Five stars for Davies' Accelerated Dragon

3/13/2008 – The Accelerated Dragon is a great choice for club players as well as for IM and GMs. It gives Black excellent practical chances not just against 1.e4 – it can also be used against 1.c4, 1.Nf3 or even 1.d4. FM Carsten Hansen, a reviewer for Chess Cafe, wrote a book on the opening. He gives Nigel Davies' ChessBase DVD the full five stars. Buy it now or read more.

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Nigel Davies: The Accelerated Dragon

Review by Carsten Hansen (ChessCafe.com)

On this new DVD, English grandmaster Nigel Davies presents a repertoire for Black in the Accelerated Dragon, which arises after 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 g6. As regular readers of this column may know, I have played the Accelerated Dragon on and off since I was scholastic player, and the first book I wrote was on this opening.

The presentation of the material is easy to follow, and Davies makes a good case for why Black is okay in this variation. I focused my attention on the lines that I consider critical, and I’m rather impressed with the depth of the presentation. Davies, while obviously having to cut some corners, manages to reach into the nooks and crannies to cover the most important material.

The contents are divided as follows:

  • Intro
  • Maroczy 10.Qd2 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Bc6 12.f3 a5 13.b3 Nd7 14.Be3
  • Maroczy 10.Qd2 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Bc6 12.f3 a5 13.b3 Nd7 14.Bf2
  • Maroczy 10.Qd2 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Bc6 12.f3 a5 13th Move Alternatives
  • Maroczy 10.Rc1 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Bc6 12.f3
  • Maroczy 10.Rc1 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Bc6 12.Qd3
  • Maroczy 10.f3
  • Maroczy 10.f4
  • Maroczy 10.Nc2
  • Maroczy 10.Nb3
  • Maroczy 10.Rb1
  • 5.Nc3 ... 7.Bc4 Qa5 8th Move Alternatives
  • 5.Nc3 ... 7.Bc4 Qa5 8.0-0 0-0 9.Nb3 Qc7 10.f4 d6 11.Be2 b6 12.g4
  • 5.Nc3 ... 7.Bc4 Qa5 8.0-0 0-0 9.Nb3 Qc7 10.f4 d6 11.Be2 b6 12.Bf3
  • 5.Nc3 ... 7.Bc4 Qa5 8.0-0 0-0 9.Nb3 Qc7 10.Bg5
  • 5.Nc3 ... 7.Bc4 Qa5 8.0-0 0-0 9.Bb3 d6 10.h3 Bd7 11.f4 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 Bc6 13th Move Alternatives
  • 5.Nc3 ... 7.Bc4 Qa5 8.0-0 0-0 9.Bb3 d6 10.h3 Bd7 11.f4 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 Bc6 13.Nd5
  • 5.Nc3 ... 7.Bc4 Qa5 8.0-0 0-0 9.Bb3 d6 10.h3 Bd7 11.f4 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 Bc6 13.Qd3
  • 5.Nc3 ... 7.Bc4 Qa5 8.0-0 0-0 9.Bb3 d6 10.h3 Bd7 11.Re1
  • 5.Nc3 ... 7.Bc4 Qa5 8.0-0 0-0 9.Bb3 d6 10th Move Alternatives
  • 5.Nc3 ... 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Ng8 9.f4
  • 5.Nc3 ... 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Ng8 9.Bd4
  • 5.Nxc6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Be2 0-0 8.0-0 d5
  • 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Be2 0-0 8th Move Alternatives
  • 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Nb3 0-0 8.Be2
  • 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Nb3 5th Move Alternatives

Total playing time::  4 hours

By and large, Davies has put together an excellent repertoire for Black, putting emphasis on solid positional lines that have a sufficient amount of dynamic counterplay to go for a win, which can be particularly difficult when facing the Maroczy.

Click here for replay a sampler.

My only criticism with this DVD, and others of its ilk, is the lack of bibliography. Thus you can’t see the author’s sources or know where to look if you feel compelled to study the lines in further detail. This may be a minor snit, but it is easily rectified, and it should be addressed by the publisher.

Anyone who plays the Accelerated Dragon will be able to find something of interest on this excellent DVD. However, it is primarily designed for players rated up to 2000, and to those who want to learn the opening for the first time. It doesn’t contain much original analysis or improvements over existing theory, but it has plenty of useful suggestions, some new and some also seen in other works.

My assessment of this DVD: Five out of five stars


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