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Old Benoni without D5


  • 2 years ago · Quote · #1

    redchessman

    how does black play if white does not respond with 2. d5 after 1. d4 c5?  For instance what does black do if white goes with e3 or c3.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #2

    Arctor

    If e3, take and enjoy your central pawn majority. If c3, develop naturally (Nf6, e6, Be7, O-O) and play a game of chess

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #3

    redchessman

    is cxd4 really the best line against e3? what are the main continuations after that?

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #4

    Arctor

    I don't know that there are any main continuations. Is e3 played a lot?  Just get your pieces out, get castled and roll with the punches.

    After cxd4 exd4 Black has the better structure in the long run and still has the flexibility to adopt any setup he wants. 3.Qxd4 Nc6 takes on the character of a Qxd4 open sicilian with Whites pawn not yet on e4

    Or if you're comfortable playing a Caro-Kann, 3...d5 (after 3.exd4) is an exchange variation.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #5

    AnthonyCG

    I like to take on d4 after e3/c3. The idea of e3 is usually a Colle setup and cxd4 sidesteps the entire system even with Nf3/Nf6 inserted. The bad news is that when you do that you usually transpose to other things which are supposed to be better for White. The good news is that the openings usually lead to technical pawn structures so you can be good at those and not need much theory.

    After 1.d4 c5 2.e3 cd ed the game can transpose into a Panov-Botvinnik if Black plays d5 and White plays c4. Here there may be a game with hanging pawns or an isolated pawn. If White plays c3 which is inferior, you can play for a minority attack on the queenside - another technical strategy of pawn structure. You can win many games if White is playing system mode since in many of those setups moves like Nd2, c3 or Bd3 can be wrong.

    Another problem is that if 2.c3 cd you transpose into an exchange Slav. There isn't really anything thematic about this at all but if you understand the position you will do ok. The good thing about this strategy is that you force the game back into classical channels where White and Black need to know what to do with the pawns rather than some random autopilot setup.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #6

    redchessman

    AnthonyCG wrote:

    I like to take on d4 after e3/c3. The idea of e3 is usually a Colle setup and cxd4 sidesteps the entire system even with Nf3/Nf6 inserted. The bad news is that when you do that you usually transpose to other things which are supposed to be better for White. The good news is that the openings usually lead to technical pawn structures so you can be good at those and not need much theory.

    After 1.d4 c5 2.e3 cd ed the game can transpose into a Panov-Botvinnik if Black plays d5 and White plays c4. Here there may be a game with hanging pawns or an isolated pawn. If White plays c3 which is inferior, you can play for a minority attack on the queenside - another technical strategy of pawn structure. You can win many games if White is playing system mode since in many of those setups moves like Nd2, c3 or Bd3 can be wrong.

    Another problem is that if 2.c3 cd you transpose into an exchange Slav. There isn't really anything thematic about this at all but if you understand the position you will do ok. The good thing about this strategy is that you force the game back into classical channels where White and Black need to know what to do with the pawns rather than some random autopilot setup.


    ok I see why cxd4 works, but the thing is I took up old benoni to play for a win with black against lower rated players...(I use semi slav against people equal or higher than myself)  and if we are transposing to exchange slav or panov botvinnik its hard to win with black..  Okay exchange slav I have some lines, but i can't seem to find anything satisfactory with panov botvinnik.  Any suggestions for how to play for a win with blackside of panov?

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #7

    AnthonyCG

    redchessman wrote:
    AnthonyCG wrote:

    I like to take on d4 after e3/c3. The idea of e3 is usually a Colle setup and cxd4 sidesteps the entire system even with Nf3/Nf6 inserted. The bad news is that when you do that you usually transpose to other things which are supposed to be better for White. The good news is that the openings usually lead to technical pawn structures so you can be good at those and not need much theory.

    After 1.d4 c5 2.e3 cd ed the game can transpose into a Panov-Botvinnik if Black plays d5 and White plays c4. Here there may be a game with hanging pawns or an isolated pawn. If White plays c3 which is inferior, you can play for a minority attack on the queenside - another technical strategy of pawn structure. You can win many games if White is playing system mode since in many of those setups moves like Nd2, c3 or Bd3 can be wrong.

