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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni? (Read 12547 times)
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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #27 - 08/17/09 at 06:08:04
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About the Benoni, isn't playing for a win in the modern main line a problem?  9... b5 with 15... Ne5 seems to do ok for black but actually winning that position for him seems to be an impossibility barring any major blunders on white's part.
  
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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #26 - 08/16/09 at 17:42:46
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TonyRo wrote on 08/14/09 at 14:55:17:
Do you believe there is any disadvantage to playing the 9...a6!? move order here? I have Watson's book, and I think I remember that this idea was suggested as an interesting idea, since 10. Bd3 Qd8 or 10. Be2 (or maybe it was Bc4, I can't remember) Qe7 might be a more precise way to play. I suppose in your given line it doesn't matter, since you prefer 13. Bd3 against a6 anyway.


The basic idea of 9..a6 is that you can meet 10.Bd3 with ..Qd8, trying to slow up White's e5 by hitting the d5 pawn.  While on 10.Be2, you have the option of 10..Qe7. 

The downside, if it is one, is that, once you play 9..a6, you've taken away the ..Na6 option.  For example, after 9..Qh4 10.g3 Qd8 11.Nf3 0-0 Watson prefers to meet 12.0-0 with 12..a6 and 12.h3 with 12..Na6.

     
  
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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #25 - 08/14/09 at 21:08:23
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Yes i read that too, but the general consensus nowadays is that Qd8 is always better than Qe7, so playing Qh4 first eases black's task in case white avoids g3...

Watson preferred Qd8 against two bishop moves and Qe7 against the third (Bc4/d3/e2)
  

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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #24 - 08/14/09 at 14:55:17
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Do you believe there is any disadvantage to playing the 9...a6!? move order here? I have Watson's book, and I think I remember that this idea was suggested as an interesting idea, since 10. Bd3 Qd8 or 10. Be2 (or maybe it was Bc4, I can't remember) Qe7 might be a more precise way to play. I suppose in your given line it doesn't matter, since you prefer 13. Bd3 against a6 anyway.
  
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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #23 - 08/14/09 at 13:05:08
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Markovich wrote on 08/13/09 at 13:39:39:
@TicklyTim:  I have no idea of how anyone would obtain a Modern Benoni without exd5 on move four.


I hit the books last night and, big surprise, learned something.  There are indeed other ways for Black to try for a Modern Benoni setup.  For one thing, he can just play a King's Indian move order and against the Classical, play 6...c5 instead of the customary 6...e5.  Against most other White setups, ...c5 is among the customary moves.  Obviously, Black has to contend with dxe6 and exd5 ideas.  Also I believe that 6...c5 against the Classical opens up the possibility of a Maroczy Bind.  Come to think of it, I believe I played the Bind on a Croatian opponent who played 6...c5 in a CC game.

I think if I were going to play the Modern Benoni, I would just go the whole hog, expose myself to the f4 systems, and try to develop some ways of playing against them.  One of the more promising ideas after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nf3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 7.e4 Bg7 8.Bb5+ is Watson's 8...Nfd7 9.a4 Qh4+ 10.g3 Qd8.  Then after 11.Nf3 0-0 12.0-0 a6 13.Bd3 Nf6, I believe that 14.Re1 is a more critical move than the heavily analyzed 14.Qb3.  (I hope I have not screwed up the move order or left out a move).  
« Last Edit: 08/14/09 at 18:29:25 by Markovich »  

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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #22 - 08/13/09 at 16:09:36
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That's indeed pointed out by Zenon Franco's last chapter. But I found that delaying ed5 provides as many questions as dealing with the Taimanov...

Zenon mentions that de6 is usually harmless, but I am not sure, and anyway, after finding something 'playable otb' against taimanov...why bother? Useful if you are still worried about it, of course
  
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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #21 - 08/13/09 at 14:47:40
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Markovich wrote on 08/13/09 at 13:39:39:
@TicklyTim:  I have no idea of how anyone would obtain a Modern Benoni without exd5 on move four.


Not saying it's possible, but someone raised a point in my White repertoire of Classical KID and Taimaonv vs Benoni that I might have an issue if ..e6 was delayed for a few moves.
It seems White's ways of avoiding transposing to something other than Modern Benoni was to play either dxe6 or after Blacks ..exd5 to play exd5 rather than cxd5. I asked this in a separate thread but there was no hard and fast solution. It seemed many players of White go into a Bd3 setup.
How does this fit in with your choices as White?
  
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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #20 - 08/13/09 at 14:25:19
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Markovich wrote on 08/13/09 at 13:39:39:
Hidden identity wrote on 08/13/09 at 09:26:17:
I believe playing CC has nothing to do with OTB. My pretty dangerous lines against the Najdorf give me nothing when playing online CC.

