Thursday, June 18, 2009


Date: 17th June 2009
Venue: Customs Quarters' Musolla's Corridor
Time: 9.30 pm

It was a sweet mini reunion between me and 4 of my former chess colleagues and students; Hanif Arkurni (now IIUM Matric Nilai lecturer), Fattah Radzali (lawyer), Rezal Che Man (teacher and also among the MSSKL trainer) and Ahmad Termizi (lawyer) and it was also a bitter gift when they trashed my current Department's players. Only I survived against my former best chess student, who happened to be quite rusty as he had retired fully from chess tournaments. He came all way long from Nilai on my invitation just to play chess and to meet old friends.

Before we draw for the colour of the 1st board, I teased Hanif,"Do you want to play Morra gambit or the Sicilian dragon?". He only smiled in his replied. As the draw result showed, Hanif choosed my let hand where I held the black pawn, which means, it will be a Sicilian dragon.

This reminds me the new DVD of Roman Dzindzichasvili which the GM claimed that its analysis had been checked by the Rybka which completely would slay the dragon, at least until someone who is also a GM refute it. I do not (yet) possess this DVD, but my friend and foe (from DBKL- our most bitter rival in the coming MAKSWIP) Mohd Zambri Mohd Shariff had seen the video and studied it.

Anyone wishes to buy this can also pre order from me with RM 120.00. However, I need the advance payment and the delivery will take place in 1-2 months (normally faster than that). I sell only the original DVD.

Let us now go straight for the full dragon slaying epic.

White: Rizal A Kamal (Customs Dept)
Black: Hanif Arkurni (Ex-UIA)
Sicilian Dragon; Yugoslav attack

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6

The basic setting of the fearsome dreaded dragon of the Sicilian defence had been reached.
After a brief thought, I decided to go on with the normal main line

6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6

Here I stopped for a while to consider between 9.Bc4 or 9.0-0-0. I remember that Hanif's most frequent respond to 9.0-0-0 would be 9...Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Be6 11.Kb1 Qc7 etc. In this line I had something in my sleeve (related to the GM Roman's teaching) which I shall not reveal here and my opponent had never seen it before. However, I was afraid that Hanif would instead opted for 9.0-0-0 d5!? where I did not have any special thing to present. The line 10.Kb1 e5 (as in our last debate in our training a few years ago) would be nothing special for white. Theerefore:-

9.Bc4 (D)

9...Bd7 10.0-0-0 Ne5!?

A bit of surprise. I thought Hanif would go for 10...Qa5, 11...Ne512....Rfc8 or 11...Rfc8 than only 12..Ne5. With 10...Ne5 it is possible that Hanif was aiming for the Soltis block structure, his old favourite set up which would arrise via 10...Ne5 11.Bb3 Rc8 12.h4 h5 (this is the Soltis blocking structure - see diagram)

11. Bb3 Qa5?!
Now, Hanif is mixing up with the Soltis block and Ward's set up. After thinking briefly, I decided to try to channel my opponent into a slight uncharted territory.

12.Bh6! (D)

Surprisingly, this turns out to be the vital turning point of this game when Hanif undecidedly played...


This is to prevent any unpleasant exchange sacrifice on c3, at least not now.

This is the beginning of hesitation play by Hanif. Understandable he wanted to keep the eye of dragon Bishop. After the game I suggested to him that proceeding with the Queenside play may be better. For example 13...Nc4 14.Bxc4 Rxc4 when white's is slightly tied up If white exchange the dark square Bishop 15.Bxg7 Kxg7 than 16.h4 h5 is a better Soltis block version for black as normally, white would need the dark square bishop on g5 to exchange the f6 knight in order to breach the black's King fortress beginning with g4

14. Kb1 Qa6?
After the game, Hanif himself criticised this because it loses many counterplay possibility along the 5th rank. The text move rightly avoided any tric based on Nc3-d5 but that should be simply answered with the retreat Qd8

15. h4 Be6 16.Nf4 Nc4 17.Bxc4
Slowly, black is uncovering the eye of dragon on h8, but I was fully aware of this.

17..Rxc4 18.Nxe6 fxe6 19.e5!
This minor sacrifice is the only mean to stop the uncovering of the eye of dragon and contain some venom. For example 19...dxe5 20.Qd8+ Rxd8?? 21.Rxd8+ Kf7 22 Rf8 mate

Hanif was running out of time (about his last 7 minutes), while I was having the luxurious 31 minutes!

20.Qxc3 Nd5 21.Qb3
Threatening 22.Rxd5 exd5 23.Qxd5 mate! A criss-cross mate!

21...Bxe5 22.Rhe1 Kf7
I was expecting 22...Qc6

22.f4! Bg7??
At last a blunder. Not 22..Bxf4 when Rf1 may wins a piece. The best would be the solid 22...Bf6!, and it is not clear how white could blow black's fortress.

23.Bxg7 Kxg7 24.Rxe6
Black's kingdom is collapsing rapidly.

24...Nf6 25. Rxe7+ Kh6 26.Qf7 d5 27.g4

and black resigned before losing on time

Some important references about this opening system

1. Bobby Fischer's My 60 Memorable Games
2. The Complete Dragon - Gufeld
3. Semi Open games in action - Karpov
4. Beating The Sicilian 2 (and 3) - John Nunn
5. Anand-Kasparov World Championship match 1995
6. Sicilian Dragon Yugoslav attack -Atilia Schneider
7. Play the dragon - Edward Dearing
8. Winning With The Dragon 2 (and 1)
9. The New Sicilian Dragon (LATEST - published by EVERYMAN CHESS)

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