Franco BenOni

1.e4 e6 2.d4 c5 3.d5 ed5 4.ed5 d6
A43

Dernire mise jour le  06-03-04

frben1.gif (5787 bytes)

Copyright 2000 - 2002 perso.wanadoo.fr/mdv

Voir article de Tom Harding (The Kibitzer) copi de Chess Caf Juin 97. 3.... a6?! pas convainquant car:
a) 4.d6 semble bon pour Blancs (4..Qb6 5.e5 et 4..e5 5.Nf3)
b) 4.Nf3 d6 comme dans Timocenko-Zelcic 94 (5.a4 Ne7 =, voir article ci-dessous) revient 3.d5 d6 4.Nf3 a6

3....d6 au lieu de ed5 n'est en gnral qu'une intervertion qui peut embarrasser les Blancs, mais cela permet  4.de6 fe6 ou Be6 et surtout 4.Bb5!? (voir en F31 Hillarp-Michiels 2000 1-0)

Vos commentaires


Les Blancs jouent Bb5

Les parties etudiees montrent les Noirss peuvent laisser les Blancs jouer Bb5, en ne jouant pas tout de suite a6, a condition de repondre par Nd7 ou Kf8, si possible, et non Bd7?
Et de toutes facons 5.Bb5, qui est peut etre le meilleur moment, ne peut etre evite.

Exemples de parties avec Bb5 Bd7?

A1 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.Qe2 Ne7 7.Bf4

a) 7.Bf4 Bb5 8.Qb5 Qd7 8.Nc3 Qb5 9.Nb5 Nd5 10.Bd6 Nbd7 11.0-0-0 Walther,E-Holferde,H*1964*1-0*

a) 7.Bf4 Qb6 8.Nc3 doit revenir au meme

A2 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.Qe2 Be7 7.Nc3

a) 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.Bd7 Qd7 9.Bf4 0-0 10.0-0-0 Burchardt-Borulya*1995*1-0*

Exemples de parties avec Bb5 Nd7

A3 5.Bb5 Nd7 6.Qe2 Qe7 7.c4

a) 7.c4 Nf6 8.Nc3 a6 9.Ba4 h5!? Kunert-Glass*1931*0-1*

A4 5.Bb5 Nd7 6.Qe2 Be7?!

a) 7.Bf4 a6 8.Bd7 Dimitrov-Djuric*1992*0-1*

a) 7.Bf4 a6 8.Bd3! Cannon-Cutmore*1999*1-0*

A5 5.Bb5 Nd7 6.c4 Nf6

a) 7.Bg5 Be7 8.Nc3 0-0 9.Nf3 Nd5! Fernandez-Lopepe*1977*0-1*

A6 5.Bb5 Nd7 6.Nf3!

a) 6.Nf3 Nf6? (g6 7.0-0 Bg7 8.Re1 Kf7) 7.0-0 Be7 8.a4 0-0 9.Re1 Marian-Diehl*1980*1-0* ou 8.Re1 Bohm-Johansen*1983*1-0*

A7 5.Bb5 Nd7 6.a4

a) 6.a4 a6 7.Bd7 Bd7 8.a5 Nf6 9.h3 = Levacic,P-Megy,D*1995*1-0*

A8 5.Bb5 Nd7 6.Nc3!

a) 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Bd7 Qd7 9.0-0 b5?! Reis-Alexandre*1998*1-0*


B 5.Nc3 a6 (sur Nf6 6.Bg5 voir 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 suivi de e6, c5 et d6)

frben5Nc3a6.gif (8878 bytes)

Variantes principales Sous varinates Remarque
B1 5.Nc3 a6 6.a4 g6

remarques
B2 5.Nc3 a6 6.sans a4

6.Nf3 g6?! risque de retour aux variantes precedentes avec un temps gagne (a4) pour blancs
B3 6.ni a4 ni Nf3

 

Evaluation, commentaires:

Jugement reserve

B1 5.Nc3 a6 6.a4 g6

6... Nbd7? empeche Bg4, souvent bon apres Nf3. De plus l'idee Nbd7 7.Bf4 f6 comme dans la partie Wiedenhofer-Kerinnis (1983 postal  game) citee par Tim Harding) me semble rfute par 8.Qe2!

