Chess: Sosonko's dragon meets St George
Wednesday 23 June 1993
Last week, Sosonko's dragon met its St George. With 10. h4, Jeroen Piket adopted the standard anti- dragon formation. White aims for an automatic attack with 0-0-0, g4, h5 and Bh6. Black counters with play along the c-file. In the 1960s, 10 . . . Rc8 was the automatic move, in the 1970s it was 10 . . . Qa5 followed by Rfc8, and in the 1980s 10 . . . h5. Now the dragon faithful have switched back to the old move.
Sosonko's 19 . . . Be5 is the latest wrinkle on the dragon's skin, preventing Qh2 and preparing to meet 20. f4 with 20 . . . Bxd4 21. Bxd4 Rxc2 now that Qh6 is no longer possible. However, 20. Qd3] and 21. Rxh7]] caught Sosonko in a brilliant piece of home preparation. After 23. Rh6 Black cannot defend g6 since 23 . . . Be8 loses to 24. Ne6+ Kg8 25. Rxg6+ Bxg6 26. Qxg6+ Kh8 27. Ng5. After 27. dxe6 White threatens Qh7+ and Qf7 mate, and 27 . . . Qxf3 loses to 28. Rh7+ Kf6 (Kf8 is just as bad after Bh6+) 29. Rf7+. At the end, the threat of Qf7 mate could only be delayed a single move by 29 . . . Rg7 30. Rh8+.
White: Piket Black: Sosonko 1 e4 c5 16 hxg6 fxg6 2 Nf3 d6 17 Kb1 b5 3 d4 cxd4 18 Nd5 Nxd5 4 Nxd4 Nf6 19 exd5 Be5 5 Nc3 g6 20 Qd3 Qb7 6 Be3 Bg7 21 Rxh7 Kxh7 7 f3 Nc6 22 Rh1+ Kg7 8 Qd2 0-0 23 Rh6 Rg8 9 Bc4 Bd7 24 Rxg6+ Kh8 10 h4 Rc8 25 Rh6+ Kg7 11 Bb3 Ne5 26 Ne6+ Bxe6 12 0-0-0 Nc4 27 dxe6 Kf8 13 Bxc4 Rxc4 28 Qf5+ Bf6 14 g4 Qc7 29 Qh5 1-0 15 h5 Rc8
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