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Every Russian Schoolboy Knows: Revolution Revisited - Part 22

Opening: A59: Benko/Volga Gambit

Player(s): Atalik, Ditiatev, Mariano, Radosavljevic

Known in the English-speaking chess world as the Benko Gambit, this opening is a strange bird. Contrary to most gambits Black's strategy is not to open up the center and go after the enemy king. Quite opposite, in fact. Instead, Black relies on his pawn chain e7-d6-c5 to provide him with sufficient space to operate on the a- and b-files, while welcoming near every trade. Over the past few decades White has tried pretty much everything to stem the tide of Black's play. The problem is, it takes his attention away from what he really needs to be doing, which is prepare e4-e5 and develop play against the black king. The three games of my friend, Istanbul GM Suat Atalik, featured in this video illustrate a relatively new attempt to block Black's play by establishing an outpost for the knight on b5. Try, and it might work for you!

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