6. My Refutation of the Flohr-Variation

 

[Event "Hamburg"] [Site "Hamburg"] [Date "1985.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Wahls, Matthias"] [Black "Behrhorst, Frank"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B05"] [WhiteElo "2285"] [BlackElo "2320"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "1985.??.??"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "GER"] [EventCategory "4"] [Source "ChessBase"]

{This game will show, how I developed a new line against the Flohr-Variation of the Alekhine Defense. Actually, I consider it as the refutation of the Flohr-Variation.} 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5
Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 Bg4 5. Be2 c6 {In the early eighties, the Flohr-Variation
was very popular in Hamburg chess circles. I already explained the reason for
that in the last game. There, we saw how easy life would be for Black, if
White continued in a harmless and unsophisticated manner. Hence, I was forced
to do my own research and find something convincing, which would give me at
least a stable slight advantage. Of course, you cannot let an Alekhine player
get away with equality. No one who plays a subpar opening with Black deserves
that. As the White player, it is your holy duty to punish him for that and at
least make him suffer for a while, until he finally deserved his draw by
defending properly.} 6. c4 $1 {When I developed my new system, the move 6.Ng5,
which prevents the exchange on f3 as we saw in the last game, already existed
as an alternative to 6.0-0 or 6.h3. I wanted to improve on that by first
pushing the knight away from the center. After 6.Ng5 Bf5, 7.c4 would be a
mistake because of 7..Nb4, so the push had to happen immediately.} Nb6 {The
natural move, which creates contact with the pawn on c4 (Bxf3 might be a
threat) and leaves the square c7 empty for the queen. The alternative} (6...
Nc7 {Diagram [#] isn't worse, but now it is already clearly visible that White
won the opening battle. Here my analysis:} 7. exd6 (7. Nbd2 dxe5 8. Nxe5 Bxe2 9. Qxe2 g6 10. Ndf3
Bg7 11. O-O Nd7 12. Rd1 $14 {e.g.} O-O 13. Ng4 Re8 14. Nh6+) 7... exd6 8. Qb3
Qc8 9. O-O Be7 10. h3 Bh5 11. Re1 O-O 12. Bg5 $1 Bxg5 13. Nxg5 Bxe2 14. Rxe2
Nd7 15. Nc3 (15. Ne4 $5 d5 16. Nd6 dxc4 17. Qg3 Qb8 18. Re7 Nf6 19. Nc3 Nce8
20. Nxc4 Qxg3 21. fxg3 Rb8 22. g4 h6 23. a4 Nd5 24. Nxd5 cxd5 25. Ne5 Nd6 26.
Rc1 {with a long lasting initiative}) 15... Nf6 16. Nge4 Nxe4 17. Nxe4 Ne6 (
17... Rd8 $2 18. d5 b5 (18... c5 $2 19. Qg3 $18) 19. cxb5 cxb5 20. Rc1 $16) (
17... d5 $2 18. Nd6 dxc4 (18... Qd7 19. c5 $16) 19. Qxc4 Qd7 20. Nxb7 Nb5 21.
Nc5 Qxd4 22. Rc1 $16) 18. Nxd6 Qd7 19. Nf5 Nxd4 20. Nxd4 Qxd4 21. Rd1 Qc5 (
21... Qb6 22. Re7) 22. Qxb7 Qxc4 23. Red2 $14) 7. Ng5 $1 {Diagram [#] That's
my novelty, which I already uncorked one year earlier at the German Junior
Championship in Ramstein against later tournament winner Peter Meyer.} Bf5 {
Exchanging the bishop doesn't grant Black much relieve either:} (7... Bxe2 8.
Qxe2 h6 (8... dxe5 $6 {This provides White with an extra option. He can now as
well retreat with his knight to the more active square e4, from where it is
casts a menacing eye on d6.} 9. dxe5 h6 10. Ne4 $1 Qd4 {Diagram [#] How does
White cope with the double attack now?} (10... e6 11. Be3 N8d7 12. f4 $16) 11.
b3 $3 Qxe5 (11... Qxa1 12. Nec3 $18 {followed by Bb2}) 12. Bb2 {As it is plain
to see, White has ample compensation for the pawn.} Qe6 (12... Qf5 $4 13. Nd6+)
(12... Qc7 $2 13. c5 Nc8 (13... Nd5 $2 14. Nd6+) 14. Nbd2 $18 {Black's
