Benoni Defense - How to Play the d-pawn Openings - The Complete Chess Course From Beginning To Winning Chess! (2016)

The Complete Chess Course From Beginning To Winning Chess! (2016)

Book Eight

How to Play the d-pawn Openings

Benoni Defense

After 1.d4 c5 White can reply 2.dxc5, but in that case Black recovers the pawn comfortably with 2…e6. The usual move against the counter gambit is therefore 2.d5, which leads to a complex maneuvering game in which White has a greater command of the board.

Benoni Defense

White - Black

1.d4 c5

An alternative line is 1…Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5, with this likely continuation: 3…e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nf3 g6 7.g3 Bg7 8.Bg2 0-0 9.0-0 a6 (in the hope of gaining space on the queenside with …b5) 10.a4! Nbd7 11.Nd2 Re8 12.a5! with considerable pressure.

2.d5 (D)


Position after 2.d5

A position which leaves both sides scope for considerable maneuvering. As a rule White has the better prospects because Black’s position is apt to become cramped.

2…e5 3.e4 d6 4.Bd3 Ne7

Black can also try 4…a6, but then 5.a4! rules out the intended …b5.

5.Ne2 g6

Here 5…f5 opens up the game to White’s advantage: 6.f4! fxe4 7.Bxe4 Nd7 8.0-0 Nf6 9.Nbc3! and White’s free, rapid development will tell in his favor.

On the other hand, 5…a6 6.a4! Ng6 7.Na3! Be7 8.Nc4! 0-0 9.0-0 Nd7 10.Bd2 b6 11.c3 Rb8 12.b4! leaves White with a strong queenside initiative.

6.c4 Bg7 7.Nbc3 0-0 8.0-0 f5 9.f4! Nd7

By now playing 10.Ng3! White maintains a strong initiative, for example 10…exf4 11.Bxf4 Ne5 12.exf5 Nxd3 13.Qxd3 Nxf5 14.Nge4! and White’s lasting pressure on Black’s weak d-pawn is embarrassing. White has two decisive threats in Nb5 and g2-g4, leaving Black at a loss for a good continuation.