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Old Benoni (A43)
1 d4 c5

Number of games in database: 2459
Years covered: 1843 to 2017
Overall record:
   White wins 41.9%
   Black wins 30.0%
   Draws 28.1%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Vladimir Kovacevic  18 games
Jan Plachetka  17 games
Mark Hebden  14 games
Dragoljub Velimirovic  76 games
Lothar Schmid  35 games
Vladimir Malakhov  21 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Karpov vs Topalov, 1994
Alekhine vs Levenfish, 1912
Yermolinsky vs E Tate, 2001
L Ogaard vs E Torre, 1976
Rubinstein vs Spielmann, 1912
Drasko vs S Velickovic, 1988
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 page 1 of 99; games 1-25 of 2,459  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Staunton vs Saint Amant 1-0321843Staunton - Saint AmantA43 Old Benoni
2. Staunton vs Saint Amant 1-0331843Staunton - Saint AmantA43 Old Benoni
3. E Williams vs Staunton ½-½371851LondonA43 Old Benoni
4. S Leow vs Bendix  1-0421856BerlinA43 Old Benoni
5. Mayet vs T Wiegelmann  0-1291856Berlin chA43 Old Benoni
6. Mayet vs T Wiegelmann  0-1521856Berlin chA43 Old Benoni
7. Morphy vs A Meek 1-0121857New YorkA43 Old Benoni
8. T Lichtenhein vs B Raphael 1-02518571st American Chess CongressA43 Old Benoni
9. Harrwitz vs A Bonaparte 1-0291857ParisA43 Old Benoni
10. P Birch vs E Pindar  0-1271861ManchesterA43 Old Benoni
11. J Pinedo vs NN 0-1291861Amsterdam blindfoldA43 Old Benoni
12. J Minchin vs J Trelawney 1-0621866BCA-01.Challenge CupA43 Old Benoni
13. E Schallopp vs A Ehrmann  1-0531867WSB-06.KongressA43 Old Benoni
14. Chigorin vs Schiffers 0-1401878Chigorin - Schiffers Second MatchA43 Old Benoni
15. Chigorin vs Schiffers 0-1371878Chigorin - Schiffers Second MatchA43 Old Benoni
16. Chigorin vs Schiffers 0-1551878Chigorin - Schiffers Second MatchA43 Old Benoni
17. J Mason vs Anderssen 1-0421878ParisA43 Old Benoni
18. P Ware vs Blackburne  0-1441882ViennaA43 Old Benoni
19. Von Bardeleben vs W Pollock  1-0261895HastingsA43 Old Benoni
20. Burn vs W Pollock  1-0381895HastingsA43 Old Benoni
21. Halprin vs Blackburne  ½-½331898ViennaA43 Old Benoni
22. F J Lee vs Blackburne 0-1291899LondonA43 Old Benoni
23. Didier vs Blackburne 0-1431901Monte CarloA43 Old Benoni
24. T M Bradshaw vs E Gregory 1-0211903corrA43 Old Benoni
25. A Speijer vs A Neumann  1-0531903DCA Congress 31stA43 Old Benoni
 page 1 of 99; games 1-25 of 2,459  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-12-07  devinjc: Has anybody tried 1.d4 c5 2.dxc5 g6, with some sort of Reversed Catalan kind of system?
Jan-12-07  ganstaman: <devinjc: 1.c3 e5 2.d4 gives you a sort of reverse caro with an extra tempo, which can't be bad.>

Or an Englund Gambit Declined, if I have my names right. That is, 1. d4 e5 2. c3.

Obviously, just giving it a different name doesn't make it bad or good. But if you were looking for this position in the database, I bet you would find more with this move order. Actually, let me go check on that.

Jan-12-07  ganstaman: Ok, maybe too much work to check on without a premium membership.
Feb-18-07  c o r e: <ganstaman> The solution may be... get a premium membership? It's well worth it, even for a guy like me who is bad at chess. :)

The opening appears to be called the Saragossa, but I don't know anything about it other than A)1.c3 e5 2.d4 seems to be the 'main line' and B) it seems pretty much out of favor in modern chess.

