Another Uncomfortable Benoni


In this chess game played at ICC against Tavo from Brazil, White had just played Re7. Black had chosen to play a Benoni defense which is equivalent to saying ” I either want to win or lose, but no draws please”. In the Benoni defense, Black typically hopes his queen-side expansion will break through before White crashes through in the center.

After Re7, White had to be prepared for Bf6 which appears to trap the Rook. Do you see why White should not fear the move Bf6?  Hint: Black’s Rook at f8 is rather immobile!

Chess literature claims that the Benoni Defense was actually popularized by a guy who battled depression and needed something to keep his mind active and deflected from his melancholy state. 

I know I get depressed when I face the Benoni because both sides are skating on thin ice and you know you are competing against a fighter who will go down swinging. In closing, chess players interested in learning the Benoni Defense would be well advised to scrutinize Craig Mar’s well written article on this fighting defense. Mar annotates a “quieter non 4 pawns attack” version of the Benoni played between Walter Browne and Nick DeFirmian.  Also a slightly dimmer light, FM Michael Langer , is a practitioner of the Son of Sorrow defense.

Skating on Thin Ice in the Benoni