B11 7.Qe2 Nge7

B111 8.Bf4 f5?! (pour empecher Ne4)

a) 9.Nf3 Bg7 10.Qe3! 0-0 11.Bc4 Re8 12.0-0 ou Ng5 +-

b) 9.h4!?

B112 8.Bf4 Bg7!

a) 9.Ne4 0-0

a1 10.Bd6? Re8 -+

a2 10.0-0-0 Nf5 11.Nf3 h5! 12.Re1 Nbd7! 13.Nd6 (Bd6? Nd6 14.Nd6 Qf6) Nd6 (Nb6?!) =

B113 8.Nf3 Bg7

a) 9.Ne4? 0-0

a1 10.c4 Bf5 -+

a2 10.Qd3 Re8 -+

b) 9.Bf4 0-0

b1 10.0-0-0 Bc3 11.bc3 b5 12.Re1 Ra7 (ou Nd5 =)-+

B114 8.Ne4 Bg7 9.sans Bf4 0-0 (voir B112 a) ni Nf3 0-0 (B113 a)

a) 9.Bg5! f5

a1 10.Be7 Ke7!! rien que pour avoir le plaisir de placer ca le reste vaut le coup! e.g. 11.Nc5 Kf7 12.Ne6 Qa5+ =+

B12 7.Nf3 Nge7 8.sans Qe2 Bg7 (B113)

B121 8.Bc4 Bg7

a) 9.0-0 Nbd7

a1 10.Bg5 0-0 11.Re1 f6 12.Bf4 Ne5 13.Ne5 fe5 14.Ng5 Rf4! 15.Qd3 Rd4 16.Qd1 (Qe2 h6) h6 =

b) 9.Bf4 Nbd7

b1 10.Bd6 Nb6 11.Be7 Qe7 12.Be2 0-0

b11 13.d6 Qe6 14.Ng5 Bc3 15.bc3 Qf6 (Qe5 Qd2) 16.Qd2 Re8 =

B122 8.Bf4 Bg7 9.sans Bc4 Nbd7

a) 9.Be2 0-0 10.0-0 Re8

a1 11.Re1 h6 12.h3 g5 (12.h4 Bg4= ou 12.Qd2 g5= ou 12.Bc4 g5=) 13.Bh2 Bf5 =

a2 11.Bc4 Bf5 12.Re1 (Nh4 Bd7 ou Bc8) Nbd7!? 13.Bd6 Nb6

B123 8.Be2 Bg7 9.0-0 0-0

a) 9.Be2 Bg7 10.0-0 0-0 11.Re1 Nbd7

B13 7.Bf4 Bg7 sans 8.Qe2 Nge7 (B112) ou 8.Nf3 Nge7 (B122)

B131 8.Bc4 Nge7

a) 9.Nf3 Nbd7 voir B121 b)

b) 9.Nge2 0-0 10.0-0 (Ne4 Nf5 11.g4 Nh4-+) Re8 11.Re1 Nf5 =

B132 8.Be2 Nge7

a) 9.Nf3 0-0 10.0-0 voir B122 a)

b) 9.Ne4 0-0

b1 10.Nd6 Bb2 11.Rb1 Bd4

b11 12.Bf3 g5 13.Nc8 (Bg3 f5 14.Nc8 Nc8-+) Nc8=

b12 12.c4! g5 13.Nc8 (Bg3 f5 14.Nc8 Nc8 15.f4 Nd6=) Nc8=

b2 10.Bd6 Bb2 (ou Re8) 11.Rb1 Bf5 12.Be7 Qe7 13.Ng3 Bc3 14.Kf1 Bc8=

B2 5.Nc3 a6 6.sans a4

B21 6.Nf3 g6?!

certainement faible car on se retouve en B1 avec un temps de mieux pour Blancs, exemple:

B211 7.Qe2! Ne7? 8.Bf4 Bg7 9.Ne4!
B212 7.Bf4! f6 8.Be2 Nd7 9.0-0 Ne5 10.Re1 etc:::

