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Benko Gambit (A58)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 b5 4 cxb5 a6 5 bxa6

Number of games in database: 1361
Years covered: 1948 to 2014
Overall record:
   White wins 41.7%
   Black wins 27.4%
   Draws 30.9%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Petr Haba  11 games
Anatoly Karpov  10 games
Vadim Malakhatko  9 games
Natalia Pogonina  16 games
Igor Nikolayev  15 games
Pavel Tregubov  15 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
V Malinin vs A Andreev, 1989
V Malinin vs V Savinov, 1988
Kramnik vs Topalov, 2003
Hort vs Alburt, 1977
Van Wely vs Carlsen, 2008
Gheorghiu vs Beliavsky, 1982
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 page 1 of 55; games 1-25 of 1,361  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Szabo vs E R Lundin 0-144 1948 Saltsj÷baden InterzonalA58 Benko Gambit
2. Golombek vs J Sefc 0-133 1949 Trencianske TepliceA58 Benko Gambit
3. Puc vs Kozomara  1-053 1951 YUG-ch 6thA58 Benko Gambit
4. Korchnoi vs Gurgenidze 1-030 1957 USSR ChampionshipA58 Benko Gambit
5. Gligoric vs Udovcic  1-052 1957 YUG-chA58 Benko Gambit
6. M Vukovic vs Kozomara  ½-½55 1960 YUG-chA58 Benko Gambit
7. Gligoric vs Kozomara  1-039 1961 Belgrade opA58 Benko Gambit
8. Gligoric vs F van Seters  1-038 1962 Hastings 1962/63A58 Benko Gambit
9. Szabo vs Kozomara  1-040 1963 SarajevoA58 Benko Gambit
10. L Lengyel vs I Bilek  ½-½23 1965 Budapest (Hungary)A58 Benko Gambit
11. Timman vs G Svensson  ½-½41 1966 Groningen Ech-jr preA58 Benko Gambit
12. M Vukic vs Benko 0-139 1967 Sarajevo ItA58 Benko Gambit
13. A J Whiteley vs J T Farrand  1-042 1968 BCF-chA58 Benko Gambit
14. Denker vs Benko  ½-½28 1969 U.S. OpenA58 Benko Gambit
15. I Bajec vs G Forintos  0-129 1969 Vidmar MemorialA58 Benko Gambit
16. S Tatai vs Browne  ½-½25 1970 Malaga (Spain)A58 Benko Gambit
17. Ivkov vs Browne 1-034 1970 Rovinj/ZagrebA58 Benko Gambit
18. P Lorinczi Retek vs Browne  0-132 1970 OlympiadA58 Benko Gambit
19. G Forintos vs Browne 1-039 1970 Skopje (Yugoslavia)A58 Benko Gambit
20. Gligoric vs Browne  ½-½65 1970 Skopje/Krusevo/Ohrid (Yugoslavia)A58 Benko Gambit
21. Hort vs E Jimenez Zerquera  ½-½42 1970 Palma de Mallorca InterzonalA58 Benko Gambit
22. Mecking vs Szabo  0-150 1970 Buenos AiresA58 Benko Gambit
23. Najdorf vs S Garcia Martinez  ½-½34 1970 Siegen olmA58 Benko Gambit
24. O'Kelly vs R Toran Albero  1-031 1970 EspanaA58 Benko Gambit
25. Szabo vs R Toran Albero  ½-½14 1970 EU-chT KapfenbergA58 Benko Gambit
 page 1 of 55; games 1-25 of 1,361  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-10-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Knight13: I don't think this opening is good for Black because of the passed pawns on the Queen side White's gonna have later on.
Aug-20-05  12929011: But he can have both his rooks bearing down on them.
Jan-30-06  midknightblue: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. cxb5 a6 5. bxa6 g6 6. Nc3 Bxa6 7. Nf3 d6 8. g3 Bg7 9. Bg2 Nbd7 10. Rb1 Nb6! Benko Gambit, epishin variation. The excellent book "the Benko Gambit" by Jan Pinski discusses this line. Pinski covers 11. b4!?, 11. 0-0, and 11. Nh4 and 11 b3. Review of the database seems to show a lot of GM's play b3, and white does very well. Any thoughts on how black should deal with 11. b3, and is it really as strong as the database here suggests? Pinski favors 11...Bc8!
Apr-13-06  Shajmaty: <Knight13>: "I don't think this opening is good for Black because of the passed pawns on the Queen side White's gonna have later on." It's highly probable that White won't still have those two pawns after move -let's say- 35 or 40. The Volga/Benk÷ is definitely one of the best choices for Black when facing 1. d4.
Jun-04-06  Shajmaty: <midknightblue: Review of the database seems to show a lot of GM's play b3, and white does very well. Any thoughts on how black should deal with 11. b3, and is it really as strong as the database here suggests? Pinski favors 11...Bc8!> Yes, 11. b3, Bc8 seems to be O.K., although 12. Nh4 has shown good results for White. I should also try 11...Ra7 planning Qa8.
Jul-05-11  bronkenstein: Being a Benko player , i found this link invaluable : http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...

