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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov (Read 5993 times)
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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #33 - 11/19/20 at 19:10:22
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Paul Cumbers wrote on 09/29/20 at 23:07:16:
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.Nc3 exd5 6.cxd5 g6 7.h3 b5

Now 8.Nxb5 Bg7 9.Bf4 Qa5+ 10.Nc3 Ne4 11.Nd2! Nxc3 12.bxc3 O-O (12...Qxc3?! 13.Rc1 Qf6 14.e3 followed by Ne4 or Nc4 leaves Black in serious trouble on d6) 13.Rc1 (perhaps Black gets some counterplay after 13.e4 Qxc3 14.Rb1 Qf6 15.Qf3 Nd7 16.Be2 g5!?) 13...Nd7 14.e4 Bxc3 15.Be2 Be5 16.Bxe5 Nxe5 17.f4 Nd7 18.O-O Nb6

Can Black make this position work? It looks difficult to me. The kingside appears shaky, particularly without the dark-squared bishop. White has a wide choice of good moves here (e.g. 19.Kh2, Kh1, e5, f5, Qe1, Qc2, Rf2, Re1, Rf3).


Not to be completely off kilter, but if white really has that many good choices then there is a great chance for the unprepared player to go wrong which is usually the kind of imbalance these slightly worse openings like the Benoni and Dutch are looking for. For example, I am thinking of the Dutch game between Xiong-Nakamura US Championship 2019 0-1 where quite seriously at some point white's only issue was which way of the many ways to make his advantage felt.
  
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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #32 - 10/02/20 at 08:05:00
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After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.Nc3 exd5 6.cxd5 g6 7.h3 Bg7 8.e4 0–0 9.Bd3 Re8 10.0–0 Nbd7, your move 11.a4 definitely appears to give White a comfortable advantage.  I suppose all of the alternatives to 9...b5! are rather dodgy. Perhaps a better way to confuse an opponent you know is going to play the Modern System is to use the "Delayed Benoni".
  
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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #31 - 10/02/20 at 00:47:21
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Glenn Snow wrote on 09/30/20 at 04:41:40:
In the above variation, White's advantage doesn't look that large to me but I'd prefer any of the alternatives to this gambit.  I have a feeling there is a way to a large White advantage.
Yes it wouldn't surprise me. I also notice Van der Werf tried this 7...b5 stuff recently and lost.

Glenn Snow wrote on 04/14/20 at 16:25:28:
TonyRo wrote on 04/14/20 at 13:44:38:
Glenn Snow wrote on 04/14/20 at 12:05:42:
His last game of the modern chapter reveals an idea (not with 9...b5) I've personally never seen before which in it's main line entails an exchange sacrifice that looks quite interesting.

Presumably you're talking about 9...Re8 10.O-O Nbd7 11.Re1 Ne5 12.Nxe5 Rxe5 13.Bf4 Nh5!? - I first came across this idea in a Levan Pantsulaia game, I'll see if I can dig it up after work. Not an easy exchange sacrifice to refute - not sure I totally believe in it, but Black has a lot of long term compensation in a tricky position. Might have to check out this book!


Yes, that's the variation!  He mentions that game but it's not his main game fwiw.  Certainly a risky idea but if one is really going for a win then it's worth a try.

The issue I have with the exchange sac line is that White has a strong alternative in 11.a4!? (not mentioned by Doknjas), side-stepping the complications:

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.Nc3 exd5 6.cxd5 g6 7.h3 Bg7 8.e4 0–0 9.Bd3 Re8 10.0–0 Nbd7 11.a4!?

(a) If Black continues naturally with 11...Ne5, then 12.Nxe5 Rxe5 13.f4 Re8 14.Qf3 is nice for White. The KR is better placed on f1 rather than e1 (compared to a similar position arising from 11.Re1), as the f-file may open up after a subsequent f4-f5 or e4-e5; and the QR may come to e1 instead.

