Alekhine’s Defence Voronezh Variation, 9....Bf5 System. Part 2B

Central Conflict Involving 10.Nf3 e5 11.Be2 e4 12.Nd2 and 12. Ng5

**1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.exd6 cxd6 6.Nc3 g6 **

7.Be3 Bg7 8.Rc1 0–0 9.b3 Bf5 10.Nf3 e5 11.Be2 e4 12.Nd2 d5

13.c5 Nc8 14.O-O Re8 15.Re1 Nc6 16.Nf1 Be6!? 17.Qd2 N8e7

18.Nb5 Nf5 Diagram 11.

The white knight is prevented from accessing to the sensitive d6 square.

The white d pawn is now under persistent decisive pressure.

**19.Ng3 Nxe3 20.fxe3 Bf8 21.a3 ** Diagram 12.

White tries the thematic slow build up approach, but black has counter-play on

the king side. [21.Nc3 ?! White should have waited for black to use a tempo

to play a6. 21...f5!? 22.Rf1 Bh6 23.Bb5 Qg5 24.Rf4 a6 25.Bxc6 bxc6

26.Nge2 Ra7 27.Na4 Rf7 28.Nb6 a5 29.Rcf1 Ref8 30.Rd1 Qe7 31.Rf2 g5

32.Rdf1 f4 33.exf4 Bg4 34.Qe3 Bxe2 35.Rxe2 gxf4 36.Qf2 Qg5 37.Kh1 f3

38.Ree1 e3 39.Qg3 Qxg3 40.hxg3 f2 41.Re2 Rg7 42.Kh2 Rf6 43.g4 Bf4+

44.g3 Rxg4–+ A crushing win!]

** 21...f5 ** [21...h5 A very serious

attacking alternative by black. 22.Bf1 h4 23.Ne2 g5 (23...h3 Intriguing, but

does not quite work. 24.gxh3 a6 25.Nbc3 Bh6 26.Bg2 b5 27.b4)

24.Nbc3 f5 25.b4 Re7 26.Rb1 Rf7 27.Rbd1 h3!? Diagram 13.

Black has a winning attack. A key down fall in white's position is that the

central backward pawn cannot be easily defended by any of the white

minor pieces. 28.g3 (28.gxh3 Bh6 29.Nb5 f4 30.Nd6 fxe3 31.Qc3 Rf2

32.b5 Ne7 33.Ng3 Qd7 34.Qxe3 Rf3 35.Qd2 Ng6 36.Be2 Rff8

37.Bg4 Nf4=/Ŧ) 28...Rh7 29.Rc1 Qf6 30.b5 Ne7 31.a4 Ng6 32.Kh1 Rc8

33.a5 f4–+ 34.gxf4 gxf4 35.Nxf4 Nxf4 36.exf4 Bh6 37.Qf2 Qxf4

38.Qxf4 Bxf4 39.Rc2 Rf8 40.Nd1 Bg5 41.Be2 Bf6 42.Rd2 Rg7

43.c6 bxc6 44.bxc6 Rc7 45.Rg1+ Kh7 46.Bg4 Bxg4 47.Rxg4 Rg8

48.Rg3 Rxg3 49.hxg3 Rxc6 50.Kh2 Bg5 51.Re2 Rc4 52.Kxh3 Rxd4–+]

** **

22.Rf1?! White is looking for action along the f file, but the tactics back

fire. [22.Bf1 This move provides a lot more resistance although black can

extract a slight edge. 22...b6 23.b4 bxc5 24.bxc5 a6 25.Nc3 f4 26.exf4 Bg7

27.Nge2 Rb8 28.Rb1 a) 28.Rcd1 Qa5 29.Qa2 Nxd4 30.Nxd4 Bxd4+ 31.Rxd4

Qxc3 32.Qf2 Rb3 33.Bxa6 e3 34.Qxe3 Qxe3+ 35.Rxe3 Rxe3 36.a4–+;

b) 28.Red1 Qa5 (28...Qc7 29.Qc2) 29.Rb1 (29.Qa2 Rb7 30.Kh1 Bf7

31.Nxd5 Rd8 32.Nec3 Bxd4 33.Rxd4 Nxd4 34.Qc4 Nc6 35.Qxa6 Qxa6

36.Bxa6 Ra7 37.Nf6+ Kg7 38.Bb5 e3 39.Nfe4 Nd4 Diagram 14.

N+2p v R, –1.2, Black has an advantage due to the centralised knight, a

strong central passed pawn and that white's queen side pawns are isolated

and weak. ) 29...Rxb1 30.Rxb1 Qxa3 31.Qe3 a5 32.Nxd5 Qd3 Diagram 15.

The fall of the white backward pawn, due to the forced deprotection is unavoidable.

