Welcome to my Benko’s Opening (A00) game with BobbyFisher!

On this page I have posted one my chess games in which I played the White side of the Benko’s Opening.

This game transposes into a reversed Benko Gambit and demonstrates why I like to play the reversed Benko Gambit when I can. I outplayed my opponent in the opening and went up a Knight and two pawns. I blundered by grabbing a third pawn and my opponent caught my mistake. I had to sacrifice a Rook in order to get out of checkmate and that left me with a Knight and 3 pawns versus a Rook. A grandmaster may know how to win this kind of endgame but I didn’t and had to settle for a draw. The ratings listed below are for each player at the end of the game. This is not the Bobby Fisher that won the world chess championship back in the 1970’s, but a player who is using that handle.

[Event “Game 402718”]
[Site “Stan’s NetChess”]
[Date “2007.06.19”]
[Round “?”]
[White “mserovey”]
[Black “BobbyFisher”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]

1. g3 d5 2. Bg2 e5 3. d3 d4 4. c4 c5 5. b4 cxb4 6. a3 bxa3 7. Bxa3 Bxa3 8.  Rxa3 Nf6 9. Nd2 Nc6 10. Ngf3 O-O 11. O-O a5 12. Qb3 Re8 13. Ne1 Be6 14. Qxb7 Qd6  15. Nc2 Reb8 16. Qxc6 Qxc6 17. Bxc6 Ra7 18. Rfa1 Ra6 19. Bb5 Ra7 20. Rxa5 Rxa5  21. Rxa5 Ne8 22. Bxe8 Rxe8 23. Rxe5 Rd8 24. Nf3 Ra8 25. Ncxd4 Bh3 26. Re8+ Rxe8  27. Ng5 Bg4 28. e3 f6 29. Ngf3 Bxf3 30. Nxf3 Rd8 31. d4 g5 32. h4 gxh4 33. Nxh4  Ra8 34. c5 Kg7 35. c6 Rd8 36. Kg2 Kf7 37. Nf3 Ke7 38. e4 Kd6 39. d5 f5 40. exf5  Kxd5 41. Ng5 Kxc6 42. Nxh7 Rh8 43. Ng5 Rh5 44. f4 Rh6 45. g4 Kd5 46. Kg3 Rf6 1/2-1/2

Online Game
Stan’s Net Chess

Game Played 19 June 2007 to 21 August 2007
White: Mike Serovey
(2140) Black: BobbyFisher (1881)

1. g3 d5 2. Bg2 e5 3. d3 d4 4. c4 c5

Benko's Opening after 4... c5.

Benko’s Opening after 4… c5.

This game stated off as a reversed Modern defense and quickly transposed into a reversed Benoni defense. My next move makes it a reversed Benko Gambit.

5. b4 cxb4 6. a3 bxa3 7. Bxa3 Bxa3 8. Rxa3 Nf6 9. Nd2 Nc6 10. Ngf3 O-O 11. O-O a5

Benko's Opening after 11... a5.

Benko’s Opening after 11… a5.

I now have the setup that I wanted and can begin my my queenside attack. Black’s last move surprised me a little and I was a little concerned about that passed pawn. Pal Benko once stated that I should gain 3 tempi for my gambit pawn. Otherwise, the sacrifice is unsound. It doesn’t look like I got my 3 tempi here but I am not worried about it.

12. Qb3 Re8 13. Ne1 Be6?

Benko's Opening after 13... Be6?

Benko’s Opening after 13… Be6?

Black needed to develop his Bishop, but should have protected his b pawn first. I was surprised that I got my gambit pawn back so easily. Note that the capture of the pawn at b7 leaves the Knight at c6 under protected.

14. Qxb7 Qd6 15. Nc2 Reb8??

Benko's Opening after 15... Reb8??

Benko’s Opening after 15… Reb8??

This is my opponent’s second mistake and first outright blunder.

16. Qxc6 Qxc6 17. Bxc6 Ra7

Benko's Opening after 17... Ra7.

Benko’s Opening after 17… Ra7.

