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Killing a dragon never was an easy task, as the Dragon Variation of the Sicilian Defence clearly shows. Around 1940, the Soviet player Vsevolod Rauser almost hounded the beast to extinction with a new anti- dragon attack. White would castle Q-side after f3, Be3 and Qd2, then launch a pawn storm with g4, h4 and g5. Open the h-file with hxg6, exchange the bishop with Bh6, then invade on h6 with the queen for a quick mate. Easy.

Thousands of dragons perished in the Fifties but counter-attacking schemes were gradually devised to breathe new fire into the dragon. All the same, White tended to score heavily at the highest levels.

Now even that has begun to change. In 1995, Kasparov played the Dragon three times against Anand in their PCA world title match, scoring two wins and a draw. (Though the results seemed to owe more to Anand's state of shock than to any intrinsic merits of the opening.) More recently, Julian Hodgson and the British champion Chris Ward have been adding more ideas to the Dragon armoury, giving the beast a vitality it has been lacking for years.

This exciting draw from the Deloitte & Touche festival in Jersey is a good example. Ward gets in both Black's thematic sacrifices, Rxc3 and Bxg4, to reach an endgame with three pawns for a piece. Only by vigorous play was White able to maintain the balance, but his advance of the h- pawn to the sixth rank created enough counterplay to give Black no time to push his extra pawns .

White: David Moskovic

Black: Chris Ward

1 e4 c5 23 Bd3 e6

2 Nf3 d6 24 Kb2 Rc7

3 d4 cxd4 25 Rf2 Kg7

4 Nxd4 Nf6 26 Rf6 Re7

5 Nc3 g6 27 h5 Ng4

6 Be3 Bg7 28 Rf1 e5

7 f3 Nc6 29 h6+ Kf8

8 Qd2 0-0 30 Nb3 Rc7

9 0-0-0 Bd7 31 c4 Ne3

10 g4 Rc8 32 Rc1 e4

11 h4 Ne5 33 Bxe4 Nxc4+

12 Bh6 Bxh6 34 Kb1 b5

13 Qxh6 Rxc3 35 Bd5 Ke7

14 bxc3 Qa5 36 Nd4 Rc5

15 Kb1 Rc8 37 Bxc4 bxc4

16 Be2 Bxg4 38 Re1+ Kd7

17 fxg4 Nxe4 39 Rf1 Ke7

18 Rh3 Nxc3+ 40 Re1+ Kd7

19 Rxc3 Qxc3 41 Rf1 Ke8

20 Qd2 Qxd2 42 Re1+ Kd7

21 Rxd2 a6 Drawn

22 g5 Rc3

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