Relinquish the Dragon
By Chad Lieberman
For a long time, I was petrified of the dragon, that bishop breathing fire down the long diagonal. But now that I play with it in my arsenal, I appreciate more and more the fear it strikes in others.
Sometimes, however, people will overestimate our attachment to the dragon. They think we will save it at all costs. This is not the correct way to play with a dragon. Chess is a game of small advantages and differences which one must exploit in order to win the game.
These advantages come in many different forms and often change several times during a game. This week's featured game is a perfect example of when relinquishing the dragon transforms a small advantage of minor central dominance into permanent superiority by dominating the queenside while breaking white's pawn structure.
So, when a dragon player makes a move such as 16...Bxc3, don't breathe a sigh of relief, the advantage has simply changed forms. In fact, now you have even more work to do in order to even out the chances.
As you will notice when you play through the game, white has no compensation for the doubled pawns and black's domination of the c-file, especially the c4-square. From that point on, the game only requires solid technique.