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:
- Modern Benoni
- Classical Benoni
- Czech Benoni
- Old Benoni
- Main Line Benoni (without e4, with h3 instead)
- Main Line Fianchetto Benoni (without e4, but g3 instead of h3)
- Knight’s Tour Benoni (Nd2-c4, delayed e4)
- Bg5 Benoni (Bg5, delayed e4)
- Old Main Line Benoni (with e4 and Nf3)
- Four Pawns Attack Benoni (with e4 and f4, delayed Nf3)
- Taimanov Benoni (Bb5+ in Four-Pawns Attack)
- Nimzowich Benoni
- Mikenas Benoni
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)
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