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  1. 19 Apr '09 20:24 / 1 edit
    I'm just starting my research on this opening. I've been getting impatient in playing c5 in the Nimzo during blitz games. I went from 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb5 4.e3 c5(d5 sometimes) to 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 to 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 (though this is mainline Benko so far I've been playing something called Blumenfeld Gambit?..which is 3.d5 e6) to 1.d4 c5.

    I'm not sure what's wrong with me, but I really like c5.

    Can anyone tell me 'bout the current theory on the Benoni?

    Is it doing well? badly? Considered dubious? I think I hear it has a bad reputation. I'm sure I'll find the latest games with it soon enough, but if someone is knowledgeable about this opening I'd sure like to hear what you have to say. Can I get some critical lines? How soon can I play c5 and have a chance of equalizing?

    I'm waaay out of my own familiar territory with this stuff, but I'm having fun.
  2. 19 Apr '09 20:40 / 1 edit
    Hmmm... This looks familiar(to a certain sac in a previous thread):

    Old Benoni, Latest (Correction: Penultimate) game I could find. Move 53.

  3. 19 Apr '09 21:03
    I like finding the clever move(or the not-so-clever blunder) in decisive games.

    28...Rxg5 is cute. Massive liquidation 'til move 39.

  4. 19 Apr '09 21:12
    To be honest, I don't like the c5, d6, e5 pawn formation. I'll need to find different variations if I'm to consider adopting this opening.
  5. 19 Apr '09 23:32 / 4 edits
    Hi, I dunno how many little fen diagrams i can use per page so ill post one every reply, i got loads of theory on modern benoni, this is just the beginning, lets us know if it is useful, or if you want any of the games, or if its mince and youre bored, it may take a while - regards robbie.

    Typical MB patterns and ideas

    1- Queenside development

    How to develop his queenside minor pieces is one major concern of the MB player. The example above, taken from the Taimanov variation (A 67), shows how to solve this problem satisfactorily. White has just retreated his white-squared bishop from b5 to the aggressive square c4. Normally b6 is not such a great square for a black knight, especially if it blocks the b-pawn. But in this case it is a tempo gainer that allows Black to smoothly complete his queenside development. So 1...Nb6! 2.Be2 (or Bd3, Ba2) 2...Bg4!, and now Black is ready to answer 3.a5 with ...Nd7 and stands well prepared to meet any White actions. Thus he has solved satisfactorily the problem of developing his queenside.
  6. 19 Apr '09 23:36 / 1 edit
    2- Chasing and exchanging the Bg5

    White has developed his black-squared bishop in an agressive manner pinning the Nf6. If chased, the bishop intends to settle down on g3 where it will exert annoying pressure on the Pd6 while supporting a possible e4-e5 break. Black must react purposefully and get rid of that bishop with 1...h6 2.Bh4 g5 3.Bg3 Nh5! followed by 4...Nxg3. This must be executed at once as otherwise White will play e2-e4, controlling the square h5 with his queen. True, Black has somewhat weakened his light squares on the kingside, but this is fully compensated by his dark-squared control and now unchallenged Benoni bishop (part of a bishop pair).
  7. 19 Apr '09 23:37
    3- C-pawn desperado

    In many cases in the Modern Benoni, super active play is required from Black in order to avoid becoming cramped and squeezed to death. The diagram position taken from the Classical Variation is such a case. Black must find a way to untangle his queenside now that e5 has been taken away from his knight. So the move is 1...c4!, providing a fine c5 square for the knight where it will exert useful pressure on e4. The move also takes advantage of the weakened g1-a7 diagonal, a consequence of the ambitious but double-edged f2-f4. Tactically, 1...c4! is justified as White just cannot pick up the pawn with Bxc4 and hope to keep it in decent conditions (see Toth,B - Velimirovic,D 0-1 Nikitin,A - Nevostrujev,V 0-1).
  8. 19 Apr '09 23:37
    4- Central break e4-e5

    With his central pawn majority and space advantage, White is always looking for the central pawn break e4-e5. In favourable circumstances, the exchange of the white e-pawn for Black's d-pawn will open several lines and create a dangerous passed d-pawn.