B22 6.Nf3 Be7 7.Be2 Nf6

B221 7.Be2 Bf6 8.0-0

a) 8.0-0 b5 9.a3 Bb7 10.b4 Qc7 Weeks-Jap *0-1*1997*

b) 8.0-0 Bg4 9.Ne4 Bf3 10.Bf3 Ne4 Maksimovic-Rastic*1/2*1987*

B222 7.Be2 Nf6 8.a4 Bg4

a) 9.h3 Bf3 10.Bf3 Nbd7 11.0-0 0-0 12.g3 Rb8 Macek,V-Eriksson,I*1-0(=)*1996*

a1 12.g3 Rb8 Macek,V-Eriksson,I*1-0(=)*1996*

a2 12.a5 b5 Lehner,E-Waldman,I*1/2*1992*

b) 9.h3 Bh5 1/2 Orgovan-Hever*1/2*1992*

c) 9.0-0 0-0 10.Nd2 Be2 11.Qe2 Nbd7 (Re8 Alvarez-Medina*1-0*1993*) Berkes-Orso*1/2*1999*

d) 9.0-0 Nbd7 10.Nd2 Be2 11.Qe2 0-0 Saleh-Abo hagag*1/2*1996*

e) 9.0-0 Bf3 10.Bf3 Nbd7 11.Re1 0-0 Graf-Gnegel*0-1*1996*

B223 7.Be2 Nf6 8.a4 Nbd7

a) 9.0-0 Nf8 10.Nd2 Ng6 Wustefeld,C-De Vries,E*1/2*1994*

B23 6.Nf3 Be7 7.Bd3

B24 6.Nf3 Be7 7.a4 Nf6 8.Bc4 ou autres que ci-dessus

B241 8.Bc4 0-0 9.0-0 Nbd7

a) 10.Re1 Re8 continuer

B3 6.ni a4 ni Nf3


C 5.Nf3 autres que B

C1 5.Nf3 g6?!

sauf 6.c4 Bg4 voir 5.c4 g6 6.Nf3 Bg4

C11 5.Nf3 g6 6.Nc3 Bg7

et non a6?! car les blancs peuvent se dispenser du coup comme en B211 qui semble faible pour les Noirs

a)

C111 7.0-0 Ne7 frben7RNe7.gif (8909 bytes)

a) 8.Bc4 0-0 WimpB-MdV ICC 0-1

C12 5.Nf3 g6 6.Bg5! f6!?

C121 7.Bh4

a) 7.Bh4 Nbd7

C122 7.Bf4

C13 5.Nf3 g6 6.Bb5 Nbd7

6.Bb5 Bd7? 7.a4 ou Bd7 suivi de 0-0, Re1 et Bg5 comme dans Yevseev-Pres 1999 ou X-MdV FICS

C131 7.0-0 f6!?

a) 8.Nh4 a6 9.Be2 b5 10.Nc3 Nb6 11.Re1 Kf7 Studier-Gunderam 0-1

C14 5.Nf3 g6 6.h3 Bg7

C141 7.Be2 Nf6 8.0-0 0-0

a) 9.c4 Stanford-MdV ICC 1/2

C2 5.Nf3 Nf6

C21 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Nc3 Be7

C211 7.Be2 0-0 8.0-0 Na6!

a) 9.Bf4 Nc7 10.Re1 b6 Unzicker-Larsen 1970*0-1* (p8 Soltis)

b) 9.Re1 Nc7 10.a4 b6 Bohn-Konikowski*0-1*, Vaganian-Bronstein Line, Bohm-Konikowsji *0-1*

b3 11.Rb1 Bb7 12.Bc4 Rb8 13.Bf4 Re8 Ledger-Bates *1/2*

c) 9.h3 Nc7 10.a4 Rb8

c1 10.a4 Rb8 Van Wely-Meulders Line

c2 10.a4 b6 Van Wely-Meulders note, Gurevich-Kavalek *1/2*, Jumaa-Abdulla 2002 *1/2*

C212 7.Bb5!? Nbd7 8.a4 0-0 9.0-0

a) 9.0-0 a6 10.Be2 b6 11.Re1 Re8 12.Bf4 Nf8 O'Kelly-Larsen 1967 Line

b) 9.0-0 a6 10.Be2 Re8 11.Re1 b6 Tseitlin-Kuzminn 1967 Line

c) 9.0-0 Re8 10.Re1 a6 11.Bf1 b6 Gligoric-Larsen 1969 Line

C213 7.h3 0-0 8.Be2 Na6

a) 9.Ba6 ba6 10.N2 a5 11.0-0 Rb8 Negulescu-Nanu *1-0*

 

C214 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0

a) 8.0-0 Na5 9.Bc4 Toth-Hodova 2002 *1/2*

 

C22 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bg5 h6

C221 7.Qe2 Kd7!?

a) 8.Bf6 Qf6 9.Nc3 g5 Menon-Saplenza 2003 *0-1*


D 5.c4 g6

ici aussi retarder Nf6 ou preferer Nge7 ou Nh6

D1 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Nf3

D11 7.Nf3 Nf6?!

