Benoni/Benko- A Bolt of Lightning!

Benoni/Benko- A Bolt of Lightning!


The Modern Benoni (also called the Indo-Benoni) has been the favorite of attacking players for generations. I first became aware of it through some of the games of Mikhail Tal. It seemed to fit his style perfectly! 


Recently I was thinking about a remarkable fact; in the 1953 Zurich Candidates' Tournament, 210 games were played; yet only 2 Benoni games! Both were Indo-Benonis, were Black plays both g6 and e6xd5. One of them was a nice positional draw between Gligoric and Petrosian. This is also called the Modern Benoni. In the Old Benoni, Black plays e5, not e6. This opening requires great exactitude of Black, because he makes some serious space concessions in order to acquire his tactical chances. As Kasparov would say, the value of each move is very high; one small mistake and you can be swept off the board!

But going back to the Zurich Candidates, the other Benoni was basically more like a Benko Gambit. It was played in the first round by Bronstein against Taimanov. What a game!

Taimanov-Bronstein, Zurich 1953- first round!

To end today's contribution, I share with you a game in which Gm Lev Alburt, playing Black, plays a supreme crowning masterpiece against Vlastimil Hort, who at that time was a top-10 player in the world. He makes Hort look silly!

July 4th, 2020-

Hi! Just a quick addition! By association, the Alburt game, with its Queen sacrifice and Black Knight on c3, reminds me of a stunning win by Kasparov against Kramnik, with a similar theme. Take a look!

...and here is a great game by Velimirovic, who demolishes Kavalek's position.....the dynamism of Black's pieces is inspiring to me!