position is already hopeless. The king will not find a safe place anymore.} Nd7
15. O-O e6 16. Rac1 {Black cannot move a single minor piece.} b6 17. Nc4 b5 18.
Ne3 a5 19. Rfd1 Rg8 20. Nf5 $18) 13. O-O N8d7 (13... f5 14. Nf6+ Kf7 15. Qxe6+
Kxe6 16. Ne8 Na6 17. Nxg7+ Bxg7 18. Bxg7 Rh7 19. Bc3 $16) 14. Rd1 O-O-O (14...
f5 $4 15. Nd6+) 15. Nbc3 g5 (15... Rg8 16. a4 $16) 16. Nb5 Rg8 17. Nd4 Qg6 18.
a4 Na8 19. a5 Nc7 20. a6 $1 Nxa6 (20... b6 21. g4 $1 $18 {Preventing f5 and
making that square accessible for the knight.} Ne8 (21... e6 $2 22. Nxc6) (
21... Kb8 22. Qf3 $18) (21... Bg7 $2 22. Nf5 {[%cal Rf5e7]} Bf8 23. Qf3 $18)
22. Nb5 $1 cxb5 23. Qf3 $18 {[%cal Rf3b7]}) 21. b4 Bg7 22. b5 {with a very
strong attack}) 9. Nf3 (9. Ne4 $2 d5) 9... dxe5 10. dxe5 e6 11. O-O N8d7 12.
Nc3 Qc7 13. Bf4 $1 O-O-O 14. Ne4 $1 c5 15. Bg3 Kb8 16. a4 a6 17. Rfd1 $16 {and
with the knight jump to d6 immanent, I enjoyed a clear advantage in
Wahls-Westerinen, Altensteig 1987. However, I was unable to execute and the
game ended in a draw.}) 8. g4 {That was my point, back then.} Bxb1 {8..Bc8
comes into consideration, but} (8... Bg6 $2 9. e6 f6 10. Nh3 $16 {is clearly
good for White.}) 9. Rxb1 h6 {I had another game with this position, one year
later in the German Bundesliga:} (9... dxe5 10. dxe5 Qxd1+ 11. Kxd1 e6 12. f4 {
My bishop pair and space advantage clearly put me in the driver's seat, here.}
N8d7 13. Kc2 h6 14. Ne4 Nc5 15. Nd6+ Bxd6 16. exd6 Ne4 17. b4 $6 (17. Rd1 O-O-O
18. Bf3 f5 (18... Nxd6 $2 19. c5 Nb5 20. cxb6 $18) 19. Bxe4 fxe4 20. Rd4 c5 21.
Rxe4 Rxd6 22. Bd2 $16) (17. Bf3 $2 Nxd6 18. c5 $2 Nb5 19. cxb6 Nd4+ $15) 17...
a5 $2 (17... Na4 $1 $14) 18. bxa5 Nd7 19. Rxb7 Rxa5 (19... Nxd6 20. Rc7 Rxa5
21. Rd1 Ke7 22. Bf3 $18) 20. Rc7 Nxd6 (20... Rxa2+ 21. Bb2 Nxd6 22. Rd1 $18)
21. a3 $2 (21. Rd1 Ke7 22. Bf3 Rc8 23. Rxc8 Nxc8 24. Bxc6 Rxa2+ 25. Kb3 Ra7 26.
Ba3+ Ke8 27. f5 {With a dominating position.}) 21... c5 $2 (21... Ke7 22. Rxc6
Nb8 23. Rb6 Nd7 24. Rb4 Rc8 $14) 22. Bb2 $2 (22. Rd1) 22... f6 $2 (22... Ke7)
23. Rd1 $18 {After a feeble interlude, I finally woke up and finished the
game forcefully.} Ke7 24. Rc6 Nf7 25. f5 $1 exf5 26. gxf5 Rd8 27. Bf3 Nde5 28.
Rc7+ Kf8 29. Bd5 Nd6 30. Bxe5 fxe5 31. f6 $1 g5 (31... gxf6 32. Rg1) 32. Rh7 {
1-0 Wahls-Fleck, Germany 1986}) 10. Ne4 dxe5 (10... d5 11. Nc5 $16 {[%cal
Rc5b7,Re5e6]}) 11. dxe5 Qc7 $2 (11... Qxd1+ 12. Kxd1 e6 13. f4 {gives White a
good position (see my game with Fleck above), but now, I can gain clear
advantage with a standard pawn sacrifice.}) 12. e6 $1 {Diagram [#] This opens
up a white squared route towards Black's king and also severely inhibits
Black's bishop.} fxe6 13. g5 ({Preferable is maybe the simple} 13. b4 N8d7 14.
Qc2 O-O-O 15. a4 {with a strong attack. Note, that Black's pieces hardly have
any impact on the position.}) 13... N8d7 $2 (13... g6 {puts up more of a fight.
} 14. Nc5 N8d7 (14... Qe5 15. b4 Qf5 16. Bd3) 15. Qd4 Qe5 16. Qxe5 Nxe5 17. b3
hxg5 18. Bb2 Bg7 19. Nxe6 Bf6 20. Nc7+ $16) 14. Bh5+ Kd8 15. Qe2 $18 {Diagram
[#] Black's king is caught in the middle of the board and his piece
coordination is very bad.} (15. Bg4 h5 16. Bh3) 15... Kc8 16. b3 hxg5 $6 (16...
Kb8 17. Bg4) 17. Nxg5 g6 18. Nxe6 Qe5 19. Qxe5 Nxe5 20. Be2 Nbd7 21. Bb2 Rg8
22. f4 Nf7 23. Bg4 b6 24. Rd1 Nd6 25. c5 Nf5 26. Rg1 {White's pieces could
hardly be more active.} Ne3 27. Rxd7 Kxd7 28. Nxf8+ Ke8 29. Nxg6 Nxg4 30. Rxg4
Rd8 31. h4 Rd3 32. cxb6 axb6 33. f5 Rf3 34. Ra4 1-0

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