Sicilian Dragon Trap with 6.Nd5!?

By Michael Goeller

I dropped by the Kenilworth Chess Club a couple weeks back, where two players were discussing an amusing trap that begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Nd5!?

dragon trap

At first glance, this looks like the type of move that should get White in trouble. After all, moving the same piece twice in the opening is rarely good.

But the move does set a dastardly trap, because 6....Nxe4? (tempting) gets slaughtered after 7.Bb5+ Bd7 8.Qe2 f5 (any other retreat allows Nf6 mate) 9.Ne6 and Black is dropping at least an Exchange. White also does well after 6...Nxd5 7.Bb5+ (necessary) 7...Bd7 8.exd5 because the cramping effect of the pawn at d5 slows any Black counterplay and creates potential play along the e-file to pressure the pawn at e7. Best, I think, is simply 6...Bg7 when White does not get more than equality out of the opening. But at least you have sidestepped Black's preparation and had a little fun without really risking much. It might be worth a punt as White, and definitely worth knowing about as Black.

Game One: 6...Nxe5?

A. Pedroso (2081) - Daniel Teidi Awoki [B70]

IRT5/Sao Paulo BRA (6) 2006


1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Nd5!?

Moving the same piece twice in the opening goes against principle, of course. But the trap this move sets may tempt you to give it a try, at least in blitz. Besides, White can afford a tempo if he is willing to settle for equality after Black's best replies. By the way, 6. Bb5+ Bd7 7. Nd5 will probably transpose to the present game or the lines considered in the games that follow (if you want to just mix things up).

 

6... Nxe4?

Black thinks, "White forgot about his pawn at e4" and falls headlong into the trap. We will examine the better responses below.

 

 

7. Bb5+!

White can also win by 7. Nb5!? Na6 8. Qd4 Nf6 9. Qc3! (9. Nxf6+!? exf6 10. Nxa7 Bd7 11. Nb5) 9... Bg7 (9... Nxd5 10. Qxh8 Ndb4 11. Na3) 10. Ndc7+.

 

7... Bd7

There are a couple ways for Black to go wrong here:

a) 7... Nc6? 8. Nxc6

b) 7... Nd7? 8. Qe2 f5 (8... Nec5?? 9. Nf6#) 9. Ne6 Qa5+ 10. b4

 

8. Qe2 f5

Otherwise Black simply loses a piece or gets mated after 8... Nc5?? 9. Nf6#

 

9. Ne6!

Much less clear is 9. f3?! Nc5 10. b4 (10. Bxd7+!) 10... Nc6 (10... Bg7! 11. Bb2 Kf7) 11. Bb2 Bg7? 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. Bxg7 Rg8 14. Bc3 cxd5 15. bxc5 dxc5 16. O-O d4 17. Bd2 e6 18. Qxe6+ 1-0 Maros,M-Ruano,J/Bratislava WchJM-U16 1993.

 

9... Qc8

More complicated is 9... Qa5+ 10. b4 Bxb5 (10... Qxb5 11. Nec7+) 11. c4! Qa4 (11... Bxc4 12. Qxc4) 12. cxb5 Kf7 13. Bb2 but White wins easily.

 

10. Nec7+ Kf7 11. Nxa8










11... e6

Or 11... Bxb5 12. Qxb5 Na6 13. O-O and Black has insufficient compensation for the Exchange, expeciallyconsidering his precarious King position.

 

12. Nf4 Nc6 13. Nb6 axb6 14. c3 d5 15. O-O h5

Black has some counterplay, but White should be able to maintain his material and exploit Black's weakened king position with precise play.

 

16. f3

Better 16. Be3! Qc7 17. f3 Nd6 18. Bxc6! bxc6 19. Bd4 Rh7 20. Rae1, finishing development and putting the pieces on good squares, which should maintain the winning edge.

 

16... Nd6 17. Bd3?! g5!? 18. Nh3 g4!

White's pieces are all in a tangle and Black gains counterplay with this sacrifice.

 

19. fxg4 hxg4 20. Qxg4 Ne5 21. Qe2 Nxd3 22. Qxd3 Bb5 23. Qf3?!

