The Benko Gambit

1 d4 > f6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 b5 4 > f3 The Benko sees Black hoping to copy our favoured formula namely to have an easy to play position. That is especially the case if White captures on b5 and a6 when the open queenside files grant Black excellent compensation. However, retaining some tension with 4 > f3 is more challenging for Black. After the natural 4 g6, 5 cxb5 a6 6 b6 gives back the pawn in return for control of the centre and the c4-square for the f3-knight. It is then not so easy for...

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Al) 9 b6 10 cxb6 c5 (Preferable to 10 xb6 11 0-0 Wxb2 12 > a4 Wb7 13 e5 and White's bind was worth much more than just a pawn in Hort-Portisch, Madrid 1973.) 11 0-0 & b7 12 Abl (Intending e5 and f4 with good attacking chances, whilst White should also employ the same plan against ll c4.) 12 cxd4 13 exd4 > xb6 14 > e5 Sc8 15 Sel & bdl 16 Wb3 a8 17 Wa4 and Black lacked a satisfactory plan in Gavrikov-Balashov, USSR Ch. (Riga) 1985 A2) 9 h6 10 if4 (maintaining a clamp on e5 - 9 Se8...

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7 e4 (7 e3 is also possible, when White will have quite a pleasant position against the IQP, but the text move is the way to really refute Black's inaccurate move-order.) 7 dxe4 (7 cxd4 8 & b5+ & bd7 9 xd4 is also very good for White) 8 ixe4 cxd4 9 & b5+ Ad7 (or 9 ibd7 10 0-0 Ae7 11 Axf6 AxflS 12 & xf6+ xf6 13 a4 Sd8 14 > xd4 and Black was forced to lose his a-pawn in order to castle in Ree-L.Schneider, Malta Olympiad 1980.) 10 0-0 (Rightly completing his development poses the...

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J iiiiiii r 6 cxd5 exd5 (6 > xd5, aiming to avoid the IQP, allows White to advance in the centre by 7 e4 f6 8 e5 > d5 9 dxc5 & xc5 10 > e4 Ae7 11 Ae2 , but not 11 Ad3 > b4 , and gives White good attacking chances die primary aim is to castle, play the bishop to the more aggressive d3 square, and then to direct attention towards the black king) 7 b3 (probably best as White always wants to be able to recapture on d4 with a piece, thereby emphasising the weakling on...

The Benoni

1 d4 > f6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 e6 4 > c3 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 > f3 g6 7 Af4 The Modern Benoni is one of Black's most aggressive options and play can quickly become very sharp and theoretical, such as after 6 e4 g6 7 Af4 g7 8 Ab5+. Many players in fact only play the Benoni once White is committed to lf3 and thus one should often expect it to arise via 2 e6 3 > f3 c5 4 d5 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 g6. Against this move-order White's 'quieter' options are still rather complex and often quite theoretical, and...

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12 d5 Axal 13 Ifxal gt d4 -greedy, whilst if instead 13 ib4 then 14 Lh6 regains the exchange due to the mate threat - 14 exd4 Wxe2 15 M6 Se8 16 Sel c2 17 d6 f6 18 d5 gave White superb compensation in Knaak-Pribyl, Olomouc 1972. The threat of 19 dxe7 and 20 Wxf6 ensures that White's strong attack continues the game concluding 18 g5 19 h4 -rescuing the bishop before 9 Mg6 traps it - 19 JLg4 20 dxe7 amp xf3 21 Wxf6 Wg6 22 Wxg6 hxg6 23 gxf3 f7 24 d6 Sh8 25 Axg5 1-0. 11 exd4 11 cxd4 0-0 12 Wb3 is...