If instead of 17… Ra7 Black had played 17… Ra6 I would have moved my Bishop to b5 in order to keep the Black Rook off b2. Black wasted a move by playing the Rook to a7 and then a6. Soon the Black a pawn will fall and Black will have to deal with the passed White c pawn.

18. Rfa1 Ra6 19. Bb5 Ra7 20. Rxa5 Rxa5 21. Rxa5 Ne8

Benko's Opening after 21... Ne8.

Benko’s Opening after 21… Ne8.

I am tempted to give Black’s last move a question mark. I am assuming that he planned to put it on c7 next to attack my Bishop at b5. However, capturing the Knight now leaves the pawn at e5 unprotected and when the e pawn falls the d pawn will be unprotected. So, naturally I captured the Knight now. After the capture on e8 moving the Black Rook to b2 doesn’t work because Ba4 protects the Knight on c2 and threatens checkmate. White can then move his knights off the second rank and be OK up another Knight.

22. Bxe8 Rxe8 23. Rxe5 Rd8 24. Nf3 Ra8!

Benko's Opening after 24... Ra8!

Benko’s Opening after 24… Ra8!

Here is where I blundered. I figured up a Knight and 3 pawns I would have an easy win. I grabbed the unprotected pawn at d4 and several hours later, while lying in bed trying to sleep, I realized that taking that third pawn  was a blunder. Bh3 cuts off my King’s escape square and threatens checkmate. The only way out of mate is to sacrifice the Rook! Suddenly, I no longer have an easily won endgame! What I should have played here was 25. Kg2 preventing 25… Bh3 and then I can take the pawn at d4.

25. Ncxd4?? Bh3!! 26. Re8+ Rxe8 27. Ng5 Bg4 28. e3 f6

Benko's Opening after 28... f6.

Benko’s Opening after 28… f6.

Here is another point in the game where I moved a little too quickly. After 29. Ngf3 Bh3 creates all kind of problems for me. After 29. h3 fxg5 30. hxg4 both sides have doubled pawns. However, after 29. h3 Bc8! 30. Ngf3 the pawn at h3 falls. Still, the White King now has an escape square at h2. I got lucky when Black took the Knight at f3 and let me get his Bishop off the board!

29. Ngf3 Bxf3? 30. Nxf3 Rd8 31. d4 g5 32. h4

Benko's Opening after 32. h4.

Benko’s Opening after 32. h4.

I now consider 32 h3 to be a better move. Capturing on h4 left Black with isolated pawns. Better would have been 32… g4 followed by f5.

gxh4 33. Nxh4 Ra8 34. c5 Kg7 35. c6?!

Benko's Opening after 35. c6?!

Benko’s Opening after 35. c6?!

I read somewhere that passed pawns must be pushed. However, this turned out to be a mistake because I couldn’t support the c and d pawns and they fell. Luckily, I was able to trade them for Black’s two remaining pawns.

Rd8 36. Kg2 Kf7 37. Nf3 Ke7 38. e4 Kd6 39. d5 f5!

Benko's Opening after 39... f5!

Benko’s Opening after 39… f5!

I should have taken more time to look at this position. Interesting is 40. Ng5 threatening Nf7 forking the Black King and Rook. Black’s best move then would probably be 40… Rg8. Again, I got lucky that I was able to get all of Black’s pawns off the board and keep three of mine, even if one was doubled.

40. exf5 Kxd5 41. Ng5 Kxc6 42. Nxh7 Rh8 43. Ng5 Rh5

Benko's Opening after 43... Rh5.

Benko’s Opening after 43… Rh5.

Black wants to win the pawn at f5. However, White has some moves that save the pawns and Knight. However, Black does manage to keep me from advancing my pawn on f5.

44. f4 Rh6 45. g4 Kd5 46. Kg3 Rf6 1/2-1/2

Benko's Opening after 46... Rf6 (Final position).

Benko’s Opening after 46… Rf6 (Final position).

As long as Black keeps his Rook in front of my f pawns I cannot advance the pawns at f5 and g4. So, I asked for and got a draw. I really did not like giving up a draw to someone rated almost 300 points below me! If I had not blundered away a Rook I would have won this game easily!

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