D111 8.Bd3 (ou h3 puis Bd3)

on peut venir de Est Indienne ave c5 comme dans Chirov-Kovacevic

a) 8.Bd3 0-0 9.h3 Re8

a1 10.Be3 Bh6 Chirov-Kovacevic 1-0 (les N sont obligs de refuser le sacrifice du p e3), peut-tre jouable, e.g. en jouant 18.Qe5 au lieu de de5.

a1 10.Be3 Na6 (essayer, e.g. 11.0-0 Rb8 etc..

b) 8.Bd3 Bg4 9.h3 Bf3 10.Qf3 0-0 0-1 Dan-MdV 97

D112 8.Be2 a6

a) 9.0-0 0-0

a1 10.h3 Bf5 Montfuron-MdV ICS 14 2000 (11.Bd3 Bd3)

a2 10.Bg5 Re8 MdV-Novox ICS 2001 1/2(11.Re1 h6)

b) 9.a4 Bg4?! 10.0-0 0-0 11.h3 Bf3    Azra5-MdV 1-0

D113 8.Bg5 Bg4?! 9.Be2 Nbd7 10.0-0 0-0

a) 12.h3 Bf3 13.Bf3 Qc7

a1 14.Qd2 Rfe8 Eluard-MdV 1-0 (mais =)

D114 8.Qe2 Qe7

peut etre bon ?!

D12 7.Nf3 Nge7!

D121 8.Qa4 Bd7? 9.Qb3 b6

a) 10.Bf4 Bf5 11.Nb5 Nc8 Hodgson-Sharman 91 1-0

D122 8.Qa4 Nd7

a) 10.Nb5 0-0 (11.Nd6 Nb6! M)

D123 8.Bd3 0-0 voir E21 c) ci-dessous

D2 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Bd3

D21 7.Bd3 Nge7

a) 8.Nge2 Nbd7     Rubinstein-Spielman 1912 0-1 p222 Kmoch (1.d4 c5…)

b) 8.Ngf3 0-0

b1 9.0-0 h6 Reiter-Seres 2000 0-1

b2 9.0-0 Bg4 Stummer-Szalanczy 1992 1/2

b3 9.0-0 Bf5

b31 10.Qc2 Bd3 11.Qd3 Nd7 12.Bg5 f6 Nlackk-MdV ICS*1/2*2001*

c) 8.Bd2 Na6 ou Bf5

D3 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Bd2

D31 7.Bd2 Nge7 8.autres que ci-dessus

D311 8.Nf3 Bg4?!

a) 9.Be2 0-0 10.0-0 Nd6    Zeit-MdV ICS 3 6 1-0 (plusieurs gaffes de ma part)

D4 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Be3

D41 7.Be3 a6

D411 8.f4 Qc7

a) 9.Nf3 Bg4    DaveB-MdV ICS 2-5 0-1 mais +=, Bg4 peut-tre pas bon

D5 6.Nf3 Bg4?!

peut etre douteux, trop lent, 7.Be2 ou h3 semblent donner l'avantage aux blancs

D51 7.Bg5?! f6

a) 8.Bf4 Nh6 9.Qd2 Nf7

a1 10.Be2 Bf3    AlCatt-MdV ICC 0-1

D52 7.Bd3 Nbd7 (Nf6?! Bg5)

a) 8.0-0 Bg7

a1    9.Re1 Ne7 10.Bg5 f6

D53 7.Be2 Bg7

a) 8.0-0 Ne7 (et non pas Nd7? 9.Re1 Ne7 10.Ng5!    Camallo-MdV ICS +=, ni Nf6 comme dans Phrixus-MdV ICS )

le N est mieux en e7 que en f6 car ainsi le Bg7 peut proteger la case e5

a1    9.Nc3 0-0 10.Bf4 a6 Bende-MdV ICS 2001 0-1

a2    9.Re1 0-0

c) 8.Nc3 Ne7 (peut-etre essayer Nd7) 9.Bg5 0-0 (Qc7 10.0-0 0-0 11.Nb5 Cooltrain-MdV ICS 1-0)

