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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) White avoids the Benoni (Read 25785 times)
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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #29 - 04/06/15 at 14:52:31
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The Benoni with exd5 is a common guest in the Averbakh variation and is perfectly adequate for Black.  Neither side has obvious play because there are no traditional pawn majorities/breaks.

Black has to make sure to obtain some sort of counterplay; blindly trading pieces can be bad because of a plan with a2-a4-a5 and b2-b4 in the endgame.  I know it looks like White has space and nothing else apart from maybe a silly attack with f2-f4-f5, but as Black you have to be concerned first and foremost with activity, not exchanges.

That said, playing this structure "a move up" should probably be okay, as Black can get his bishop out and contest the e4 square or play a la Benko with ...b5.

The latter plan is a possibility more often than you'd think, and has the added advantage of permanently eliminating White's positional plan mentioned above.  In the Averbakh version of this line there is often a possibility of playing ...b5, cxb5 Nd7-b6, attacking the e4 pawn and threatening Nb6-c4.

Lots of ideas; not as rich a position as a real Benoni, but (a tempo down) one would think Black should be okay.
  
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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #28 - 03/01/08 at 23:00:12
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Looking over some of the threads in this section I noticed that these anti-benoni questions keep coming up and that this thread is still helpful.
  
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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #27 - 11/29/04 at 11:55:47
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The lines of the English that arise after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3 or 2...e6 3.Nf3 c5 and then either 4.Nc3 or 4.g3 are actually very interesting, albeit not easy for either side to play.

After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3, MNb correctly points out the gambit line 3...cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5!? 5.Nb5 d5 6.cxd5 Bc5! (but not 6...Nxd5?? 7.Qxd5! +-) as a dynamic way to play.

4...b6 with a hedgehog approach is also quite good, although there are some tricky lines with an early Bg5 by White.

If Black prefers to aim for the Benoni by way of 2...e6,  so as to wait until White is committed to Nf3 and so avoid the Taimanov, he really has no right to complain if White then refuses to enter the Benoni at all!  Black is chickening out of the taimanov so White is entitled to chicken out of the Benoni ...

But these lines too contain plenty of play.  The key to playing Black is that the c4-pawn very often turns out to be a weakness (this is especially the case in the lines where White plays g2-g3).

Carsten Hansen's book on the Symmetrical English and the relevant volumes in Khalifman's Opening for White According to Kramnik series are good points of reference.
  

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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #26 - 11/29/04 at 08:57:42
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Again Black has a decent choice:
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c5 4.Nf3 d5 is Semi-Tarrasch, while 4...cxd4 can't be bad.
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 and g6 are other possibilities.
For a Benoni-player it cannot be too hard, to find a reliable path.
  

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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #25 - 11/29/04 at 06:31:13
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You can't force White to push his d-pawn - get over it!  Each Benoni player must find his own path ...
  

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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #24 - 11/28/04 at 22:01:00
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Well what about 1 d4 Nf6  2 c4 e6  3 g3 c5 4 Nf3 transposing to an english? Its definitely not what i want as a benoni player.
  
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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #23 - 01/23/04 at 17:24:38
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MNb:

The problem I have with your approach is that by playing the Benoni, we show that we do not want to play the Tarrasch; transposing into it, regardless of whether the line is theoretically equal, seems to be a little illogical.

As for the Panov idea, I play the Panov as White. I had the ...g6 line recently in a tournament. It was a 25 move draw where Black was under positional pressure the whole way (I was always just one move from a total positional bind), but with hardly any tactics in the game until the end (he found something to liquidate to an equal and drawn position). In the ...g6 lines, White does not play to keep the pawn - he plays d6 in short order, and either plays on the queenside against the b7 pawn (if the black pawn is on d6), or down the open files and trying to use the c5/e5/c7/e7 squares to infiltrate and create a bind (with the pawn on d5). It's not much fun for Black either way - his only realistic chance for much play is to mirror the White strategy, or to play against d4. It's symetrical, and White usually has a slight edge.
  
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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #22 - 01/23/04 at 16:15:16
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When I used to play Benoni like openings - mainly the
Volga Gambit - I did not mind 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.e3
and always transposed to the Panov of the Caro-
Kann. After all, what is more unbalancing than a
double edged pawn sac?
Transposing to a symmetrical Tarrasch is not a bad
idea either: 3...e6 4.Nc3 d5 5.Nf3 a6!? and by
postponing the development of the Queen's Knight
Black can break symmetry.
  

