Play the Accelerated Dragon - Systems with 5.Nc3
GM Salvador Alonso and GM Martin Lorenzini
We are happy to present the second part of the Accelerated Dragon course by GM Salvador Alonso and GM Martin Lorenzini. In this course, they cover all the systems without c2-c4.
Below, you can take a look at the preview that is written by the authors.
Against the Sicilian Accelerated Dragon, White has two main options: build a powerful centre with 5.c4 (the so-called Maroczy setup that was the subject of our first database) or the more aggressive 5.Nc3, which can lead to highly complex and tactical positions. It is important to clarify that after 5.Nc3, Black has many opportunities to transpose to the regular Sicilian Dragon B70/ 79. In our recommended repertoire, more often than not we will avoid those transpositions.
The current survey consists of 13 theoretical chapters, 2 model games, 15 interactive test positions, and Memory Booster.
The main starting position of the database arises after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7
At this point, White's main continuation is 6.Be3. Another very important option, however, is 6.Nb3.
If White wants to play Be2 setups, withdrawing the knight immediately in order to avoid simplifications can be a good idea. The game usually follows with 6...Nf6 7.Be2 0-0
Given the positional approach by White, the second player has different ways to achieve a good position. We present schemes where Black plays with b6, as we believe that they are strategically healthy and offer good chances for a fight.
The line 8.Bg5 d6 9.0-0 b6! is dealt with in Chapter 4. 8.0-0 d6 9.Re1 b6 and 8.0-0 d6 9.Be3 b6! are covered in Chapters 5 and 6.
Against the Fianchetto System 6.Nde2 Nf6 7.g3, we recommend 7...b5! This system is a subject of Chapter 2.
The main tabiya of the Accelerated Dragon arises after 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4
Without a doubt the most incisive option. Here the second player basically has two types of options. He can transpose to the main lines of the Sicilian Dragon or try to exploit the fact that the d-pawn hasn't moved yet. We will concentrate on the second option, which is more in the spirit of the Accelerated Dragon, and present several different setups for Black.
Against the critical attempt 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5, we recommend 8...Ng8!?, analysed in Chapter 3.
Against 7.Bc4, our main suggestion is 7...0-0. The first alternative move-order is 7...Qa5 8.0-0 0-0 9.Nb3 Qc7. This line is covered in Chapter 12.
After 7...0-0 8.Bb3, our main suggestion is 8...Qa5.
At this point, we need to make some important clarifications concerning the move order. If you want to avoid the system with 8.Bb3, you should start with 7...Qa5, instead of 7...0-0. Additionally, in the system with 8.Bb3, even better would be 8...d6, threatening ...Ng4. The idea is to provoke f2-f3 before playing ...Qa5.
On the diagram position, White usually plays 9.0-0. In the case of 9.f3, we should play 9...d6. This is the only case where we suggest entering the main variation of the Sicilian Dragon, and still with a deviation from the main ideas later. It is analysed in Chapter 11.
The main line of the database arises after 9.0-0 d6 10.h3 Bd7.
This is the main line of this database. We will study it in Chapter 13.
Of course, Black has interesting ways to deviate from the main line. For example, a very interesting option is 8...Re8!?
This attractive line is currently fashionable thanks to Daniil Dubov. It is investigated in Chapter 7.
Another interesting line to keep in mind is 8...a5 9.0-0.
At this point, we cover three interesting lines for Black - 9...d6 (Chapter 8), 9...a4!? (Chapter 9), and 9...Nxd4 (Chapter 10). All these lines are quite playable.