D54 7.h3 Bf3 8.Qf3

a) 8.Qf3 Bg7 puis Nd7

a1 9.Nc3 Nd7 10.Bf4 Ne5 Wolverin-Mdv ICC 1-0 (= 12.Be5 aurait ete mieux que de5 et 20.f6 est une faute)

D6 6.Nf3 Bg7 sans Nc3 (voir E1)

D61 7.h3 Nh6!?

inspire par Gelfand-Topalov qui commence par 1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.d5 etc...

a) 8.Qe2 Kf8

a1 9.Bg5 f6 10.Bf4 Nf7 11.Nc3 g5 Gelfand-Topalov*en cours Cannes 02*


E 3.d5 ed5 4.cd5 d6 5.autres

E1 5.b3

E11 5.b3 Qf6!?

4... Qe7! et le simple Nf6 sont peut etre meilleurs
Sur 4.b3 Qf6 voir Dallier-MdV Grasse 2001*1/2*


F 1.d4 e6 2.e4 c5 3.d5 d6 (avant ed5)

F1 4.Bb5
F2 4.c4
F3 4.Nc3 Nf6
F4 4.Nf3 a6
F5 4.de6 ou autres6

F1 3.d5 d6 4.Bb5 Bd7

F11 4.Bb5 Bd7

F111 5.Bd7 Nd7

a) 6.de6 fe6 e.g. Ratsniffer-Mvathr*ICS*1-0*

a1 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.f4 Qa5

a11 9.Qe2 Qb6 10.Nf3 0-0-0 11.0-0 Re8

a111 11. 0-0 Re8 12.Rd1 d5 = (12.Kh1 d5!, 12.e5 de5 ou Ng4?! semble = aussi)

a12 9.Bd2 Qb4 10.Bf3 0-0-0 = (crafty 16.1)

b) 6.c4 ed5 7.cd5 (ed5) Ngf6 8.f3 Be7 Narabor-Guffrey*1993*0-1*

F112 5.Bd7 Qd7
F113 5.Be2

F12 4.Bb5 Nd7

F121 5.c4 ed5 6.ed5 Ngf6

a) 7.Nc3 Be7 Waller,H-Sulave,N*1994*0-1*

F2 3.d5 d6 4.c4

F21 4.c4 ed5 5.ed5 g6 renvoie 3.d5 ed5 4.ed5 d6 5.c4 g6

F22 4.c4 Nf6

a) 5.Nc3 e5 Noarden-Brown 1/2

b) 5.Nc3 g6 Tomas Batet-Colino Vila

c) 5.de6 fe6 6.Nc3 a6

c1 7.Bg5 Be7     Nightpawn-MdV 0-1

F23 4.c4 g6

a) 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Bd2 Ne7

a1 7.Nf3 ed5 8.ed5 Bg4     Zeit-MdV 0-1

b) 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 a6

b1 7.f4 ed5    DaveB-MdV 0-1

F3 3.d5 d6 4.Nc3 Nf6

F31 3.d5 d6 4.Nc3 Bf6 5.Bb5 Bd7

a) 6.de6 fe6 7.a4

a1 7.a4 Nc6 8.Nf3 Be7 9.Bf4 Nd4 10.e5 Hillarp Persson-Michiels 1-0

a1 7.a4 Be7  essayer

F4 3.d5 d6 4.Nf3 a6

on peut venir de 1.e4 e6 2.d4 c5 3.Nf3 a6 4.d5 d6

F41 4.Nf3 a6 5.c4 Nf6

sur 5.c4 ed5 6.ed5 voir 3.d5 ed5 4.ed5 d6 5.Nf3 a6

F411 6.Nc3 ed5

a) 7.ed5 Be7 8.h3 0-0 9.Bd3 Re8 10.0-0 Nbd7 Rios,M-Rios,A*2000*0-1*

F42 4.Nf3 a6 5.a4 ed5 6.ed5 Bg4

sur 5.c4 ed5 6.ed5 voir 3.d5 ed5 4.ed5 d6 5.Nf3 a6

a) 7.Be2 Nf6 8.0-0 Be7 9.Bf4 0-0 10.Nc3 Re8 Taske,H-Bellon Lopez,J*1997*0-1*

F43 4.Nf3 a6 5.Be2 e5

F431 6.0-0 Nd7 7.a3 Ngf6 8.Nbd2 Be7

a) 9.b4 0-0 10.c4 b6 Tanner,S-Nimylowych,W*1991*0-1*


Annexe

The Kibitzer by Tim Harding (Chess Caf Juin 97)

Anyone for the Franco-Benoni?