Feb-18-07  extremepleasure: Hello there.

IMO the best scientific description about the outcome of a chess game with best moves by both sides is not a win for white or black. The best scientific description would be ''with best play both sides should be able to keep the white-black balance that exists in the initial position, and the number of the moves goes through infinite.''

Feb-18-07  ganstaman: <core> Yes, someday I'll get me one of those.

<extremepleasure> I don't know how much I like that definition. First, the number of moves isn't infinite. There are a lot (okay, 'a lot' is a huge understatement) of moves, but still a finite amount.

Second, because of that, we must eventually reach a win, loss, or draw. There's no way around this -- every game must end. And so the question becomes, is that balance from the start enough for either side to win, or are the two sides too close and therefore a perfect game is a draw?

Feb-18-07  extremepleasure: ganstaman,

''Goes through inifinite'', in this description, refers that the outcome of a game with best moves by both sides will not end within exact number of moves (i.e in 40 or 60 or 100 moves). We can say that the outcome of the game with best moves by both sides will be a draw, in which white still keeps the initiative he had in the initial position, due to lacking of enough material to force check mate. It won't be a stalemate for example.

Feb-18-07  ganstaman: Huh? I don't get it at all. We know exactly how long the longest game can be (well, not me personally, but people here do). And why do you say it will be a draw? You don't have any proof of this --it's just a thought that does make some sense. But white's initiative may be enough to force the win of some material that can checkmate. We honestly don't know right now.

I also don't see why a stalemate can't be the end of the perfect game. It's a perfectly reasonable result, in say a K+P vs K endgame.

Feb-18-07  extremepleasure: ganstaman,

We don't know the best moves for each players only. However, we can scientifically predict the outcome of a chess game with best moves by both sides by correctly analyzing evaluating the initial position. Chess is a science which we can analyze and evaluate in accordance with scientific criteria, not a magic.

Stalemate is a sign that white failed to make the best move, which would help him to keep the initiative he had in the initial position, at some point. That's why it can not be the outcome of a chess game with best moves by both sides.

Feb-18-07  ganstaman: <We don't know the best moves for each players only. However, we can scientifically predict the outcome of a chess game with best moves by both sides by correctly analyzing evaluating the initial position. Chess is a science which we can analyze and evaluate in accordance with scientific criteria, not a magic.>

No, the easiest way is to work backwards after constructing the whole game tree of the game of chess. Or woking backwards through a tablebase of positions (just as they currently do for 6 pieces on the board). The start position only matters because in the end, if you solve chess then you must evaluate the start position as a win or loss or draw (even though it's not obvious how until you reach further down the tree).

<Stalemate is a sign that white failed to make the best move, which would help him to keep the initiative he had in the initial position, at some point. That's why it can not be the outcome of a chess game with best moves by both sides.>

This is just false. No way to sugarcoat it -- you're wrong. If chess is a forced win for white, then you'd be right. But if it's a forced draw, then why can't a stalemate show up in one of the perfect branches? And if it's a forced win for black, then a stalemate is actually white playing perfect or close to it and black making at least 1 mistake.

If the initiative from the start isn't sufficent for an actual win, then a stalemate is as good as any other draw.

Feb-18-07  whatthefat: <extremepleasure: Stalemate is a sign that white failed to make the best move, which would help him to keep the initiative he had in the initial position, at some point. That's why it can not be the outcome of a chess game with best moves by both sides.>

But if best play by both sides does indeed lead to a draw, then any line that line that leads to a draw is objectively equal to any other. Practically speaking (i.e., with humans playing), one would like to maintain a 'theoretical advantage' where it is "more difficult" for the opponent to draw, but if we are speaking in an idealized sense, then there is no reason to consider one drawn line better than another.