After this, White is equal at best. Better 23. Qd4 Rxh3! 24. gxh3 Bxf1 25. Kxf1 Ne4 which maintains the material advantage, though Black has significant counterplay due to White's exposed King. Perhaps best 26. Qd1!

 

23... Bxf1 24. Qxf1 Ne4 25. Be3 Bc5 26. Qd3 Qc7 27. Rf1 Nf6

27... Bd6 28. Bf4=

 

28. Kh1 Ng4 29. Bf4 Bd6? 30. Qd2?!

and despite his weak play, White went on to win. But he could have finished the game immediately with 30. Ng5+ Ke7 31. Nxe6!! Kxe6 32. Qxf5+ Kxf5 33. Bxd6+

 

1-0


Game Two: 6...Nxd5

Rabea Mohammed - Michelle Minnaar [B70]

Elista ol (Women)/Elista, RUS (10) 1998


1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Nd5 Nxd5

The problem with this move is that it gives White a cramping pawn at d5.










7. Bb5+

A necessary zwichenzug! After 7. exd5? Qa5+ White drops a pawn.

 

7... Bd7

A good alternative is 7... Nd7 8. exd5 a6! 9. Bxd7+ (9. Bc4 Nb6 10. Bb3 Nxd5!) 9... Bxd7 10. O-O Bg7 11. Re1 O-O 12. c3 with about equal chances, though the two bishops are a potential long term factor for Black.

 

8. exd5 Bxb5!

8... Bg7 9. O-O O-O (9... Bxb5 10. Nxb5 O-O 11. c3 Nd7 12. Be3 a6 13. Nd4 Qa5 14. Qb3) 10. Be2 Qb6 11. Nb3 Bf5 12. Be3 Qc7 13. c3 a5 14. a4 Rc8 15. Re1 Na6 16. Nd4 Bd7 17. Nb5! Bxb5 18. Bxb5 Nc5 19. Bg5 e5 20. dxe6 Nxe6 21. Be3 Rd8 22. Qd5 Be5 23. g3 Rac8 24. Rad1 Bg7 25. Re2 h6 26. Red2 Bf8 27. Qf3 Nc5 28. Rd5 Qe7 29. Kg2 Nd7 30. Bxd7 Rxd7 31. Rxa5 Qe6 1-0 -- Black appears to have resigned since White's win is easy after 32.Qd5 in Cybulak,A (2270)-Wojtow,A/POL-chT 2nd div North 1999.

 

9. Nxb5 Qa5+ 10. Nc3 Bg7 11. Bd2

A different path is 11. O-O!? O-O (11... Bxc3? 12. bxc3 Qxc3 13. Rb1) 12. Bg5! Re8 13. Re1 Qb4 14. Rb1 Nd7 15. Re4 Qb6 16. Rxe7 Rxe7 17. Bxe7 Re8 18. Bh4 Be5 19. Qd2 Qb4 20. Bg3 Bxc3! 21. Qxc3 Qxc3 22. bxc3 Nb6 and White c ould not solve the technical challenges of exploiting his pawn advantage in 1/ 2-1/2 Ciganikova,A-Horvath,M/Slovakia ch 1995 (58).

 

11... Na6 12. O-O O-O 13. Re1 Rfe8 14. Qf3 Rac8 15. Ne4 Qd8 16. c3

16. Bc3!? f5!

 

16... h6 17. Re2 Nc5 18. Rae1 Nd7?

 










This blunder should have decided the game quickly in White's favor. White has continuing pressure in any case, e.g.: 18... Qd7 19. h4! (19. c4!?).

 

19. Nxd6! Ne5 20. Rxe5 Qxd6

20... Bxe5?? 21. Qxf7+

 

21. R5e4 b6 22. Qh3 h5 23. Rxe7! Red8 24. Qf3 Qxd5 25. Re8+! Kh7 26. Qxd5 Rxd5 27. Rxc8 Rxd2










28. Rce8?!

A most unfortunate slip after such excellent play! The simple 28. Rb1! leaves White with a very easy win.

 

28... Rxb2 29. R8e2 Bxc3 30. Rxb2 Bxe1 31. Re2 Bb4

Now White probably has an insurmountable technical challenge to bring home the point, since Black can build a fortress with Bc5 and a5.

