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GM Misa Pap’s “Volga Benko Gambit” - Giving up the mighty Bishop

Opening: A58, A59: Benko Gambit accepted, Benko Gambit 1.d4 Cf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 Axa6 6.Cc3 d6 7.e4


My guess is that - from the title - you already know what we're going to talk about, right? Yes, indeed. One of the strategic weapons black has in this opening is to give up the powerful Bishop fianchettoed on g7. Make no mistake, though: it is far from easy or straightforward to implement in a real game. Of course, you can check theoretical ideas and some games, but be careful when you try to "give up" your mighty Bg7 for the Knight in c3, as it might involve some risk. Also, an exact strategical and tactical evaluation is necessary. On the other hand, if you manage to do it correctly, at the right moment, it can give white some severe headaches! So, this typical exchange of Bg7 for Nc3 is a lovely idea and very powerful, if used smartly! What can we get from it? Usually, you can win a pawn on a2 or a pawn on e4, which were protected by the Knight on c3; or sometimes, you can get even more! So, go for it, when there are the right conditions, but make sure white is not going to mate you on the long diagonal!

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Teacher's library (107) OFFICIAL COURSE 11 A58 A59 opening

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