though he did need to hold rook versus rook-and-bishop. It may lack the glamour of the Dragon or Morra, but the Open Spanish is a great choice if you want to keep out elite opposition. So let's take a look at this very instructive game of the Dragon.

White: Yu Yangyi (2747) Black: Gawain Jones (2625)
Gibraltar Masters (10.5) 04.02.2016

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6
Showing his faith in the Dragon.


6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0–0 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.Bb3 Rc8 11.0–0–0 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 b5 13.e5
Gawain was not worried about this one: “The immediate central break does not put much pressure on Black.”

13…dxe5 14.Bxe5 Bc6 15.Qxd8
Chapter 9, variation B2 of Volume 1, if you want to check it out yourself.


Finally varying from the book, but with a rather harmless move. But the alternatives were not threatening either: 16.Rxd8+ and 16.a4 were the moves mentioned by Gawain.

16…Bh6+ 17.Kb1 Nd7
Black is comfortably equal. I will not analyse the rest in any depth.

18.Bd4 a5 19.a3 b4 20.axb4 axb4 21.Rhe1 e5 22.Bf2 Nf6 23.Bg3?
Missing a trick. 23.Bh4=

Now Black is a little better.

24.Rg1 e4 25.Be5 exf3 26.gxf3 Bxf3 27.Bxf6 Bxe2 28.Bxd8 Rxd8 29.c3 Bxd1 30.Rxd1 Rb8 31.Kc2 Bf4 32.Rd7 Rf8 33.h3 bxc3 34.bxc3 Kg7 35.Bd5 g5 36.c4 Kg6 37.c5 h5 38.c6 f5 39.c7 Rc8 40.Kd3 g4 41.hxg4 hxg4 42.Bb7 Rxc7 43.Rxc7 Bxc7
Whatever the merits of White’s moves just before the time control, this is still a draw.

44.Ke3 Kg5

Yu Yangyi missed something, or perhaps he thought his position was losing anyway.
The tablebase knows 45.Kf2! was the only drawing move. After, say, 45…f4 46.Kg2 Black needs to support the …f3-advance with his king, as otherwise White sacrifices his bishop for the last two pawns. (Endgame tip: this position is much simpler to draw if the bishop is on e2 or d1, but Yu Yangyi did not have that option.) But when Black moves his king around, White is just in time by attacking the g4-pawn. For example: 46…Kf6 47.Bc6 Ke5 48.Bb7 Kd4 49.Bc8 f3+ 50.Kf2=

45…Bb6+ was also winning.

46.Ke4 Kh4 47.Kf5 g3