Benoni Defense Classical Variation Main Line

How to Play the Benoni Defense, Classic Variation, Main Line

  • 1. d4 Nf6: White begins by controlling the center and preparing their bishop’s development. Black responds by developing the knight to f6, putting pressure on the pawn on d4 and preparing for their bishop’s fianchetto.
  • 2. c4 c5: White advances their c-pawn to gain more central space. Black immediately counters with c5, challenging White’s central pawn structure and initiating the Benoni Defense.
  • 3. d5 e6: White decides to advance the d-pawn, rejecting Black’s pawn on c5 and closing the center. Black responds with e6, aiming to break White’s central pawn structure and free their dark-squared bishop.
  • 4. Nc3 exd5: White develops their knight to c3, supporting the center and preparing control over the d5 square. Black captures the pawn on d5, initiating pawn exchanges in the center.
  • 5. cxd5 d6: White recaptures on d5 with their c-pawn, maintaining a passed pawn on d5. Black plays d6, providing support for their c5 pawn and preparing their dark-squared bishop’s development.
  • 6. e4 g6: White advances their e-pawn to e4, reinforcing the center and preparing for kingside castling. Black responds with g6, planning to fianchetto their dark-squared bishop and control central squares from the kingside.
  • 7. Nf3 Bg7: White develops another knight to f3, supporting the center and preparing for castling. Black fianchettos their bishop, increasing control over the long diagonal and the center.
  • 8. Be2 O-O: