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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) White avoids the Benoni (Read 25800 times)
alumbrado
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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #14 - 11/26/03 at 05:10:43
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I really don't think you should be too concerned about that - because White has spent two moves playing e2-e3-e4, you will be a tempo up on similar lines where it is in any case not easy for White to prove any advantage.  I know the position seems to be lacking a little dynamism, but I guess you just have to be patient sometimes  Undecided
  

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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #13 - 11/25/03 at 17:59:32
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That's what I'd like to play, but after

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.e3 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7

instead of 5.Nf3, white can play 5.d5, and if black aims for a Benoni structure, white can recapture with the e-pawn, which gives a structure (Classical KID with ...c5) that I consider to favor white.  White seems to have a safe plus and black lacks the counterplay he often has in the proper Benoni.  I think the loss of tempo is of little relevance since white often makes waiting moves to see how black commits in this structure.

Actually, I mentioned this in my first post (the Grunfeld transposition), but I accidently left out "5.d5", which might have led to some confusion.
  

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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #12 - 11/25/03 at 07:14:53
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Quote:
Looking more closely, I noticed

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3. e3 g6 4. Nc3 cxd4 5. exd4 d5

is by transposition to a line of the Panov-Botvinnik.
(Precisely, 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6)
Not too bad for a move like 3.e3!  To be honest, I know practically nothing about this line, but isn't this a risky gambit line for black?  It seems like white has good chances.


I think you're right about the Panov-Botvinnink line. However looking at games by strong players I've noticed that they delay cxd4 until after Bg7 and O-O, and maybe then throwing in cxd4 before d5, or d5 first. One popular move order being 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 d5 (or 6...cxd4 7.exd4 d5), which is a Grunfeld, D94.

Ben Hague
  
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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #11 - 11/24/03 at 21:32:14
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My main concerns against the KI/Grunfeld move order with 3...g6 were d5 followed by e4 (before black has time to play ...e6 and ...exd5).

After looking at GM Emm's suggestion, it seems like black might be OK with the Grunfeld approach also.  My major concern with the plan suggested (after white plays Nc3 {intending d5 followed by e4}, black plays ...cxd4, immediately followed by ...d5) was that if white plays Nc3, black will not have completed kingside development (castling in particular) once committed to ...d5.

Looking more closely, I noticed

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3. e3 g6 4. Nc3 cxd4 5. exd4 d5

is by transposition to a line of the Panov-Botvinnik.
(Precisely, 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6)
Not too bad for a move like 3.e3!  To be honest, I know practically nothing about this line, but isn't this a risky gambit line for black?  It seems like white has good chances.

I know that 3.e3 is not a theoretically threatening move (the opportunity to transpose to Symmetrical Tarrasch by black rules this out), but it seems like every other line gives white decent chances, often by transposition to a main line opening.

Also, the innocuous appearance of 3.e3 has some practical advantages.  I would think many Benoni players would view the Symmetrical Tarrasch as a concession to white, as 3.e3 indicates that white feels more comfortable in a symmetrical QP opening.  As black tries to imbalance the position to avoid symmetry, white switches gears, taking a more aggressive stance, transposing into a main line opening that may be unfamiliar to black.  I think many Benoni players would find this unsettling.

I agree that 1.d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 is slightly annoying, since I think 4...exd5 is the only equalizing option.  My feelings about 4.Nc3 are simiilar to how I feel about 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+.  Not really that exciting, but if black knows the right moves, he has no trouble.  In most openings as black, it's hard to play for a win if your opening has no ambitions.  In a way, 4.Nc3 and 3.e3 are similar in that they lack ambition, yet can become dangerous if black plays too ambitiously (or unattentively!).
  

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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #10 - 11/20/03 at 12:18:10
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Can't Black just play 3...Nxe4 in the above mentioned variation?  By the way, I never meant to imply that 3.e3 was threatening to the Benoni in a theoretical sense, or the 4.Nc3 variation (without c4) for that matter.  It just seemed that these lines were more likely to lead to sterile positions where it was much harder to play for the win.  You see my endgame technique is so week I usually need to be at least a piece up or have a mating attack soon after the middlegame.... Grin


Yeah you are right I forgot 3.Nf3 d6 4.e4
  
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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #9 - 11/20/03 at 08:47:38
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After 3 e3, if Black wants to transpose into a good line of the Grünfeld (or reversed Tarrasch, as it's sometimes called) then 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 e3 g6 4 Nf3 Bg7 5 Nc3 cxd4 (before White has the chance to play d4-d5 and e3-e4) 6 exd4 d5 7 Be2 0-0 is probably the best move order. I suspect that Black scores quite well from this position.

Also there's certainly nothing wrong with 3...e6 4 Nc3 d5. The move e2-e3 is very tame against the Tarrasch. However, as Black you have to be prepared to either accept or play against the isolated queen's pawn.
  
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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #8 - 11/19/03 at 19:40:39
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Can't Black just play 3...Nxe4 in the above mentioned variation?  By the way, I never meant to imply that 3.e3 was threatening to the Benoni in a theoretical sense, or the 4.Nc3 variation (without c4) for that matter.  It just seemed that these lines were more likely to lead to sterile positions where it was much harder to play for the win.  You see my endgame technique is so week I usually need to be at least a piece up or have a mating attack soon after the middlegame.... Grin
  
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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #7 - 11/19/03 at 18:41:45
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Personally, if I would like to avoid the Benoni and knew that my opponent is not a sicilian expert I would transform into a Maroczy Bind which is well known that gives the initiative to white after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.e4. Now it's up to your opponent if he will accept the pawn and enter the Maroczy Bind or play something different such as the King Indian Defense. If your opponent is not a master or something he will probably exchange the pawn as most people cannot stand two pawns threatening each other all the time. Anyway you will have the phychological advantage as:
   i) You will have transformed the opening that your opponent wished to play
   ii) You will be prepared better than him in these transforms and he will know it! Wink
  
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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #6 - 11/19/03 at 02:50:43
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I can't believe that 3.e3 would put anyone off the Benoni!!  As someone who has played the Modern Benoni on and off for twenty years, I can safely say it is the main lines you ought to be more concerned about!!

Nobody has ever played like that against me but it seems to me Black has various good options after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.e3:

(a) 3...g6 (I didn't understand the earlier post which said Black's attempts to transpose into a Grunfeld or King's Indian aren't any good - why not, when White is committed to a passive system with e2-e3?)

(b) 3...d5!?

(c) 3...e6 followed by 4...d5 with a symmetrical Tarrasch, which is OK for Black.


I think the line Glenn Snow mentions (1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3!?) is a bit more annoying for Black (although certainly not life-threatening!).  It is worth considering playing 3...b5 (instead of 3...e6) there - although you must be prepared for both 4.c4 (transposing to a Benko Gambit Declined), and 4.Bg5!? when both 4...Qb6 or 4...Ne4 are interesting and relatively uncharted.

Hope this helps a bit!
  

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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #5 - 11/18/03 at 18:31:35
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This has been a very interesting series of posts!  The 3.e3 option was one of the main reasons I never took up the Benoni.  Your method of keeping the position unbalanced but still OK is once again making me think about taking up the Benoni.  How do you feel about:  1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3,  does this give Black decent chances of unbalanced play?
  
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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #4 - 11/18/03 at 04:45:11
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Another observation:

1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 b6 4.e3 e6 5.d4 is line of the Three Knights Symmetrical English that transposes to some of the lines I mentioned.  Gurevich has used this move order with some success.  Lines with an early ...cxd4 seem to white an edge.

I'm beginning to think that black's best option is to play into a Symmetrical Tarrasch.  I think that in this structure, white's extra move has little significance.  This seems like the strongest argument against 3.e3 for white.

I think the Queen's Indian approach with ...g6 (reversed Reti formation) is also good as long as black is OK in the Hedgehog formations that Malaniuk plays as white (which I think is the case).  I think this is probably the best approach to keep the position imbalanced as black.

It seems like if black tries to play for a standard Queen's Indian with an early Bb7 (without exchanging on d4), he simply allows white to obtain a superior Benoni, where the bishop is misplaced on b7.  With an early exchange on d4, it seems like black loses a lot of flexibility.

I don't have a lot on knowledge on the QID or the Symmetrical Tarrasch, but these are my current impressions.

Another mention:  Hansen's section on the "Anti-Benoni" covers lines arising after 1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4.  These lines are quite comfortable for black.  Also, 3.d4 has the disadvantage that it gives black several options in directing the play (for example, a choice between the solid 4...e6 or the aggressive 4...e5).  In a sense, white gives up many of the advantages associated with having the first move.

Maybe this isn't a terribly interesting post (though I think the question of move orders is of importance), but at least read the second sentence, if you're going to reply...
  

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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #3 - 11/16/03 at 08:49:04
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Yes. 
No, I already mentioned that.

My post concerns attempts by white to avoid the Symmetrical English and Benoni through a Classical approach with 3. e3.  As I mentioned, I think there certain advantages to this move order, as attempts by black to enter the King's Indian or Grunfeld by transpostion seem to be disadvantageous for black.
  

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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #2 - 11/16/03 at 00:01:56
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Have you looked at the Symmetrical English? Carsten Hansen wrote a good book for Gamit, which includes 50 pages on the so-called anti Benoni.  In Hansen's book, Black eventually plays cd4: with White replying Nd4:

That's a start. Isn't it?
  
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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #1 - 10/18/03 at 04:40:11
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Looking further at the reversed Reti approach, I have noticed that

1.d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. e3 e6 4. Nf3 b6 5. Nc3 Bb7 6. Bd3 g6 7. 0-0 Bg7

transposes to a line of the Classical Queen's Indian. 

Now 8. e4 is a continuation that has been used by Malaniuk, where black must be prepared to play a hedgehog position (but I think black's OK).

I guess this isn't terribly interesting.  This topic probably belongs under d-pawn specials, but I thought there might be some problems unique to this Benoni/Benko move order.
  

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White avoids the Benoni
10/04/03 at 23:14:26
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What to do after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.e3 and 3.Nf3 when white avoids the Benoni? 

3.Nf3 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 is a sharp gambit that is often analyzed in books on the Symmetrical English.  This is known to used by Benoni players striving for tactical, imbalanced positions.  Argurably, white can play the dull 5.Nc2 (when 5...d5 leads to dull equality) instead of the sharp Nb5, but 5.Nc2 b5!? has been used from time to time by some strong players.  It seems like Black has good opportunities to unbalance the play in the spirit of the Benoni.

But what about 3.e3?  White shows no interest in playing the imbalanced positions that Benoni players crave and settles for equality in positions transposing to the Classical Queen's Indian or the Symmetrical Tarrasch QGD.  Sure, Black's fine, but often the positions can be quite balanced if white shows no interest in playing for an advantage.  Also, if Black wants to transpose to the Queen's Indian, he has significant fewer options, as he has already played the committal ...c5.  Are there good ways for Black to avoid symmetry and imbalance the position in the spirit of the Benoni?  I haven't seen covered well in any books yet.  Two approaches come to my mind:

Black aims for a Reversed Reti and plays something like  3.e3  e6 4.Nf3 b6 5. Nc3 g6 etc.  Black allows white to play d5 and enter a Benoni.  If White ignores Black's offer, it seems like Black can usually break favorably with ..d5 (as White does in the Reti) or play the more restrained ...d6 and aim for kingside expansion.  It doesn't seem like the extra tempo creates a major difference from the ...e6 Reti in these positions.  I am not aware of any way White can favorably stop this without going into the Benoni.  Can anyone think of a possible problem with the move order or approach?

The second approach is to play for a Grunfeld setup (another opening I find appealing) with 3.e3 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Nc3 0-0 6. Be2 d5, which transposes to a known line of the Grunfeld which I think is good for Black.  These move are probably typical of someone who would play 3.e3, but I think there is a slight flaw (practical and theoretical) in this move order.  Say White plays 5. d5 after Nc3 has been played.  Then Black can play for the Benoni with ...e6 (Usually Black has to play d6 first.) and white has wasted a move on e3, right?  Well, the problem I see is is that White can play e4 after e6, intending to recapture with the e-pawn.  Usually this reaches lines from the ...c5 Classical KID, where white is a tempo down.  These lines are considered to offer white a distinct advantage, as white has strong methods for quelling conterplay.  I don't think the extra tempo makes a major difference in these closed positions, where one side often plays waiting moves to see how the other will commit.  (In fact the extra move could easily be a disadvantage if black attempts to play actively!)  This seems to be a significant problem with this move order.

I am curious to see how other Benoni players handle the Benoni avoided as this occurs often in tournament practice, yet there is not material on this in chess literature.  Also of interest are the lines where white plays 2.Nf3 c5 3.e3 and aims for the Colle or 2.Nf3 c5 3.d4 e6 4.Nc3 (which is slightly annoying; perhaps this is an argument in favor of 2...e6 instead of ...c5).   I can offer more concrete lines, if anyone has any comments on move orders.

« Last Edit: 11/25/03 at 18:03:44 by X »  

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