Why play a main line defence that your opponent may know well beyond move 20 when you may be able to surprise him at move two with 1 e4 e6 2 d4 c5!?

Black's chief expectation is that White will reply 3 d5, leading to Benoni-like central pawn structures, which is why if this defence has any accepted name, it's the Franco-Benoni.

It was played against me in the preliminary round of the 5th European Team Correspondence Championship, which obliged me to research it in depth. I soon found that authors writing on the French Defence do not consider 2...c5 part of their brief; you won't find it, for example, in"The Complete French" by Lev Psakhis. Benoni books do not bother with it either, for White need not play c2-c4 and if the e-file is opened (which often happens) the central pawn structure is quite different.

The line can also arise via 1 e4 c5 2 d4 e6 but again there is little help to be had. In his 1981 book "The Morra (Smith) Gambit", Hungarian IM Janos Flesch did give a brief discussion of the line, pointing out the trap 3 c3 d5 4 exd5? Qxd5! and saying that 3 c3 d5 4 e5 is a French Defence, Advanced Variation: that's true, but Black has alternatives at move three, perhaps 3...cxd4. This is uncharted territory, as is the possibility 3 c4 cxd4 4 Qxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 Nc6 6 Qd1 Bb4 (Dluski-Drazic, Cattolica open 1993). White's main choice is between 3 Nf3, consenting to an open Sicilian (although 3...a6, for example, has been seen), or trying to take advantage by 3 d5.

Flesch wrote: "3 d5!.... ensures a healthy space advantage for White. Black cannot hope for a Benoni type counterplay, for White puts a piece and not a pawn on c4." However, he gave no concrete examples to support this argument and 3 d5 gives a kind of middle game that may be unwelcome to many 1 e4 players. In fact it is a form of Old Benoni (also reachable 1 d4 c5 2 d5 e6 3 e4) and is considered briefly under the heading A43 in ECO (the "Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings").

Similar material is to be found in the second edition of Kasparov and Keene's "Batsford Chess Openings" (BCO2). Such sources as do consider the variation generally imply a slight edge to White with 3 d5. I amassed about thirty games, the majority of which went 3...exd5 (3...Nf6, 3...d6 and even 3...e5?! have also been played.) 4 exd5 d6 5 Nc3 Nf6 6 Nf3 or reached the same position by a slightly different route, but in "Informator 61" (published December 1994) there was a game fragment with a new move.

G.Timoshchenko-Zelcic, Passau 1994, had gone 1 d4 c5 2 d5 e6 3 e4 a6 4 Nf3 d6 5 a4 Ne7 6 Be2 exd5 7 exd5 Ng6 8 0-0 (8 h4!? Timoshchenko) 8...Be7 9 Na3 (9 Nc3!? Timoshchenko) 9...Bg4 10 Nd2 Bxe2 11 Qxe2 0-0 12 Nac4 Nd7 13 a5 Re8 14 Ra3 Bg5 15 Qd1 Nde5! with an unclear position.

The main discussion that I could find which did not sneer at the Franco Benoni was by American masters Joel Benjamin and Eric Schiller in their "Unorthodox Openings" book. They had found an improvement for Black in one of the principal games cited by ECO. Subsequently I found a 120-page Chess Digest booklet by Soltis entitled "Franco-Benoni Defense", but it didn't contain any games previously unknown to me in the 1 e4 e6 2 d4 c5 line; at least half the monograph was devoted to lines like 1 d4 e6 2 c4 c5 which normally won't transpose at all to the line that interests us here, that is the 1 e4 variety.

Move order in the Franco Benoni seems flexible, which makes its study even harder, and after 1 e4 e6 2 d4 c5 3 d5 exd5 4 exd5 d6 it was not easy to find grounds to choose between the different knight developments. If White wants to retain the option of c2-c4 then of course he must choose Nf3.