(b) 11...a6 is the move Black is trying to refrain from. After 12.Bf4 c4 13.Bc2 Nc5 14.Nd2, there's no ...b7-b6 & ...Ba6.

(c) 11...Nh5 is met by (you guessed it Roll Eyes) the anti-Nh5 recipe: 12.Be2!

So best I think is 11...c4 12.Bc2 Nc5 13.Re1 Bd7 when White can decide when to go for e4-e5, e.g. 14.Bf4 (or 14.e5 dxe5 15.Nxe5 +=) 14...Qb6 15.Rb1 Rac8 [Shulman-Ivanov, 1994]. Any of 16.e5/Qd2/Bh2 should give White the advantage. On the plus side, at least Black is fully developed and active. But we've reached a position stemming from 10...c4 - isn't that something Black was trying to avoid (with 10...Nbd7)?
  
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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #30 - 09/30/20 at 04:41:40
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In the above variation, White's advantage doesn't look that large to me but I'd prefer any of the alternatives to this gambit.  I have a feeling there is a way to a large White advantage.
  
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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #29 - 09/29/20 at 23:07:16
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Glenn Snow wrote on 04/18/20 at 23:36:48:
The gambit with 7...b5 looks quite interesting as well.  I only found four games with it (2 wins for White, 2 for Black) but it at least looks like a decent practical try OTB.

Revisiting this idea, I think there's a way for White to return the pawn advantageously:

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.Nc3 exd5 6.cxd5 g6 7.h3 b5

Now 8.Nxb5 Bg7 9.Bf4 Qa5+ 10.Nc3 Ne4 11.Nd2! Nxc3 12.bxc3 O-O (12...Qxc3?! 13.Rc1 Qf6 14.e3 followed by Ne4 or Nc4 leaves Black in serious trouble on d6) 13.Rc1 (perhaps Black gets some counterplay after 13.e4 Qxc3 14.Rb1 Qf6 15.Qf3 Nd7 16.Be2 g5!?) 13...Nd7 14.e4 Bxc3 15.Be2 Be5 16.Bxe5 Nxe5 17.f4 Nd7 18.O-O Nb6

Can Black make this position work? It looks difficult to me. The kingside appears shaky, particularly without the dark-squared bishop. White has a wide choice of good moves here (e.g. 19.Kh2, Kh1, e5, f5, Qe1, Qc2, Rf2, Re1, Rf3).
  
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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #28 - 04/18/20 at 23:36:48
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Paul Cumbers wrote on 04/18/20 at 21:07:07:
When playing the Benoni, the MML is the variation I'm most concerned about. 9...b5 seems to be the "correct" response, but 10.Bxb5 leads to positions that aren't in the spirit of the opening IMO. So it's a shame that Kasimdzhanov doesn't try to take advantage of White's early Nf3, e.g. see this post by gillbod in another thread:

https://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1277923037/23#23

White's best move-order is 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 (3.Nc3 Bb4) 3...c5 4.d5 d6 5.Nc3 exd5 6.cxd5 g6 7.h3!? when gillbod suggests 7...a6 8.a4 Qe7!? to prevent e4. The Karjakin-Caruana game (mentioned by LeeRoth) continued 9.Bf4 Nbd7 10.e3 Bg7 11.Be2 0-0 12.0-0, transposing to Bf4 lines where the inclusion of ...a6 might be better for White. [BTW, Stigma - this looks like Caruana's most recent game with the Benoni, i.e. July 2019].

Another possibility for Black is 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.Nc3 exd5 6.cxd5 g6 7.h3 b5!? as tried by Dubov, Matlakov and Ivanisevic. Any thoughts on this pawn sac?


If Black were to now play 12...Ne8 (obviously overprotecting d6 and preparing counterplay with ...f5 should White play e4) then we have transposed to analysis by Petrov from GM Repertoire 12 (on page 215).

The gambit with 7...b5 looks quite interesting as well.  I only found four games with it (2 wins for White, 2 for Black) but it at least looks like a decent practical try OTB.
  
