I saw, some weeks ago, a video of the great GM Roman Dzindzichashvili, claiming that Sicilian Dragon is somewhat refuted, or at least it is a dubious system. I normally play the Grand Prix against the Sicilian, but if what I saw on the video is true, I may switch to the Yugoslav attack.

Basically my question is the dragon really a bad opening and is the Yugoslav attack the its "refutation" (strong word I know) ?

  • 2
    Magnus plays it and defeats super GMs.
    – Tony Ennis
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 4:56

5 Answers 5


No, it is not refuted, and it is not any more dubious than dozens of other mainstream openings. It's dangerous for both sides, of course. I would not worry about its theoretical status until your rating gets to 2600 or so.

Note also that if you stop playing the Grand Prix, you're going to have to decide what to do against all the other Black Open Sicilian defense besides the Dragon.

  • 1
    I think 2600 is a tad too specific, any serious tournament master-level (FIDE 2200+) player who employs the Yugoslav attack should be well aware of the theoretical status of their opening
    – sco-ish
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 13:14
  • @sco-ish Yes, I agree that anyone at 2200 should be aware of the theoretical status of their opening. What I meant that the theoretical status of the Dragon in particular is not in danger below the top levels.
    – dfan
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 14:19

The idea of Mr. Roman, I have see the video, is that the opening is somewhat blunt. But still he also gives clarifications that some lines are winning. The positions achieved will certainty not be the ones you achieve in most of your games. As another answerer mentioned, stick to the Grand Prix, or to another Anti-Sicilian, such as the Alapin.


GM Gawain Jones (who plays this opening) just published a huge two volume work. His conclusion, of course, is that it is quite playable.


The Dragon Opening is an Opening which should not be played below the 2000 ElO level for the Black Player . The main objective of Dragon for the Black is to sacrifice the c8 Rook for the c3 Knight which guards the White King when he does the long Castle . It is one of the most popular Exchange Sacrifice which Players at Master level and above do understand and can play it better. I am not saying that Players who are 1500 ~ Elo fails to understand .

My Objective is if you understand the Counterattacking theme from black then you should go ahead to play the Dragon . Generally compared to other Sicilians White's attack comes very fast (Yugoslav Attack )because the pawn stands on g6 and Black has to be extra cautious because the h file gets opened very soon where White unites his Rooks on h-file and hover around Black's King . Black's game has to be ultra sharp to do the Counter attack . The Theory of Dragon even extends to 25-30 moves which the Black player should memorize in order to win the game . If he makes 2-3 incorrect moves he/she loses very soon .


I played the Yugoslav attack when a IM played the Dragon against me, and in my chess area they do not know how to play the Dragon variations with me. It's quite solid with lots of tactical opportunities, however it's also dangerous for both sides so be careful when playing it.

  • This doesn't adress the question at all!
    – Scounged
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 12:07
  • 2
    How can it be both solid and dangerous? In chess, they're near antonyms ...
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 14:35

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