Need Sure Points? Sicilian Defence Edition, Accelerated Dragon, Maroczy Bind

“A dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement”
Bo Bennett (businessman)

The Maroczy Bind pawn formation was invented and used by GM Geza Maroczy (HUN) starting with the beginning of the 20th Century; see positions below. The White pawns’ formation is the calling card for it. Black can either reply using an Accelerated Dragon pawn formation (shown in diagram 1) or a Hedgehog pawn formation (shown in diagram 2, where Black must take care of the backwards d6-pawn in exchange for controlling the d5-square).

It is used as a positional weapon against the Sicilian and for a long time it was considered one of the best choices against it. White builds up a solid position with no weaknesses and applies positional pressure. Black lacks space and targets; failing to break White’s pawn structure normally results in suffocation.

I have found a few examples where the game ends in a draw. It gives Black hope that not all is lost. Please consider this just a modest start in examining in more detail this important positional concept and becoming comfortable to play it at a decent level with both colours.

Valer Eugen Demian

I Got Eaten Alive at Jarecki Park!

Fans of Steven Spielberg are familiar with the Jurassic Park movies in which some scientists recreated various species of dinosaurs. The  dinosaurs got lose and chased some people around and ate them. Jarecki sounds like Jurassic and once I started losing this correspondence chess game I felt like I was being chased by a pack of velociraptors. At the point where I resigned, I felt like I had one velociraptor on my left arm, a second velociraptor on my left leg, a third velociraptor on my right leg, and a fourth velociraptor was eating my guts. With only my right arm free and my only weapon being  a pocket knife, I could not fight off the velociraptors. So, I ended the pain of being eaten alive by cutting my own throat with the knife (resigning)!

This correspondence chess game is one of four losses that I have in this section. The winners of the other three games are now in the top three spots in his section and I am in fourth place at the time that I am writing this.

In this correspondence chess game I decided to play the Modern Defense and to try the Sniper move order. I ended up transposing into an Accelerated Dragon variation of the Sicilian Defense.

I cannot pinpoint any one move as being the losing move, but things began to go badly for me around the 17th move of this correspondence chess game. In the course of three moves I went from doing OK to losing and the chess engines gave me no warning that I was heading into trouble!

On move number 21 I sacrificed a Rook for a Knight because I was losing anyway and I had hoped that I could get an attack going against the White King. A better course of action would have been to sacrifice that Rook for the White Bishop that was threatening my King. That might not have been enough to save this correspondence chess game for me, though.

In the future it is unlikely that I will try this move order again.

Mike Serovey