Some solutions against the Taimanov are given in Franco's Modern Benoni. I would be happy to try OTB. CC? Not sure what should be played for good results, I just use it to test and learn openings...

My comment about Shereshevsky was referred to a book of him saying that only a few openings equalised as black, or where solid enough. I believe the current elite praxis contradicts this.

It was certainly not directed against anybody here. This forum is certainly great and I value every opinion unless they are insulting. I certainly do not intend to do so, so apologies if you felt somewhat pointed to.

I've given enough info to go and look, I believe. I just don't want to discuss the specific line until I've tried in a few days...


Sorry to be so prickly; I misunderstood the point of your remark.  My point about CC was only that played at a certain level, it does provide a severe theoretical test of any given new idea in the opening.

@TicklyTim:  I have no idea of how anyone would obtain a Modern Benoni without exd5 on move four.


The discussion about OTB vs CC runs like a red line through a lot topics around here. OTB inferior with practical chances might work for black, in CC it is less likely... .
  
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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #19 - 08/13/09 at 13:39:39
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Hidden identity wrote on 08/13/09 at 09:26:17:
I believe playing CC has nothing to do with OTB. My pretty dangerous lines against the Najdorf give me nothing when playing online CC.

Some solutions against the Taimanov are given in Franco's Modern Benoni. I would be happy to try OTB. CC? Not sure what should be played for good results, I just use it to test and learn openings...

My comment about Shereshevsky was referred to a book of him saying that only a few openings equalised as black, or where solid enough. I believe the current elite praxis contradicts this.

It was certainly not directed against anybody here. This forum is certainly great and I value every opinion unless they are insulting. I certainly do not intend to do so, so apologies if you felt somewhat pointed to.

I've given enough info to go and look, I believe. I just don't want to discuss the specific line until I've tried in a few days...


Sorry to be so prickly; I misunderstood the point of your remark.  My point about CC was only that played at a certain level, it does provide a severe theoretical test of any given new idea in the opening.

@TicklyTim:  I have no idea of how anyone would obtain a Modern Benoni without exd5 on move four.
  

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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #18 - 08/13/09 at 09:26:17
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I believe playing CC has nothing to do with OTB. My pretty dangerous lines against the Najdorf give me nothing when playing online CC.

Some solutions against the Taimanov are given in Franco's Modern Benoni. I would be happy to try OTB. CC? Not sure what should be played for good results, I just use it to test and learn openings...

My comment about Shereshevsky was referred to a book of him saying that only a few openings equalised as black, or where solid enough. I believe the current elite praxis contradicts this.

It was certainly not directed against anybody here. This forum is certainly great and I value every opinion unless they are insulting. I certainly do not intend to do so, so apologies if you felt somewhat pointed to.

I've given enough info to go and look, I believe. I just don't want to discuss the specific line until I've tried in a few days...
  
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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #17 - 08/13/09 at 08:54:18
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Markovich wrote on 08/12/09 at 17:00:07:
Frankly I would be quite interested in playing the Modern Benoni myself if I knew how to equalize against the Taimanov.


In another thread, there was a discussion of avoiding the Taimanov by delaying playing ..e6 until after castling. Don't think we had a definite answer how White could take advantage of this.
Other than White having to adopt a different line, exd5 seemed the only benifit - if this is in fact any better than cxd5 in lines.
What do you think would put you off adopting the the Benoni with this move order?
  
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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #16 - 08/12/09 at 17:00:07
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Hidden identity wrote on 08/12/09 at 09:48:54:
Markovich wrote on 05/20/09 at 13:21:06:
Quote:
I think the Taimanov attack in the benoni is somewhat comparable to the bayonet attack in the kid, it is dreaded and feared, but in the end, if black knows what to do white also has no advantage


Well perhaps you'd be good enough to point out an answer to the Taimanov where White has no advantage.  I'm certainly not aware of one.

...  It compares much more to the Four Pawns Attack, but it just happens to be much stronger.


I think I have found a perfect answer which I will not comment until I've tried it OTB...

I am finding Benoni much better than it's 'risky' reputation... enough of people generalising a la Shereshevsky...


Yes well, some of us can generalize a la Shereshevsky, and others of us can claim to have specifics which they nevertheless refuse to reveal.  I fail to see much difference.  I would be most happy to discuss specifics if anyone would propose a line for Black.

If you want a really severe test of your idea, try it in a CC game.  I've played White's side of this in several CC games, and I have yet to see Black on equal terms after the opening.  Frankly I would be quite interested in playing the Modern Benoni myself if I knew how to equalize against the Taimanov.
  

