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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) How do Benko players answer 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 ? (Read 793 times)
an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: How do Benko players answer 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 ?
Reply #12 - 04/07/21 at 13:15:53
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1.Nf3 c5 and 1.c4 c5 with the idea of the Botvinnik is a really good approach. Black may not be able to reach a Benko Gambit, but can keep it in English waters and not be move-ordered into some other d-pawn defense. Of course black must be ready for a Sicilian after 1.Nf3 c5 2.e4.

I think the combination of Benko and Vienna is going to appeal to only a miniscule proportion of Benko players. Actually, if you took a poll "Benko plus fill-in-the-blank", I would predict Vienna does not even appear in the top twenty! I wonder if Dhopade can move that needle.
  
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PatzerNoster
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Re: How do Benko players answer 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 ?
Reply #11 - 04/06/21 at 22:34:33
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When I played the Benko as my main choice more than 10 years ago I first tried to reach the Benko also against 1.Nf3 or 1.c4 (playing 1. ... Nf6 and often 2. ... g6 to keep transpositional possibilites open), and also after 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3.
However this has normally not led to the desired result.

Over the time I have come to the conclusion that it is better to have separate systems against these lines which are in the same spirit, not necessary the same structure.

Over the last year I have again taken up the Benko, and my choice against 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 is the same as back then:
1. ... c5 with a Botvinnik system (if allowed).

I agree with ErictheRed that you should have sharp and solid choices, so normally I would decide before a game which style to choose and then stick with the option in that style.

In this regard a mix between Benko and Vienna system really seems odd, but we will have to wait for the course before we can really judge this.
  
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Re: How do Benko players answer 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 ?
Reply #10 - 04/05/21 at 23:08:58
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nestor wrote on 04/03/21 at 11:18:40:
I haven't seen anything about the choice of lines. Presumably the whole point of covering both the Benko and the Vienna is that White can avoid the Benko in many ways, including opening with 1.c4 and 1.Nf3. This argues in favour of covering those moves, although it's quite a big ask; you'd need to give something against the Catalan, and it's not obvious to me where you'd stop (1.Nf3 d5 2.g3, for example?). Rather him than me!


There has also been discussion at Chessable about Swapnil's choice of the Benko/Vienna combo.  As best I can tell, its his own repertoire vs. 1.d4.  The point is to cover both 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 and 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3. 

I haven't seen any info on whether he covers the flank openings or, if he does, what lines he gives.  I think you are right that if he's giving the Vienna, he ought to give something vs. 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.g3.  But 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 may be different stories. 

      
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: How do Benko players answer 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 ?
Reply #9 - 04/05/21 at 22:08:28
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 04/02/21 at 20:45:57:
Well I don't think 1.c4 g6 is a good way to reach a Benko, because after 2.d4 black has been move-ordered.


Well at least Black hasn't been move-ordered into the Vienna!  After 1.Nf3 or 1.c4 Black has already been move-ordered out of the Benko, and he should accept that.  1.c4 g6 2.d4 c5 is OK for Black, and presumably a Benko player would be more at home in the various Benoni-type lines that could ensue than they would be in the Queens Gambit.

If you're going to play the Queen's Gambit when your opponent avoids the Benko, why not just play the Queen's Gambit all of the time?  I don't think that's a very good solution for most people, but of course it's possible.

I also think that it's good to be prepared with a few different opening systems, perhaps one more sharp and one more solid, as you mentioned.  I don't think that it should be so easy as 1.Nf3 to force you out of your sharp opening repertoire, however.  If you think of the Benko as your sharp opening, then you should probably include a few other Benoni lines in there (as well as some English lines) to round out a complete "sharp" repertoire. 
  
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Re: How do Benko players answer 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 ?
Reply #8 - 04/05/21 at 12:34:02
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I think that if I discovered that the best I had against 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 was to offer transpositions to other, arguably more respectable 1.d4 systems, then I'd just give up the Benko and play the other systems full time. The main lines of the Benko aren't really all that typical or fun nowadays anyway.
  