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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #21 - 01/23/04 at 06:21:08
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Returning to the 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. e3 e6 4. Nf3 lines (White's 3rd and 4th moves are often inverted, not realistically allowing a ...g6 setup), some people seem to be advocating a setup with ...b6 and ...Bb7. I think that this is wrong if White can meet ...Bb7 with d5. This essentially blunts the bishop (after ed5, cd5, d6) to such an extent that the bishop will have to move in the near future to a6 (losing a tempo and potentially not allowing the knight to d7), or instead return to c8 (losing 2 tempi)! I had a recent game like that where I was OK after about 15 moves, but only because he played a poor setup; moreover, my queenside play was looking *incredibly* slow with the b-pawn weaker and the bishop in the way on b7. So slow, in fact, that I eventually lost patience (wrongly), tried to open the centre with ...f5 and then taking on d5 instead of playing for an eventual ...b5 break (prematurely), and lost in short order (humiliatingly).

Essentially, my point is that White CAN enter a Benoni-like system, but one that (due to the loss of tempi and unnecessary queenside pawn moves) is very favourable to White. You have been warned.
  
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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #20 - 12/19/03 at 16:28:36
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In fact, the transposition to Benoni may be the main reason why 6...c5 isn't so popular in the Classical KID!  I am not completely sure about this, but can't black favorably delay the capture on d5 (in comparison to the Benoni move order)?  If it's true that black can aim for a favorable transposition to the Benoni when white recaptures with cxd5, then I think Black is doing well in this line.  Maybe the main problem for most people is that black must be willing to play three different types of positions (Benoni, exd5, and Maroczy) of different character.
  

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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #19 - 12/19/03 at 08:06:31
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I've just seen the article in NIC 64 - that's a coincidence!
Checking through games in Chess Informant it does seem as though, when faced with ...c5 in the Classical KID, White usually plays either d4-d5 (and after ...e7-e6, recapture on d5 with the c-pawn, thus entering the Benoni), or ignore the attack on d4 and offer a transposition into the Maroczy, although after 7 0-0 Black can toy with ideas such as 7...Nc6 or 7...Bg4 (instead of the obvious 7...cxd4). Even with the extra tempo, hardly anyone seems to play d5 and exd5.
  
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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #18 - 12/10/03 at 00:59:50
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Thanks for the input!  I didn't it occur to me that  1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 e3 g6 4 Nc3 Bg7 5 d5 0-0 6 Nf3 d6 7 e4 e6 8 Be2 exd5 9 exd5 and 1 Nf3 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 g3 d5 4 Bg2 d4 5 0-0 Nc6 6 d3 e5 7 e3 Be7 8 exd4 exd4 are exactly the same position with colors reversed with white playing as black.  Apparently, some decent players (Kasparov and Petrosian (!)) don't mind playing this is as white. 

I also learned that there was a recent article written by Kirk Langeweg in New in Chess Yearbook 64 entitled A Temporary Lead in Development, which I believe is entirely about this exact postion!  (I don't have the article yet.)  After looking closer at some of the similar positions assessed favorable for white in the KID Classical with ...c5, it seemed to me that white's advantage (if there is any) seemed difficult to maintain in view of black's control of the a1-h8 diagonal and e-file, once black played ...Re8 (and maybe ...Bf5) and ...Ne4 successfully.  This started to make me think about why methods with ...c5 against the Classical KID were not more popular with all the trouble black has had in the Bayonet Attack.  Maybe it's the tranposition to the Maroczy Bind that can arise if white refrains from d5.   
  

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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #17 - 12/01/03 at 06:09:43
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Going back to the line 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 e3 g6 4 Nc3 Bg7 5 d5 0-0 6 Nf3 d6 7 e4 e6 8 Be2 exd5 9 exd5, the following two games should be of interest. We have transposed to a line normally played with colours reversed in a Reti. I quite like Petrosian's position when the players agreed a draw. May be more stuff on this line on the Flank Openings site.


