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!?
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
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).
Black thinks, "White forgot about his pawn at e4" and falls headlong into the trap. We will examine the better responses below.
There are a couple ways for Black to go wrong here:
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.
Black has some counterplay, but White should be able to maintain his material and exploit Black's weakened king position with precise play.
White's pieces are all in a tangle and Black gains counterplay with this sacrifice.
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!
Game Two: 6...Nxd5
Rabea Mohammed - Michelle Minnaar [B70]
Elista ol (Women)/Elista, RUS (10) 1998
The problem with this move is that it gives White a cramping pawn at d5.
A good alternative is 7... Nd7 8. exd5 a6! 9. Bxd7+ (9. Bc4 Nb6 10. Bb3 Nxd5!)
9... Bxd7 10.
8... Bg7 9.
A different path is 11.
A most unfortunate slip after such excellent play! The simple 28. Rb1! leaves White with a very easy win.
Now White probably has an insurmountable technical challenge to bring home the point, since Black can build a fortress with Bc5 and a5.
Game Three: 6...Bg7!
Andrew Philip Smith (2234) - Sergei Tiviakov (2618) [B70]
10th Monarch Assurance/Port Erin IOM (2) 2001
The GM response to such provocations: Black simply continues to develop.
Probably a better idea is 7. Bb5+ Bd7 (7... Nbd7 8. Nxf6+ Bxf6 9. c3 a6 10. Ba4 with equal chances)
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... Nc6!? 9. Bb5 Qb6 10. c3 Bd7 11. Bxc6 Bxc6 (11... bxc6!)
12. Nxc6 Qxc6 13. Qd3
Though Black cannot castle and his Queen appears exposed, White really has insufficient compensation for the pawn.
GMs are rarely greedy, which is why this trap fails against them. But playable here seems 11... Qxa2.
Who needs to castle when you have such well placed pieces?
Though Black's King position appears precarious, White really has no compensation for the piece.
Games in PGNCopyright © 2009 by Michael Goeller