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What are the plans for Black when White castles short in the Sicilian dragon? Very broadly speaking I am thinking of two plans.

  1. Go for a King's Indian like kingside attack with e5 played at a suitable time.
  2. Do a6-b5 and generate queenside pressure.

Is one more sound than the other? Or is it just a question of style? What should I be aware of before deciding which one to adopt?

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Pretty much any open Sicilian when both sides have castled King-side Black can seek counter-play against the center by undermining the Knight on c3 with b5-b4 ideas or if allowed Rxc3 exchange sacs.

Also thematic is trying to play d5. Bent Larsen said something to the effect that the Sicilian was a positional trick where you trade a wing-pawn for a center pawn, then with 2 center pawns vs one you will be able to eventually take over the center.

I haven't seen games where Black has prospects of a king-side attack in a Dragon where White castled King-side. Usually White is trying to attack there with f2-f4 etc.

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What are the plans for Black when White castles short in the Sicilian dragon

Good news. Black's position is fine; a useful half-open c-file without risks being blow off on the king side. White's short castling is a weaker plan to fight for advantage.

Black has decent chances to take over the board:

  • Move your rooks to the c-file
  • Prepare for thematic d5 push
  • Unblock the g7 dragon bishop

Black has stronger queenside chances while White is not significant better at kingside. I'd be happy to play as Black.

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