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Benoni defense in chess: description, application features
Benoni defense in chess: description, application features

Want to learn how to play Benoni? Or maybe even against Benoni? Then you should read this article. Here we talk about the main variations in defense, strong chess players who play this variation, and a list of books and resources dedicated to Modern-Benoni. We hope that the article will reveal in you the desire to comprehend this opening, to understand its structure and mechanism.

Variant history

The Benoni Defence, or, as it is also called, the "Indian Defence" was first mentioned in A. Reinganum's book "Ben-Oni, or Defenses against Gambit Moves in Chess" in 1825, but only at the end of the 50s In the 20th century, this scheme was able to interest a wide range of chess players. At that time, the element of sport increased dramatically in chess. The principle of equalization was replaced on the agenda by the question of an aggressive response for Black against the move 1. d4. Great efforts were put into the development of the variation by Soviet chess players, especially the ex-world champion M. Tal.

Benoni Chess Defense

First moves:

1. d4-kf6.

2. с4-с5.

3. d5-e6.

4. kc3-ed.

5. cd-d6.

Benoni Defense

The Benoni Defense is a semi-closed opening. The asymmetry of the pawn structure predetermines the sharp nature of the struggle, which makes the course of the game exciting and exciting. Black's main idea is to make a liberation breakthrough b7-b5, while White has to prove that the advantage in the center is more important than flank prospects, he attacks in the center with e4-e5.

But of course there are no rules without exceptions. There are variations in which Black needs to attack the enemy king thanks to moves such as f7-f5 and even g6-g5, while White is trying to open the b-file at this moment with an attack on the queenside.

When choosing the Benoni defense for black, it should be taken into account that the preference for a specific play scheme is given to white. When preparing, they can limit themselves to one option, while the opponent must be fully armed.

Defending for White

First, let's note White's pluses in position after the first five moves:

  1. Possessing an advantage in space, which allows creating difficulties for the harmonious development of black pieces.
  2. Weakness of the enemy pawn d6.
  3. Pawn advantage in the center and, consequently, the possibility of an offensive by this center, i.e. pawn mass

There are a huge number of schemes against the Benoni defense for White: active (attacking) and passive (positional play).

Here are some examples.

Indian Defence Variations

For aggressive players who love risk and have a killer instinct in their blood, suitable"Pawn Attack System". Position obtained after:

1. d4-kf6.

2. с4-с5.

3. d5-e6.

4. ks3-ed.

6. e4-g6.

7. f4-cg7.

Benoni Defense

In the variation shown, White immediately starts putting forward his main trump card - the center. But far advanced pawns can turn out to be not only a strength, but also a weakness. There are many nuances in theory, but if Black does not know the correct sequence of moves, he can quickly get into a rather unpleasant (and possibly lost) position. In many variations, Black's king voluntarily remains without castling, but White has yet to prove the correctness of the "commandments of correct development", which makes the game more exciting for both sides.

For less active and more cunning players, the Nimzowitsch Pirouette is suitable, the main goal of which is to bring down all forces on the defenseless d6-pawn.

Benoni Defense

So, let's trace the course of history after the five moves already memorized:

6. kf3-g6.


The idea of ​​the last move is frank: to get the knight to c4, and then move the bishop to f4. Black will not stand still, but let's be honest: defending a weak pawn is very unpleasant. There is almost no counterplay, and it's rather boring to "fuck" on the seventh or eighth rows. Therefore, we advise Black, when studying, to consider the variation with the sacrifice of a weak pawn for the initiative. So what? No pawn, no problem.

Of course, there are still a huge number of very different options: "Half-Semisch", the ideawhich is taken from the King's Indian Defence, the system with early cg5, the Fianchetto scheme. In the article, in our opinion, the most fundamental versions for White were considered. When choosing the plans provided, we took into account the relevance of the variation and the unpleasantness of choosing answers for Black.

Defending for Black

After viewing the article, has the desire to play the Benoni formation for Black disappeared? But do not be afraid, many chess players who have reached the heights have been able to prove the correctness of the Indian Defence. Moreover, if you know your weaknesses, it becomes much easier to eliminate them.

We have seen the disadvantages of Black's position, now consider the advantages:

  1. The fianchetted bishop on g7, i.e. the bishop located on the big diagonal.
  2. Possibility of an attack on the queenside.
  3. Pressure along the half-open line e.

As we have already noted, if for a well-played game White only needs to know well at least one variation, then everything is much more complicated for Black. Black is in the Modern Benoni defense, as the masters of the house, White is the guests who came to a short meeting. In order to show a good result and statistics in this opening, you need to work hard: study the theory that has been building up over the years, follow the news, "collect" the ideas, plans and plans of benon players, both for your own color and for the color of your opponent, try analyze frequently encountered positions and invent novelties in old continuations. Yes, it's difficult, but chess is an intellectual sport, so to speak, a "survival game" in which the winnerthe strongest.

Boy playing chess

Strong Indian Defence

The most sensible study of any opening is to watch the games of Great Minds. And if the game is commented on, mistakes are immediately remembered, you better understand the main tasks set for the players. It is very nice to watch the competition of players with a similar nature of the game. It's like finding your favorite writer: you know right away that you will like his work and will be useful in studying.

Grandmaster Psakhis Lev Borisovich

Israeli and Soviet chess player, grandmaster. His games at an early age in the opening we have reviewed are quite instructive and interesting.

Grandmaster Psakhis

Vugar Gashimov

Azerbaijani grandmaster, famous among a wide circle of chess players under the nickname "Mr. Modern-Benoni". His parties amaze with their beauty, abundance and variety of ideas. His vast experience in positions of this type is worthy of respect.

Grandmaster Gashimov

Benoni Defense Books

  • First author - Dreev A.S. - an experienced grandmaster, his analyzes are accurate and, of course, interesting and useful for studying. The book "Playing Against the Benoni Defense" has about three hundred pages! And the main idea of ​​the author is to teach the reader to resist the "Indian Defense". Well, isn't it nice?
  • "Indian Defence" written by A.Z. Kapengut in 1984, but the relevance of the book is still strong. Easy reading from this "work of art"it's not worth the wait, and it suits more mature chess players. For beginners, the book is difficult: there is almost no text, only solid options, it is easy to get confused. But if you definitely decide to play Modern Benoni as black, you should at least have this book.
  • "The Benoni Defense" by P.E. Kondratiev. We can give the same comment as for the work of Kapengut. The book is a collection of theory, useful for both blacks and whites.

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