14...f4! I was explaining the merit of this move to Grant after the game, the Black knight needs f5 more than Black needs the f-pawn 15.Nxf4 Nf5 16.Qg4 b5 17.Nh5 Kh8 18.0-0 b4 19.Rb1 (19.cxb4?! Ncxd4) 19...b3 20.cxb3 cxb3 21.Rab2 Rab8 22.Bc1 Na5 This position is not easy to evaluate, it is very easy for either side to go wrong) 15.Nf4 h6 16.0-0 b5 One move late Black is deprived of all play...]


[14...Qxc2 15.Nh5 Ng6 16.Rc1 Qa4 17.Nxg7! f4 18.Qg5 At move 14 I saw this position and I saw my pieces are active and his are still doing nothing, I saw the beginning of his best line above and saw that he is having a much easier time finding moves, I like to hold the initiative for very long periods of time, and grind opponents down. This is why I chose this position over the one above. It is comforting to know that in both cases I found his strongest plan, even though he played a weaker move.]

15.h5! I land a right.(This move is dedicated to the Egg for calling me a n00b (sparfy recently said he feels like a n00b when he advances his h-pawn) )

15...Qxc2?! He tries to fight back, but I land a nasty hook.

16.Ng6+! Say hello to my little friend!

[16.Bc1!! Deep prophylaxis, Fritz finds this pretty move, rendering Black's queen not only harmless, but a serious liability, this is a very instructive move, it teaches me to pause the attack and look at the other moves. The Queen will have to move, Ng6 is still going to be there. An interesting lesson on chess time.]

16...Kg8 Nathaniel gets back up but there is blood above his right eye.

[16...Nxg6?? 17.hxg6 h6 18.Rxh6+ gxh6 19.Qh4 I saw this position and stopped because everything except Fritz's desperate attempt is obviously mate 19...Qxd2+ (19...Kg7 20.Qxh6+ Kg8 21.Qh7#) 20.Kxd2 Kg7 21.Rh1 h5 22.Bxh5 Be8 23.Bf3 Bxg6 24.Bh5 Bxh5 25.Qxh5 Rg8 26.Qg5+ Kf7 27.Qf6+ Ke8 28.Rh7 still mating relatively quickly;
16...hxg6?? 17.hxg6+ Kg8 18.Rh8+ Kxh8 19.Qh4+ Kg8 20.Qh7# is fun]

17.Nxf8 Rxf8

I definitely got the better of him that round.

Round 3: Queen Play

18.Qf4 Qb2? awfully shallow

19.0-0 Na5 20.Rab1

[20.Rfb1! Qc2 21.Bd1! forces his queen to remain in enemy territory]

20...Qc2 21.Rfc1 Qe4 [21...Qa4!?] 22.Bd1

[22.Qxe4 dxe4 allows Black some breathing room]

Neither of us has been able to get anything going so far this round, and Black backs off but stays within reach.


23.Qg5! His back is to the ropes

23...Nec6?! 24.f3!

[24.h6!! here I fail to find a knockout blow because I didn't think he would get through the round anyway, there is nothing wrong with just working that cut, but I had plenty of time and he was in the corner with his hands down. First things first, don't allow any counterblows, then throw the winning punch]


[Of course not 24...Qd3?? 25.Bc2 h6 too late 26.Qf4 Qe2 27.Re1 closed games take the punch out of the heavy pieces]

25.fxe4! I get the better of him in a violent exchange of blows to the face.

[25.Qg3? f4 the Queen escapes via f5]

25...hxg5 26.exd5 exd5 27.Bxg5

Now he could hardly see out of his left eye. I really don't know how they closed that cut up enough that he could continue to fight, but I got it open about 15 seconds into the next round...

Round 4: The d5 pawn


28.Rb5! Note that the Bishop on g5 since recently becoming active now prevents Black from defending the d pawn with Ne7 or Rd8 (and it's the bad bishop...) this is the inspiration for the rest of the game, two attackers against one defender


[28...a6 29.Rb6 and Black must give his queenside pawns just to untangle his pieces]

29.Bf3 Kh7 30.Re1! Be6? 31.Bxd5 a6 32.Rxa5! The ref stopped the fight, there was blood all over the place. 1-0

This was a dominating performance. I feel like every game I play is better than my last. Garingo still beats me in blitz because I play "Romantic Era" chess when I play blitz, but I think that going 2-0 against him in consecutive weeks humbled him a little bit. (I don't think I'll have to see 1 e4 2 c5 3 Qh4 again...)

Many thanks to Lev Psakhis for his amazing work on the French. I have cited some lines (9 h4 is not analyzed anywhere and has only been played by masters twice in my database) from his 250 page text on 3 Nc3 Bb4 briefly (I cannot emphasize enough how briefly, the final chapter of his book is 24 pages dedicated to 7 Qg4 0-0).



Fun line against the King's Indian Attack

By drunknknite

Here's a cool line....

I got paired with Garingo last night (I finally got White)! The rivalry continues. I will post the game when I'm done with it, I feel like I've been holding out on you guys somewhat because I usually don't publish most of the stuff I saw during the game, let alone all that I see after the game. So the next post will be a more thorough analysis.



The Other Blog

By drunknknite

In response to LEP's post this morning, which is about a challenge of the week to write something political, I have added a long-winded post to my other blog which can be read here.



