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I started a game recently with the Benoni Defensive opening. What do you all think about this opening? Have you played any games in which you used this opening?
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I would recommend it (I've used it a bit, getting it once here at gameknot transposing from a KID). It may seem slightly risky, but it will lead to exciting games where you'll get a lot of good experience:
1) You have pawn breaks at f5 and b5 to constantly strive for, while having to watch out for an e5 break by white. So, simple pawn-related lessons in every game.
2) You'll get to play a lot with your pieces, using their activity (especially the g7-bishop) to make up for the positional disadvantages.
Plus, many players (I'm guessing many around your rating level, but I can't say for sure) will 'chicken out' of playing d4-d5, opting for e2-e3 or Nf3 or d4xc5 instead. These positions will give you no trouble as they allow for easy and equal development.
It can get crazy though, so you'd have to like tactics to play this. I'd look over Tal's games, as they can be entertaining, and they'll make you think that you need to play like him in order to win. Fischer also had great success with this opening, so see how he did it before getting in too deep.
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The Modern Benoni ...
... is one of my favorite openings for Black - not really a defence; more of a counterblow.
Here's a game recently played in emtogsdia's MT:
Quite a ding-dong affair.
It has to be said, though, that the risk factor is high. I've had one loss where the enemy's K-side attack proved too quick for my Q-side advance, even though I "got in" a pawn promotion; and another that was a complete disaster after I misplaced my queen to b6 then castled Q-side.
But if the risk factor is high, so is the excitement factor. My one warning is that (in my view) it is a very difficult opening to play, especially for Black, especially in its main lines.
You can make life easier for yourself if you play the Benko Gambit, though. This opening I would highly recommend, as, for the pawn, Black gets an easy development, a clear-cut plan early on, and quick pressure against White's Q-side:
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 Bxa6
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But Beware the Taimanov var! (Hey, I have since the late 80's, glad Bobby climbed onboard haha :)
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that link is busted. Ok, by url
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For Andrew Martin Fans...
Andrew Martin has made another one of his "ABCs of the..." DVDs, this time on the Benoni.
Might be worth a look for people who like studying openings that way.