The topic , excellently covered here , is old Benko nightmare question : what to do if white plays that annoying 10.Rb1 line ?

Aug-18-11  MartijnvanWingerden: After 6.Nc3 g6 7.e4 Bxf1 8.Kxf1 d6 why not a4? It looks that white can plan an attack over the a and b files. Someone got analyses with this 9.a4?
Aug-18-11  SimonWebbsTiger: @Martijn

if white could advance in safety on the queenside, the Benko Gambit would have been out of business decades ago. The point is the g7 bishop's long black (a1-h8) diagonal, combined with play on the white pawns along the a and b files, ties white's hands. Black has long lasting positional compensation for the sack'ed pawn. Even in an endgame!

Aug-18-11  Everett: Quick question: What do opening computers say about this line once they are out of book? How much compensation do they value for Black?

Personally enjoy this play, and often get similar play from the White side when I play the Reti.

Oct-02-11  Fezzik: Computers generally don't "get" gambits, but here the ones I've tested suggest that White has a minimal edge for the pawn, usually less than .3. So, by computer standards, the Benko falls very comfortably into the main stream of openings.

The idea of giving up a pawn to allow white an outside passer seems crazy, but as Benko and Alburt proved, Black has an *endgame* advantage in most Benko lines. The key variation these days is 11.Rb1, where White retains the extra pawn and central pressure.

If White is not in a hurry to reach the endgame, white can gain a significant advantage against best play. I think the Benko is on its way out as a dangerous weapon for Black at the highest levels. Nicolai Pedersen's *Play the Benko* attempts to sidestep the 11.Rb1 line with 9...Nfd7!?, but there appear to be serious flaws in his analysis and White should retain the advantage even there.

The Benko just doesn't give Black quite as much as other openings. However, if your competition is below about 2500, it should be just fine!

Oct-02-11  bronkenstein: KID (@ top level) goes through similar crisis today , but people are at least playing it , no matter the awful statistics (@ recent euro club cup, I can┤t remember a single black KID victory on ┤top boards┤ but , on the other hand , not even a single Volga played that I can remember from that event !?).

Speaking of it on ┤not-so-leet┤ lvl (ie from my own experience ;) , and from black POW), people deviate so early and so much that the picture is totally the opposite , ie you have an easy equaliser with good chances for initiative.

Just to illustrate , the strongest player that I ever had the chance to play Volga to (Elo 2395)went 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.Nd2!? , the closest that I ever got to playing the main line was 4.cxb a6 5.b6 (against gyu somewhat below 2300), and I had 2295 gyu going 1.d4 c5 2.dxc?! once (talking about rated ┤long┤ games). Other people are often simply playing some unclear english lines (no d4-d5), or even avoiding to play early c4. So the opening is in excellent shape , and I am recomending it to any beginner. As fezzik said , <if your competition is below about 2500, it should be just fine!> =)

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