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The benoni is totally playable. After h3 by white, black need not routinely finish his development so quickly. In fact leaving the bishop on f8 for an extra move and experimenting with b6 leaves the d6 guarded twice and will be always ready to meet the motif of a5 with b5 and b4 kicking the knight and hoping to get the queenside rolling. There is a reason this system is not so popular for white and it is that it doesn't force black to make any difficult decisions.
At 19:56 did you ever consider Nxc5? Sacrifcing a knight for 2 pawns? It was tempting to me but I am no grandmaster. I believe it would end up being a Knight for a rook and 2 pawns, or a knight for 3 pawns and initiative, but I am not sure what the best moves are. I would be interested to know, how you quickly assess this variation and write it off as 'no good' in the a game situation. Since you did not mention it I assume you determined it was non viable for some reason. Hopefully, I can learn something to help my own evaluation process. Thanks!
Always enjoy your videos.
"Not long for this life" lol! Thoroughly enjoyed your video and analysis - thanks!
Great video, and a very well-thought system against the Benoni exposed with a model game.
I like the way you methodically took out the main Black sources of counterplay.
- the Bg4, Bxf3 idea weakening the control of d4 square, and getting rid of a piece that has no clear role in black's strategy. h3 took care of that.
- the idea of pressuring the e4 pawn. Not playing e4 but e3 instead deprived Black of that target.
- the idea of queenside expansion b5,b4, chasing the c3 knight and discovering an attack against b2. Qb3 and a5 took care of that.
Deprived of his main traditional idea Black proved unable to get out of the box and was forced into passivity. Well done
Great video, I always enjoy the analysis! "Stop your computers" haha
Great game, great analysis. You explain the strategic ideas very nicely, it's cool to see how everything black tries leaves something behind for the white pieces to exploit.
by GM Sam Shankland
GM Shankland is back at it today with another video series designed to bring you a few of his most recent games from the recently concluded Northern California International tournament! In this battle, young Mr. Bryant makes the same mistake Peter Leko did against Shanky: He plays the Benoni (pronounced "Bologna")... Takes notes from Shankland's expertise on this opening, and enjoy the excited game that develops!
Players: Shankland, Sam
vs. Bryant, John
Related: Similar Benoni vs GM Leko
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GM Sam Shankland
Sam learned chess at age 11 from the Berkeley Chess School program. Within four years, he had become a National Master, and two years later, he became an International Master when he tied for first in the world u-18 championship, a result unmatched in the last decade of international play by American players. At 20, he has already played in several U.S. Championships, placing 3rd in 2011.
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