Accelerated Dragon with 7…Ng4

I recently attended a lecture by IM Ilye Figler on the accelerated dragon, which inspired me to purchase a few books on the subject. It’s a much more positional opening than it’s fire breathing counter-part, and in general seems safer, more solid, and less risky. So basically, it’s nothing like the main line dragon even though the middle games can sometimes appear very similar, the main difference being black’s refusal to commit his d pawn early, perhaps hoping to play d5 in one go. In the past, I had usually played the maroczy bind against it with white, as this seemed the most straightforward approach. Most of the lecture I attended though focused more on the far more interesting mainlines, where white plays 7.Bc4 instead of the Maroczy, which contain a lot of cute traps. The lecture convinced me that the accelerated dragon may be a good fit for me, but before I decided to play it myself I needed some ideas against the bind in order to be confident. Here is my favorite idea of the several I have come across. It’s a set up that was first introduced by Larsen in the very popular 7…Ng4 variation, or “the exchange variation.” The ideas sketched out in the notation to the following game give the basic concepts for the setup.