33.Nec3 Qxe3+ 34.Nxe3 Bxd4 35.Ncd1 Nb4 36.Kh1 Ba2

37.Bb5 Bxb1 38.Bxe8 Bxc5 39.g3 Bd3 40.Kg2 Be2 41.Ba4 Kg7

42.Bb3 Bd4 43.Ba4 Kf6 44.Bb3 Ke7 45.h4 Kd6 46.h5 gxh5 47.Nf5+ Kc5

48.Nxd4 Kxd4 49.f5 Bxd1 50.Bxd1 Ke5 51.Kf2 Kxf5 52.Ke3 Ke5

53.Ba4 Nd5+ 54.Kd2 Kd4–+; 28...e3 Diagram 16.

An interesting attempt to crash through the centre. White needs to avoid all

the traps and walk a thin line to escape with a draw. 29.Qxe3 (29.Qd3 Rxb1

30.Rxb1 Bf5 31.Qxa6 Nxd4 32.Rd1 Nxe2+ 33.Nxe2 Qc8 34.Qxc8 Rxc8

35.Rxd5 Be4 36.Rd1 Rxc5 37.Rd8+ Kf7 38.Rd7+ Kf8 39.a4 Bf5

40.Rd8+ Kf7 41.Rd1 Ke7 42.Ng3 Bc2 43.Re1 Kd6 44.Bb5 Bc3

45.Re2 Bd4 46.Kf1 Kd5 47.Re1 h5 Diagram 17.

White may be able to hold on, but white will have some anxious moments!)

29...Rxb1 30.Nxb1 Nxd4 31.Nxd4 Bf7 32.Qd2 Rxe1 33.Qxe1 Bxd4+

34.Kh1 Bxc5 (34...a5) 35.Bxa6 Qd6 36.Qa5 Bd4 37.Qd2 Qxa6

38.Qxd4 Qf1+ 39.Qg1 Qxf4 40.Qe1 d4 41.a4 Diagram 18.

Black has an advantage, but white may have enough resources to hang

on. 41...d3 42.a5 Qc4 43.h3=/Ŧ]

** 22...a6 23.Nc3 Bh6 24.b4 ** [24.Na4 f4

25.exf4 Qf6 26.Rcd1 Rad8 27.Qc3 Bg7 28.Rf2 Nxd4 29.Qe3 Nxe2+

30.Qxe2 Qf7 31.c6 bxc6 32.Nc5 Bc8 33.b4 a5 34.f5 axb4 35.axb4 gxf5

36.Nxf5 Bxf5 37.g4 Bxg4 38.Qxg4 Qg6 39.Qxg6 hxg6 40.Rc2 Re5–+;

24.Bd1 Qg5 25.Rf4 Qf6 26.Nge2 Bxf4 27.Nxf4 Rad8 28.b4 g5 29.Nh5 Qh6

30.Qf2 f4 31.exf4 gxf4 32.Qxf4 Qxf4 33.Nxf4 Nxd4 34.Bh5 Bf7 35.Bd1

(35.Bxf7+ Kxf7 36.Rf1 Kg7) 35...e3 36.g4 Re5 37.Kg2 Nc6–+]

**24...Qg5!**

25.Rf4 Qf6 26.Rff1 f4 Diagram 19.

The black kingside offensive is now unstoppable. Whatever happened to

white's attempt to demolish the black queenside?

** 27.Bg4 fxe3 **

28.Qe1 Qe7–+ 29.Bxe6+ Qxe6 30.Nge2 Rf8 31.Qh4 Bg7 32.Rcd1 Rxf1+

33.Rxf1 Bxd4 34.Nxd4 Nxd4 Diagram 20.

The centre is overrun by stampeding black pawns and the white counterparts

are gone. Despite some stubborn resistance, defeat is inevitable for white.

** **

35.Qg5 Nf5 36.Ne2 h6 37.Qg4 h5 38.Qg5 Kh7 39.Ng3 Nxg3 40.Qxg3 e2

41.Re1 Rf8 42.Rxe2 d4 43.Qh4 Qf5 44.Qe1 e3 45.h3 Qe4 46.Kh1 Re8

47.Ra2 d3 48.c6 e2 49.cxb7 Rf8 50.Kh2 Qf4+–+ Diagram 21.

Conclusions: White had adopted a "conventional Voronezh variation"

approach against the 9... Bf5 system and Black did not encounter any

serious problems. A slight inaccuracy was made by white and black was able

to crash through the centre. The Voronezh Variation has the reputation of

a) Smashing the black queenside and b) Providing safe passage for the queenside pawns.

It seems that if white does not contest black's strong

presence in the centre (ie 14.f3 etc) the white d4 pawn becomes under

intense attack and white's queenside attack is very feeble. The key draw back

in this variation is 12.Ng5 which may tend to lead to drawish positions, which

have almost identical symmetrical pawn structures devoid of central pawns.

None of the analysed 12.Nd2 lines were able to trouble black,

who can confidently play for a win with refreshing vibrant play.

The Voronezh is renown for the board trembling white queen side pawn roller,

but against the 9... Bf5 system, the kingside pawn majority can be just as

imposing and in some cases, the white king can be caught up in the carnage.