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Benoni Defense (A60)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 e6

Number of games in database: 636
Years covered: 1927 to 2017
Overall record:
   White wins 42.5%
   Black wins 34.3%
   Draws 23.3%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Ivan Sokolov  5 games
Igor Lysyj  4 games
Gennady Sosonko  4 games
Normunds Miezis  23 games
Levan Pantsulaia  11 games
Vugar Gashimov  10 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Zsuzsa Polgar vs P Hardicsay, 1985
E O Rodriguez vs M Sana, 2009
Gelfand vs V Gashimov, 2011
Tal vs Spassky, 1954
J Mileika vs Tal, 1953
Zhu Chen vs Koneru, 2011
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 page 1 of 26; games 1-25 of 636  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Gilg vs Yates  ½-½511927KecskemetA60 Benoni Defense
2. Gilg vs Yates  1-04519271st olm finalA60 Benoni Defense
3. Kashdan vs Forbes  1-0401930Simul, 23bA60 Benoni Defense
4. M Soto Larrea vs H Steiner  0-1421935Mexican International MastersA60 Benoni Defense
5. A Siveri vs M Czerniak  0-1581951Reggio EmiliaA60 Benoni Defense
6. J Mileika vs Tal 0-1231953URSA60 Benoni Defense
7. Tal vs Spassky 0-1451954Leningrad ttA60 Benoni Defense
8. Keres vs Tal ½-½381954Tallinn, Est-Latvia team mA60 Benoni Defense
9. M Harrow vs J Sherwin  0-122195455th US OpenA60 Benoni Defense
10. G Forintos vs F Koberl  1-0341954HUN-ch 10thA60 Benoni Defense
11. I Zdanovs vs Tal 0-1281955VilniusA60 Benoni Defense
12. Lutikov vs Spassky  ½-½431955Ch URS (1/2 final)A60 Benoni Defense
13. R Willaert vs Prins  0-1311955Clare Benedict CupA60 Benoni Defense
14. A Turner vs M Hailparn  1-047195556th US OpenA60 Benoni Defense
15. J F Donovan vs Lombardy  0-149195556th US OpenA60 Benoni Defense
16. I A Horowitz vs Reshevsky 0-1511955Rosenwald 1955/56A60 Benoni Defense
17. V Osnos vs Spassky 1-0511956URS-ch sfA60 Benoni Defense
18. Chukaev vs T Giorgadze  0-1441956Tbilisi f-USSR chA60 Benoni Defense
19. B J Moore vs R H Newman  0-1221956PaigntonA60 Benoni Defense
20. G Fletzer vs A M Giustolisi  0-1291957San BenedettoA60 Benoni Defense
21. Gurgenidze vs J Yuchtman  ½-½571957URS-ch sfA60 Benoni Defense
22. G Flad vs T Schuster  ½-½681957Bad NeuenahrA60 Benoni Defense
23. Uhlmann vs Vasiukov 0-1411957GothaA60 Benoni Defense
24. B Djurasevic vs R Bogdanovic  1-0401958YUG-ch 13thA60 Benoni Defense
25. T Florian vs G Kluger  0-1371958HUN-ch 13thA60 Benoni Defense
 page 1 of 26; games 1-25 of 636  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
May-22-03  levigun: I've taken up an interest in the Benoni opening lately. I've heard that it's a great tactical opening.

I've also started a Benoni thematic tournament on gameknot.com (first moves 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5). The tourney is open to anybody who has a gameknot rating between 1600 and 2000. If you'd like to join, send me a message on gameknot (my ID there is levigun), and I'll invite you. It's a 7-player tournament, and there are still 5 seats available.

After the tournament games are completed, maybe we can post our observations about the opening here on this page.

Nov-04-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: And so, eight years since the last post here, we take up the Benoni theoretical cudgels once again. Because the CG admins, in their wisdom, thought that this might be the best place for such a discussion, and certainly better than the CG User Support Forum.

Can't argue with that. Though, personally, I think anyone who still relies on the Benoni might need a lot of User Support.

Just joking. As openings go, this one has mythic status. Back in the 1970s, it was the subject of Stefan Zeuthen's book 'Modern Benoni: Survey of a Structure' which is still among the most conceptually advanced opening books ever written. Back then, most people thought of openings as move sequences, not *structures*. Zeuthen was ahead of his time.

Of course, every opening has a pawn structure associated with it, and books sometimes devote some space to it, its problems and advantages -- light and dark-square complexes, development and piece paths, and so on. But to think of an opening in structural terms is still quite advanced.

Speaking of people who were ahead of their time, I noted that the selection of early Benoni games here did not include that Ur-Benoni classic, Nimzowitsch vs Marshall, 1927 -- where both players, over the board, came up with plans and maneuvers that remain sound. Nimzowitsch's idea of playing Nf3-d2 with an eye on c4 would not have been obvious to many players, but has been theory ever since.

Of course, that game is [A61] and this page is for [A60].

In OTB games, if Black plays 2...c5, I would expect a Benko Gambit to follow. The move order 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 is a safer way into the Benoni complex ... unless one is willing to play it as Black after 3.Nc3, when White has some very aggressive options such as f4, with moves like e5 and Bb5+ (the infamous Flick-knife) to follow.

I know it can be seen as a classic case of Heroic Defence vs possible White over-extension. I just prefer not to risk it.

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