The Dynamic Benko Gambit: An Attacking Repertoire for Black (Anglais) Broché – 16 décembre 2012
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Kasparov calls attention to recent, key developments in theory that can benefit every fan of this sharp opening. Against the Opocensky Variation, for example -- heralded not long ago as the gambit's refutation -- he breathes life into Black's counterplay by suggesting 9...Nfd7 instead of 9...Nbd7 in order to bring immediate pressure down the long diagonal against white's queenside. He also offers a variety of useful ideas against the majority of white's offbeat attempts to sidestep the gambit. Importantly, he offers Black improvements in response to Bologan's Benko Gambit disasters at Biel 2012, all of which he analyzes in sufficient detail.
A few flaws prevent this fine book from reaching 5-star status, however.
* Kasparov does not organize his suggestions into a concise repertoire. As a result, I cannot recommend this as an introduction for Benko Gambit newbies, who would be better served by Andrew Martin's Fritz Trainer - The ABC of the Benko Gambit (Andrew Martin), which ably guided my initial foray into the opening.
* He offers almost no material for Black against 3. Nf3, one of the most common anti-Benko lines for White at the club level (in my experience, at least). Surely he could have included a couple of games featuring the Vaganian Gambit (3...cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d5 6. cxd5 Bc5!?), which has scored reasonably well for Black.
* His main recommendation against 2. Nf3 is the passive Schmid Benoni (2...c5 3. d5 d6 4. Nc3), which offers none of the dynamism that Benko fans seek. Why not give the Blumenfeld (1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 c5 3. d5 e6!?) a whirl?
In spite of these imperfections, Kasparov's book offers a fine collection of games and theory that anyone who plays either side of the Benko Gambit should study.
The publisher provided a review copy of this book to me in exchange for my honest review. My ratings of the publisher's books have ranged from 3 stars to 5 stars.
His explanation of the gamesand theory is excellent.
The only problem I had with this book was the terminology in the table of Contents. Example: Chapter 3, The Languid Variation. we have to go to page 114 to realize he means 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. cxb5 a6 5. b6. Same problem for Chapter 4, The Samisch Way and Chapter 5, An Intricate Variation and Chapter 6, An Adventurous Variation and I could give more examples.
Despite this one flaw the book is a must for Benko Gambit players.
But what really stood out to me about this book is the format. Most opening books give one game and then a ton of variant lines in paragraph form, hard to follow, either barely annotated or going on for pages in hard-to-follow format. Not this book! New variation? Complete new game, with annotations to follow. I love this, first because I like going over complete games, but also because it allows me to follow the "feel" of the game well past where most opening books would've broken off, and with a whole new game instead of just a few lines of annotation. Because of the sheer number of full games (all decently annotated in themselves), I got a rich amount of material to study without being overwhelmed, without having to keep two boards side-by-side, without having to go back and forth.
If you like the Benko Gambit (or have to play against it), I heartily recommend this book.