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nestor
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Re: How do Benko players answer 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 ?
Reply #7 - 04/03/21 at 11:18:40
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I haven't seen anything about the choice of lines. Presumably the whole point of covering both the Benko and the Vienna is that White can avoid the Benko in many ways, including opening with 1.c4 and 1.Nf3. This argues in favour of covering those moves, although it's quite a big ask; you'd need to give something against the Catalan, and it's not obvious to me where you'd stop (1.Nf3 d5 2.g3, for example?). Rather him than me!
  
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Re: How do Benko players answer 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 ?
Reply #6 - 04/03/21 at 08:59:19
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nestor wrote on 04/03/21 at 07:49:49:
Chessable have a forthcoming repertoire which pairs the Benko with the Vienna variation of the QGD. The author is GM Swapnil Dhopade, who is a well regarded theoretician, so I dare say he will have his move orders with 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 sorted out.

The Vienna is an interesting choice. The Benko players I know like the fact that the compensation is largely positional, with a sound structure, a safe King, and clear plans with a string of easy moves (in many cases, although certainly not all). The Vienna offers none of these things. In the Vienna, you need to know quite a bit of concrete theory or you are liable to get mated, and if you find (or remember) all the right moves, you are rewarded with a position where the computer says 0.00 and it's too simplified for either side to have winning chances. Even I have a very decent score against it as White, and I'm nobody's idea of a fierce attacker! Still, it will be interesting to see what Dhopade comes up with.


Hi Nestor.

Have you seen any mention of the lines being covered? I only ask because not all the chessable repertoires against d pawn openings appear to cover 1. Nf3 & c4 (or even the sidelines a d-pawn player may use) For example the one on the QGA by Sopiko  I think doesn't - it just appears to provide a narrow repertoire for just the QGA itself.

While Benko players do like those things, I don't know whether it is still the practical experience. Judging by comments over the last few years in the benko threads and the chess theory sections it looks as if the recommended lines in practice have become a bit more torturous for black players. (Chess explained's Benko book on Chessable several years ago was I think criticised by some players because they were still approaching the opening in the traditional way and appeared to be not aware that the theory on it had moved significantly putting black in difficulty in several of the lines.)

Some Benko books give the Kasparov Gambit as a line against the English, but that is only usable against certain move orders. It would be nice to see a repertoire for black against the English that would include that. I hope Nestor is correct and that the course he mentions covers a broader repertoire for black.
  

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Re: How do Benko players answer 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 ?
Reply #5 - 04/03/21 at 07:49:49
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Chessable have a forthcoming repertoire which pairs the Benko with the Vienna variation of the QGD. The author is GM Swapnil Dhopade, who is a well regarded theoretician, so I dare say he will have his move orders with 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 sorted out.

The Vienna is an interesting choice. The Benko players I know like the fact that the compensation is largely positional, with a sound structure, a safe King, and clear plans with a string of easy moves (in many cases, although certainly not all). The Vienna offers none of these things. In the Vienna, you need to know quite a bit of concrete theory or you are liable to get mated, and if you find (or remember) all the right moves, you are rewarded with a position where the computer says 0.00 and it's too simplified for either side to have winning chances. Even I have a very decent score against it as White, and I'm nobody's idea of a fierce attacker! Still, it will be interesting to see what Dhopade comes up with.
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: How do Benko players answer 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 ?
Reply #4 - 04/02/21 at 20:45:57
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Well I don't think 1.c4 g6 is a good way to reach a Benko, because after 2.d4 black has been move-ordered. Also 1.Nf3 g6 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 c5 4.d5 b5 5.cxb5 a6 6.e3 might be problematic for black, in the 5.e3 system black is usually advised to play more sharply than 5...g6.

But anyway I think the OP was asking something else:
  • IF you are a Benko player,
  • AND you have a second defense to 1.d4; 
  • THEN what is that defense and how does it answer 1.c4 / 1.Nf3?

