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Is the franco benoni playable?
This is madness!
It's good for White.
Oh, wait, I actually play that opening!
do grandmasters play that opening?
I do not play that opening, but nobody cares.
that is true.
Black more often plays ...g6 & ...Bg7, which makes the position superficially like a Benoni (it certainly doesn't resemble any French), but there are some significant differences.
First, White saves the tempo c2-c4 for development because this doesn't arise out of the typical move order for Benonis. Secondly, as a result, there is not the usual Benoni counterplay with a Queenside majority and half-open e-file with a target on the White e-pawn. The open e-file make it resemble a KID more, but still without c4.
White gets a small but durable advantage, mainly based on space. Black is somewhat cramped, so the last thing White wants to allow is a general exchange of major pieces on the e-file. To this end, in the game presented, White should just develop with 11 Bf4 so he can play Nc4-e3 without shutting in the Bc1. Also he will wish not to oppose Rooks on the e-file too soon, since exchanges will help the cramped opponent.
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