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Benoni Defense: Accelerated Snake
In the Benoni Defense, the Snake Variation is usually reached through the moves 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 Bd6. However, on the fourth move, Black has another option to reach a similar position.
As a frequent advocate of the Snake Variation of the Modern Benoni, I have created a new opening in the spirit of the Snake, which I call the "Accelerated Snake." Instead of trading the pawns immediately, Black plays 4...Bd6.
By playing 4...Bd6, Black creates a new range of possibilities for his bishop. From d6, it can travel to both c7 and e5. In addition, the Accelerated Snake leaves Black with some flexible options for his e6-pawn. Below, you can see one of the most forcing lines starting with 5. dxe6 dxe6 6. Nb5, which I have denominated the Exchange Variation.
After 6. Nb5, Black has three options which offer reasonably similar chances. The first two are 6...Bc7 and 6...Be7. Through best play, they will transpose, so I have included them in a single diagram. Both are gambits, but they are still extremely strong.
While the 6...Bc7/6...Be7 lines are quite strong, I actually prefer the third choice, 6...Ne4. Here, White must be very wary of Black's killer knight, and it can be quite a trouble to dislodge.
That line really leaves White with a hard position to hold. Next, I will offer some more challenging lines, such as 5. Nf3 and 5. e4. Until then, hope this proves informative. Please comment with your opinion of my new opening!
Your analysis reminds me of Eric Schillers'. This is no flattery. Why on earth would white want to exchange on e6?
@silentarius: I merely called that the "most forcing line." It is somewhat similar to the way so many Najdorf books start out with the Sozin. It is the oldest and most direct, so it is the first listed. There are only three games in my opening in the database, and they were all played by amateurs (non-masters), so there is no "oldest line." I will cover the other responses soon.
Index of Variations
Exchange Variation (5. exd6 exd6 6. Nb5)
Gagunashvili Variation (5. Nb5 Bc7 6. Nxc7 Qxc7)
Ramirez Variation (5. g3)
Taipan Variation (5. e4)
Classical Variation (5. Nf3)
The Sozin is a poor analogy because after all, 6.Bc4 develops a piece which is useful.
In your accelerated snake, dxe6 gives up white's space advantage for nothing and in addition frees the square d7 which black blocked so carefully. My point is simply that such a move should not require any analysis.
[Edit: ok, I see, more sensible moves to follow]
@ciljettu: If you find it so laughable, then why don't you try to refute it?
@Blindside: I don't think you realize the difference in move orders. By playing this line, Black forces an early Nf3 if White is going to attempt to stop Be5. In this way, Black can create a "favourable" snake.
In the Gagunashvili variation, White quickly gives up his knight in order to get rid of the annoying Snake bishop. To do so, he plays 5. Nb5 after which Black is forced to respond 5...Bc7. Black quickly follows up with 6. Nxc7+, gaining the bishop pair. After 6...Qxc7, White has many options.
Probably, the best option here is 7. g3, though 7. e3, 7. e4, 7.e3, and 7. Nf3 are also worth consideration.
This is pretty much all there is to the Gagunashvili variation. Please note that it was named after Merab Gagunashvili, who was the first and only player to play this opening in the chess.com database.
Well, Nf3 isn't bad, it just isn't something different, like I said in the comments.
IM Mark Ginsburg has a good video, but you mostly have to figure it out on your own. As for move order, this allows many lines with Be5, and thus forces White to play Nf3, avoiding f4 lines.
I play the Benoni as a back-up defense, but only where White plays an early Nf3 because I like the White side when he can play f4 like in the Taimanov. I see no advantage to this method. It's playable, it's not losing, but most of the typical Black counterchances in the Benoni come with the control of the long dark square diagonal. ...Bd6 is basically a passive placement.
I'd be inclined to just play 5 e4 and if ...Be5, sac a pawn with 6 Nf3 Bxc3 7 bxc3 Nxe4 8 Bd3 Nf6 9 0-0 where White has plenty of play for the button and all the fun. But also 5 Nf3 is a perfectly good positional choice, where again he will have a comfortable (if slight) edge and more chances at active play.
IMHO, moves like Nb5 and dxe6 are not good, they waste time without securing any advantage.
Gimmick openings rarely offer more than the opportunity to unsettle the opponent with a surprise.
What about 7. ... d6 instead of Ne4? Granted, this is no easy position for Black, but it is an interesting variation, nonetheless. Black better watch his/her step during the next 5-10 moves, though!
To get it out of the way, I will mention that the most challenging line, 5. Nf3 leads to main line Snake theory after 5...exd5 6. cxd5. However, in this line, White has already moved his Knight to f3, which is considered weaker. In this way. the Classical Variation avoids many lines Black might otherwise face.
Then, Black responds with 5...Be5. It is hard to play, from the White side. Try to get a good position :D
Can I watch?
I have sent a challenge. This will be a challenge, though, considering our rating difference.
Thanks, and good luck! If anyone wants to see the game, you can use the link:
However, please remember that you are not allowed to discuss a game in progress, so keep your thoughts to yourselves, especially when it comes to move suggestions.
Another line with similar ideas is found in the Reti opening:
A quick win in the Gagunashvili Variation:
Isn't that game still in progress?
Doesn't white play 6.Nxc7+ Qxc7 7.d6 or 7.g3 in that variation?
6.d6 looks like a patzer's move.
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