    Another problem is that if 2.c3 cd you transpose into an exchange Slav. There isn't really anything thematic about this at all but if you understand the position you will do ok. The good thing about this strategy is that you force the game back into classical channels where White and Black need to know what to do with the pawns rather than some random autopilot setup.


    ok I see why cxd4 works, but the thing is I took up old benoni to play for a win with black against lower rated players...(I use semi slav against people equal or higher than myself)  and if we are transposing to exchange slav or panov botvinnik its hard to win with black..  Okay exchange slav I have some lines, but i can't seem to find anything satisfactory with panov botvinnik.  Any suggestions for how to play for a win with blackside of panov?


    I'm not really sure. I don't know any Panov-Botvinnik theory. I usually just wing it since most Colle players aren't going to know what to do either unless they actually play the Caro-Kann. And even then a lot of people tend to ignore the other side of the board. You can try playing lines with g6 in that position but I think they're supposed to be dangerous to play. You're basically playing a Tarrasch reversed but Black is a tempo down and has to sac a pawn and try to win it back.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #8

    bresando

    I doubt that taking immediately is the best idea. Playable for sure, but the panov-botwinnik against the caro is far from toothless. Trasposing to a challenging mainline of an entirely different opening might be labeled as a failure for black who has stepped on unfamiliar and dangerous ground (of course black is ok in this variation but only if he knows his stuff). It might be a good idea only if you play the caro against e4. I would instead play 2...Nf6, 2...e6 or 2...d5 (probably the first one makes more sense for an old benoni player). Then it's white to move and only after he shows his plan you can decide whether it's a good idea to take (for example if he has played a move which wouldn't be good in a panov-botwinnik setup). With 2.e3 white gives you the control of the central tension and momentarily blocks his bishop. Why should you hurry in solving that tension and freeing that bishop? instead wait for white to make a concession, and strike at the right moment!

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #9

    Arctor

    The way I see it, after cxd4 exd4, Black's pawn isn't already on d5 as in the CK exhange so he's not obliged to transpose to a Panov. He can go ahead with his development and leave White guessing as to what central structure he's going to adopt.

    A central pawn majority is a nice thing to have. It was Bent Larsen who once famously called 3.d4 in the Sicilian a positional blunder

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #10

    bresando

    yes, but an open e-file is also a good thing...and also a queenside majority in an endgame, it's not like the resulting structure is strictly better for one side: one(black) has the minority attack and central majority and the other(white) has more important open lines and definitely the greater piece activity (counterquote Wink Tarrasch  said"i don't care about the pawn structure as long as the pieces are active"). It's a balanced situation. Of course cxd4 immediately is 100% ok.

    But it's also clear that black is in no rush (surely white isn't going to get anything by playing dxc5) so why playing that immediately instead of wayting for white to make a concession?

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #11

    Arctor

    Of course, you're right there's nothing wrong with waiting either, although I wouldn't wait too long or White just might try to take himself and hold on to the pawn.

    A matter of taste I suppose. I just like the fact that Black hasn't comitted to playing d5 yet. Whites central pawn isn't easy to defend either.

    I prefer to take and say to White "you're going to regret that" Kiss

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #12

    Arctor

    And I think the half open e-file is more of an illusion than a real advantage, while the c-file is a very real one (if White plays c6 he has to worry about the minority attack)

    It's basically a Carlsbad structure with some (maybe not so) subtle differences

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #13

    bresando

    White is never going to regret giving black the possibility of forcing him in a perfectly ok structure. In itself it's not advantageus for white or black; white has definitely the better piece activity while black has in theory the possibility of a minority attack. The resulting positions are not easy for black to handle; the panov was considered a very serious try far an advantage for decades (today is not considered white best i think, but still i know that a lot of caro players fear it), and i don't think not having played d5 yet gives black better alternatives. d6 + g6 doesn't look like making particular sense against a possible c3-d4 barrier. In fact i looked at a database and the vast majority of games trasposed to the panow-botwinnik with 3...d5, with a considerable plus score for white (an old benoni player is unlikely to be at ease in the very open waters of this variation).

    i don't get the remark about white central pawn being hard to defend (only in his dreams black can put the slightest pressure on d4). Also white is never going to take and hold the pawn. 