Anyway, my game (against correspondence international master Xaver Steiner) began 1 e4 e6 2 d4 c5 3 d5 exd5 4 exd5 d6 and now I actually chose 5 Nc3. However, the second diagram position after 5...Nf6 6 Nf3 Be7 7 Be2 0-0 8 0-0 is just as likely to arise if White develops the king's knight first. (See Diagram)

The main book line runs 8...Na6, intending Nc7 before....b6, but 8...Bg4 also comes into consideration. Then 9 Re1 Nc7 10 a4 b6 11 Rb1 (surely not best?) 11...Re8 12 h3 h6 13 Bc4 and now "ECO" gives 13...Bf8 14 Rxe8 Qxe8 15 Be3 which is at least slightly in White's favour (Vaganian-L.Bronstein, Sao Paulo 1977). However, Schiller and Benjamin reveal 13...a6! which they consider, probably rightly, to be a very significant improvement for Black. The game Bohm-Konikowski, Dortmund II 1981, continued 14 b4 Bd7 15 bxc5 bxc5 16 Qd3 (If 16 a5, with the idea N-a4-b6, then 16...Nb5!) 16...Qc8 17 Bf4 Bf5! 18 Qd2 Bf8 = and Black even won in the end.

Quite a few games featured White playing Bb5+ instead of Be2. This check is sometimes effective in the Modern Benoni but that is usually because it involves variations with e4 e5, not available here. The case for Bb5+ hardly seemed compelling to me; the bishop was liable to be exchanged for a knight or driven back with loss of time.

Danish super-GM Bent Larsen had played this line twice with Black with few problems: 1 d4 e6 2 e4 c5 3 d5 exd5 4 exd5 d6 5 Nf3 Nf6 6 Nc3 Be7 7 Bb5+!? Nbd7 8 a4 0-0 9 0-0 when O'Kelly-Larsen, Palma de Mallorca 1967 went 9...a6 10 Be2 b6 11 Re1 Re8 12 Bf4 Nf8 13 h3 Ng6 = while 9...Re8 10 Re1 a6 11 Bf1 b6 12 b3 Nf8 13 Bb2 Bb7 14 Bc4 Ng6 = was Gligoric-Larsen, Busum 1969.

A more recent grandmaster game Tseitlin-Kuzmin, Cappelle la Grande 1994, had gone similarly until after 9 0-0 a6 10 Be2 Re8 11 Re1 b6 12 h3 Bf8 (instead of Nf8) but this game too was a draw in the end. "BCO2" cites a game going 5 Bb5+ Nd7 6 Nf3 Ngf6 70-0 Be7 8 Re1 a6 9 Bf1 0-0 10 a4 b6 11 c4 (Bohm-Johansen,

Amsterdam 1983) but that light-squared bishop does not seem to have much of a future here.

The most promising game for White that I could find was VanWely-Meulders, Brussels zonal 1993: 1 d4 e6 2 e4 c5 3 d5 exd5 4 exd5 d6 5 Nc3 Nf6 6 Nf3 Be7 7 Be2 0-0 8 0-0 Na6 9 h3 Nc7 10 a4 Rb8 (If 10...b6 11 Re1 Bb7 12 Bc4 a6 13 Nh4 Re8 14 Nf5 with advantage in D.Gurevich-Kavalek, USA Champ 1984.) 11 Bf4 b6 12 Bb5! (Only now that c6 is available) 12...a6 (If 12...Nxb5 White could choose between a-file play after 13 axb5 or piece pressure by 13 Nxb5 Qd7 14 Re1.) 13 Bc6! Bd7 14 Re1 Re8 15 Qd2 Bxc6 16 dxc6 (Now we see why White wanted his bishop on f4.) 16...Ne6 17 Rad1 Rc8 18 Bxd6 Rxc6 19 Bg3 with persistent pressure despite the symmetrical pawn structure and piece exchanges.

