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Pal Benko vs Yuri Averbakh
Portoroz Interzonal (1958), Portoroz SLO, rd 6, Aug-13
English Opening: Symmetrical. Symmetrical Variation (A36)  ·  1-0



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Given 16 times; par: 166 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-30-06  nescio: It's hard to say where Averbakh went wrong. His set-up seems quite plausible. Nevertheless already in the early stages of the middlegame he has troubles with the weak points d5 and b5, which Benk√∂, a Hungarian follower of Maroczy and Barcza. uitlizes consequently. I like especially the move 16.Bg5! Black has to choose between weakening his position further with f7-f6 or allowing the capturing of his knight, the only piece that protects the weak central points.
Nov-30-06  NBZ: my simplistic interpretation is that ...b5 isn't quite correct without a white pawn on e4 since the central pawn structure of black is pointing to the k-side. A plan with ...f5 seems more logical in my view.
Nov-30-06  nescio: <NBZ> You may be right. How do modern masters play such positions? In the game R Zysk vs N Miezis, 2005 Black succesfully tried the ...f5 approach with ...a5 instead of ...a6, but White did not play Ne1 and Nc2 which struck me as a particularly good idea. In Filippov vs Tregubov, 2006 White did play Ne1 and there Black went for a central advance with ...Be6 and ...d5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: A great example of Benko's technique.
Benko said thast 11 b4 prepared a piece sacrifice; 11..e4 12 Nxe4..f5 (12..Bxa1 is extremely risky for black) 13 Nxd6+..Qxd6 14 Bf4..Be5 15 bxc..Qd7 16 Bxe5..Nxe5 17 cxb..Rxb5
18 d4 with three strong pawns and the initiative for the piece. Benko recommended 16..f6 (not allowing white to gain control of d5) though he thought that white would still have been better. Benko could have won a piece with 50 e6..Kg8 51 e7..Bxe7 52 Rxe7 though he thought the win here would have presented more technical challenges. The only decisive game between these two endgame wizards.
Oct-12-09  bunbun: cant you win with 73 Rxf7+ RxR 74 NxR,KxN 75 Kd5 going to pawn endgame immediately?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <bunbun> Not quite. After 73.Rxf7+ Rxf7 74.Nxf7 Kxf7 75.Kd5, we have this position:

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And now 75...Ke7! draws if Black plays correctly. For example, 76.e6 Ke8! 77.Kd6 Kd8, and White cannot make progress.

Mar-26-16  Howard: Definitely one of Benko's best games from that time period.
Aug-10-16  zydeco: <nescio> Benko annotates this game in depth and his book and really doesn't have any improvements for black.

He says that he himself would have played 16....f6 but as the lesser of two evils - white is better after 17.Qb3+.

Accepting the piece sacrifice with 11....e4, as pointed out by <plang> would have changed the character of the position completely.

Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

After 57.Rxf8. If Black takes the rook, then 58.Nb4 Rc1+ 59.Kb5 Re1 60.Nd5! -- White's super-knight protects the e-pawn, prevents the black king from approaching, and can shield the king and the pawn from the rook with Nd5-b4.

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