Feb-18-07  extremepleasure: whatthefat,

Ultimate best moves (from the first move to the last) made by both sides leads to a game which the balance that exists in the initial position is maintained, and draw comes as none of the sides has the sufficient material to force checkmate due to the inevitable exchange of materials. That's my whole point. Of course during a game white can leave the initiative to his opponent upon some material or/and positional gains or vice versa but if he loses or draws in the end despite making the best moves after taking this decision it means that he left the initiative (he had in initial position) to his opponent for insufficient material and positional gain (or vice versa) and thus he didn't make the best move when he had taken this decision.

ganstaman,

In a game in which both sides playing the ultimate best moves from their first move to the last (I am not talking about specific positions and the best possible moves available in these specific positions. I am talking about ultimate chess game that solves chess) black shouldn't be able to force stalemate. If black forces stalemate it means that white lost the initiative he had in the initial position as he previously failed to make the best move, and naturally white aims to keep its initiative that exists in the initial position at least rather than forcing a draw with a stalemate. That's why stalemate can not be the outcome of an ultimate chess game that solves chess

Feb-18-07  ganstaman: No, you still don't have it. If chess is a forced draw from the start, then white's advantage is illusory (or whatever variant of the word is an actual word). And therefore there is no advantage to be maintained.

White does start off with some initiative, but this isn't necessarily enough to force a win. And if it can't force a win, then that means that the perfect game is a draw. Why is a draw by repetition or a draw going down to bare kings any different than a draw by stalemate? It doesn't make any sense that a stalemate can't be a perfect game. None whatsoever.

Are you just trying to claim that chess must be a forced win for white? Because as I've said, you really have no proof of this at all. We can't prove it either way right now, so any claim you make is rather pointless.

Feb-18-07  ganstaman: I think this will help some:


click for larger view

White to move. White has a material advantage. However, this game is drawn. Not all material or positional advantages (like initiative) are enough to force a win. The material balance can be maintained here, but white's advantage is all for show as the game is a draw.

This is possibly applicable to the start position if it is indeed a draw.

Feb-18-07  extremepleasure: extremepleasure: ganstaman,

I am talking about positions in which the balance that exists in the initial position is maintained due to the perfect moves made by each side, not drawn positions. There is a big difference between a drawn position and a position in which the balance that exists in the initial position is maintained due to perfect moves made by both sides from the very first move to the last, and needless to say that to make these perfect moves is not that easy. Each player should make the best move the position demands in order to keep the balance at least, and making the best move the position demands requires far superior knowledge regarding evaluating and manipulating the information, calculation skills and accuracy which we humans can probably never attain. If you make the best move which the position demands starting from the very first move, any inaccuracy made by your opponent will disturb the balance in the initial position in favour of you. That is what chess is all about in fact.

Feb-18-07  whatthefat: <ganstaman>

Or to take a couple of even more extreme examples,


click for larger view


click for larger view

In both cases, the material advantage is irrelevant; the game is drawn.

Feb-18-07  whatthefat: <extremepleasure>

You're not being very precise. First you wish to talk about the objective outcome of chess as a mathematical problem, but then you say things like this:

<If you make the best move which the position demands starting from the very first move, any inaccuracy made by your opponent will disturb the balance in the initial position in favour of you. That is what chess is all about in fact.>

This is now bringing the practical side of chess into account, which is incongruous with your original problem. If chess is objectively a draw then in terms of a solution to chess there is no reason to value one move that leads to a draw above another. It may be true that in reply to 1.e4 both 1...c5 and 1...a6 draw. The latter of course is more difficult for a human player to defend, but that's not what is being debated here.

Feb-18-07  ganstaman: <extremepleasure: extremepleasure: ganstaman,

I am talking about positions in which the balance that exists in the initial position is maintained due to the perfect moves made by each side, not drawn positions. There is a big difference between a drawn position and a position in which the balance that exists in the initial position is maintained due to perfect moves made by both sides from the very first move to the last, and needless to say that to make these perfect moves is not that easy. Each player should make the best move the position demands in order to keep the balance at least, and making the best move the position demands requires far superior knowledge regarding evaluating and manipulating the information, calculation skills and accuracy which we humans can probably never attain. If you make the best move which the position demands starting from the very first move, any inaccuracy made by your opponent will disturb the balance in the initial position in favour of you. That is what chess is all about in fact.>

The thing I don't get is that I don't disagree with any of this, but yet you don't seem to make the connections. You keep talking about maintaining whatever it is we have from the start. So, what if we have a draw from the start? Then, with perfect play from both sides, the end result is a draw. Please tell me you can understand this much. I can't go on if you can't get past this.

