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Benoni (A66)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 e6 4 Nc3 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 e4 g6
7 f4

Number of games in database: 122
Years covered: 1956 to 2022
Overall record:
   White wins 42.6%
   Black wins 39.3%
   Draws 18.0%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Guenther Moehring  3 games
Alexandr Fier  3 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Shamkovich vs V Zheliandinov, 1959
Spassky vs L Aronson, 1957
Lputian vs D Norwood, 1986
Vuvkovich vs Petrosian, 1980
S Ball vs L Day, 1975
B Haufler vs Hort, 1986
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 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 122  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. W Drakert vs Lombardy  0-1301956Canadian OpenA66 Benoni
2. Spassky vs L Aronson 1-0371957USSR ChampionshipA66 Benoni
3. Portisch vs O Yepez Obando  1-0421957WchT U26 04thA66 Benoni
4. R Sallay vs Lengyel  0-1521958Hungarian ChampionshipA66 Benoni
5. Panno vs J M Aitken 1-0401958Munich Olympiad qual-3A66 Benoni
6. Shamkovich vs V Zheliandinov 1-0201959?A66 Benoni
7. Smirnov vs A Volovich  0-1581959Moscow Central Chess Club ChampionshipA66 Benoni
8. A Geller vs P Kondratiev  1-0291959Leningrad-chA66 Benoni
9. E Reinhardt vs W Estrada Degrandi  1-0281960Sao Paulo ZonalA66 Benoni
10. V Shishkin vs A Volovich  0-1381960Leningrad-Moscow MatchA66 Benoni
11. V Mikenas vs Suetin  ½-½261962USSR ChampionshipA66 Benoni
12. D Neukirch vs W Golz  1-0341963DDR-ch 13thA66 Benoni
13. M Bratzlavsky vs P Ostermeyer  0-13919631st Niemeyer tournamentA66 Benoni
14. F Baumbach vs Polugaevsky 0-1401963Bad LiebensteinA66 Benoni
15. Kavalek vs J Trapl  1-0391963Czechoslovak ChampionshipA66 Benoni
16. Gipslis vs K Grigorian ½-½691964URS-ch sfA66 Benoni
17. T Bjornsson vs G Palmason  ½-½351964ReykjavikA66 Benoni
18. G Moehring vs P Hesse  1-0291965East German ChampionshipA66 Benoni
19. Keene vs R G Ambler  1-0261965U.K. Schools ChampionsihpA66 Benoni
20. A Davie vs J M Aitken  1-0201965British ChampionshipA66 Benoni
21. J Hardinge vs Q van Abbe  1-0161966C.U. ChampA66 Benoni
22. S Mariotti vs A Saidy  0-1251967Reggio Emilia 1967/68A66 Benoni
23. V Mikenas vs B Kliukin 1-0271971URSA66 Benoni
24. G Kuzmin vs L Espig  1-0221971ZinnowitzA66 Benoni
25. R Debarnot vs O Rodriguez Vargas  ½-½501972Sao Paulo ZonalA66 Benoni
 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 122  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-27-02  ksadler: I realize that it is slow on tempo, but other than that, what is wrong with playign 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. e4 g6 7. f4 a6 to stop the 8. Bb5+ if 7. .. Bg7 is played.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Excellent question ksadler. The Taimanov Benoni is one of the most fearsome attacks against the defense, and that Bb5+ move is the one that absolutely slays Black since (a) 8...Nfd7 is awkward, and (b) 8...Nbd7 leads to mindbending complications which probably favor White, and (c) 8...Bb7 9. e5! is not appealing for the second player.

One of my favorite chess books is a thin little manual called "Kasparov's Chess Openings" written by IM Otto Borik. In this book he writes: <Although 7...a6 prevents the following check, it allows White time to act energetically in the centre with 8.e5 dxe5 9.fxe5 Ng4 10.e6! and the knight hangs; or here 9...Nfd7 10.e6>

By the way, these aggressive central pawn pushes are exactly how I like to handle the Benoni's strange cousin, the Benko gambit.

Dec-18-06  2021: Is this the rarest opening?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Looks pretty "Phony" to me! :-))
Dec-18-06  2021: I found that it isin't: A74 has only 16 games. A76 comes close with only 32 games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <2021> E57 beats that, with 13 games.

In the case of A66, I think that its rarity is due to the fact that White generally follows 7.f4 with 8.Bb5+. That's A67, while this section covers other 8th moves.

May-22-12  Infohunter: <Phony Benoni: <2021> E57 beats that, with 13 games.>

Hey, what happened? As of now E57 has only five games! Where did the other eight get off to? See Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line with 8...dc and (E57)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Infohunter> The ECO index gets refined from time to time, and games often switch allegiance. Here's a more complete update:

Phony Benoni chessforum

May-23-12  Infohunter: <Phony Benoni> Thanks--though I must say, this does undermine my faith in Mr. Rabar. Here I always thought he had come up with the ultimate, infallible classification system! (Well, then again, there IS that little matter of why openings in 1.d4 should run from A40-A99 and then pick up again at D00 to run through E99 but, as they say: "Pish posh--such a trifle!") (And let's not even ask who "they" are!)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Infohunter> Don't blame Mr. Rabar. The reclassifications are basically due to tinkering with the program which automatically assigns ECO codes to the games, not to his system. And ECO is actually an outgrowth of Rabar's original system. That used the letters "R", "E", "D", which I thought of as "rest", "e-pawn", "d-pawn".

If you ever get a hold of some very early Informants, you can see it in action. But as I recall, it never really caught on and was replaced when the Encyclopedia of Chess Openings came out with the revised system.

May-23-12  Infohunter: <Phony Benoni> Well glory be! My faith is restored! Hallelujah!

Pseudoreligious hyperbole aside, thank you for filling me in on the history of this matter. Somehow I had assumed that this system had sprung forth like Athena, "fully formed and fully armed," without the rough spots you mention. In retrospect I see that that was a highly illogical assumption. Now that you mention it, I think I would like to order some back issues of Informant (as if I didn't already have enough chess books!).

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