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Accelerated Dragons (Chess Openings) Paperback – 31 Mar 1998

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About the Author

International Master Jeremy Silman is co-author (with Yasser Seirawan) of Microsoft Press's series of chess books, and author of several openings books. International Master John Donaldson is an Associate Editor of the acclaimed magazine Inside Chess (Seattle). He is author of several books, including theoretical opening works and painstakingly researched player biographies. He plays regularly and successfully in North American tournaments.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Solid, down to earth 4 May 2001
By Robert H. Nunnally Jr. - Published on
Format: Paperback
I am one of those people who doesn't play the Sicilian often, because of how sharp and bookish it can be. In particular, the Sicilian Dragon is something I play only in the least important blitz games, as there are so many variations, and one's king gets stormed so darn often. From hard experience, I'd known that the Yugoslav variation stuff doesn't work against the accelerated dragon, but I'd never known the move sequences nor how to deal with all those c4 Maroczy Bind situations. This book capably tells you how to play the Accelerated, how to turn back white's efforts to try the Yugoslav Attack, and how to deal with the bind. It has a nice chapter on the Hyper Accelerated, and a mildly throwaway chapter on the Semi Accelerated system with ...Nc6 and ....g6. This is a good book, easily understandable by a B player like myself. Well done.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
What I needed 3 Jan. 2001
By "scarblac" - Published on
Format: Paperback
I bought this book a week ago. Although I haven't had time to study it all in depth, I already like it more than my other opening books. I already played the accelerated Dragon, without knowing a lot of theory.
Many Whites play some sort of move order to reach the Yugoslav variation of the Dragon. That's not possible against the Accelerated, since Black can play ...d5!. But there are many tactical points in those lines to make Black equalize or win a pawn right away, and I always missed them. This book will allow me to punish mistakes every White seems to make, and I like that most :).
Furthermore, this is an opening book with quite a lot of text. It starts out with an overview of typical plans for both sides, and in the analysis chapters, many moves are accompanied with a small line saying what the idea is. I know I played many moves from other books not knowing why...
And it is complete. Aside from the main Accelerated e4 c5 Nf3 Nc6 d4 cxd4 Nxd4 g6, it also covers lines like the hyper-accelerated (e4 c5 Nf3 g6) which I sometimes like to play to avoid 3.Bb5, in 23 pages!, and things like the dubious e4 c5 Nf3 Nc6 d4 cxd4 Nxd4 Nf6 Nc3 g6.
The authors are absolute Accelerated enthusiasts so maybe there is a small Black bias, but I think most people who want to buy this book play it as Black anyway. The opening is completely playable.
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Great book 1 Mar. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
After searching for a great way to create a battle from move 3, I found the accelerated dragon. This book gives wonderful examples of classic positions and discusses new theory. Full of lots of games for each major variant, it does a good job of verbally explaining the main ideas behind each line. This is for both black and white, though it is a little biased towards the black side.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Scorching White 19 Nov. 2001
By J. Martinez - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Accelerated Dragon is a sharp opening for black that is full of tactics and counter-play. This is an excellent book for those who are seeking an aggressive system for black.

Don't pass this one up. This is good addition to your library. It contains tactical themes and shows black how to play against white setups, especially the Maroczy Bind, which is one of white's best replies vs. Accelerated Dragon.

Very solid and theoretical. Both authors Donaldson and Silman have done a good job. Covers main lines and contains sidelines played by chess masters. Advanced players will find this book useful.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Anti-Yugoslav Variation 5 Sept. 2005
By JavaMate - Published on
Format: Paperback
In an earlier review about "Chess Openings for Black, Explained (A Complete Repertoire) by Lev Alburt", I've stated that GM Dzindzichashvili left out the line starting with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 Qa5 as on his 4th DVD of "Roman's Encyclopedia of 40 Essential Chess Openings" featuring also the Accelerated Dragon. Instead, he only treats the main line where Black plays 7...0-0, not 7...Qa5 (assuming that it was him who wrote the part on the Accelerated Dragon - read my review there if you wonna know why I think this is so).