Petrosian,T - Korchnoi,V [A09]
Palma de Mallorca 1968

1 Nf3 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 g3 d5 4 Bg2 d4 5 0-0 Nc6 6 d3 e5 7 e3 Be7 8 exd4 exd4 9 Bf4 0-0 10 Ne5 Nxe5 11 Bxe5 Nd7 12 Re1 a6 13 Nd2 Nxe5 14 Rxe5 Bd6 15 Re1 g6 16 Bd5 Ra7 17 Qf3 b6 18 Ne4 Kg7 ½-½


Kasparov,G - Pinter,J [A09]
Skara 1980

1 c4 Nf6 2 Nf3 c5 3 g3 d5 4 Bg2 Nc6 5 0-0 d4 6 e3 e5 7 exd4 exd4 8 d3 Be7 9 Bf4 0-0 10 Ne5 Nxe5 11 Bxe5 Ng4 12 Bf4 Bd6 13 Bxd6 Qxd6 14 Nd2 Qb6 15 Re1 Bd7 16 h3 Nf6 17 Qb3 Qa5 18 Nf3 Bc6 19 Ne5 Bxg2 20 Kxg2 Qc7 21 Re2 Rae8 22 Rae1 Re6 23 Nf3 Qc6 24 Rxe6 fxe6 25 Qb5 Qxb5 26 cxb5 Re8 27 Rc1 b6 28 Ne5 Nd5 29 Rc4 Ra8 30 a3 a5 31 bxa6 Rxa6 32 b4 Rxa3 33 bxc5 b5 34 Rxd4 Rc3 35 c6 Kf8 36 Rh4 ½-½

  
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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #16 - 11/26/03 at 14:18:11
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6.d5 was the move that most concerned me, when I looked at this move order.  The other two lines seem to lead to a transposition to a Grunfeld or Smyslov KID, where black seems to have no problems.  However, I think white can demonstrate an advantage with 6.d5, since it seems like white has a space advantage and can obtain a powerful bind.  d4 seems a likely square for a future Nf3-d4 or Be3-d4, when either piece will be powerfully placed.  When examining this position, I could not find an effective way to break the bind before white completes his development.

What few examples I could find from this position seem to confirm that black's position is difficult to play.  Notable is Laurent Fressinet's loss, since there was major ELO difference (about 2200 and 2500 at that time).  Also the position arose from a Symmetrical English, which is an interesting possibility against an early ...g6.

This is the type of bind I was worried about.  Note that when the knights reached e5 and g4, they were simply chased back with h3 and f4.  One of the problems for black seems to be where to place his queen's knight.

[Event "Reggio Emilia 7980"]
[Site "Reggio Emilia"]
[Date "1979.12.??"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Hess,Ralf"]
[Black "Campioli,Giuseppe"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Eco "A43"]
1.d4 c5 2.e3 cxd4 3.exd4 Nf6 4.c4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.d5 0-0 7.Be2 d6 8.Nf3 Nbd7
9.0-0 Ng4 10.Nd4 Qb6 11.Ndb5 Nde5 12.h3 Nf6 13.Be3 Qa5 14.a3 a6 15.b4 Qd8 16.Nd4 Ne8
17.Rc1 f5 18.f4 Nf7 19.Ne6 Bxe6 20.dxe6 Nh6 21.Nd5 Kh8 22.Nb6 Nc7 23.Nxa8 Qxa8 24.c5 d5
25.Bd4 Qc8 26.c6 b5 27.Bb6 Rd8 28.a4 Rd6 29.Bxc7 Qxc7 30.axb5 Rxe6 31.Bf3 axb5 32.Qxd5 Qb6+
33.Kh1  1-0

Here's a try from black that seems to fail.  Black should probably be wary of d6 before moving the e-pawn:

[Event "HUN-chT 9596"]
[Site "Hungary"]
[Date "1995.??.??"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Petronic,Jovan"]
[Black "Rovid,Kalman"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Eco "A56"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.e3 cxd4 4.exd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.d5 0-0 7.Nf3 e5 8.d6 e4
9.Nd4 a6 10.Be2 Nc6 11.Be3 b6 12.0-0 Bb7 13.Nb3 Rb8 14.Na4 Ba8 15.c5 bxc5 16.Nbxc5 Nb4
17.a3 Nbd5 18.Bd4 a5 19.Qd2 Bc6 20.Rfe1 Re8 21.Bc4 e3 22.fxe3 Ne4 23.Nxe4 Rxe4 24.Bxd5 Bxd5
25.Nc3 Rxd4 26.exd4 Bc4 27.Ne4 Qb6 28.Kh1 Bxd4 29.Rac1 Be6 30.b4 axb4 31.axb4 Kg7 32.Rcd1 Be5
33.Nc5 Bf6 34.Rxe6 dxe6 35.Nd7 Qxb4 36.Qxb4 Rxb4 37.Nxf6  1-0

This game shows how difficult it can be to break successfully with ...b5.  Here black places the knight on c5, but even here there seemed to be a tactical drawback (22.b4).

