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960 right- and left-handed Benonis are just chess

960 right- and left-handed Benonis are just chess

friscodelrosario
Aug 19, 2015, 4:00 PM 1

I'd annotated a few master games from the 960 Jungle collection with the theme "Can't anybody here play this game", but it depressed me. After watching enough masters play 1. h4, it makes you wonder if the other Schnargls will ever be taken seriously, even though it's just chess.

It's just chess. As the rules of chess came into focus 500 years ago, its developers could've just as easily set forth 960 Schnargls instead of just one. Chess would've been better off — there wouldn't be this difficulty in persuading folks that 960 is the future of chess because it would've already been in place, and this ridiculous obsession people have with openings theory never would've arisen.

I wrote "it's just chess" several hours ago, and recalled that American women's professional basketball tried that approach in its marketing last year — "It's just basketball", said the WNBA in its TV commercials, setting dish-and-drive highlights by the women beside nearly identical moves by NBA players. The trouble is that American basketball fans are stupid — they think basketball is about the dunk, and as long as women are playing beneath the rim, "it's not basketball". The same narrow thinking applies to openings literature — as long as greedy publishers continue to take advantage of the inherent stupidity of people (openings literature is worthless — it's nothing but a fashion statement that inevitably goes obsolete), the stupid people will continue to think "I study chess like a grandmaster!".

Schnargls 1-517 and 519-960 should be seen just like #518 because the pawn play is the same. Pawn structures indicate strategy and tactics no matter where the pieces start — when the pawns land in a Benoni structure, the play tends toward:

1) The d6-pawn is the base of Black's structure, but it's backward, and if Black fails to restrain White's advance e4-e5, Black is in big trouble;

2) In exchange for a central disadvantage, Black gets a queenside advantage, which almost always indicates the push …b7-b5, especially when it undermines White's c4-d5 structure. But after the white pawn disappears from c4 — whether by being captured, or capturing on d5 or b5 — c4 becomes an ideal post for a white knight, where it hits the weak d6-pawn and assists the e4-e5 advance.

These are a couple of Benoni-style games, one "left-handed" as usual, the other "right-handed". Both played at lichess.org, which has a fine live 960 implementation.



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