July Workshop - Improve Your Play in Closed Positions

Methods of Playing in Benoni Structures

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After my Gruenfeld series, this is the start of a new string of articles, strategic and theoretical ones, dedicated to the Benoni defense. Unlike in the Gruenfeld, there is not such a wide variety of structures in the Benoni. It mainly depends on such issues as whether White consolidates his e4-pawn with f2-f3, or prepares to launch it forward with f2-f4 etc. But the main issue is the same: White has a mobile majority in the center, while Black has the same on the queenside. *Obviously, White's most daring dream is carrying out a queenside expansion, involving ...b7-b5 followed, according to the circumstances, by ...c5-c4 or ...b5-b4. Here is an example in which this plan was consequently carried out:

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