[Event "Istanbul ol (Men)"]
[Site "Istanbul"]
[Date "2000.10.28"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Ramsingh,Yogendranath"]
[Black "Fressinet,Laurent"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Eco "A34"]
1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 g6 3.e3 Bg7 4.d4 cxd4 5.exd4 Nf6 6.d5 d6 7.Nf3 Bg4 8.Be2 Bxf3
9.Bxf3 Nbd7 10.Be3 0-0 11.0-0 a6 12.Be2 Rc8 13.Rc1 Qa5 14.Bd2 Qc5 15.Qb3 Qd4 16.Be3 Qe5
17.h3 Nc5 18.Qc2 b5 19.cxb5 axb5 20.Bxb5 Nxd5 21.Nxd5 Qxd5 22.b4 Ne6 23.Qxc8 Rxc8 24.Rxc8+ Nf8
25.a4 Qb7 26.Rfc1 f5 27.R8c4 Bb2 28.Rb1 Be5 29.Bc6 Qb8 30.a5 f4 31.Bxf4 Bxf4 32.Rxf4 Kg7
33.b5 Ne6 34.Rc4 Kf6 35.Re1 Nc7 36.b6 Na8 37.Rxe7 Qd8 38.Re8  1-0

In this game black plays e6, but isn't that successful either.

[Event "Istanbul ol (Women)"]
[Site "Istanbul"]
[Date "2000.10.28"]
[Round "12"]
[White "Korsakova,Tatyana"]
[Black "Ingolfsdottir,Harpa"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Eco "A56"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.e3 cxd4 4.exd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.d5 d6 7.Nf3 a6 8.a4 Nbd7
9.Be2 0-0 10.0-0 b6 11.h3 Bb7 12.Be3 Nc5 13.Rc1 a5 14.Nd4 e6 15.dxe6 fxe6 16.Ndb5 Ne8
17.Bg4 Qe7 18.Re1 Qf6 19.Bxc5 dxc5 20.Bxe6+ Kh8 21.Qc2 Rd8 22.b3 Nd6 23.Nxd6 Rxd6 24.Bd5 Qxc3
25.Bxb7 Qxc2 26.Rxc2 Rd3 27.Re7 Rxb3 28.Rce2 Bd4 29.Bf3 Bf6 30.Rb7 Rb4 31.Re6 Bd8 32.Bd5 Rxa4
33.Rd6 Ra1+ 34.Kh2 Bf6 35.f4 Bd4 36.Rdd7 Bg1+ 37.Kg3 Ra3+ 38.Kg4 h5+ 39.Kg5 Rf5+ 40.Kh6 
1-0
  

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Re: White avoids the Benoni
Reply #15 - 11/26/03 at 07:13:21
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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.



Another possible move order for Black:

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.e3 g6 4.Nc3 cxd4 (personally I wouldn't be worried about 4...Bg7 5.d5!? followed by e3-e4 but I can see why some would want to avoid it) 5.exd4 Bg7 (it's true that 5...d5 6.Qb3! is a Panov Attack line which is quite unpleasant for Black - he is virtually forced to give up the pawn with 6...Bg7) and now White has a few options:

a) 6.Nf3 0-0 (6...d5 7.Bg5 Ne4! is a line known to be fine for Black) 7 Be2 d5 is a Grünfeld, while 7 Bg5 transposes to 'b'

b)  6.Bg5 0-0 7.Nf3  can arise from  a King's Indian. Now 7...d5! is very complex but supposedly fine for Black, for example 8.Bxf6 Bxf6 9.Nxd5 Bg7 10.Ne3 Nc6 11.d5 Bxb2! 12.dxc6 Qa5+ 13.Ke2 Rd8 14.Qe1 Bc3 with a strong attack, Mirumian- Babula, Cesko 1998.

c) 6 d5!? looks unusual but is certainly playable.

  
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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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