For people who have this DVD, I've got good news: the book "Accelerated Dragons" (Everyman Chess - by J.Silman and J.Donaldson - first published 1998 and reprinted 2004) contains 38 pages (!) devoted to this particular line. Note: instead of 13.a3 a5 (Dzindzi's recommendation) they only mention 13...b4 and 13...a6, so maybe 13...a5 really is part of Dzindzichashvili's (later?) revelation on this line...

Accelerated Dragons also spends 22 pages on the Hyper Acc. Dragon (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6) although there's one little error on page 296; the authors mixed up two games. They wrote: (after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 Bg7) "4.dxc5 Na6? 5.Bxa6 bxa6 6.Qd5 Rb8 7.Qe5 and Black resigned in a few more moves in Braley-Pupols, Match 1970", but this way White simply drops his queen to the bishop on g7! The actual move order came from a Smith-Morra Gambit (in a friendly reply from J. Silman regarding this matter, he didn't mention which game exactly though): 1.e4 c5 2.d4 g6 3.dxc5 Na6 4.Bxa6 bxa6 5.Qd5 Rb8 Qe5.

Summarizing: in the book "Chess Openings for Black,explained" the "Anti-Yugoslav Variation" (with 7.Bc4 Qa5) is lacking completely, although on DVD 4 of "Roman's Encyclopedia of 40 Essential Chess Openings", GM Dzindzichashvili recommends this line to be used as a major weapon for Black after White plays 7.Bc4.

One thing Dzindzichashvili and Silman/Donaldson have in common: they both give the line 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 (2...g6, Dzindzi, but this transposes) 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 0-0 8.f3? (their evaluation) Qb6 9.Bb3 Nxe4 which, according to them, wins a pawn for Black after White plays 10.Nxe4 Bxd4 (Dzindzi, page 62) or 10.fxe4 Bxd4 (Silman/Donaldson, page 11).

This assessment is probably wrong (I've read this in a review on "Chess Openings for Black, Explained (A Complete Repertoire)" written by "A.J. Goldsby I "A.J.G."". He says:

'Also - on page 62, there is another oversight. After 8.f3?, Qb6!; our team of authors provide the following comment: "Black threatens ...Nxe4 and ...Qxb2. White does not have an adequate defense - for example: 9.Bb3, Nxe4!; 10.Nxe4, Bxd4; and Black wins a Pawn." All this might be true, but 10.Nxe4? is a terrible move, ('??'); White has to play 10.Nd5!, with a fairly good game. Play could then continue: 10...Qa5+[]; 11.c3 Nc5; 12.Nxc6 dxc6; 13.Nxe7+ Kh8; 14.Nxc8 Raxc8; (Fritz confirms that this is Black's most solid move in this position.) 15.0-0. ("+/=") White is slightly better due to the two Bishops, the computer confirms that Black cannot play ...Nxb3; anytime soon, as this releases the WR on a1. (Bobby Fischer reached this position as early as 1958!!!) See the contest: GM W. Watson - GM M. Chandler; ICT / Lloyds Bank (Open) / London, ENG/UK; 1984. (All this was adequately covered in a book on the Accelerated Dragon - published a few years ago, written by IM's John Donaldson and IM J. Silman. There was also a good book on this opening by GM's P.H. Nielsen and C. Hansen, published in 1998, I believe.)'

This reviewer obviously skipped page 11 of "Accelerated Dragons", but I do get the impression he knows what he's talking about concerning White's refutation of 8.f3 Qb6 9.Nxe4 (by playing 10.Nd5 instead of 10.Nxe4 or 10.fxe4).

So, except for a few minor errors in "Accelerated Dragons" and the inconsistency between Dzindzi's DVD featuring the Accelerated Dragon and his new book (as I've explained above), the two books "Accelerated Dragons" and "Chess Openings for Black, Explained" together should provide a pretty thorough guide to the (Hyper) Accelerated Dragon.
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