Play the Accelerated Dragon - Maroczy Bind
GM Salvador Alonso and GM Martin Lorenzini
We are happy to present the database Play the Accelerated Dragon - Maroczy Bind. This course has been created by two grandmasters - GM Martin Lorenzini and GM Salvador Alonso. In the second part of their project, they will cover the remaining systems for White (other than Maroczy Bind), thus completing the Accelerated Dragon Repertoire.
The current survey consists of 11 theoretical chapters, 2 model games, 17 interactive test positions, and Memory Booster.
Now, we shall take a brief look at the content of the database.
The Accelerated Dragon is one of the main options for Black in the Sicilian Defence. Faced with this opening, White has an early choice to make, regarding the placement of his c-pawn: He can leave it on c2 or opt for the space-grabbing c2-c4, which leads to the so-called Maroczy structure. The latter is the subject of this database.
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4
Defining the aforementioned Marozcy structure. Unlike most other Sicilians, the game takes a rather strategic character here. White has a space advantage while Black is banking on his solid, albeit somewhat passive position, with chances for dynamic counterplay. The most difficult thing is to adapt to this sudden change. Once the opportunity to get active play presents itself, Black must not let it pass.
In this position, the authors recommend 5...Bg7, indicating Black's strategy to play on the dark squares. The alternative move order 5...Nf6 6.Nc3 Nxd4 7.Qxd4 d6 is dealt with in Chapter 2.
After 5...Bg7, the main move for White is 6.Be3. A very important alternative, however, is 6.Nc2.
White's idea is to avoid simplifications. Nevertheless, this approach has some drawbacks as well. Besides wasting time, White puts his knight in a passive position. This line is covered in Chapter 1.
After 6.Be3 the play follows with 6...Nf6 7.Nc3 d6 8.Be2 0-0 9.0-0
We have reached an important crossroads. The suggestion of the authors is 9...Bd7. In Chapter 3, however, they deal with 9...Nxd4 which is a move-order that seeks to avoid the lines with Nc2 but allows White to play with b2-b4. For example, after 10.Bxd4 Bd7, White can opt for 11.b4!?.
After 9...Bd7, White's main continuation is 10.Qd2. The alternatives 10.Rc1, as well as the modern idea 10.h3, are covered in Chapters 4 and 5.
A very important position arises after 10.Qd2 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Bc6
In this position, besides the traditional 12.f3, White can try 12.Bd3, defending the pawn and clearing the e-file of pieces. White plans the Re1-e3-h3 manoeuvre, with the desire to attack the black king. With a precise play, however, Black is doing more than OK. This line is covered in Chapter 6.
In response to the main move 12.f3, Black should play 12...a5! which is an important move in Black's scheme. It prevents White from quickly gaining space on the queenside. The line follows 13.b3 Nd7!
Another precise continuation. The knight heads towards the c5-square, from where it will exert pressure on the queenside and prevent a rapid advance of the queenside pawns.
At this point, White usually plays 14.Be3. The alternative 14.Bf2 is considered in Chapter 7.
One of the subtle points in White's strategy is meeting 14...Nc5 with 15.Rab1!
White's main plan is to gain space on the queenside with a3 and b4 by expelling the active black pieces. According to the authors, Black's best response is 15...Qb6 which is consistent with the idea of Nc5, the queen is placed on this square to hinder White's advance on the queenside and enable Rfc8. In Chapter 8, the alternative 15...e6 is considered as well.
The central position of the database arises after 16.Rfc1 Rfc8!
The correct placement of the black rooks. Black's queen will have to return to d8 and the rooks will be connected. We are now in the mainline discussed in Chapters 9, 10, and 11.
At the end of the database, you can find 2 model games and a test section including 17 interactive test positions.
Below, you can take a look at one of the chapters.