January 22, 2012

Sicilian Defense Dragon Variation

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This chess post is designed for chess beginners to learn the Dragon variation of the Sicilian Defense chess opening. Please be advised that at the chess master level, the Dragon variation is the 2nd most common variation of the Sicilian Defense - after the Najdorf variation.

The Dragon is strong defense for Black, not difficult to learn and not so sharp as the Najdorf may be. On this page, find data and general description of the Dragon variation and chess video at the bottom of this page. A special PGN file on the Dragon will be published later.

The German chess master Louis Paulsen invented the modern form of the Dragon variation in 1880. From his part, the Russian chess master and astronomer Fyodor Dus-Chotimirsky named it Dragon because the resemblance of Black’s kingside pawn structure to the constellation Draco.

Variation Name: The Dragon variation of the Sicilian Defense
Moves: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6
ECO Codes: B70-B79

The Sicilian Dragon has 2 main lines of play and 4 less common:
Main line 1: 6.Be3
Main line 2: 6.Be2

Less common line 1: 6.Bc4
Less common line 2: 6.f4 (f3 is seen rarely today)
Less common line 3: 6.g3
Less common line 4: 6.Bg5

To understand in a visible way the Dragon variation of the Sicilian Defense, to get a general picture and presentation of this variation, and to study the most common playing lines of the Dragon, you are recommended to see the following video:

• If the opening video hasn’t shown up, please wait a little.
• If the video stops, drag a little right the player’s handle.
• If the video displays an error, try to start and play it later.

Note. One video may be not enough to learn the Sicilian Dragon. Because the Dragon variation is large, there will be published a special PGN file. The Dragon PGN files will be placed on the next separate page of this chess openings blog. Thank you!