Author Archives: Julian Way

About Julian Way

Julian runs the monthly online learning sessions for Kingston Chess Club. He is a FIDE Master and plays league chess as well as in the 4NCL. Julian is a columnist with Chess magazine and runs chess classes at the City Lit as well as a chess therapy group.

Enter the Dragon

There are two ways to respond to a defeat – cry about it or learn from it. The second method is generally better, as this instructive assessment by FM Julian Way of the Dragon Variation of the Sicilian Defence demonstrates

Julian Way in action in the recent Alexander Cup semi-final against Coulsdon. Photograph: John Saunders

I lost a rather insipid game against Jenith Wiratunga in a match against Maidenhead in December. The opening was the Dragon variation of the Sicilian Defence. After a few days licking my wounds, I resolved to investigate some classic games in this line and at least come out of the game with greater knowledge to compensate for my lost rating points and damaged ego.

The games which I found for this article offer three different approaches: in game 1 Bobby Fischer plays the Soltis variation of the Yugoslav Attack (9. Bc4) and crushes Bent Larsen after opening lines on the kingside; in game 2 Anatoly Karpov plays a nice endgame against Tony Miles which shows that White often has good chances when there is reduced material; in game 3 Nigel Short responds to Julian Hodgson’s early d5 break in the centre with convincing attacking play.

There are a lot more games to analyse, especially ones from contemporary grandmaster play, but I genuinely think my understanding has improved and I thank Jenith Wiratunga for the free chess lesson.  

Game 1: Robert Fischer v Bent Larsen (Portoroz, 1958)

Game 2: Anatoly Karpov v Tony Miles (London, 1982)

Game 3: Nigel Short v Julian Hodgson (Brighton, 1982)