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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #15 - 08/12/09 at 09:48:54
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Markovich wrote on 05/20/09 at 13:21:06:
Quote:
I think the Taimanov attack in the benoni is somewhat comparable to the bayonet attack in the kid, it is dreaded and feared, but in the end, if black knows what to do white also has no advantage


Well perhaps you'd be good enough to point out an answer to the Taimanov where White has no advantage.  I'm certainly not aware of one.

...  It compares much more to the Four Pawns Attack, but it just happens to be much stronger.


I think I have found a perfect answer which I will not comment until I've tried it OTB...

I am finding Benoni much better than it's 'risky' reputation... enough of people generalising a la Shereshevsky...
  
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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #14 - 05/20/09 at 14:25:35
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You'll need to know all the anti-Benoni systems you'll see thrown at you, and there will be many.

ie:

1. d4 Nf6 2. Bf4 c5

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 c5, and all of white's possibilities like:

3. d5 b5!?

3. c3 Qa5!? (my favorite, obviously others are good, too)

3. c4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e6! (4...e5 is very dynamic, but I don't trust it personally) 5. Nc3 Bb4 (if 5. g3 then Qc7!)

3. e3 d5 (even ...g6 could be playable, where play could very well turn into a Reversed Advance Reti!)

I don't play the Benoni, but I do use 2...c5 against 2. Nf3, and given how popular side-systems are (Colle, Torre, and other quiet set-ups), it's useful to be prepared.
  

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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #13 - 05/20/09 at 13:21:06
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Quote:
I think the Taimanov attack in the benoni is somewhat comparable to the bayonet attack in the kid, it is dreaded and feared, but in the end, if black knows what to do white also has no advantage


Well perhaps you'd be good enough to point out an answer to the Taimanov where White has no advantage.  I'm certainly not aware of one.

Further I think the comparison to the KID Bayonet is rather strange, since that is not nearly as sharp, nor is White playing there for a central pawn break.  It compares much more to the Four Pawns Attack, but it just happens to be much stronger.
  

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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #12 - 05/19/09 at 21:27:32
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How the MB compares to the French?
Some players play both as Black... (I personally avoid the MB with either color.)
As an answer, I am expecting something like "requires good calculating skills to break free from cramped positions"...
  

as
*W 1d4) Torre/Barry/Pirc/Philidor/ early _d5:early c4(QGD/Slav/QGD/etc)
*B) 1e4:e6 [+1_c5 2Nf3 a6]| 1d4:e6 2c4 Bb4+ BID/pseudoNID [+1_Nf6 NID]| 1c4:c5,_Nc6,_e5,_g6| 1Nf3:c5
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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #11 - 04/05/09 at 13:32:27
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wcywing wrote on 02/17/09 at 23:23:02:
besides the benoni, you also have to be prepared against the annoying qp openings, like tromp, colle, torre, etc.  also on a side note, what are you going to play against c4?  its not like the KID where the first 5 moves are automatic against anything.  please let us know how you do with the Benoni.  


"Beating the Anti Kings Indians" by Gallagher would be a great help.

You also need to know how to play against

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3 I suggest cxd 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d5 you need to know what you are doing but if you do black has great fun.
  

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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #10 - 02/17/09 at 23:23:02
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besides the benoni, you also have to be prepared against the annoying qp openings, like tromp, colle, torre, etc.  also on a side note, what are you going to play against c4?  its not like the KID where the first 5 moves are automatic against anything.  please let us know how you do with the Benoni.
  
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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #9 - 01/18/09 at 17:57:52
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I also play the benoni, last year I toyed around with it in icc blitz and in rapid chess tournaments, now it is my main defence, I only have Watson's book on the benoni. But I don't know, somehow I buy a book for an opening I play, put in the shelf, but I don't really use them, more or less I just play the opening by a bit of database research and much more by feeling. I think the Taimanov attack in the benoni is somewhat comparable to the bayonet attack in the kid, it is dreaded and feared, but in the end, if black knows what to do white also has no advantage ... also on the absolute top level, you don't see the taimanov arising so much, white very often choses a different line ... so far I faced it 3 times in blitz and won 3 times, of course  this hasn't to say so much Smiley
but still ... Smiley I think the benoni is rather easy to play planwise, but you have to be able to calculate well, almost perfect for me Smiley
  
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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #8 - 01/18/09 at 12:21:01
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one more thing, you might also want to look at Martin's dvd on the benoni.  i find Dvd's easier to understand than looking at a book(although the books have more info in it).  I do like Kinsman's book as well as Watson's.  of course you can also subscribe to the NID and Benoni section for all the latest stuff.
  