If Black prefers 8...b6 from the diagram then I could take as my model the "Informator 48" game Chandlerik.-Tseitlin, Palma de Mallorca 1989: 9 Re1 Na6 10 Bb5! (threatening Qe2) …D t&'p–s‘“|'<<0a0a d' 300$#0p0p  `3 3 33c0$ |  00#3p00s "3s  c3 c 3s"s 3b `s c c!xor his king's bishop. The game then continued 6...Nd7 7 Nf3 g6 at which point I noticed that we had transposed to a 1983 postal game, Wiedenhofer-Kerinnis, which went 8 Bf4 f6 (ugly but effective; 8...Ndf6!? also comes into consideration.) 9 Bd3 Nh6 10 0-0 (10 h4!?) 10...Nf7 11 Re1+ Nde5 12 Bf1 Bg7 13 a5 0-0 14 Nd2 b5 15 axb6 Qxb6 16 Ra2 Bf5 and Black even went on to win; his firm control of e5 and the lack of an f2-f4 advance negated White's efforts to exploit the weaknesses around e6 and f7. I decided on normal development by 8 Bd3 with a view to early occupation of the e-file by my rook.

I conclude by giving my game in full. Maybe a reader will discover an improvement for White somewhere?
MdV Note Fevrier 02: Je pense que 8.Qe2! refute la suite 6.a4 Nbd7? 7.Nf3 g6 car apres 8.Qe2 Qe7 ou Nge7 suit Ne4!

Tim Harding - Xaver Steiner corr 1995-6

1 e4 e6 2 d4 c5 3 d5 exd5 4 exd5 d6 5 Nc3 a6 6 a4 Nd7 7 Nf3 g6 8 Bd3 Bg7 Black could play 8...Qe7+ forcing 9 Be2 but after 10 0-0 and 11Re1 it is Black who ends up losing time.

9 0-0 Ne7! Not 9...Ne5 10 Nxe5 when 10...dxe5? 11 f4 Qb6 12 Kh1 exf4 13.Qe2+ Kf8 14 a5 Qd8 15 Qf2 Bd4 16 Qxf4 gives a good initiative and 10...Bxe5 11 Re1 Ne7 12 Bh6 is also fairly promising.

10 Ne4!? Note that if 10 Bg5 0-0 11 Qd2 (11 Re1 f6!?) 11...Ne5!? 12 Nxe5 dxe5 White must avoid the trap 13 Bxg6?? f6!

10...Ne5 11 Bg5 0-0! Black is right to get his king into safety. Obviously 11...Bg4 12.Nf6+ favours White and trying to prevent the knight check by 11...Ng4 12 h3 f5 (12...Bxb2 13 hxg4 Bxa1 14 Qxa1) allows 13 Nxc5!

12 Nxe5 My calculations showed that White is driven back after 12 Nf6+ Kh8 13 Nxe5 dxe5 14 c4 h6! 15 Bh4 Nf5! (but not 15...g5? 16 Bxg5 hxg5 17 Qh5+) while 12 Bf6 Bxf6 13 Nxf6+ Kg7 is also inconclusive. 12...Bxe5 13 Bf6 My idea was to liquidate Black's most dangerous piece and create weaknesses in his King position.

13...Bxf6 14 Nxf6+ Kg7 15 Qd2! This was the move I was counting on.

15...Ng8! Black finds the right answer. Unfortunately he is under no compulsion to go in for 15...Kxf6? 16 Qc3+ Kg5 17 Qg7 when White has a very promising king-hunt, e.g. 17...Nxd5 18 h4+! Kg4 (18...Kf4!?; 18...Kxh4 19 Qh6+ Kg4 20 f3+ Kg3 21 Qh2# mate) 19 Rae1! Nf4 20 Re4;

I had expected instead 15...Nf5 when I had hopes of some initiative with 16 Ne4 or 16 Ng4.

16 Nxg8 Rxg8 17 b4 I was trying to keep the initiative while his queenside was undeveloped and maybe force a passed d-pawn or weakness on b-file, since there seemed nothing doing on the kingside.

17...b6 18 Qc3+ f6 19 bxc5 bxc5 20 Rab1 Maybe 20 Rfe1!? could be preferred but my judgment by now was that Black had conducted a successful defence and that I should be wary of drifting into an inferior position.

20...Ra7! 21 Rfe1 Kf7 22 Qd2 Re8 At this point I decided the prudent thing was to haul in the half point while there could still be no doubt about it, so:

23 Qh6 Rxe1+ 24 Rxe1 Kg8 25 Bxg6! hxg6 26 Qxg6+ and I made my opponent an offer he couldn't refuse (a draw). Anyway, whatever the merits of 5 a6!?, there would appear no obvious way for White to achieve any substantial advantage by force against 2...c5 and the line clearly deserves more attention from both theoreticians and practical players than it has so far received.


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