Volga-Benko Gambit Line Busted (2)

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.

Idea #1
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.

Idea #2
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:

Idea #3:
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

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About Valer Eugen Demian

The player - my first serious chess tournament was back in 1974, a little bit late for today's standards. Over the years I have had the opportunity to play all forms of chess from OTB to postal, email and server chess. The journey as a player brought me a lot of experience and a few titles along the way: FIDE CM (2012), ICCF IM (2001) and one ICCF SIM norm (2004). The instructor - my career as a chess teacher and coach started in 1994 and continues strong. I have been awarded the FIDE Instructor title (2007) for my work and have been blessed with great students reaching the highest levels (CYCC, NAYCCC, Pan-Am, WYCC). I am very proud of them! See my website for more information. I have developed my own chess curriculum on 6 levels based on my overall chess knowledge and hands-on experience. A glimpse of it can be seen in my first chess app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/chessessentials/id593013634?mt=8 I can help you learn chess the proper way if this is what you seek!