Alterman on the Accelerated Dragon

8/15/2004 – Many players are attracted to the Dragon Sicilian, but are put off by the fierce mating attacks that White can launch. So why not try the Accelerated Dragon, where Black has a few nasty surprises in store for White. In Sunday's Playchess lecture GM Boris Alterman tells us all about them.

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Boris Alterman writes: The Accelerated Dragon, 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 g6, does not have all that much in common with the regular Dragon, 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 g6.


The Accelerated Dragon, and the "regular" Dragon

The regular Dragon invites the Yugoslav Attack, with opposite-side castling, but the Accelerated Dragon simply aims to put early pressure on d4 while allowing White to set up the Maroczy Bind with 5.c2-c4! (as e4 has not been attacked, White has not had to play Nb1-c3).

Many players are attracted to the Dragon Sicilian, but are put off by the fierce mating attacks that White can launch. In the Accelerated Dragon, Black aims for an improved version, saving a move with his queen’s pawn. If White tries to ignore the difference, Black’s instant detonation of the center will come as an unwelcome cold shower!

White advances the c-pawn to restrict Black’s movements in the center. This was once thought to give White a significant advantage.

The center, particularly at the beginning of the game, is the most important sector of the board. This makes sense: if you dominate the center, you dominate the whole board. "

GM Boris Alterman is 34, and lives in Israel. He was born in Kharkov, Ukraine, where he started playing chess at the age of 7. His career highlights include earning the IM title in 1991 and the GM title in 1992.He is the winner of the following Open and GM tournaments: Haifa 1993; Bad Homburg 1996; Rishon LeZion 1996; Beijing 1995 and 1997; Munchen 1992. His hobbies include computers and swimming, his favourite food is Chinese, he speaks fluent Russian, Hebrew and English.

Boris has worked for and against Garry Kasparov. In 1999 he assisted the world champion in his spectacular Microsoft match Kasparov vs The World, and was also part of the team that built up the web portal Kasparov Chess. In 2003, on the other hand, he was part of the Deep Junior team that gave Kasparov a run for his money in the New York match.

GM Boris Alterman's Radio ChessBase lectures begin at 21:00h CEST (European Central time = server time, which translates to 17:00h GMT, 3:00 p.m. New York, 05:00 a.m. Sydney (on Monday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of the page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

Here are the world-wide starting times for Alterman's lectures.
Abu Dhabi Sun 23:00   Halifax * Sun 16:00   New Orleans * Sun 14:00
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Amsterdam * Sun 21:00 Houston * Sun 14:00 Philadelphia * Sun 15:00
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