Benoni Defense French Benoni

How to Play the French Benoni Defense Opening

  • 1. e4: White begins with the move of the king’s pawn two squares forward, controlling the center and freeing their pieces.
  • e6: Black responds with a move that prepares to develop their king’s bishop and hints at the possibility of entering the French Defense.
  • 2. d4: White advances their queen’s pawn two squares, strengthening the center and preparing the development of their minor pieces.
  • c5: Black attacks the white center from the flank, a common feature of the Benoni Defense, seeking counterpressure.
  • 3. d5: White advances the attacked pawn, seeking space and restricting Black’s options, introducing a struggle for control of the center.

Variants of the French Benoni Defense Opening

Advance Variation

In this variation, after 1. e4 e6, if White plays 2. d4 d5, and then 3. e5, they aim to limit the movement of the Black knight and gain space in the center.

Tarrasch Variation

Against 1. e4 e6, White can opt for 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2, preparing c3 to support the advance of d4 and avoiding the pin of the knight on g8.

Classical French Defense

After 1. e4 e6, White can continue with 2. d4 d5, followed by 3. Nc3 or 3. Nf3, leading to typical pawn structures of the French Defense, with distinct plans and counterplay for both sides.

The Opening We’ve Witnessed: French Benoni Defense