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Wesley So vs Ray Robson
"So Spicy" (game of the day Nov-09-2010)
Spice Cup (2010), Lubbock USA, rd 3, Oct-30
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack Modern Line (B76)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-08-10  whiteshark: <lefthandsketch> fyi, in your blog* there is a minor typo: 13...Rb8 14.Qxd8 <Bxb2+>. :D

-Jan <Gustafsson> is another one

* bookmarked

Nov-08-10  FISCHERboy: Nice play by Wesley So.
Nov-09-10  lefthandsketch: Thanks Whiteshark- corrected-

Also, it pains me to report that my sideline 13...Rb8 fails to 14.b3, when black has nothing better than 14...Qc7 15.Qc5 and white will be clearly better according to Gufeld.

Having said that, I will still play this move in blitz because i have done well with it in practice. In fact on several occasions I have smoked people after 13...Rb8 14.b3 Be6?! My computer hates this move...

Nov-09-10  medjutim: Interesting pun. Especially because they play Yugoslav Attack, and in yugoslav languages So (or Sol) means Salt. Extra spicy :)
Nov-09-10  Matsumoto: Carlsen would have made white suffer! He would not have played an overly optimistic move like 9. ... d5, but spent a few moves to build up a massive attack. Just wait till next Sicilian game between So and Carlsen and see!
Nov-09-10  belgradegambit: Correct for Black is 17....Rc3!
See Smirin vs L Basin, 1985
Nov-09-10  moodini: I am no expert but I think that 9. .. d5 is a fairly common move, offering a pawn for open lines against the white king. Just because black lost does not necessarily mean that this is a bad idea.

By the way, I reckon that the main lines in the dragon have been analysed a bit beyond move 9 so I suspect the mistake(s) came a bit later! Just don't ask me where...

Nov-09-10  belgradegambit: <kutrichards> You are quite unfamiliar with the Dragon. 9...d5 is the standard move played thousands of times at the GM level.
Nov-09-10  moodini: <belgradegambit> in your game black had moved the other rook to c8 so maybe 17. .. Rc3 would not work in this game (possibility of the light squared bishop attacking Q on b7 and R on a8 might change things here)
Nov-09-10  belgradegambit: <Moodini> You are correct! Rc3 wouldn't work here so the first mistake was Rfc8 (moving the wrong rook). Looking at Dearing's Dragon book I find that the sequence up through White's c4! is known to be bad for Black.
Nov-09-10  njchess: Objectively, 9. ... d5 is premature given Black's lack of development, specifically his light squared bishop. Black's light squared bishop in the Dragon often has a similar problem as seen in the French (no particular place to go).

With Nc6, Be7 allows the a6, b5 thrust but effectively restricts d5. However, Nbd7 followed by b6 and Bb7 gives White time to build a kingside attack. A plausible alternative to 9. ... d5 is a6, entering into a Dragondorf type of position. This kind of "wait and see" approach may not suit Robson's style of play.

However, the real issue for Black from my point of view is the loss of tempo needed to move the d-pawn twice. For me, that is the main reason to delay d5 and instead develop further before playing it.

Note: After 6. ... Bg7, this position is very similar to a position reached in the Accelerated Dragon, except that Black has already played Nc6 and his d-pawn has yet to move. 7. f3 0-0 8. Qd2 d5 .

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White's attack comes first and best-black cannot stand it.
Nov-09-10  WhiteRook48: wow, my computer said "Roy Robson", did anybody else get something like that?
Nov-09-10  iking: a novelty that stems from 17 Qa5 by Wesley
Nov-10-10  kurtrichards: <moodini> am not an expert too...but do you need an expert to know that after that 9. ... d5 by Robson, So is better with a pawn up and a promising position? <<belgradegambit:<kurtrichards> You are quite unfamiliar with the Dragon.>> Why? Are you familiar with it? <9. ... d5 is a standard move played by...> did i say that it is not the standard move?

Focus only on the game between So and Robson. Now, after 9. ... d5 there ensued an exchange of material and see again the position five to six moves later and ask yourselves who is better So or Robson? Was it not So? Yes. Then we can all shut our mouth up. If the both of you said otherwise, then here is a dime and buy yourselves someone to talk to. See you around. :)

Nov-10-10  belgradegambit: Oh boy. Well Magnus Carlsen prefers 9...d5 Nisipeanu vs Carlsen, 2010 as does Alexander Shabalov Baklan vs Shabalov, 2009 and Radjabov J Smeets vs Radjabov, 2009 and Caruana E Alekseev vs F Caruana, 2009 Yes all the top GMs play 9....d5 which every Dragon Monograph recommends. Again see Smirin vs L Basin, 1985 for another approach in this particular variation.
Nov-10-10  pulsar: From a practical standpoint 9...d5 is quite playable and might even score against an ill-prepared opponent. For the pawn, Black has open lines against the castled White King, as can be seen after 17.Qa5:

click for larger view

In B Mongontuul vs N Pogonina, 2006, Black immediately took on d3 but could comes up empty-handed from the gambit and lost in the end.

Personally, I think the ball is on Black's court in this particular line (9...d5).

Nov-10-10  kurtrichards: All that I have. So vs Robson, Spice Cup,2010 is all that we are talking about. Friend.
Nov-10-10  pulsar: <belgradegambit> Thanks for the links! In those games, White did not accept the gambited pawn--which may be critical, as shown in the game. I wouldn't discount the possibility of Black finding a new path in this "gambit accepted" line though. :)
Nov-10-10  pulsar: <In B Mongontuul vs N Pogonina, 2006, Black immediately took on d3 but comes up empty-handed from the gambit and lost in the end.>
Nov-10-10  belgradegambit: Ok in the game W So vs R Robson, 2010 Robson should have played 16...Rac8 instead of Rfc8.
Nov-10-10  belgradegambit: Here are a bunch more games where White plays So's variation:
Nov-10-10  pulsar: <belgradegambit> I see that you've cited Smirin vs L Basin, 1985 earlier--thanks! It will be interesting to know what Wesley prepared against 16...Rac8. :)
Dec-09-10  niemzo: kurtrichards is obviously either a troll or unbelievably dense. Not that these two are mutually exclusive.
Oct-20-11  butchix: 9..d5 is supposed to be taking advantage of the fact that White played 9.o-o-o instead of 9.Bc4. 9.Bc4 prevents the standard Sicilian freeing move d5.
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