 

32. Rc2 Bc5 33. Rd2 Kg7 34. Kf1 Kf6 35. Re2 a5 36. a4 Kf5 37. Ke1 g5 38. Kd2 Kf4 39. Kd3 f5 40. Kc4 h4 41. Kd5 g4 42. Ke6 Bd4 43. Kd5

1/2-1/2


Game Three: 6...Bg7!

Andrew Philip Smith (2234) - Sergei Tiviakov (2618) [B70]

10th Monarch Assurance/Port Erin IOM (2) 2001


1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Nd5 Bg7!

The GM response to such provocations: Black simply continues to develop.

 

7. Nxf6+

Probably a better idea is 7. Bb5+ Bd7 (7... Nbd7 8. Nxf6+ Bxf6 9. c3 a6 10. Ba4 with equal chances) 8. O-O! (8. Nxf6+ Bxf6 9. O-O Bxb5 10. Nxb5 O-O 11. c3 Nc6 12. Bh6= 0-1 Strenzwilk,D (2062)-Zaremba,A (2343)/Parsipanny USA 2009 (56)) 8... O-O 9. Nxf6+ Bxf6 10. Bh6 Re8 11. c3 Bxb5 12. Nxb5 Qb6 13. Qe2 a6 14. Na3 Nd7 15. Nc4 Qb5 16. a4= with about equal chances.

 

7... Bxf6 8. Bh6?!

White sacrifices a pawn in order to keep the Black King in the center. However, though A. P. Smith has played this at least twice, the available games are unconvincing. Better tries are 8. Bb5+ or 8. c3 which should be about equal (see note above).

 

8... Qb6!

8... Nc6!? 9. Bb5 Qb6 10. c3 Bd7 11. Bxc6 Bxc6 (11... bxc6!) 12. Nxc6 Qxc6 13. Qd3 O-O-O! 14. O-O-O Kb8 15. h4 Rc8 16. Bg5 Bxg5+ 17. hxg5 Qc4 18. Qxc4 Rxc4 19. f3 Rc5 20. f4 h5! 21. gxh6 Rh5 22. Rxh5 gxh5 23. Rh1 Rxh6 24. g4!? (24. Rh4!) 24... h4 25. Kd2 h3 26. g5 Rh5 27. Ke3 e5 28. Kf3 h2 29. Kg4 Rh8 30. fxe5 dxe5 31. Kf5 Rh5 32. Kxe5? Rxg5+ 33. Kf6 Rg2 34. Kxf7 Rxb2 35. e5 Rxa2 36. e6 Rf2+ 37. Kg7 Kc7 38. e7 Kd7 39. Re1 Ke8 0-1 Smith,A (2199)-Beaumont,C (2328)/Cotswold op 2003.

 

9. c3

9. Nb5!? Bxb2 10. Rb1 Be5 11. Bc4 a6 12. Be3 Qa5+ 13. Bd2 Qd8.

 

9... Qxb2

Though Black cannot castle and his Queen appears exposed, White really has insufficient compensation for the pawn.

 

10. Bb5+ Nd7 11. Rc1 Qa3!?

GMs are rarely greedy, which is why this trap fails against them. But playable here seems 11... Qxa2.

 

12. O-O a6 13. Ba4 Qc5 14. Qd2 b5 15. Bb3 Bb7 16. Rfe1 Nb6!

Who needs to castle when you have such well placed pieces?

 

17. f4 Rd8 18. Kh1 Qh5 19. e5 Bh4! 20. exd6

20. Bg5? Bg3!

 

20... Qxh6 21. dxe7 Rd7

Though Black's King position appears precarious, White really has no compensation for the piece.

 

22. Qe3 Rxe7 23. Qh3 Qxf4 24. Rf1 Qe4 25. Nf3 g5 26. Nxh4 Qxh4 27. Bxf7+ Rxf7 28. Rce1+ Kd8 29. Rd1+ Nd7 30. Qe6 Rxf1+ 31. Rxf1 Qe4

0-1

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Copyright © 2009 by Michael Goeller