One of my friends from Eastern Canada, Bob Taylor, has given me some very interesting insight after reading my previous article Volga-Benko Gambit Line Busted. He was enthusiastic about my call to help improve Black’s play for a better outcome. In this article we offer together a few ideas to get things rolling for those willing to take on this task more seriously.
It is probably not a good idea to play such gambit at long time controls. It works well in over the board games, especially in quick ones such as blitz or less than 1 hour per player because Black’s quick development pressures White’s position. The quicker White needs to figure out a way to deal with that pressure, the more likely it is to play less correct. In correspondence chess (or turn based chess) with 3 days or more per move, where both players can consult literature and/ or have engine support, the gambit looks very desperate and probably is.
The following line is interesting. Studying it might not lead to the discovery of many sample games at the beginning, but one should look further down the road after a few more moves are played:
Only after going this deep you can truly start the study of it. In the first article I mentioned briefly two sample games and now I have added them here to help your research. Please select each game from the pull-down menu on top of the diagram:
The following move order looks more precise:
One thing to notice is the elimination of the 7.a7 … option for white. IMO that is a good thing for Black because being forced to take on a7 puts the a8-rook on a less desired square. A rook there is of no use later on, so moving it back or away when forced, it is going to waste a tempo. It is also important to compare middle game positions from different lines. Here is one comparison found by Bob where Black looks better in position 1. Please select each game from the pull-down menu on top of the diagram:
Hope you all find this information of interest. Thank you Bob for your contribution! If you have any games and/ or positions you would like me to look at, please do not hesitate to let me know. I will gladly include them in my column for everyone’s benefit. Looking forward to your messages!
Valer Eugen Demian