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

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. (Click HERE to learn more about Pal Benko, whom this opening is named after.) The ratings listed below are for each opponent after the game was finished. In this game my opponent exceeded the time control and I complained about this. He was given a warning and more time to complete the game! When he exceeded the new time control I complained again and was awarded the win on time forfeit.

[Event “ICC correspondence 2006Quad.30.12”]
[Site “Internet Chess Club”]
[Date “2006.08.05”]
[Round “-“]
[White “OnGoldenPawn”]
[Black “JimGaming”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ICCResult “White declared winner by adjudication”]
[Opening “Benko’s opening”]
[ECO “A00”]
[NIC “VO.09”]
[Time “21:08:44”]

1. g3 d5 2. Bg2 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. b3 Bg4 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. O-O e5 7. d3 Be7 8.
Ba3 O-O 9. Bxe7 Qxe7 10. Nbd2 h6 11. h3 Bh5 12. cxd5 cxd5 13. g4 Nxg4 14.
hxg4 Bxg4 15. Nh2 Be6 16. e4 d4 17. f4 f5 18. Nc4 fxe4 19. Nxe5 Nxe5 20.
fxe5 e3 21. Rxf8+ Rxf8 22. Nf3 Bd5 23. Qe2 Qa3 24. Rf1 Qb4 25. Qb2 Bxf3 26.
Rxf3 Rxf3 27. Bxf3 Qe1+ 28. Kg2 Qd2+ 29. Qxd2 exd2 30. Kf2 g5 31. Ke2 d1=Q+
32. Kxd1 b6 33. Ke2 {White declared winner by adjudication} 1-0

Online Correspondence Game
Game Played 5 August 2006 to 31 January 2007
White: Mike Serovey (1557) Black: JimGaming (1440)

1. g3 d5 2. Bg2 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. b3 Bg4

Benko's Opening after 4... Bg4.

Benko’s Opening after 4… Bg4.

This position resembles the Réti Opening only the King’s Knight is not yet on f3. White can control the Center from the wings with the double fianchettoed bishops.

5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. O-O e5

Benko's Opening after 6... e5.

Benko’s Opening after 6… e5.

Black now occupies the Center with pawns and threatens to attack the Knight on f3 by playing e4. White now plays 7. d3 to discourage e4 and then plays the dark-squared Bishop to a3 to trade off Black’s dark-squared Bishop.

7. d3 Be7 8. Ba3 O-O 9. Bxe7 Qxe7 10. Nbd2 h6

Benko's Opening after 10... h6.

Benko’s Opening after 10… h6.

This is hypermodern theory. Notice how White does not occupy the Center with pieces and pawns like Black does. Instead, White tries to control the Center from the wings. White now decided to kick the pesky Bishop at g4.

11. h3 Bh5 12. cxd5 cxd5

Benko's Opening after 12... cxd5.

Benko’s Opening after 12… cxd5.

White has relieved some of the tension in the Center by capturing on d5. White wants to play the pawn to e4 but doesn’t like the Black Bishop being on the same diagonal as his Queen. So, White decided to kick the Black Bishop again by playing g4. White knew that Black might sacrifice a piece for two pawns, which would weaken his King’s position, but decided to take that risk anyway, and it worked out OK.

13. g4!? Nxg4?! 14. hxg4 Bxg4

Benko's Opening after 14... Bxg4.

Benko’s Opening after 14… Bxg4.

This is the position after the dust has settled. White has a Knight for two pawns and is thus up the equivalent of a pawn. White now wants to reposition his knights to the Kingside and then to open up the Center.

15. Nh2 Be6 16. e4 d4 17. f4 f5

Benko's Opening after 17... f5.

Benko’s Opening after 17… f5.

Both sides are now prepared to open the e and f files. White wants to trade a Knight for Black’s remaining Bishop and also to put more pressure on e5 and thus plays his Knight to c4 here. White ends up making an error in calculations that gives Black a passed pawn in the Center and connected passed pawns on the Kingside. Even so, White manages to hold on because of his extra piece.

18. Nc4 fxe4 19. Nxe5 Nxe5 20. fxe5 e3!

Benko's Opening after 20... e3!

Benko’s Opening after 20… e3!

Black now has three passed pawns for his Knight. White cannot allow Black to place a Rook on f2 and thus trades rooks and also blocks Black’s access to f2 by placing a Knight on f3.

21. Rxf8+ Rxf8 22. Nf3 Bd5

Benko's Opening after 22... Bd5.

Benko’s Opening after 22… Bd5.

At this point White considered playing 23. Nxe4 but didn’t like the position that would result from Qxe5. Allowing Black to play his Rook to f2 creates too many problems for White.

23. Qe2 Qa3 24. Rf1!

Benko's Opening after 24. Rf1!

Benko’s Opening after 24. Rf1!

White can now contest the f file and keep the Black Rook off f2. White can now safely capture the pawn on d4 so Black moves his Queen to protect that pawn.

Qb4 25. Qb2 (Putting more pressure on d4.) Bxf3 26. Rxf3 Rxf3 27. Bxf3 Qe1+

Benko's Opening after 27... Qe1+

Benko’s Opening after 27… Qe1+

White now has the kind of position that he wanted. The White Bishop threatens to capture the pawn on b7 and prevents the pawn on e3 from advancing. The Bishop on the diagonal that runs from a8 to h1 controls one of Black’s queening squares and can stop the advance of Black’s connected passed pawns. Black wants to force the exchange of queens of d2, but this just loses that passed pawn in the Center.

28. Kg2 Qd2+ 29. Qxd2 exd2

Benko's Opening after 29... exd2.

Benko’s Opening after 29… exd2.

Now all White has to do is to move his King over to capture the isolated pawns in the Center and then the King can come back to the Kingside to stop the advancing pawns on the Kingside. If Black moves his King towards the Center to try to win the passed e pawn White can play his Bishop to d5 and Black has trouble winning that passed e pawn.

30. Kf2 g5 31. Ke2 d1=Q+ 32. Kxd1 b6 33. Ke2 1-0

Benko's Opening after 33. Ke2 (Final position).

Benko’s Opening after 33. Ke2 (Final position).

Black lost on time forfeit here. If Black had continued with 33… Kf7 then White could have continued with 34. Bd5+ Kg6 35. Kf3 Kf5 36. e6! and black must retreat the King back to f6 to prevent White from queening that passed e pawn.

Mike Serovey, MA, MISM

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