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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #27 - 04/18/20 at 21:07:07
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When playing the Benoni, the MML is the variation I'm most concerned about. 9...b5 seems to be the "correct" response, but 10.Bxb5 leads to positions that aren't in the spirit of the opening IMO. So it's a shame that Kasimdzhanov doesn't try to take advantage of White's early Nf3, e.g. see this post by gillbod in another thread:

https://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1277923037/23#23

White's best move-order is 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 (3.Nc3 Bb4) 3...c5 4.d5 d6 5.Nc3 exd5 6.cxd5 g6 7.h3!? when gillbod suggests 7...a6 8.a4 Qe7!? to prevent e4. The Karjakin-Caruana game (mentioned by LeeRoth) continued 9.Bf4 Nbd7 10.e3 Bg7 11.Be2 0-0 12.0-0, transposing to Bf4 lines where the inclusion of ...a6 might be better for White. [BTW, Stigma - this looks like Caruana's most recent game with the Benoni, i.e. July 2019].

Another possibility for Black is 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.Nc3 exd5 6.cxd5 g6 7.h3 b5!? as tried by Dubov, Matlakov and Ivanisevic. Any thoughts on this pawn sac?
  
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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #26 - 04/16/20 at 20:29:49
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13Bf4Nh5.pgn ( 1 KB | 55 Downloads )
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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #25 - 04/15/20 at 05:46:36
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LeeRoth wrote on 04/14/20 at 14:43:29:
I took up the Benoni in my fire-breathing days and have never completely put it away.  Among other things, I like that there is no exchange variation in the Benoni. After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5, you usually get the Benoni on the board.  White can try 3.Nf3, but there are still ways for Black to play sharply, and, in any event, I like to tell myself that I achieved at least a little something when White refrained from d5.  Smiley

I can see the attractions of a fire-breathing defence, and understand that for practical play it would be nice to find something playable with more winning chances against the MML.

It's also possible to play 9...b5 and just acknowledge that some forced draws are a part of the bargain while enjoying the sharp, unbalanced games you're still getting a lot of the time. But that philosophy probably involves having a backup defence.

I've tried the Benoni a few times myself, but the results weren't encouraging. The dynamic defences that have stuck for the long haul in my case are the Grünfeld and the Leningrad Dutch. This is probably complete random of course, but that didn't stop me from geting on my high horse and recommending just those defences! Wink
  

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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #24 - 04/15/20 at 01:18:25
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Glenn Snow wrote on 04/14/20 at 16:25:28:
Certainly a risky idea but if one is really going for a win then it's worth a try.

In fact, isn't this the real problem with the Modern Benoni? In the Ng1-f3 and/or g2-g3 lines black can eventually equalize, but nobody wants to.
  
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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #23 - 04/14/20 at 16:25:28
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TonyRo wrote on 04/14/20 at 13:44:38:
Glenn Snow wrote on 04/14/20 at 12:05:42:
His last game of the modern chapter reveals an idea (not with 9...b5) I've personally never seen before which in it's main line entails an exchange sacrifice that looks quite interesting.

Presumably you're talking about 9...Re8 10.O-O Nbd7 11.Re1 Ne5 12.Nxe5 Rxe5 13.Bf4 Nh5!? - I first came across this idea in a Levan Pantsulaia game, I'll see if I can dig it up after work. Not an easy exchange sacrifice to refute - not sure I totally believe in it, but Black has a lot of long term compensation in a tricky position. Might have to check out this book!


Yes, that's the variation!  He mentions that game but it's not his main game fwiw.  Certainly a risky idea but if one is really going for a win then it's worth a try.
  
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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #22 - 04/14/20 at 14:43:29
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Stigma wrote on 04/14/20 at 01:18:26:
But the Benoni is already a marginal defence; it isn't played much at the top level. So when a (former) man line of it turns out to be dead equal, that is of course a theoretical success for Black.


