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  1. 08 Apr '10 08:55
    The main line, I think:
    1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 e6 4 Nc3 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 e4 g6

    Came home from class tonight and after unwinding awhile, I decided to have a match against the computer. I ended up playing the Benoni Defence (an opening previously unknown to me). For some reason, probably just tired, I expected that White would attack my c5 pawn with 3. dxc5. The Benoni Defence makes sense to me only when White plays that silly 3. dxc5 move.

    Looking at the main line, I'm having some difficulty seeing why Black would choose this opening, as it looks cluttered and probably full of traps to fall in. The bishop will go to g7 and control that diagonal, so that's one thing. But on other hand, Black's queenside looks messy, and who wants to have to worry about e5! all game long? Not me. So, what's the big idea here for Black? Why play the Benoni?
  2. 08 Apr '10 10:58
    Originally posted by Tigerhouse
    Looking at the main line, I'm having some difficulty seeing why Black would choose this opening, as it looks cluttered and probably full of traps to fall in. The bishop will go to g7 and control that diagonal, so that's one thing. But on other hand, Black's queenside looks messy, and who wants to have to worry about e5! all game long? Not me. So, what's the big idea here for Black? Why play the Benoni?[/b]
    You could try:
    5. cxd5 Bd6 6. Nf3 Bc7 7. Bg5 d6 8. e3 0-0

    It looks quite clumsy, but seems pretty sound.

    I wouldnt really know though. Im an f4/f5 kind of guy
  3. 08 Apr '10 12:52
    Black gets good piece play, space & pawn majority on the queenside, an open a1-h8 diagonal for his dark-squared bishop, and a semi-open e-file for his rook, in return for allowing white a pawn wedge in the center. What's not to like?

    The d6 pawn isn't as weak as it looks. The usual plan for black is to get in ...b5 and attack on the Q-side.

    And you're right, there are plenty of traps and pitfalls - for both sides!
  4. 08 Apr '10 14:45
    The benoni is fantastic! Black gets his dark squared bishop on a very nice diagonal (not blocked by his own pawn as in the king's indian). He get's a clear pawn majority on the queenside (which is nice trump in the endgame) and always gets active piece play.

    True, you have to be active and ready to sacrifice and your position might be considered unsound from a positional point of view, but white must always be watchfull, black can take over the initiative in an instant!
  5. 08 Apr '10 15:23
    I usually play, as black, 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6

    Now if 3.Nc3, I play the Nimzo-Indian 3...Bb4, but if 3.Nf6, I whip out 3...c5, where 4.d5 ed 6.cd d6 transposes to a Benoni, but avoids those pesky lines where white plays f4 that always give black so much trouble.
  6. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    08 Apr '10 16:05
    Originally posted by Tigerhouse
    The main line, I think:
    1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 e6 4 Nc3 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 e4 g6

    Came home from class tonight and after unwinding awhile, I decided to have a match against the computer. I ended up playing the Benoni Defence (an opening previously unknown to me). For some reason, probably just tired, I expected that White would attack my c5 pawn with 3. d ...[text shortened]... bout e5! all game long? Not me. So, what's the big idea here for Black? Why play the Benoni?
    The Benoni is played by Sicilian players, once they realize they can't force White to transpose to the Sicilian after 1. d4.
  7. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    08 Apr '10 17:40
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    The Benoni is played by Sicilian players, once they realize they can't force White to transpose to the Sicilian after 1. d4.
    lol - that's a good way to get stuck with some Maroczy Binds...
  8. Standard member atticus2
    Frustrate the Bad
    08 Apr '10 17:51
    The Modern Benoni is unsound at both GM & patzer level. GMs rarely play it against each other any more; and patzers should never try to play it. For everyone else, from average club player upwards, it can be enormous fun. Black gets fabulous play on the dark squares against all but the very best play by White; while White can try central pawn storms, or more positional game-plans
  9. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    08 Apr '10 18:11
    the flick knife comes to mind as the most popular way to smash it.
  10. 08 Apr '10 18:33
    Originally posted by atticus2
    The Modern Benoni is unsound at both GM & patzer level.
    About being unsound in GM level you are talking crap. Vugar Gashimov plays it regulary with normal results, for example. Even positional GMs like Boris Gelfand are using Benoni sometimes. If you don`t believe me "on word" - search in databases.
  11. Standard member atticus2
    Frustrate the Bad
    08 Apr '10 21:51
    Welcome to RHP. I guess you signed up just to mouth off. Welcome anyway.

    I repeat: the Modern Benoni is rarely played these days at GM level. There are good reasons for this, the most salient being that the opening is regarded as being unsound at that level. Only Gashimov risks it from time to time in classical play. The occasional other sightings are almost always from rapid or blitz events where the MB's dynamism provides good compensation for structural weaknesses, and great practical chances under conditions of time constraint - ie where precision is not at a premium.

    Unless some fresh ideas emerge for Black, it looks likely the MB will remain a rarity at the elite level. The engines don't like it; and we no longer have Fischer or Tal.
  12. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    08 Apr '10 23:50
    true.
  13. 09 Apr '10 07:40
    @atticus

    If some opening is used by strong GM regulary, in classical time control, against equal or stronger opposition (so opponents are able to prepare against his opening choice) - it`s sound. There are also number of "non-top" GMs using Benoni regulary.

    I`ve talked with some GMs and asked them why openings like Dutch or Benoni are not so popular in their level and their replies were very similar - the opening itself is sound (at least they don`t know how to refute it), but these openings are more risky - one mistake may appear to be fatal.

    IMHO very reasonable explanation - most chess professionals tend to avoid risk as they usually can earn their money outplaying weaker opponents without it.