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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Current Concensus on Modern Benoni (Read 25690 times)
ANDREW BRETT
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Re: Current Concensus on Modern Benoni
Reply #3 - 07/17/07 at 12:34:33
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An opening that is likely to bring joy to the hearts of any serious 1d4 player. Black gets tactical play but white has strategic dominance.

The f4 and Bb5+ a la Kasparov is very dangerous.

Bd3 + h3 seems to neutralise black's play

Bf4 is tricky for black but not so tricky for white

and even the fianchetto gives white a fair game, although objectively if Black knows what  he's doing he should be fine.

Too many lines where black has to suffer.....better to play the Benoni style position via the Kings Indian where things may be quite good !
  
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Bonsai
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Re: Current Concensus on Modern Benoni
Reply #2 - 07/17/07 at 06:13:20
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MNb wrote on 07/17/07 at 01:31:04:
This seems to be the consensus indeed. In 2006 the sequence 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 was more popular (480 games) than 3.Nc3 c5 (about 160 games) and 2...c5 3.d5 e6 (450 games).

I've always been feeling that the Taimanov is overrated, it's not like there's a definite advantage for whtie (as far as I know) and black has a clear plan in the 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.f4 Bg7 8.Bb5+ Nfd7 9.a4 0-0 10.Nf3 line, namely 10...Na6, 11...Nc7, 12....a6 and then Rb8 followed ideally by b5 - usually even if white has played a5 (of course one might have to adjust to what white does). Alternatively the 8...Nbd7 line is far from refuted and probably a most reasonable over-the-board attempt (while somewhat unsuitable for correspondence chess, because with truly precise play only 1-0 or 1/2-1/2 are possible results, where I believe the latter to be "objectively" the "correct" outcome).

There are some other variations though, that deserve very serious attention, the Modern Main Line is a serious try for an advantage for white and black may have to play some slightly unimpressive a6+Nbd7+Qe7 variation to avoid having no winning chances in some of the extremely forced main-main-line variations with an early b5 (not that objectively black is in danger of loosing there, in my opinion). Note that Watson's recommended Nbd7+Nh5 systems is supposedly in a bit of trouble.

Then there's various Bf4 systems, which are extremely tricky move order wise, which are fully viable and theoretically good tries for white. I've had a bit of trouble there when playing black, but I believe that's more due to my unfamiliarity with the true subtleties of these systems than due to black being worse.

I suppose one of the downsides of the Modern Benoni has to be that any number of other lines are also most reasonable tries by white, for example the Sämisch-f3 variation is extremely solid, the Classical main line is also fully viable, even if not that challenging for black, and that Bd3+Nge2 system is also interesting. Did I forget something? Oh, the fianchetto system and the knight-tour variation, which I do not really get to see often, but of course they are certainly not wrong, either.
  
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MNb
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Re: Current Concensus on Modern Benoni
Reply #1 - 07/17/07 at 01:31:04
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This seems to be the consensus indeed. In 2006 the sequence 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 was more popular (480 games) than 3.Nc3 c5 (about 160 games) and 2...c5 3.d5 e6 (450 games).
  

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Dinomike100
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Current Concensus on Modern Benoni
07/16/07 at 23:15:39
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I heard that the modern benoni isn't widely played at the top level anymore (mainly due to the Taimanov variation). 

If I start learning the modern benoni as my d4 defense, should I try to avoid the Taimanov, or is it still an OK game for black?
  
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