Benoni Opening

The Benoni is a Black opening in the “d4 Nf6” lines. It is a highly tactical, attacking line, that works well in beginner and intermediate chess. In master play, it is considered a little inferior for Black. White has extra space, and if White can subdue Black’s tactical play, then White should slowly win.

Diagram: Benoni Opening

Diagram: Benoni Opening (against 2.Nf3)

One of the advantages of the Benoni is that it is hard for White to avoid it, making it a good candidate for an anti-d4 opening for Black in an attacking repertoire. White move orders with “delayed c4” (e.g. 2.Nf3 and 3.c4, rather than immediately 2.c4) do not prevent a Benoni. Even if White completely avoids playing “c4”, Black can still play “c5” and achieve various Benoni-like setups.

Variations of the Benoni include:

Delayed Benoni: an important transposition for Black is to avoid playing ..c5 by one move, until White has played Nf3. This avoids White’s lines such as the Four Pawns Attack Benoni and the Taimanov Benoni.

Diagram: Delayed Benoni Opening (Transposing Line)

Black can also choose the Blumenfeld Gambit in this line where White has delayed c4 with 2.Nf3.

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