[June 16, 2017] Updated Opening Line by Bojan Vučković:
Benko Gambit Accepted, Fianchetto & King Walk Variations

[Line 122 : 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. cxb5 a6 5. bxa6]

After the usual 5… g6 6. Nc3 White typically plans to execute the e2-e4 advance. For that reason, until few years ago move 6… Ba6 was considered practically obligatory. The critical position of the King Walk Variation arises after 6… Ba6 7. e4 Bxf1 8. Kxf1 d6 9. Nf3 Nbd7 10. g3 Bg7 11. Kg2 O-O. A major blow to the Benko Gambit was 12. a4, a move suggested by computers that poses serious challenge to the players of Black. White’s plan is pretty straightforward and it includes Qe2 (Qc2), Nb5 and Bd2-c3, which typically secures him better prospects.

Players of Black have recently introduced an option of delaying Bxa6 and developing the kingside first. However, even after 6… Bg7 7. e4 O-O 8. Nf3 Qa5 9. Bd2 White has a preferable position.

Another popular setup for White is the Fianchetto Variation: 6… Ba6 7. Nf3 d6 8. g3 Bg7 9. Bg2 Nbd7 10. Rb1. Though it is easier to play with White, Black has enough counterplay in this variation.

[Diagram: Black to Move] B. Gelfand – M. Carlsen, Zuerich (rapid) 2014. White’s last move was the careless 9. Bf1-d3 allowing Black a small tactical trick. How can Black secure a longterm advantage?

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

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