    A basic positional principle is than the side which controls the tension should not release it without a concrete gain. after 2.e3 Nf6 black has total control of the tension, since dxc5 is almost always going to be bad(in the sense of very unambitious, of course white is not worse) for white (unless he plays something like a3 intending dxc5-b4, but this would be easily meet with an immediate cxd4 laughting at white lost tempo). So 2...cxd4 is 100% playable but also a sort of slight positional mistake. The only way to make white regret e3 is not taking immediately and generating this "i'll take on d4 whenever i want and you can only wait and see or admit that i'm easily equal by taking yourself" where play is balanced but black is the one dictating the pace of the game.

    The only reason to prefer 2...cxd4 is that you're a caro player and so trasposing is 100% ok for you. 2...Nf6 or 2...e6 are more logical for everyone else, more played and score better than 2...cxd4 on all the databases i looked at. I don't think it's 100% a matter of tastes, 2...cxd4 is objectively slighly(very sligtly) inferior to the alternatives. Black of course equalizes in both cases, the difference is that with 2...cxd4 he has to prove he is equal and will manage to do so if he knows his theory around move 15 , while with 2...Nf6 he can probably be defined already equal.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #14

    pellik

    You have to be a little careful after 2. e3 cxd4 as white can move his pieces over to the king side awfully fast. Bd3, Nf3-e5, Re1-e3 (or f4-f5 after Ne5), Qf3-h3 or Qh5, Bg5, etc. 

    It's nothing that can't be dealt with, but you should be aware of just how fast white can be here. 

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #15

    redchessman

    I am fine with transposing to panov botvinnik, but the line I play is a more or less forced ending line in which black can't really play for a win...so yes 2. nf6 is probably more logical.  But if anyone knows any lines where black can go into the panov and play for a win, i'm open to suggestions.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #16

    Arctor

    bresando wrote:

    White is never going to regret giving black the possibility of forcing him in a perfectly ok structure. In itself it's not advantageus for white or black; white has definitely the better piece activity while black has in theory the possibility of a minority attack. The resulting positions are not easy for black to handle; the panov was considered a very serious try far an advantage for decades (today is not considered white best i think, but still i know that a lot of caro players fear it), and i don't think not having played d5 yet gives black better alternatives. d6 + g6 doesn't look like making particular sense against a possible c3-d4 barrier. In fact i looked at a database and the vast majority of games trasposed to the panow-botwinnik with 3...d5, with a considerable plus score for white (an old benoni player is unlikely to be at ease in the very open waters of this variation).

    i don't get the remark about white central pawn being hard to defend (only in his dreams black can put the slightest pressure on d4). Also white is never going to take and hold the pawn.

    A basic positional principle is than the side which controls the tension should not release it without a concrete gain. after 2.e3 Nf6 black has total control of the tension, since dxc5 is almost always going to be bad(in the sense of very unambitious, of course white is not worse) for white (unless he plays something like a3 intending dxc5-b4, but this would be easily meet with an immediate cxd4 laughting at white lost tempo). So 2...cxd4 is 100% playable but also a sort of slight positional mistake. The only way to make white regret e3 is not taking immediately and generating this "i'll take on d4 whenever i want and you can only wait and see or admit that i'm easily equal by taking yourself" where play is balanced but black is the one dictating the pace of the game.

    The only reason to prefer 2...cxd4 is that you're a caro player and so trasposing is 100% ok for you. 2...Nf6 or 2...e6 are more logical for everyone else, more played and score better than 2...cxd4 on all the databases i looked at. I don't think it's 100% a matter of tastes, 2...cxd4 is objectively slighly(very sligtly) inferior to the alternatives. Black of course equalizes in both cases, the difference is that with 2...cxd4 he has to prove he is equal and will manage to do so if he knows his theory around move 15 , while with 2...Nf6 he can probably be defined already equal.


    The whole point of the Panov is pressure on the d5 pawn, trying to force Black to take on c4 and retaking with gain of tempo (or taking on d5 himself with Black  using a piece to recapture) and trying to take advantage of the isolated q-pawn position. Without the pawn on d5, where's the pressure?

    Of course Black can pressure White's center, the c4-d4 pawn duo won't be able to comfortably advance, while if White plays c3 to strongpoint d4 then (whether or not Black lands a pawn on d5 first) a typical QGD minority attack is in the air.

