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

Number of games in database: 628
Years covered: 1927 to 2017
Overall record:
   White wins 42.4%
   Black wins 34.6%
   Draws 23.1%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
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 628  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Gilg vs Yates  ½-½51 1927 KecskemetA60 Benoni Defense
2. Gilg vs Yates  1-045 1927 1st olm finalA60 Benoni Defense
3. M Soto Larrea vs H Steiner  0-142 1935 Mexican International MastersA60 Benoni Defense
4. A Siveri vs M Czerniak  0-158 1951 Reggio EmiliaA60 Benoni Defense
5. J Mileika vs Tal 0-123 1953 URSA60 Benoni Defense
6. Tal vs Spassky 0-145 1954 Leningrad ttA60 Benoni Defense
7. Keres vs Tal ½-½38 1954 Tallinn, Est-Latvia team mA60 Benoni Defense
8. M Harrow vs J Sherwin  0-122 1954 55th US OpenA60 Benoni Defense
9. G Forintos vs F Koberl  1-034 1954 HUN-ch 10thA60 Benoni Defense
10. Lutikov vs Spassky  ½-½43 1955 Ch URS (1/2 final)A60 Benoni Defense
11. I Zdanovs vs Tal 0-128 1955 VilniusA60 Benoni Defense
12. R Willaert vs Prins  0-131 1955 Clare Benedict CupA60 Benoni Defense
13. A Turner vs M Hailparn  1-047 1955 56th US OpenA60 Benoni Defense
14. J F Donovan vs Lombardy  0-149 1955 56th US OpenA60 Benoni Defense
15. I A Horowitz vs Reshevsky 0-151 1955 Rosenwald 1955/56A60 Benoni Defense
16. V Osnos vs Spassky 1-051 1956 URS-ch sfA60 Benoni Defense
17. Chukaev vs T Giorgadze  0-144 1956 Tbilisi f-USSR chA60 Benoni Defense
18. B J Moore vs R H Newman  0-122 1956 PaigntonA60 Benoni Defense
19. G Flad vs T Schuster  ½-½68 1957 Bad NeuenahrA60 Benoni Defense
20. G Fletzer vs A M Giustolisi  0-129 1957 San BenedettoA60 Benoni Defense
21. Gurgenidze vs J Yuchtman  ½-½57 1957 URS-ch sfA60 Benoni Defense
22. Uhlmann vs Vasiukov 0-141 1957 GothaA60 Benoni Defense
23. B Djurasevic vs R Bogdanovic  1-040 1958 YUG-ch 13thA60 Benoni Defense
24. T Florian vs G Kluger  0-137 1958 HUN-ch 13thA60 Benoni Defense
25. H Catozzi vs D De Loughrey  1-034 1958 13th olm qual. group 1A60 Benoni Defense
 page 1 of 26; games 1-25 of 628  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 (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.

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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