Also, <I am talking about positions in which the balance that exists in the initial position is maintained due to the perfect moves made by each side, not drawn positions.>

Why do you keep insisting that the start position is not drawn? I've asked this in nearly every post so far but you've ignored me every single time. So just give me a straight forward answer -- are you trying to claim that chess is a forced win for white?

Feb-18-07  ganstaman: <whatthefat: <ganstaman>

Or to take a couple of even more extreme examples,
>

Well, I need to work on my endgames. I was going to go with this at first:


click for larger view

Then I checked it with a tablebase just to make sure... Simple is better for me :)

Feb-18-07  extremepleasure: whatthefat,

These positions you and gastaman posted here are the positions arise from the cases when each side disturbed the balance in the initial position by exchanging the initiative as well as the positional and material harmony between white and black pieces (that exists in the initial position) with either insufficient or ample positional or material gains due to lack of ultimate accuracy from the very first move to the last one.

Feb-18-07  whatthefat: To give an example of my above point, imagine the following game. White, using the advantage of the first move manages to win rook for bishop and pawn, leading to the following ending:


click for larger view

White's extra point of material cannot be made to count, so the position is drawn, despite White having 'maintained his initiative' thus far, or however you wish to phrase it.

Now an objectively fine move for White is this position is 1.Rf4, since 1...Bxf4 still gives a drawn ending, with White's king moving Kf1-g2-h1. One might say "but giving up the rook for free is obviously not best play, since White has no practical chances after that", but that would be getting muddled up, since if we're speaking of objectively perfect play, 'practical chances' are nonexistant.

Feb-18-07  whatthefat: <extremepleasure>

To help me better understand your stance, do you consider chess to objectively be:

(a) a win for White
(b) a draw
(c) the jury's out

Feb-18-07  ganstaman: <extremepleasure: whatthefat,

These positions you and gastaman posted here are the positions arise from the cases when each side disturbed the balance in the initial position by exchanging the initiative as well as the positional and material harmony between white and black pieces (that exists in the initial position) with either insufficient or ample positional or material gains due to lack of ultimate accuracy from the very first move to the last one.>

This is why they are called examples. Also, you are still assuming chess is a forced win for white while you refuse to actually state so.

Feb-18-07  extremepleasure: whatthefat: ''You're not being very precise. First you wish to talk about the objective outcome of chess as a mathematical problem, but then you say things like this: <If you make the best move which the position demands starting from the very first move, any inaccuracy made by your opponent will disturb the balance in the initial position in favour of you. That is what chess is all about in fact.>''

extreme: Here I am talking about the dynamics of chess that affect the outcome in a chess game. In my initial statements, on the other hand, I was drawing the theoretical conclusions by emphasizing the limitations which inheritly exist in chess such as the requirement of having sufficient amount of material to checkmate. In a nutshell, we can say that chess is a draw with best moves but, making it a draw against a player who makes the best possible move starting from the initial position is not possible unless you also make the same perfect moves starting from the initial position exactly like him. Saying that ''this is an equal balanced game'' is an evaluation of the position. Saying that ''this is a draw'' or ''this is a win'', on the other hand, requires precision.

Feb-18-07  whatthefat: <extremepleasure: In a nutshell, we can say that chess is a draw with best moves but, making it a draw against a player who makes the best possible move starting from the initial position is not possible unless you also make the same perfect moves starting from the initial position exactly like him. Saying that ''this is an equal balanced game'' is an evaluation of the position. Saying that ''this is a draw'' or ''this is a win'', on the other hand, requires precision.>

Okay, I don't think we're actually opposed then, but rather pursuing different discussions.

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