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Benoni, Four Pawns Attack (A68)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 e6 4 Nc3 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 e4 g6
7 f4 Bg7 8 Nf3 O-O

Number of games in database: 121
Years covered: 1952 to 2022
Overall record:
   White wins 33.1%
   Black wins 50.4%
   Draws 16.5%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Helge Andreas Nordahl  3 games
Miso Cebalo  3 games
Bela Perenyi  4 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Utasi vs B Perenyi, 1986
J Mihailovs vs D Andreikin, 2001
H Banikas vs Radjabov, 2010
O Moiseev vs Tolush, 1952
I Arakelov vs S Ivanov, 1995
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 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 121  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. O Moiseev vs Tolush 0-1341952USSR ChampionshipA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
2. D Horseman vs Larsen 0-1371957Hastings 1956/57A68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
3. J Zacharias vs Najdorf  0-1271957Sao PauloA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
4. Grave vs J Klavins  0-1331958Latvian ChampionshipA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
5. L A Sanchez vs J de Souza Mendes  1-0451959SantiagoA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
6. M Wotulo vs W Pietzsch  0-1391960Leipzig Olympiad qual-1A68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
7. A Niemela vs E Guthi  1-0421960Leipzig Olympiad Final-BA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
8. T Florian vs P Puig Pulido  ½-½321961EUR-chT (Men) 2ndA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
9. A Niemela vs F J Perez Perez  1-0321961Marianske Lazne ZonalA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
10. W Burgar vs E McCormick  0-149196263rd US OpenA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
11. Barczay vs E Varnusz  1-0411963Hungarian ChampionshipA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
12. Udovcic vs Vasiukov  0-1421963YUG-URSA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
13. F Alves vs M Moennich  1-0301964Brazilian ChampionshipA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
14. E Cobo Arteaga vs F J Perez Perez  1-0281965HavanaA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
15. N Kerins vs J Kaplan  0-1411966Orebro Stud olm fBA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
16. A Zaitsev vs R Nicevski  1-0321971Rubinstein Memorial 9thA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
17. A Whiteley vs C Pritchett  0-1311975British ChampionshipA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
18. P Peev vs K Honfi  1-0331976Capablanca mem-A 13thA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
19. G Welling vs F A Cuijpers  1-0321977Uden, juniortournamentA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
20. Lutikov vs Yurtaev 0-1341977URS-ch otborA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
21. P Peev vs B Rogulj  0-1541979BucharestA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
22. J Sikora-Lerch vs Vokac  ½-½131980Czechoslovak ChampionshipA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
23. R Morrison vs I Findlay 1-0321982Toronto ClosedA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
24. S Gorelov vs Gufeld  1-0371982URS-ch sfA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
25. D Timmermans vs S Kovacevic  0-1291982Caorle OpenA68 Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 121  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  AgentRgent: for White or Black? I'd say 40.2% wins by black says it's unsound for white.
Jan-22-03  ksadler: I suppose that it is unsound for White, but no Black player (of any quality at all) would allow Black to go for this line, because (8. Bb5+ instead of 8. Nf3) is considered to have refuted the Benoni. But needless to say, this is not the strongest line for White.
Jan-22-03  ksadler: For comparison's sake, White wins 53.0% compared to 32.1% in the A67 line (8. Bb5+), showing that any black player should not give White the opportunity to play this line.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AgentRgent: What about 8...Nbd7 in the A67 line? That shows some good results for black, admittedly it needs more tests.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <What about 8...Nbd7 in the A67 line?> That's a move which is probably unsound but of great "shock value." The ins-and-outs of those lines are so complicated that White could easily be overrun if he doesn't know what he is doing.

This is why its dangerous to just go by the "winning percentages" to find out if something is good or bad. For example, I am certain 1.g4 must have a very good winning percentage, due to all the scalps it claims at the expert levels, but I'll never play it.

Jan-22-03  refutor: the whole benoni is unsound (for both sides) as far as i'm concerned ;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  AgentRgent: I understand what you're saying Sneaky, but I after looking through several of the 8...Nbd7 games (not just the %), I haven't seen a clear refutation. It is definately complicated and sharp, but I simply don't see a clear win for white, which would make it as playable as any other opening, would it not?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: In an opening like that there is never a "clear" refutation--if somebody finds some move that shuts Black down, Black can just rewind and make a different try at some earlier point, and the argument over who's better goes on forever.

Anyhow, I didn't mean to put down ...Nbd7, I think it's a wonderful move and complicated enough to be playable even at the GM level. But it might not be 100% correct, e.g. from correspondence champion's perspective.