Chess and Drugs

By drunknknite

A lot of people have written on the topic of drugs and art and judging by the habits of some of the greatest artists of all time (The Beatles, Grateful Dead, Jimi, Janis, Nirvana, Sublime, William Burroughs, Ken Kesey, etc.), drugs, specifically LSD and Heroin, seem to unleash some creative fury.

So the logical question is, how does this apply to chess?

Drugs did not have a negative effect on the technical ability of these artists, and somehow changed their view to allow for a greater creative ability.

What would happen if a group of Super-GMs started taking LSD or Heroin?

I think some very interesting and beautiful chess would follow.



Chess Variants!?

By drunknknite

So I decided that I would find a good image and use it to inspire a post. Being the retard that I am, I just typed "chess" in Google Image Search. Well, you get a lot of bullshit back. And nothing even remotely inspiring. But then I come across the picture above and I'm like what the fuck is that?

Have you ever heard of Hexagon Chess? And if you think that's fucked up, check out Dunsany's Chess, where one side has a normal set up and the other side gets 32 pawns! Who the fuck is playing these games? Maybe we could start playing a variant (check out wikipedia's list of chess variants) and develop a whole new opening theory. We could have variations named after us and everything...
And we could all wear this shirt...



Leonid Stein

By drunknknite

So if you've been following this blog you know that I have tried to focus my studies recently on positional sacrifices (mainly pawn and exchange, since these are the most common).  What is cool about the approach to studying I laid out last post, is that oftentimes there will be similar themes throughout.  For instance, in studying old masters I am around the year 1965 (I've been going in order) and this is the time of Spassky, Petrosian, Tal, Larsen, Kortchnoi was just coming up, and then there's this guy Stein, who is not quite like the rest.  He didn't become a master til age 24 but then made a serious run at the world title.  Anyways, the point is I am looking at his 
games and he makes these positional sacs that today are still pretty impressive, in his time they 
must have been unthinkable...  He's pretty cool though, and it's good timing that I am trying to 
learn themes that he invented.  Like look at his 18th move in this game.



New Look; New Study Plan

By drunknknite

I changed my site, I know you hadn't noticed. Thought I would spice it up a little bit. Let me know how I did. I added a recent comments, which is sweet.

My new study plan is one that I've used before, it has four parts:

Openings - 1-2 variations per week, this is a vague section and one I'm not really focused on right now, my repertoire is good.

Middlegame - 7 hrs/wk, Secrets of Chess Transformations by Marovic, which is focused on positional sacrifices

Endgame - 6 hrs/wk, Winning Endgame Technique by Alexander Beliavsky and Adrian Mikhalchischin

History - 3-5 gms/day,  right now I am at Stein and Spassky and I am studying from My Great Predecessors, Volume 3 by Kasparov

This is the plan, I'll let you know how well I actually keep it.



Dragon Main Line 9 0-0-0 d5!

By drunknknite

or The Story of My Last Post...

How I found this position at home...

One year before the game I posted last we had played the same line for the first 14 moves. This was his pet line and I cannot speak for him but even if I was trying to learn a new line I'm pretty sure I would go into my Dragon if I was on board one at a serious tournament. Also, I had seen him play the Dragon in an earlier round so I was pretty sure he would play it.

After our game the year before I had shown this game to Shulman, he was not that familiar with the line but we went over it in some detail and we learned that this opening is about Black's a5 and e5 pawns, which are serious weaknesses and are easy targets. Basically Black has to try to create enough counterplay to provoke White to take on a weakness or otherwise compromise his positional advantage. So I knew this already, but I was not that sure of the exact lines, I knew to move 19 or so. But pretty much the ideas for counterplay have been tested and there is a consensus on the optimal development of forces and this is where it leads. 25.gxf6 attacks the e-pawn at the cost of the knight and doubled pawns, if there were a good answer to this move for Black one of the chess giants would have taken it up in the last 10 years, instead they are forced to find other moves. I did not use Fritz at all, and I didn't go past the moves that were already played and recommended by Golubev in Experts vs. the Sicilian and Rogozenko on his 2-volume CD on the Dragon. The Dragon is probably one of the hardest openings to learn, against Garingo I am looking at lines 15-20 moves deep but he deviates from this line on move 9 and the positions are very different.

This book Experts vs. the Sicilian suggests that this line (all the way to move 25) should be the main line of the Dragon (with 9 0-0-0, 9 Bc4 is different). This book is extremely good, it is a compilation of authors who play the various lines of the Sicilian. For instance Golubev has recently completed a book on the Dragon and has played it for years, and he is writing the article on the White side of the Dragon, it's interesting to see the lines he thinks are objectively good for White.

Here's some of the analysis I had. I probably looked at 30 games too just to get a feel for the position and the endgame.



Endgame Magic

By drunknknite

After three games of the WSO I was 3-0 and it was pretty easy to narrow down the pairings. I was going to play Ethan Peake, who I had played exactly one year before in Round 5 of the 2006 WSO, and I was going to have White, just like last year. Last year we had played a very popular line of the Dragon and we both figured we would play the same way this year. I went home and looked at the line pretty intensely for a couple hours, figuring that if I had to play something else I probably wasn't losing anything by prepping this line. We followed a game for 25 moves, I honestly used 2 minutes for my first 25 moves of this game. But then it got really interesting. And the tactic that finally seals the endgame is pretty instructive.

This post is for likesforests and Ernie, this ending is crazy...