Follow-up (2) on TWIC Theory II: Return of the Dragon
We start with the position after the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.O-O-O Qa5 11.Bb3 Rfc8 12.Kb1 Ne5 13.Bg5 Rc5 14.h4 Re8 15.h5 Nxh5 16.Bh6.
Martin is following the game Movsesian (2624)-Bergez (2370), Cappelle op 2002 which concluded rather brutally for Black after 16...Bxh6 17.Qxh6 Rxc3 18.bxc3
18...Rc8 19.g4 Nf6 20.g5 Nh5 21.Rxh5 gxh5 22.Nf5 Bxf5 23.exf5 (threatening 24.f6) Kh8 24.Rh1 Qd8 25.g6 Nxg6 26.Qxh5 Qg8 27.fxg6 fxg6 28.Qh3 1-0
Dragon fan and fellow blogger Victor Reppert offers two improvements, one for each diagram above.
(I) 16...Bh8 instead of 16...Bxh6.
(II) 18...Nf6 instead of 18...Rc8, with the key point that 19.g4 Bxg4! gives Black good compensation.
I offer the following not as anything remotely resembling the final truth of the matter, but as a start for future analysis:
(I) 16...Bh8 17.g4 Nf6 18.Qh2 and now three lines:
(IA) 18...Bxg4? 19.fxg4 Nexg4 (19...Rxc3 20.Bd2+-) 20.Qg2 Nxh6 21.Rxh6+-
(IB) 18...Nc4 19.Bxc4 Rxc4 20.Nd5 and Black is in trouble, e.g. 20...e6 (20...Nxd5 21.Bd2+-) 21.Nxf6+ Bxf6 22.Bf4 h5 23.Nb3+-
(IC) 18...Bc6 looks reasonable, not rushing to commit and helping shore up the d5 square. White has lots of possibilities here; I'll just present one: 19.Qh3 (with the idea of 20.Bg5; 19.Bg5? failed due to 20...Nexg4-+) e6 20.Qh4+=, or 20.Bg5 Nexg4 21.Bh4 Ne3 22.Nxc6 bxc6 23.Bxf6 Rh5 24.Qxh5 gxh5 25.Rdg1+ Ng4 26.Bxh8 Kxh8 27.fxg4 hxg4 28.Rxg4 Rg8+=.
(II) 18...Nf6 19.Ne2 and now two ideas come to mind, both with the idea of advancing Black's queenside counterplay with ...Nc4:
(IIA) 19...Bb5 20.Nf4 (threatening 21.Nd5) and now
(IIA1) 20...Nc4 21.Nd5 Qa3 22.Nxf6+ exf6 23.Qxh7+ Kf8 24.Qh6+ Ke7 25.Qc1 and Black's compensation seems inadequate.
(IIA2) 20...e6 21.Qg5 (preventing ...Nc4 because of the horizontal pin - 21...Nc4?? 22.Bxc4 Bxc4?? 23.Qxa5) Qd8 (21...Nfd7 22.Rxh7! Kxh7 23.Rh1+ Kg7 24.Nh5+ Kf8 25.Nf6+-) 22.Rd4 +-
(IIB) 19...b5 20.Nf4 (the prophylactic 20.Ka1 might be best, preparing Rb1 in case of emergency) Bc6 and now there are lots of possibilities, like 21.Nd3, 21.Rh3 and 21.Rd4, and just for fun, 21.Rd5!? Bxd5 22.Nxd5 Ned7 (22...Nc4!?) 23.f4 e6 24.Nxf6+ Nxf6 25.e5 Ne4 26.Qxh7+ Kf8 27.exd6 Nxd6 28.Qh6+ Ke7 29.Qg5+ Kd7 30.Rd1 Rd8 31.Qe5 Qb6 32.g4 with some initiative.
I'm sure much more can be said about this, but Reppert is right that Black can at the very least put up much more of a fight. Perhaps St. George hasn't slain the 10...Qa5 Dragon just yet!