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Benoni (A66)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 e6 4 Nc3 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 e4 g6
7 f4

Number of games in database: 66
Years covered: 1956 to 2017
Overall record:
   White wins 40.9%
   Black wins 40.9%
   Draws 18.2%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
L Shamkovich vs V Zheliandinov, 1959
F Destrebecq vs G Drogou, 1982
Panno vs Aitken, 1958
Vuvkovich vs Petrosian, 1980
S Ball vs L Day, 1975
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 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 66  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. W Drakert vs Lombardy  0-1301956CAN-opA66 Benoni
2. Spassky vs L Aronson 1-0371957USSR ChampionshipA66 Benoni
3. Portisch vs O Yepez Obando  1-0421957WchT U26 04thA66 Benoni
4. Panno vs Aitken 1-040195813th olm qual. group 3A66 Benoni
5. L Shamkovich vs V Zheliandinov 1-0201959Soviet ChampionshipA66 Benoni
6. V Mikenas vs Suetin  ½-½261962USSR ChampionshipA66 Benoni
7. Mark Bratzlavsky vs P Ostermeyer  0-13919631st Niemeyer tournamentA66 Benoni
8. F Baumbach vs Polugaevsky  0-1401963Bad LiebensteinA66 Benoni
9. Gipslis vs K Grigorian  ½-½691964Ch URS (1/2 final)A66 Benoni
10. T Bjornsson vs G Palmason  ½-½351964ReykjavikA66 Benoni
11. Keene vs R G Ambler  1-0261965U.K. Schools ChampionsihpA66 Benoni
12. J Hardinge vs Q van Abbe  1-0161966C.U. ChampA66 Benoni
13. V Mikenas vs B Kliukin 1-0271971URSA66 Benoni
14. S Ball vs L Day 0-1191975CAN-ch / ZonalA66 Benoni
15. J Littlewood vs N E Povah  1-0251975British ChampionshipA66 Benoni
16. E Brondum vs Nunn  ½-½301975Ostend-chT EWGA66 Benoni
17. Sosonko vs O Jakobsen  1-0411975Barcelona ZonalA66 Benoni
18. Dusan Rajkovic vs A Planinc  1-0361976MajdanpekA66 Benoni
19. Fedorowicz vs R Henley ½-½351977Lone PineA66 Benoni
20. Vuvkovich vs Petrosian 0-1461980BarA66 Benoni
21. E M Green vs M Levene  1-03819807th Winstones TtA66 Benoni
22. H U Gruenberg vs U Boensch  ½-½361981GDR-chA66 Benoni
23. F Destrebecq vs G Drogou 1-0251982Enghien les Bains opA66 Benoni
24. Lputian vs D Norwood 1-0271986Lvov (Ukraine)A66 Benoni
25. B Haufler vs Hort  0-1291986SUIA66 Benoni
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 66  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-27-02  ksadler: I realize that it is slow on tempo, but other than that, what is wrong with playign 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. e4 g6 7. f4 a6 to stop the 8. Bb5+ if 7. .. Bg7 is played.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Excellent question ksadler. The Taimanov Benoni is one of the most fearsome attacks against the defense, and that Bb5+ move is the one that absolutely slays Black since (a) 8...Nfd7 is awkward, and (b) 8...Nbd7 leads to mindbending complications which probably favor White, and (c) 8...Bb7 9. e5! is not appealing for the second player.

One of my favorite chess books is a thin little manual called "Kasparov's Chess Openings" written by IM Otto Borik. In this book he writes: <Although 7...a6 prevents the following check, it allows White time to act energetically in the centre with 8.e5 dxe5 9.fxe5 Ng4 10.e6! and the knight hangs; or here 9...Nfd7 10.e6>

By the way, these aggressive central pawn pushes are exactly how I like to handle the Benoni's strange cousin, the Benko gambit.

Dec-18-06  2021: Is this the rarest opening?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Looks pretty "Phony" to me! :-))
Dec-18-06  2021: I found that it isin't: A74 has only 16 games. A76 comes close with only 32 games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <2021> E57 beats that, with 13 games.

In the case of A66, I think that its rarity is due to the fact that White generally follows 7.f4 with 8.Bb5+. That's A67, while this section covers other 8th moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Infohunter: <Phony Benoni: <2021> E57 beats that, with 13 games.>

Hey, what happened? As of now E57 has only five games! Where did the other eight get off to? See Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line with 8...dc and (E57)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Infohunter> The ECO index gets refined from time to time, and games often switch allegiance. Here's a more complete update:

Phony Benoni chessforum

Premium Chessgames Member
  Infohunter: <Phony Benoni> Thanks--though I must say, this does undermine my faith in Mr. Rabar. Here I always thought he had come up with the ultimate, infallible classification system! (Well, then again, there IS that little matter of why openings in 1.d4 should run from A40-A99 and then pick up again at D00 to run through E99 but, as they say: "Pish posh--such a trifle!") (And let's not even ask who "they" are!)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Infohunter> Don't blame Mr. Rabar. The reclassifications are basically due to tinkering with the program which automatically assigns ECO codes to the games, not to his system. And ECO is actually an outgrowth of Rabar's original system. That used the letters "R", "E", "D", which I thought of as "rest", "e-pawn", "d-pawn".

If you ever get a hold of some very early Informants, you can see it in action. But as I recall, it never really caught on and was replaced when the Encyclopedia of Chess Openings came out with the revised system.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Infohunter: <Phony Benoni> Well glory be! My faith is restored! Hallelujah!

Pseudoreligious hyperbole aside, thank you for filling me in on the history of this matter. Somehow I had assumed that this system had sprung forth like Athena, "fully formed and fully armed," without the rough spots you mention. In retrospect I see that that was a highly illogical assumption. Now that you mention it, I think I would like to order some back issues of Informant (as if I didn't already have enough chess books!).

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