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

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

The game includes analysis and diagrams.

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[Black “ElectricCrown”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ICCResult “Black checkmated”]
[WhiteElo “1372”]
[BlackElo “1255”]
[Opening “Benko’s opening”]
[ECO “A00”]
[NIC “VO.09”]
[Time “00:24:04”]
[TimeControl “420+0”]

1. g3 e5 2. Bg2 d5 3. d3 Nf6 4. c4 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Bxd2+ 6. Nxd2 d4 7. Ngf3 Qe7
8. O-O Nbd7 9. a3 Rb8 10. b4 O-O 11. Qb3 b6 12. Rfb1 Bb7 13. a4 c5 14. b5 a5
15. bxa6 Bxa6 16. Qa2 e4 17. Nxe4 Nxe4 18. dxe4 Qxe4 19. Ne1 Qe6 20. Bd5 Qf6
21. Nd3 Ne5 22. Nxe5 Qxe5 23. Re1 Kh8 24. a5 f5 25. axb6 Rxb6 26. Rad1 f4
27. Qa3 fxg3 28. hxg3 Qf6 29. f4 Qg6 30. Kg2 Rxf4 31. Qxc5 Rf8 32. Qxf8#
{Black checkmated} 1-0

Online Game
Game Played 1 Jul 2004
White: Mike Serovey (1372) Black: ElectricCrown (1255)

1. g3 e5 2. Bg2 d5 3. d3 Nf6 

Benko's Opening after 3... Nf6

Benko’s Opening after 3… Nf6

I sometimes play this move order to surprise or fool my opponents and to avoid anything that they may have prepared for me. From here I usually transpose into a variation of the English Opening or the Réti Opening. This game more closely resembles an English Opening.

4. c4 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Bxd2+ 6.Nxd2 d4

Benko's Opening after 6... d4

Benko’s Opening after 6… d4

Black moved his dark-squared Bishop twice, once to develop it and then to exchange it. White moved his dark-squared Bishop once to block the check. The recapture developed the Queen’s Knight. Thus, White now has a slight lead in development and is up a tempo. Now the position looks like a reversed Benoni Defense. White is hoping for a reversed Benko Gambit.

7. Ngf3 Qe7 (Developing the Queen before the minor pieces or castling is seldom a good idea.) 8. O-O Nbd7

Benko's Opening after 8... Nbd7

Benko’s Opening after 8… Nbd7

White has completed his development while Black still has his King in the Center and Black’s last move blocks in his Queenside Bishop. Better was 8… Nc6. White Now continues to play  a reversed Benoni.

9. a3 Rb8 10. b4 O-O

Benko's Opening after 10... O-O

Benko’s Opening after 10… O-O

Black follows the rule of castling by move 10, but has awkward placement of his pieces. White is preparing for his Queenside attack.

11. Qb3 b6 12. Rfb1 Bb7 (Black wants to exchange the light-squared bishops.) 13. a4 c5

Benko's Opening after 13... c5

Benko’s Opening after 13… c5

The White Queen wants to stay on the same diagonal as the Black King, but not on the same file as the Black Rook. So, opening the b file right now is not a good idea.

14. b5 a5

Benko's Opening after 14... a5

Benko’s Opening after 14… a5

Now, opening the b file is OK because White must capture en passant this move or let the Queenside remain closed.

15. bxa6 Bxa6 16. Qa2 e4 17. Nxe4 Nxe4 18. dxe4 Qxe4

Benko's Opening after 18... Qxe4

Benko’s Opening after 18… Qxe4

Now White has a few problems. Black has two pawn islands while White has 3. White has isolated pawns on a4 and c4. The White pawn on e2 is under attack as well as the pawn on c4. The White Queen is guarding both and is in danger of becoming overloaded. However, the Black b pawn is backwards and thus is a target. White now decides to move the King’s Knight over to d3 to stop the
advancement of Black’s d pawn and to put pressure on the Queenside. By moving this Knight, White also puts more pressure on the a8 to h1 diagonal.

19. Ne1 Qe6 20. Bd5  (To guard the pawn on c4.) Qf6 21. Nd3 Ne5 22. Nxe5 Qxe5

Benko's Opening after 22... Qxe5

Benko’s Opening after 22… Qxe5

Here we are at the transition form middle game to endgame. White now has the position that he was playing for and will resume his Queenside attack.

23. Re1 Kh8 24. a5 f5

Benko's Opening after 24... f5

Benko’s Opening after 24… f5

White still needs to keep an eye on the Kingside because Black is starting his counter attack there. Right now, the game is roughly even.

25. axb6 Rxb6 26. Rad1 f4 27. Qa3 fxg3 28. hxg3

Benko's Opening after 28. hxg3

Benko’s Opening after 28. hxg3

White’s attack has shifted from the Queenside to the Center. Black continues his Kingside attack. White recaptured on g3 with the h pawn because it is generally better to capture towards the center. Also, White didn’t want to completely open the f file when Black’s Rook is there because doing so can leave the White King weak. The Black pawn on c5 is now weak and White
eventually wins it.

Qf6 29. f4 Qg6

Benko's Opening after 29... Qg6

Benko’s Opening after 29… Qg6

White overlooked Black’s next move. The pawn on g3 is pinned to the White King and thus cannot capture on f4. Better here is 30. Rf1.

30. Kg2? (One of White’s few mistakes in this game.) Rxf4! 31. Qxc5

Benko's Opening after 31.Qxc5

Benko’s Opening after 31.Qxc5

Black walks into checkmate with his next move. At this point in the game White had 24 seconds left on his clock and Black had over one minute. Many times in Blitz chess one player will blunder while trying to run the other player out of time. The same goes for time pressure in games with regular time controls. The game may have continued 31… Rg4! 32.Rd3! h5 33.Rh1 Bb7?? 34. Bxb7 Rxb7 35.Qc8+! winning the Black Rook on b7. Better is 33… h4 34.Qf8+ Kh7 35.Qg8+ Kh6 36.Qh8+ Kg5 (If 36… Qh7 37.Qxh7+ Kxh7 38.Rxh7+ Rxh7 39.gxh7 Rb4 40.Rxd4 and White is clearly better here with two passed pawns.) 37.Rf3 hxg3 38.Qd8+! Rf6! 39.Rxg3 Rxg3+ 40.Kxg3 Kf5+ 41.Kf2 Ke5+ 42.Ke1 Qg3+ 43.Kd1 Qc3! 44.Qe7+! Kf4 45.Rf1+ Kg5 46.Qxg7+ Rg6 47.Rg1! wining the Rook on g6.

However, the game would not likely have gotten this far before one of the players ran out of time!

Rf8?? 32. Qxf8# 1-0

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