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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #7 - 01/07/09 at 23:44:17
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Listen what Lev Psakhis wrote in his book "The Complete Benoni" : " Despite its risky reputation,I can say that after 15 years experience with this defence,it is certainly no worse than any other and has a definite plus in that it does not allow white an easy life. My own results have been exceptional: from over 60 games I scored 70% ,losing only four games."

Psakhis plays the Benoni from the Nimzo-Indian move order. He avoids pawn-storm systems where white can play f4. If white plays 3. Nf3 black plays 3...c5. So the most critical line is probably the Taimanov attack. But there are many dangerous systems!!! It is dangerous to play the Modern Benoni. But it is dangerous for white too. I have played hundreds of blitzgames with the Modern Benoni and have very good results with it. I have even crushed some IM players on ICC. Then I really mean crush. But I have also lost to weaker players. Thats Benoni!

I think its important to learn the typical Modern Benoni maneuvers and motifs. You should also study different kinds of exchange sacrifices as they sometimes can be the only way to go for the win....or even the only way to survive!
Intuition and calculation is important in the modern benoni.Strong nerves. Just take a look at game 31 in Andrew Kinsmans book Modern benoni page 70. Its a game between Lalic-Kotsur 1997 worldteam championship (its a Taimanov attack). A wonderful game which really shows the Benoni in a nutshell. Look in the game how black opens the b-file and how he activates his rook and sacrifice it for the white darksquared bishop.Then black sends the queen to h4 going for the white king. Thats benoni!! Lalic is a great player but in this game he was wiped of the board.

Good luck with the Modern Benoni!
  

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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #6 - 12/07/08 at 22:57:27
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Unownasofyet wrote on 12/07/08 at 22:30:00:
Thanks, people. I just got my copy of Starting Out: The Modern Benoni. What is the main line Black players of the opening are worrying about right now?


Modern Main Line and the Taimanov Attack are still the most critical probably. Against MML Black has been very succesful with the plan of ...a6/Nbd7/Nh5 without early castling, but White is beginning to fight back against this.

Also have some idea what to do against 6.Nf3 g6 7.Qa4+ (e4 not in yet) and 6.Nf3 g6 7.e4 a6 8.Qe2 (7...a6 can be an attempt to avoid the MML). Both were recommended for White in the recent "Dangerous Weapons: Benoni and Benkö".

When I tried the Benoni on club level White played all kinds of lines; often they don't know the theory very far since they don't meet the Benoni that often. On the internet I got the Modern Main Line all the time though! So know the themes well (great intro in that Starting Out-book!) and know a little bit about each line, you'll be fine.
  

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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #5 - 12/07/08 at 22:30:00
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Thanks, people. I just got my copy of Starting Out: The Modern Benoni. What is the main line Black players of the opening are worrying about right now?
  
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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #4 - 12/01/08 at 19:21:30
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You need to know how to fight with and against a pawn healthy majority, and lots of tatics.
Those are more important than any memorised line.
  

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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #3 - 11/27/08 at 21:46:40
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Mastering the Modern Benoni and Benko will teach you (if you can find a copy) how to cope with the different types of positions that (can) arise... The rest is calculation, indeed.
  
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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #2 - 11/27/08 at 17:10:16
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The modern benoni strikes me as a "calculation" opening.

By that I mean that the most important skill when playing it is your ability to calculate variations accurately and a keen tactical eye.

If those are your best strengths as a player, then I think it is an excellent choice.

A nice thing about it is that it is so combative, that you dont need a backuo defence for "must win" situations or games against lower rated players.

Also, it appears to be doing pretty well at the highest levels recently (although not played much). Gelfand beat somebody at the Dresen Olympics, and Gashimov seems to play it as his main weapon vs 1. d4.
  
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Re: What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
Reply #1 - 11/26/08 at 08:04:33
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I suggest:

"Chess Explained: The Modern Benoni"

"Starting Out: The Modern Benoni"

"The Modern Benoni Explained"

"The Gambit Guide to the Modern Benoni"

I don't own the first book, but it is quite good and well worth buying for prospective Benoni players.

The second book offers a good selection of games, but is too basic in its theoretical coverage, although the large chapters on themes and ideas for White and Black makes the book worth buying if you are rated below 1900. This recommendation also applies to "The Modern Benoni Revealed", although don't expect a book of the same quality as Palliser's other works.

The fourth book is the most detailed coverage of the Modern Benoni in a single book that I know of, and would be the most useful of all the books I listed above.

There are probably a few other good books, but those are the most recent.


  

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What do I Need to Know to Play the Benoni?
11/26/08 at 01:21:06
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I am thinking of using the Modern Benoni as black, and I have no idea what do get to start playing it successfully. Also, what general rules will help me when I play that opening?

Thanks in Advance
  
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