Benko Gambit Declined Against Pete Savino
Yesterday, I played in the Santa Monica Bay Chess Club. It is run by Pete Savino, and sometimes, he participates in the tournaments also.
We had played earlier many games, and my recollection from them was that he would generally get a disadvantage in the opening, but would magically fight back in the middlegame and checkmate you.
This time, I was determined not to subject myself to any mating attacks. As will be seen, I did not succeed at all in preventing the attack. But, I managed to defend against it successfully.
In the game, on move 8, I won a pawn. As a result, Pete got a huge initiative, and I had to defend relentlessly. I now wonder whether the pawn was really lost or whether it was a cleverly disguised gambit.
I held on to the pawn, liquidated my queen-side weaknesses, and reduced the game to just the heavy pieces. Here is the game itself:.