"Yes, I like the book a lot. Pearson uses 45 games in nine chapters to illustrate the ideas that have come to light in this line. Pearson has presented the material in a very good fashion, it shows both the direction of development of the variation as well as the technical features involved." - NM Bill McGeary
Here are 2 extracts from the book:
Chapter 2 Thematic 11.Kb1 line
At first this looks a strange move. Why has White just put his/her King on the B file, especially when we have just placed our rook on it? Well, the White plan is to move his/her King away from the half open C file (which Black might try to exploit with his/her Kingside rook, coming to c8) before starting active operation on the kingside, in essence White is of the belief that the King is safer on b1 than c1.
Black has tried various responses to date here; the merits of each are examined in detail in this Chapter.
Kravtsiv,M – Jianu,V
Toulousain Open, France
An extremely popular choice, but I am not an advocate of this move here; the knight is misplaced in this variation, we require the a5 square for the a7 pawn in this set up.
(a) 11...Ne5 see game 10.
(b) 11...b5 see game 12.
(c) 11...Nxd4!? a rare but not without merit move, now follows
Chapter 5 Main Line: 11.Bb3! Na5!
Chess theory constantly evolves we are what we choose to be today, not what we have chosen before. Today 11...Na5 has emerged as the main line of the Chinese Dragon.
In the last 10 years the above position has occurred in approximately 75% of the recorded Chinese Dragon tournament games.
So why is the odd looking manoeuvre of placing our Knight to the edge of the board with 11...Na5 a good idea here? Well, we keep our options open of exchanging our Knight for the White bishop on b3. Also we keep the e5 square free for a well-timed e7 to e5 pawn thrust. Neither of these options are open to us in the lines examined in the previous Chapter, where Black plays 11...Ne5.
The plan for Black in the main line is effective and efficient. It revolves around the following general themes:
- ● If White plays Bh6, Black will respond with ...Bxh6
- ● If White attacks with h4 or g4 Black will counter-attack with b5 and ...Nc4 or ...Nxb3
- ● At an appropriate point Black will hit the centre with e7 to e5
White has four key plans in the main line and in increasing order of popularity are as follows:
Chapter 6 White plays the move combination h4 with Kb1.
Chapter 7 White plays the move combination h4 with h5.
Chapter 8 White plays the move combination Bh6 with g4.
Chapter 9 White plays the move combination Bh6 with h4. This is by far the most common plan of all.
In this Chapter, Chapter 5 we will focus on the moves and plans that do not factor in the above four White plans, effectively all lines that do not begin with either 12.h4 or 12.Bh6. We will pay particular attention to the subtleties of the 12.Nd5 variation.