Understanding before Moving 87: Basics of the Benko Gambit (6)

by ChessBase
7/17/2022 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In the 87th instalment of his ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving", Herman continues to explain why playing the Benko Gambit might be a good choice for club players. | Photo: Pascal Simon

Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2 Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2

In this two-part course the emphasis will be on typical pawn-structures.


In this mini-course on the Benkö Gambit, it seems to me a good time to take a look at  familiar plans in this opening. Let's assume that White accepts the pawn sacrifice and exchanges the white-squared  bishops. This means that White gives up the right to castle and has to find a good square for his king. It cannot remain on f1 because then the rook on h1 would remain out of play.

Therefore, the king can either go to g2 or to he. Let's call this the king's walk and let's have a look at the subtle differences in positions with the king on g2 and positions with the king on h2.

In the diagram position below White played g2-g3 and Kf1-g2. Black can follow the classical patterns (with ...Qa5 etc.) but also has another, interesting option that I would like to discuss by looking at a model game.

In the diagram position, Black put his rook to a6 to clear the square a8 for the queen. In this way he can make an attempt to blow up white's pawn center. How should he proceed?


Attacking with the Benko Gambit

Don't give 1.d4 players an easy ride — sacrifice a pawn with 3.b5 for a lasting initiative. GM Ramirez shows you clear ideas for play in every variation.

Attacking with the Benko Gambit - Part 2

GM Ramirez completes his repertoire suggestion versus 1.d4 with powerful systems among others against the ColleSystem, Trompowsky or the declining move 3.Nf3. An absolute asset - not only for friends of the Benko Gambit!

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