For the players of White who want to avoid both Benoni and the Benko Gambit, 3. Nf3 is a very solid choice. Besides 3… e6 and 3… g6, which both transpose to other lines, Black can also continue with 3… cxd4, and after 4. Nxd4 he has a few good possibilities, depending on the taste.
An interesting way to simplify the position is 4… g6 5. Nc3 d5, which was tried in several games by Nepomniachtchi, Zvjagincev and Bok.
Moves like 4… Nc6, 4… a6 or 4… Qc7 lead to transpositions to different lines, and the so-called Kasparov Gambit 4… e5 5. Nb5 d5 6. cxd5 leads to White’s lasting advantage in the critical lines.
The main focus of the Line 116 is Spielmann Defense 4… e6, often connected with White’s pawn sacrifice, like in the main 5. g3 Qc7 6. Nc3 a6 7. Bg2 Qxc4. This position is quite sharp and White gets better development for the sacrificed pawn, but Black has sufficient resources to reach positions with equal chances.
[Diagram: White to Move] R. Dzindzichashvili – E. Lobron, New York 1988. White knight is under attack, but black pieces are uncoordinated, and White has an opportunity to launch a decisive attack.
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