Welcome to my Benko Gambit (ECO A58) Accepted game with Fanevil Adams Jr.!
On this page I have posted one my chess games in which I played the Black side of the Benko Gambit.
The game includes analysis and diagrams. My opponent had a USCF OTB rating of 1420 at the time we started this game. This game starts off as an Old Benoni (ECO A43) and transposes into a Benko Gambit accepted. I underestimated White’s kingside attack and it cost me. If I am reading my notes from this game correctly, I offered draws on moves 8 and 13 and my opponent declined both times.
Dates Played: 04/11/96 to 07/23/97
White: Fanevil Adams Jr. (1966) Black: Mike Serovey (1844)
1. d4 c5 2. d5 Nf6 3. c4 b5 4. cxb5 a6 5. bxa6 g6
The normal move here is 5… Bxa6. For some reason that I don’t remember I decided to vary from that in this game.
6. Nc3 Bxa6 7. Nf3 d6 8. g3 Bg7 9. Bg2 Nbd7 10. O-O Nb6
The normal move here would be to castle. Once again I decided to vary from that. White now plays Re1 so that he can play e4 without losing his Rook for a Bishop.
11. Re1 O-O 12. Bf4 Nh5 13. Bg5 h6 14. Bd2 Nc4
Black threatens the pawn at b2 and has the option of capturing the Bishop at d2 if White leaves it there. Protecting the b pawn with Bc1 undevelops that Bishop and therefore would be bad.
15. Qc2 Qa5 16. Rac1 Nxd2 17. Qxd2 Nf6 18. e4 Nd7
Black is still down the gambit pawn. Black now maneuvers his Knight over to the Queenside in order to put more pressure on White’s a and b pawns. Black also frees up his Bishop on the a1 to h8 diagonal.
19. b3 Rfc8 20. Bf1?
White now trades off his Bishop leaving a weakness around his King. As it turns out it didn’t matter in this game because Black never took advantage of that weakness. I am guessing that White was worried about the Black pawn going to c4.
Bxf1 21. Kxf1 Bxc3?
This may have been the losing move of the game. Black wanted to take the Knight so that the a pawn would be unguarded. However, this capture left Black’s h pawn unguarded and the White Queen on h6 turned out to be a major problem for Black. Better would have been 21… Nb6 followed by 22… c4.
22. Rxc3 Qxa2 23. Qxh6 Qb2 24. Ng5 Nf8 25. Ree3 f6??
Black’s last move weakens the pawn structure around his King and gives the White Knight the e6 square. After the knight exchange on e6 Black’s pawn at g6 is unguarded. Better would have been 25… Ra2.
26. Ne6 Nxe6 27. dxe6 1-0
After looking at this position for a while I realized that my resignation was premature. Black’s best move here is to sacrifice the pawn at g6 and threaten checkmate with 27… Ra2. This will force White to either draw by perpetual check with the Queen moving back and forth between g6 and h6 or to play Rf3 to prevent the checkmate on f2. Either choice is OK with Black because White is higher rated. If White plays the Rook to f3 to prevent the checkmate on f2 then Black plays Ra1+ followed by Qb1 threatening Qf1#. Black’s mate threats on the back rank force White to either draw by perpetual check or run his King around on the Kingside until Black can force the exchange of queens. Instead of putting all of the analysis here I ‘ll let you figure it out based on what I just said.
Now that I have ChessBase 12 with the updates, the kinds of errors that I made in this game are not likely to occur in another correspondence chess game that I play.