Nielsen: The Sicilian Dragon Volume 2

by Hedinn Steingrimsson
1/19/2014 – In this Fritztrainer GM Peter Heine Nielsen, second of both Carlsen and Anand, covers all lines in the Dragon other than the Yugoslav Attack. "Nielsen generally explains the nuances and the important differences that small changes of the position lead to," writed GM Hedinn Steingrimsson. "Overall the DVD is of excellent quality and should be recommended to all chess players. Review.

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The Sicilian Dragon — Vol. 2: All Lines except 9.Bc4

A review

I like this DVD a lot. GM Peter Heine Nielsen has worked as Anand‘s main second for many years. He has also been Carlsen‘s second. He was neutral in their WC match and after the match he has become Carlsen‘s main second together with GM Hammer.

It is instructive to see how Nielsen approaches the opening phase of the game, his thought process and the way he seeks solutions to opening challenges. An example in the line 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4.

Nielsen first explains in detail that there is a problem with the line that was thought to be good for Black, namely 6...Bg7 7.e5 Nh5!?. He demonstrates how he tried to save the line, but that White always had something up his sleeve. Finally he ended up with analysing and recommending 6...Nc6. In this line and others, Nielsen explains well why common lines have some problems and why he recommends a comparatively rarely played variation.

There are quite a number of opening novelties presented in the videos. Nielsen generally explains well the nuances and little but important differences that small changes of the position lead to. This is very instructive since it explains quite well how modern opening analyses is conducted. As a result, the audience gets an excellent lesson, not only on state of the art theory in the Dragon, but also in how the opening phase of the game should be looked at and analysed. Nielsen prepared and played the Dragon for his World Cup match against GM Michael Adams. A lot of the work presented is his preparation for that match. Nielsen has also analysed the Dragon with his wife, the top woman player, GM Victoria Cmylite, who plays the Dragon as a main opening against 1.e4.

Generally GM Nielsen recommends lines that are theoretically watertight. At times he also presents more combative practial lines, which he admits are not objectively 100% sound, but gives Black good practical chances to play for a victory. These lines typically have not been played much and Nielsen correctly thinks that the chances that even a world class chess player will be able to find a long series of, at times, for humans counter-intuitive, complicated computer moves while the clock is ticking in a practical game are not that high. Even if that would happen the position typically is just a bit better for White, and there would still be everything to play for in a complicated position. Nielsen prepared many of those more complicated lines for his match with Adams.

I can recommend Peter Heine Nielsen‘s video to all chess players. For advanced players it is interesting to observe the Danish grandmaster's handling of the opening. The Dragon is also theoretically sound and it can‘t hurt to add an opening to one‘s repertoire.

The video is of course very valuable for Dragon players since Nielsen not only recommends a particular line, but also explains the reasons behind his choice and what he considers a problem with the other at times more popular lines. Dragon experts gain valuable information on where to look for repairs and will also will definitely be able to widen out their repertoire by watching this video.

The Dragon is from a certain perspective, a rather simple opening, which means that it is suitable for young and developing players. Black develops his pieces, attacks the center and almost always castles. There are ample opportunities to practice tactical skills. For these reasons and also because they will learn a lot about opening analysis in general while observing an opening experts thinking process, I can recommend this video to young and upcomming chess players.

There is some drawback in this product though, namely that the opening fiels do only contain a part of the opening lines and information which Nielsen presents in the videos. It is highly recommended to update the files while watching the videos.

At the end of the videos there are some exercises with training questions. I quite like those although I suggest the improvement to let the program autmatically answer a suggested move in order to enable whole variations to be entered instead of just the first move.

Overall GM Nielsen‘s Dragon 2 DVD is of excellent quality and should be recommended.

GM Hedinn Steingrimsson from Iceland

Sample video

The Sicilian Dragon Vol. 2:
All Lines except 9.Bc4

by Peter Heine Nielsen

  • Fritz Trainer Opening
  • Language: English
  • Video running time: 4 h 35 min
  • With interactive training including video feedback
  • Exclusive database with 150 essential games
  • Including CB 12 Reader
  • Delivery: Download or post

Price: €27.90
€€23.45 without VAT (for Customers outside the EU); $23.45 (without VAT).

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Grandmaster Hedinn Steingrimsson was born 1975 in Iceland. In 1986 he became World Champion U12. 1990, at the age of 15, he won his first Icelandic Championship. Steingrimsson has also made interesting contributions to the field of chess training theory and is interested in how chess training can be improved theoretically and practically.


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