    A central pawn majority is a concrete positional gain. I don't know that White has gained anything more substantial than some open lines of development (we should also remember that it's Black to move), this isn't an open Sicilian where White is going to blow Black away with f4 and e5/f5. His half open e-file is nothing more than a conduit to the kingside and his queenside majority is going to look like swiss cheese by the time Black gets done with it.

    Each to his own, if you want to keep the tension then keep the tension but no matter what the engines say (small plus for White) personally I would take Black every time after cxd4 exd4

    redchessman, I would say if you want to play for the win, study typical QGD structures from the White side

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #17

    bresando

    Ok, it's (mainly) a matter of tastes and your tastes are clear Tongue out

    But no matter what engines say, after cxd4 exd4 it's an undeniable truth that white side is preferable(but black can of course equalize with correct play). I suggest you to study the position is more depth, because is not really possible to think that black is preferable here after having looked at some lines. We are in an ancient mainline which has been played by several world champions, if you think that you would rather take black clearly either you or Botwinnik are wrong. 

    A central pawn majority is indeed a concrete gain, but also white much greater piece mobility is a concrete gain. By the way you should also forget about the minority attack. A minority attack is never going to happen once white has played c4, we are in a completely different structure. White non-existent queenside majority (soon or later the c4 and d5 pawn are going to be exchanged, so it's a+b pawn vs a+b pawn, where's the majority?) is never going to be "reduced to swiss cheese" by black non-existent queenside minority. Please look at the actual position (4.c4) for a moment before posting, and you will realize that you have mixed up the lines. It's an isolani structure, not an exchange structure, and a minority attack is just impossible!

    So no, he shouldn't study the exchange QG structure, he should study isolani structures. i you want a QG equivalent maybe he could study the QG tarrasch from a white point if view.

    Also your comparison with the open sicilian is rather confusing. In the sicilian indeed the central formation is rather stable and so despite his open lines white ofter launches a pawnstorm to archieve something. In this completely different isolani structure a pawnstorm would be utter nonsense and for this precise reason white active play in the centre and down the e file is very important. 


  • 2 years ago · Quote · #18

    Arctor

    To clarify, I'm not playing 3...d5 transposing into a Panov. Black isn't obliged to do so, and I don't think it's his best option.

    Without a pawn on d5, what is White threatening with c4? The pawn duo won't be able to advance easily, and Black can chip away at it with the aid of his b pawn and the open c-file

    I said he should study Queen's Gambit Declined positions not just the Carlsbad but IQP and hanging pawns structures too

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #19

    bresando

    this clarification is not very clear Tongue out

    The vast majority of the master games continued with 3...d5, so you should probably specify what is the alternative setup you think is promising. i suppose the pawn goes on d6 soon or later? but then i guess you should go for g6+Bg7 and then white can seriously think about putting the pawn on c3 when the bishop looks rather misplaced.  

    Yoe are certainly good enough to understand that without a pawn on d5 white's c4 still serves the purpose of controlling te centre. But nobody said that white is going to play 4.c4 against everything! 

    can you please come up with a concrete idea for black? What would you play after 3.exd4 instead of d5? And more importantly, would playing 2...Nf6 and only then your proposed plan have improved or reduced white chances?

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #20

    AnthonyCG

    bresando wrote:

    this clarification is not very clear 

    The vast majority of the master games continued with 3...d5, so you should probably specify what is the alternative setup you think is promising. i suppose the pawn goes on d6 soon or later? but then i guess you should go for g6+Bg7 and then white can seriously think about putting the pawn on c3 when the bishop looks rather misplaced.  

    Yoe are certainly good enough to understand that without a pawn on d5 white's c4 still serves the purpose of controlling te centre. But nobody said that white is going to play 4.c4 against everything! 

    can you please come up with a concrete idea for black? What would you play after 3.exd4 instead of d5? And more importantly, would playing 2...Nf6 and only then your proposed plan have improved or reduced white chances?


    If White plays c3 then Black can just use a minority attack. Black can setup a dragon and play Rb8 and b5. If White plays c3 before Black moves his d-pawn then Black can play d5 and be a lot better off.


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