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White wants to play b3 or even a3, and by not castling, he avoids Rb1 Bc4, recovering the pawn. Tisdall's ChessPublishing site has been raving about White's chances reflected in an overwhelming winning ratio of late , so I wanted to see what these two books had to say. Of course, this is not very fair, since both sources to some extent seem to depend upon Black's idea of an early …Nb6 to discourage Rb1, and White's delayed castling is a new idea. As it turns out, deprived of this trick, both books are quite objective and tend to show wins and advantages for White throughout their notes.

Both give possible alternatives for Black, but not at all fleshed-out.

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In the end, Black still has a lot of work to do in this line, and it should prove to be a very handy White weapon. I looked at some irregular fourth moves, e. In this case, both books seem to acknowledge the White advantage after 4…bxc4, and SP does a slightly better job of covering 4…b4, especially in his unequivocal rejection of 5. On the other hand, while SP gives more detail following 4. Nd2 g5 7. Be5 Rg8 8. Qc2 Nxd2 9. Bc3, given by Seirawan and a bit better for White, is easily met by 8…Qxd2!

Both books' coverage of the topical 4. Nf3 lines is excellent. Both books offer plenty of suggested improvements, and get high points for originality; but perhaps a bit too often, the suggestions are one-movers and not pursued.

Pedersen's overall coverage of 4. Qe2 etc. On it goes. Having spent a lot of time with these books, I can tell you that they are both a quantum leap above earlier Benko books, and both examples of top-notch opening writing.

If you aren't up for There is relatively little new material out there concerning this important and rapidly-changing opening, which is still played by many top-level players. Most sources naturally emphasize lines with Nf3 without f3 or f4 , because the most common Benoni move order these days is 1. Nf3 c5 4. I'm not going to go into Chris Ward's video in great detail, since a video on such a complicated system is bound to be selective and superficial at points, and its main purpose is to introduce a new player to the Benoni with specific move orders and a lot of ideas.

For that purpose, I think that this video succeeds wonderfully. One could easily take up the Benoni using only Ward's presentation, and fill in details later as one gains practical experience. Of course, one cannot replace the depth of books. Ward begins with 4. Nc3 exd5 5. Nf3 g6 7. Bf4, for example, with the defence 7…Bg7 8. Qb3 b5! Bf4, which precludes that defence and offers another set of difficult problems.

He also devotes his efforts to avoiding the 'Modern Main Line', 6. Nf3 Bg7 8. Bd3, quite properly recommending 7…a6 8. These are legitimate lines, for sure; but in the latter case, 8. Bd3, perhaps White's best try, goes unmentioned. More importantly, when Ward suggests 6. Bd3 Bg7 for Black, what is he planning on 8.

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Nf3 is the Modern Main Line, and 8…a6 9. I also have problems with some of the lines he chooses for Black, and of course all the White side systems aren't covered, but that's the nature of a simplified repertoire. So to summarize: I think anyone starting out with the Benoni, especially from but even a master-level player, could both enjoy and get great recommendations from this video. At some point, of course, you'll want to supplement it with something more serious.

Attila Schneider's massive 3-volume work on the Benoni pages! Like other Dreier publications, these are solidly put-together hardbound volumes. The text is in German, but mostly consists of assessments which will often be comprehensible to the English-speaker, and introductory descriptions, which probably won't be. It is very much a variation-oriented book, however; and the openings fan who wants information rather than instruction should not let language be a barrier. There are two contrasting features which most stand out about these books.

On the one hand, Schneider thinks for himself, makes his own assessments, and is clearly not just copying older books, as many authors do. The negative side to his approach is an apparent ignorance of other's analysis and an over-reliance on the results of games to assess positions stemming from those games. As a result, they make intriguing reading for a Benoni veteran, and should appeal to anyone who consistently plays the Benoni as Black; but the inconsistency and sometimes low quality of the analysis makes this a mediocre general reference.

If one is firmly committed to a particular way of play as White, one might consider getting the appropriate volume to help.


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