To some extent, sure.  But it's been about 10 years since Gashimov revitalized 9..b5 and, in particular, showed in the 10.Bxb5 line, that ..Ne5 was good.  It hasn't brought the Benoni back at the top level, although I suspect that this has more to do with the general distrust of the Benoni, than to the MML (Bd3+h3) specifically.  More to the point, perhaps, is that whether 9..b5 is equal or not, it doesn't seem like a good line to play for a win.  When Caruana needed to make something happen against Karjakin at last year's GCT, he avoided the MML and played an early ..a6.   

Quote:
If it's maximal winning chances you're after, there's always stuff like the King's Indian and the Dutch to play. Or even some of the defences that are considered the absolute best equalizing tries by theory, such as the Semi-Slav, the Queen's Indian or the Grünfeld.


I took up the Benoni in my fire-breathing days and have never completely put it away.  Among other things, I like that there is no exchange variation in the Benoni. After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5, you usually get the Benoni on the board.  White can try 3.Nf3, but there are still ways for Black to play sharply, and, in any event, I like to tell myself that I achieved at least a little something when White refrained from d5.  Smiley
  
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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #21 - 04/14/20 at 13:44:38
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Glenn Snow wrote on 04/14/20 at 12:05:42:
His last game of the modern chapter reveals an idea (not with 9...b5) I've personally never seen before which in it's main line entails an exchange sacrifice that looks quite interesting.

Presumably you're talking about 9...Re8 10.O-O Nbd7 11.Re1 Ne5 12.Nxe5 Rxe5 13.Bf4 Nh5!? - I first came across this idea in a Levan Pantsulaia game, I'll see if I can dig it up after work. Not an easy exchange sacrifice to refute - not sure I totally believe in it, but Black has a lot of long term compensation in a tricky position. Might have to check out this book!
  
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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #20 - 04/14/20 at 12:05:42
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Someone has already mentioned the Doknjas book Opening Repertoire: The Modern Benoni and I'm quite impressed.  I don't consider myself an expert on the modern benoni though.  Against the modern main line he does spend most of his time on 9...b5 and Black doesn't seem to be suffering too much (he even mentions a couple of ways Black can win).  His last game of the modern chapter reveals an idea (not with 9...b5) I've personally never seen before which in it's main line entails an exchange sacrifice that looks quite interesting.
  
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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #19 - 04/14/20 at 01:18:26
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LeeRoth wrote on 04/13/20 at 17:17:02:
Stigma wrote on 04/13/20 at 15:14:43:
gewgaw wrote on 04/13/20 at 11:37:57:
I my eyes, the Benoni is back in business, when - in the Bd3 +h3 - lines like 9. ...a6 10.a4 Nbd7/Re8/Nh5 work.

So you think White gets an advantage against 9...b5. May I ask in which lines exactly?


I agree with gewgaw.  I don't think White gets an advantage against 9..b5; in fact, afaik, 9..b5 is considered Black's best move.  But having to hold a draw in an endgame is not what I'm looking for when I play the Benoni. 
 

But the Benoni is already a marginal defence; it isn't played much at the top level. So when a (former) man line of it turns out to be dead equal, that is of course a theoretical success for Black.

If it's maximal winning chances you're after, there's always stuff like the King's Indian and the Dutch to play. Or even some of the defences that are considered the absolute best equalizing tries by theory, such as the Semi-Slav, the Queen's Indian or the Grünfeld.

kylemeister wrote on 04/13/20 at 20:20:48:
halbstark wrote on 04/13/20 at 19:53:13:
But if white goes for 7.Nd2, there is only the choice between the Nbd7 and the Na6-line, right? So black needs to have one of those lines in his repertoire anyways I guess.

Well, another old possibility against Nd2 is 9...Ne8 with the idea of ...f5. 

Incidentally, this was Marin's choice against this sneaky 7.Nd2-into-Classical move order in his Benoni databases for Modern Chess a few years ago (7.Nd2 Bg7 8.e4 0-0 9.Be2 Ne8 10.0-0 f5).
  

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