Benko's OpeningA00

Bowman K.
Graff B.

Daventry A v Leamington A
Maidford, 2013

"Breaking the rules." I like this game, because Black develops slowly, doesn't castle, pushes pawns and Fritz says the basic strategy (albeit it could be better executed!) is essentially sound. I always have tough games with Kevin and this one could easily have fallen differently, but I was pleased with a gamble that paid off!

1. g3 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg2 g6 7. Bg5 e6 Last book move according to Fritz, I am not thrilled with my set up at this point 8. Nf3 Bg7 9. O-O h6 10. Bf4 g5 11. Be5 Fritz prefers B- e3. I was certainly happy to snap the Bishop off. Pushing it back had been the original aim of h6 and g5 but I am now already thinking about a King side advance. 11... Nxe5 12. Nxe5 Nd7 13. Nf3 g4 14. Ne1 Nb6 Fritz doesn't suggest anything else. Kevin told me afterwards he was worried about Q-b6 and me picking up the b pawn. I thought this would leave me with a very strange set up which would struggle to hold things together against White's better development. 15. Nc2 h5 16. e4 dxe4 17. Bxe4 f5 Fritz judges this position as equal, but six moves later without making a blunder Fritz thinks White is completely lost. Discuss! 18. Bd3 B-h1 is better, my plan is not taking a lot of thought! 18... h4 19. Re1 hxg3 20. hxg3 Qg5 just have to open the king side without getting caught in the middle 21. Bb5+ Kf7 22. d5 Fritz thinks this is bad , but you can see the logic of trying to open lines , it certainly gave me pause for thought. 22... e5 Fritz says Q-h5 is better. I just wanted to keep the centre closed as the Kingside isn't going anywhere. 23. d6 Be6 again Q-h5 is better according to Fritz, but activating Bishop and Rook can't be bad. 24. Qd3 a6 25. Ne4 White starts to crumble. Fritz says Q-f1 is still a small chance. 25... fxe4 26. Qxe4 axb5 27. Qxb7+ Nd7 28. f4 Qh5 finally 29. b3 Qh2+ 30. Kf1 Qxc2 31. fxe5 Qf5+ 32. Kg1 Kg6 33. Qxb5 white ran out of time, but was lost anyway 0-1 [Graff B.]

Game(s) in PGN