[FEN ""]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.f3 O-O 8.Bc4 e6 9.O-O a6

Here is a line from a game of mine. I made the movee 10. Qd3, but my computer program says Qd2 would have been a much better move. Why is that?

  • 3
    This is a non-accelerated Dragon. The accelerated Dragon has 2 ... Nc6 and usually omits the d6 move altogether. Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 0:42
  • @AlexanderWoo Oops, you're right, I don't know how I missed that. This is a Yugoslav position but without the queen move. I guess the move numbering confused me, seeing 8.Bc4 instead of 9.Bc4.
    – Bladewood
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 16:36
  • As someone with only a bit of knowledge of openings, this is still pretty confusingly titled - given the Dragon is a defense, and OP is posting about white's moves versus the dragon, not asking about a move playing the Sicilian Dragon themselves. Maybe "... against the Sicilian Dragon"?
    – Joe
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 18:52

4 Answers 4


One of Black's development plans will include moves like Nd7 intending Ne5 hitting the Q and Bishop if the Q is on d3. This will cost White an important tempo in this dynamic opening.

Black's plans revolve around control of the c4 square hoping to place a piece on this square. Depending on White's particular move order Black may play b5, Bb7, Nd7, Nb6, Nc4, Rc8.

To counter this Q side action of Black, White needs to get active on the K side: Qd2 allows the B to h6 plan to exchange off the key defensive Black B. In due course after completing development White can plan a pawn storm against the B King.


Qd2 is used in these lines to support the Be3, which is typically played to h6 to exchange for the Bg7, followed by a pawn attack on the king-side.


Without giving a long, drawn out explanation, the simple answer is that you're decreasing the mobility of the queen. The queen only has three legal moves from d3 and all of them waste time. Qd2 loses a tempo since you could have played Qd2 the move before. Same with Qe2. Qd1 wastes two moves.

The value of moves comes from the value of the pieces and the value of the pieces comes from their mobility.

  • Simple but wrong. Moving the queen to d2 doesn't increase its mobility. It would be the loss of a tempo according to your explanation.
    – xehpuk
    Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 23:42
  • @xehpuk- i never said it increased the mobility of the queen. I said it was a wasted move.
    – Savage47
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 3:53
  • OP says that the engine liked Qd2. Why is it a wasted move?
    – xehpuk
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 12:32
  • If you play Qd3-> Qd2 then you've taken two moves to do what you could have done in one by just playing Qd2 in the first place, I'm not sure you're following what I'm saying. We're talking about the mobility of the queen on the d3 square.
    – Savage47
    Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 16:02

The queen on d2 allows for a future Bh6 exchanging the bishops and preparing a h4-h5 push with a strong attack for White.

With Qd3, you are exposing it to attack (...Nc6-e5 is a typical maneuvre in this type of posiiton). You also prevent your bishop from going to c4 which is a typical square where it's placed.

Also note that Black's ...e6 is a very bad move, as it does nothing to further development, weakens the d6 square and prevents the c8 bishop from developing to e6.

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