If you're going to play the Benoni at all I strongly suggest learning ...Nbd7 as an antidote to Taimanov attack, as the alternatives are not very appealing!

Jan-22-03  judokausa1: You cann't really rely on the statistics presented here. Opening lines that were very successful initially can be refuted later and dropped after a key game. While the percentage is high the line can be busted. The benoni is far from being unsound. I do agree that the 8. Bb5+ line is almost a refutation of the benoni . The game is much easier for white and very difficult for black. GM's will often transpose into the benoni from the king's indian to confront two lines: the four pawns attack and the g3 lines by white. I have found it very easy to play the benoni against g3 lines. (Kasparov has made a comment that a bishop on g2 is strategically worthless against the benoni.)
Jan-23-03  ksadler: (About transposing into the Benoni)...I only play the Benoni out of the move order 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 or 3. g3 c5 which avoids the Taimanov, but this has been discussed before I belive on another board.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: In the diagrammed position, 1 d4 ♘f6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 e6 4 ♘c3 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 e4 g6 7 f4 ♗g7 8 ♘f3 0-0, the move 9.♗d3 seems very logical, as it protects the e4 pawn which is destined to come under attack. And yet the GM preference seems to lean towards 9.♗e2.

Can anybody explain this?

Jan-22-04  Benjamin Lau: Sneaky, you're referring to Benoni, Four Pawns Attack, Main line (A69) right? I don't know since I don't play this line (this is soooo wild) but the opening explorer indicates that black is extremely likely to play ...b5 when you play 9. Bd3 in contrast to 9. Be2 in which black usually plays ...Bg4 or ...Re8. Black can play ...b5 but it seems less effective. Also, black has a huge statistical advantage in Bd3 in comparison to Be2. Maybe the GMs don't like ...c4 with tempo? Or maybe this is just one of those openings where the bishop for some inexplicable reason is just positionally better off at e2?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Oh, interesting. I was aware of the ...b5 move. But here's the thing: if you accept the ...b5 gambit with ♗xb5 then it doesn't really matter if you played ♗e2 or ♗d3. If it were true that the gambit is unacceptable, then it might also be true that the bishop is misplaced on d3 in those lines--thereby explaining why Be2 is preferred.

So that leads me to wonder if this ...b5 move is sound, and if Bxb5 is a refutation.

The Opening Explorer seems to have this as a main line for accepting the gambit: 1. d4 ♘f6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. ♘c3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. e4 g6 7. f4 ♗g7 8. ♘f3 O-O 9. ♗e2 b5 10. ♗xb5 ♘xe4 11. ♘xe4 ♕a5+ recovering the piece.

I have no quick answer to this question. It's tricky stuff to say the least.

Jan-22-04  Benjamin Lau: Hmmm, that's a complicated position there. It looks like black equalizes, and maybe has a slight advantage. I guess that's why the GMs don't accept the gambit? Let's see how the position looks like when you play the "main line" not accepting the gambit:

10. e5 dxe5 11. fxe5 Ng4 12. Bg5 Qb6 13. o-o Nd7 14. e6 fxe6 15. dxe6 Qxe6 16. Nxb5 and white has a better position but in a wild game where one misstep = death.

Jan-22-04  ughaibu: I think the point of Be2 is to give the d-pawn extra protection so that b5 can be answered by e5, in such an eventuality that the bishop blocks the e-file is another plus.
Jan-22-04  Spitecheck: I think Bd3 defending the e-pawn is an illusionary feature. At anytime black with tempo can probably play c4 and atleast swap c-pawn for e-pawn (hypothetically). If not than on e2 the bishop is no longer a target for tempo of black's queenside majority. The advance of this majority is outright dangerous for white hence the effort to stop it. On e2 the bishop still targets this queenside pawn majority but it targets it from a distance. That said the Bd3 move can cut somebody's king to pieces if they aren't watching properly. :) Not a GM reason but it is a Spitecheck reason.


Apr-05-07  gambitfan: Opening of the Day 05/05/2007
Apr-05-07  itsaworry: Sneaky - I know nothing about GM level but when I used to play OTB I did well with Nbd7. However that was in the 1980s when the move was considered complete rubbish at the top level so none of my fellow woodpushers knew how to play against it. We all followed the GM fashion even though we didn't have a clue! I liked the Benoni for the same reason I liked the French and the Dragon - a clear plan. Also, it was great fun to play.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day
Benoni, Four Pawns Attack
1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.♘c3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.f4 ♗g7 8.♘f3 O-O

Well, there goes another opening I know that has a "four pawn attack".

May-25-12  fref: No notable White victories??
Aww man

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