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Benko Gambit (A59)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 b5 4 cxb5 a6 5 bxa6 Bxa6 6 Nc3 d6
7 e4

Number of games in database: 549
Years covered: 1951 to 2021
Overall record:
   White wins 44.1%
   Black wins 21.1%
   Draws 34.8%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Yury Shulman  13 games
Svetozar Gligoric  12 games
Mikhail Gurevich  10 games
A Ramirez Alvarez  8 games
Vitaly Tseshkovsky  6 games
Lev Alburt  6 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
G Kuzmin vs Alburt, 1971
Carlsen vs Bologan, 2012
Illescas Cordoba vs Topalov, 1994
J Bonin vs Zsofia Polgar, 1988
Gligoric vs Nyback, 2004
Shulman vs Khalifman, 2005
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 page 1 of 22; games 1-25 of 549  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. P Trifunovic vs V Kozomara  ½-½241951YUG-ch 6thA59 Benko Gambit
2. B Rabar vs B Milic  1-0301955ZagrebA59 Benko Gambit
3. E E Book vs S Witkowski  ½-½271959KrakowA59 Benko Gambit
4. Saidy vs R Martens  1-0431960WchT U26 07thA59 Benko Gambit
5. Gligoric vs G Svensson  1-0291967EU-ch U20 clock sim1A59 Benko Gambit
6. H Avram vs Benko 0-131196869th US OpenA59 Benko Gambit
7. R J Gross vs Benko 0-126196869th US OpenA59 Benko Gambit
8. J Halfdanarson vs J Aijala  1-0331969WchT U26 fin-B 16thA59 Benko Gambit
9. E Formanek vs Browne 1-0481970Atlantic CityA59 Benko Gambit
10. Gligoric vs Browne  ½-½291970Rovinj/ZagrebA59 Benko Gambit
11. Gligoric vs Udovcic  1-0731970Rovinj/ZagrebA59 Benko Gambit
12. H Camara vs W Hook  1-0431970Siegen Olympiad qual-3A59 Benko Gambit
13. Gligoric vs Diez del Corral  ½-½301970Siegen Olympiad Final-AA59 Benko Gambit
14. Uhlmann vs J C Benjamin 1-0321971SimulA59 Benko Gambit
15. G Kuzmin vs Alburt 1-0391971URS-ch Young MastersA59 Benko Gambit
16. F Kuijpers vs J Dueball  1-0411971FRG-NEDA59 Benko Gambit
17. P Parr vs Browne 0-1361971AdelaideA59 Benko Gambit
18. Keres vs H Pohla  ½-½391971ParnuA59 Benko Gambit
19. Keres vs H Pohla  ½-½391971ParnuA59 Benko Gambit
20. H Schaufelberger vs Parma  0-13519717th Luxembourg OpenA59 Benko Gambit
21. J H Donner vs Benko  ½-½201971Palma de MallorcaA59 Benko Gambit
22. Malich vs V Ciocaltea  ½-½331972Skopje ol (Men)A59 Benko Gambit
23. Bagirov vs N Zilberman ½-½571972USSRA59 Benko Gambit
24. Kholmov vs I Platonov  ½-½631972URS-ch sfA59 Benko Gambit
25. B Enklaar vs Ree  1-0451972Dutch ChampionshipA59 Benko Gambit
 page 1 of 22; games 1-25 of 549  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-22-05  chessboyhaha: The old main line.
My is that in the Benko Gambit the endgame is , in the most of the times, better to black. However White has a pawn ahead that's why i guess that the black should play to the attack and/or endgames's advantages. I play the Volga/Benko Gambit same I was 8 years old and I loss 40% of the times 45% I won and 5% I drawn. I guess that Shereshevsky's bring up great games (pages 84 to 92). I had never trust on MCO I prefer to see games of Grand Masters.
Jul-22-05  OneBadDog: I love the Benko Gambit. I played it a couple of time in OTB tournaments. When I play at FICS, I no longer play the Benko because too many white players avoid it by playing Veresov, Torre or Trompowsky openings.
Jul-23-05  midknightblue: Move 5... Bxa6 should be 5. g6 (with Bxa6 played on move 6... Just as Benko ;) I am trying to learn this opening better, as I live in a fairly small area - and most of the chess players around here know that I usually play the Gruenfeld. <OBD> What is your FICS handle? I am midknightblue. We could practice a few Benko Gambits against each other, or just play a few regular games. I have the same handle as here - midknightblue.
Mar-14-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  WTHarvey: Here is a collection of puzzles from A59 miniatures: http://www.wtharvey.com/a59.html
Jul-09-08  Chessman100: IMO, this is the best way to play against the Benko.
Jan-07-09  Chessman100: <midknightblue> Playing 5... Bxa6 or 5...g6 dosen't make a big difference because it leads to the same position. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Jan-07-09  MaxxLange: http://www.jeremysilman.com/chess_l...
Jan-07-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  ganstaman: Since we've cited the source, I'd like to copy the info here:

<The view that an immediate 5…Bxa6 is inaccurate has been generally accepted for a couple decades. However, this is based on the assessment of the following line: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 Bxa6 6.g3 d6 7.Bg2 g6 8.b3! Bg7 9.Bb2 0-0 10.Nh3 Nbd7 11.0-0 and though Black has tried just about every possible move and idea, White seems to come out on top.

Because of this, 5…g6 became Black’s main choice. Now Black can meet 6.b3 Bg7 7.Bb2 0-0 8.g3 with 8…Nxa6 9.Bg2 Bb7 when Black is doing well due to the possibilities of …Nb4 and/or …e6.

In a nutshell, you lose nothing by choosing 5…g6, since you can always hack off the pawn later by …Bxa6. Since there’s no downside, why not use this move, which keeps your options open and guards against the double fianachetto line mentioned above?>

Jan-09-09  MaxxLange: <ganstaman> good idea, and seems like a fair use quote to me

this reminds me of the Ruy Lopez ...we bang out so many "automatic" moves, some of which are there to bust some obscure sideline that no one even plays anymore, based on games played decades ago. That's Theory for you!

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