I do think it's generally advisable to have more than one defense to both 1.e4 and 1.d4 -- one sharper and one solider. But I'm not sure 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 a6!? (or 3.Nf3 a6) is it. For one thing the exchange variation is quite straightforward, 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 c6 6.Bf4 and black may equalize but it's not any easier than the more regular exchange variations. This 3...a6 is also vulnerable to move orders, for example 1.c4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.g3, now after almost any black third move here white can transpose to a variation black did not intend to play. Top players don't worry about this, they go into the Catalan as black, but this is probably something a 3...a6 player didn't want.

I am partial to the QGA. Against 1.c4 probably 1...c5 is the way for QGA players, and this isn't too bad for Benko players either. Against 1.Nf3 I would choose 1...d5, but a Benko player might prefer 1...Nf6, when 2.c4 c5 is English, 2.d4 d5 3.c4 dxc4 is a QGA, and against other white second moves black has a choice of 2...d5 or 2...c5 or 2...g6 depending on mood.

Something to think about is 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 d4, which has a great reputation for black. Now you are on the other side of a Benoni, where your experience in the structure can pay off. And black is not necessarily going to play ...c7-c5, so there is no reversed Benko to worry about.
  
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Re: How do Benko players answer 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 ?
Reply #3 - 04/02/21 at 20:28:01
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Hi.

Was also gonna say:
1.Nf3 d6 2.d4 g6 3.c4
(fully legitimate moves so far but now...)
3...c5!? 4.d5
(4.dxc5 Qa5+ and 4.Nc3 Bg7 would have to be ok for black as well but both seem comfortable for white)
4...b5 5.cxb5
Could maybe transpose to a Benko but this is not good due to
5...a6 6.e4!
And white just recaptures with the bishop on b5 with little play for black in the ensuing positions. In the Benko there is already a knight on f6 stopping e2-e4.

In other words it takes quite a lot to reach specifically a normal Benko.

Have a nice day.

Edit: another idea is of course 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 and hope white goes 3.d4 (3...c5) followed by 4.d5 (4...b5 with a Benko). Many white players will just go Nc3 whenever black goes c5 though.
  
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Re: How do Benko players answer 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 ?
Reply #2 - 04/02/21 at 20:11:12
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Hi.

I don't really play the Benko much but frequently the Benoni.

I have something in mind when facing 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3. One thing I've also done (with some success) is to go 1.d4 c5 when I've known the opponents to go for the English transposition.

As for English on the first move (1.c4) or Réti (1.Nf3), It's just gonna be a matter of taste what people play. Don't see the most natural transitions to Benko unless white literally goes 1.c4 Nf6 2.d4 or so. I guess 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c5 3.d4 g6 4.d5 b5 could maybe become a Benko; although white players often tend to prefer 3.Nc3 to see what black intends.

When it comes to 1.Nf3 the only thing I have to say is that 1.Nf3 Nf6 cuts out lines where you go c5+Nc6+e5 before Nf6 while 1.Nf3 c5 allows the Sicilian (as noted previously).

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: How do Benko players answer 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 ?
Reply #1 - 04/02/21 at 19:12:59
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I wouldn't think that many Benko players pair the Benko with the Slav or Queen's Gambit.  Also depending on move order, White can avoid much of the QGA after either 1.c4 or 1...Nf6.

I think that as a Benko player, you should accept that people play 1.Nf3 and 1.c4 in part to avoid the Benko, and hence you shouldn't necessarily keep trying to be able to reach it.  Are you a Sicilian player?  Then I suggest answering either with 1...c5.  1...g6 is also a  possibility.
  
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How do Benko players answer 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 ?
04/02/21 at 15:47:06
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Hi Benko players

I was wondering if you have a backup repertoire that transposes to 1.d4 and that you reach via 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 ?
Some Queen’s Gambit or Slav variation that enables to complement a Benko based repertoire ?

I am thinking of the 3...a6 Queens Gambit declined variation for instance
Nothing close to Benko lines still

Laurent
  
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