    The diagram position is such a case. There followed 1.e5! dxe5 2.fxe5 Nh7 3.e6!, and the new open lines and Black's weakened king position proved to be decisive factors (see Szabolcsi,J - Armas,I 1-0 Geller,E - Suetin,A 1-0).
  9. 19 Apr '09 23:38
    5- Pawn sacrifice e4-e5

    This is a different sort of e4-e5 break, and one that is quite common especially in the Taimanov Attack and the Nge2/Bd3 systems. With the sequence 1.e5! dxe5 2.f5 White starts a powerful attack. The pawn sacrifice has denied the square e5 for a black knight, closing down the e-file and the long black diagonal for Black's pieces. And as the following game shows, using e4 as an outpost for a white knight becomes a useful possibility (see Penrose,J - Tal,M 1-0). For other examples, search the database with the manoeuver option, looking for the sequence "e4-e5, d6xe5, f4-f5". To counter this strategy, Black often gives back the pawn with ...e5-e4 whenever possible in order to regain his positional trumps.
  10. 19 Apr '09 23:38 / 3 edits
    6- The disturbing check on b5 or a4

    As long as Black's king remains in the center, both sides must keep a wary eye on a possible check with Bb5 or Qa4. This is often disturbing when it forces Black to interpose a less ideal piece on the square d7, an important intersection point in his camp.

  11. 19 Apr '09 23:39
    A common case, and of the most critical lines against the MB. Black is practically forced to play the clumsy ...Nfd7 (see A 67).

    This is another theoretical position where the bishop check causes trouble
    (see Szabo,L - Klein,J 1-0 and also Geller,E - Suetin,A 1-0).
  12. 19 Apr '09 23:40
    7- White takes away Black's queenside play with b2-b4

    Like in many middlegame positions when one side has a distinct advantage in one area of the board, White often first takes phrophylactic measures on the other wing in order to nip his opponent's counterplay in the bud. In some cases he even succeeds in seizing the initiative himself on that second front. The most important move in this strategy is the pawn thrust b2-b4 which puts pressure on c5, threatening to open the b-file or even close the queenside (with b4-b5) to White's advantage. Interesting examples are Pinter,J - Brynell,S 1-0, Karpov,A - Adianto,U ½-½, Knaak,R - Kurz,A 1-0,
    but many more cases can be found if you look for the move b2-b4.
  13. 19 Apr '09 23:41
    8- D4 outpost for the MB bishop

    In some cases, Black places his bishop on the very active d4 square not fearing its exchange because then a black pawn appearing on d4 and the open c-file might turn out even more formidable assets (see Elbilia,J - Renet,O 0-1, Hernandez,R - Holm,S 0-1). In many other cases a check on d4 is just part of a powerful attack on the white king (see Bouaziz,S - Plaskett,J 0-1, Peric,S - Huzman,A 0-1).
  14. 19 Apr '09 23:42 / 1 edit
    9- The "little" but important move a7-a6

    The square b5 is truly important in the MB, especially in the early goings when Black's king is still standing on its original square. In several cases, a timely a7-a6 will avoid disturbing checks or a knight sally to b5, thus making life much easier for the second player. On the other hand the move must be played with a clear purpose, otherwise it just reduces Black's flexibility in deploying his queenside minor pieces which in many cases can use the a6 square.

    Dubious a7-a6

    This is one case where ...a7-a6 is clearly inferior since practice has proven that b7-b5 is playable right away. So 9...a6?! 10.a4! and Black's play on the queen side has to proceed with his usual slowness. For 9...b5! see A70.

  15. 19 Apr '09 23:43
    Good a7-a6

    Here we have a typical case where 9...a6! is a most timely move. The options 9...0-0 and 9...g5 10. Bg3 Nh5 both have significant drawbacks. After 9...0-0?! 10.Nd2! prevents ...Nh5 (after g6-g5 that is) while 9...g5?! 10.Bg3 Nh5 allows the disturbing 11.Bb5+.