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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov (Read 3270 times)
Glenn Snow
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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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RivertonKnight
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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 | 30 Downloads )
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Stigma
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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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Glenn Snow
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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.   

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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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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #18 - 04/13/20 at 20:20:48
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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.
  
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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #17 - 04/13/20 at 19:53:13
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kylemeister wrote on 04/13/20 at 15:41:45:
In the old-school Classical (no early Nd2) I would have thought that 9...a6 10. a4 Bg4 is still quite respected, as in equal or unclear in the best-play lines.


Just checked my own files with ...Bg4. My assessment was indeed +=, but I have to say, that my analysis doen´t look to impressive to say the least:D I would rather pick white, but strategically it is quite double edged.

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.
  
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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #16 - 04/13/20 at 19:28:09
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Thirded, at least for OTB play. Smiley
  
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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #15 - 04/13/20 at 17:17:02
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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. 
  
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Re: The Benoni is back in Business DVD by Kasimdzhanov
Reply #14 - 04/13/20 at 15:41:45
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halbstark wrote on 04/13/20 at 12:30:34:
TBH when it comes to setups with Nf3 I find the classical Be2 the most annoying one. From the white side I always thought, that 9...Bg4 or 9...Na6 are just slightly better for white and my pet lines with 9...Nbd7 have so many special move orders, that it is barely possible to solve the problems with pure memorization.

In the old-school Classical (no early Nd2) I would have thought that 9...a6 10. a4 Bg4 is still quite respected, as in equal or unclear in the best-play lines.
  
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