THE ZILBERMINTS BENONI: 1 d4 c5 2 b4!

 

PART THREE: Unusual moves and transpositions

 

In this, the last of three parts, I cover moves other than 2...cxd4 and 2...cxb4.  To this day,  I have not seen any games where Black declined to take either  pawn.  For this reason, my remaining games are taken from the variation of the Orangutan that begins 1 b4 c5, which is in itself unusual. Without realizing it, many players follow the same path that would have occurred had the move order been 1 d4 c5 2 b4! .  The games that follow should be of some interest to Sokolsky/Orangutan fans who need a good weapon against 1...c5 .  And now, the games.

1 d4 c5 2 b4 e5!? The actual move order was 1 b4 c5 2 bc5 e5.   Both Black and White play crazy in this variation.  If playing 2 b4   against 1...c5 takes courage, then 2...e5!? takes nerves of steel and 19th century bravery.  I do not think one player in ten will play something  like this too crazy.  However, all three games involved this move by transposition.

3 bc5 Nc6 4 Bb2 exd4 5 Bxd4 Nxd4 6 Qxd4 Qg5 7 e4 Qxc5 8 Qxc5 Bxc5 9 Bc4 d6 10 Nf3 Nf6 Here the game score, Z. Provaznik - T.  Skaug, 1990, simply stops, saying 0-1. I cannot understand the logic of this, for White can play 11 Nbd2 and still fight it out. All I can say is that I found this game on the Internet Chess Club 2 million game database.  That database, however, is not to be trusted in terms of accuracy. I have seen too many partial game scores, duplicate game scores, and wrong dates to mention here. Sufficient to say that I have my doubts about the completeness of the above game score...

In the game H.  Moller - S.  Werner, Germany, 1992, there followed 3...exd4 4 Qxd4 Nc6 5 Qe4+ Be7 6 Bb2 Qa5+ 7 Bc3 Nf6 8 Qxe7+ Kxe7 9 Bxa5 Nxa5 10 Nc3 a6 11 e3 Re8 12 Bd3 Rb8 13 Nf3 b6 14 Rb1 b5 15 Nd4 Bb7 16 OO Kf8 17 a4 bxa4 18 Nxa4 Nd5 19 Nb6 Nxb6 20 Rxb6 Rec8 21 Rfb1 Rxc5 22 Bxa6 Rc7 23 Nf5 Rxc2, and Black resigned because of the immediate  24 Nd6+!

Katalymov-Kupreichik, Minsk, USSR, 1971, continued (The actual move order was 1 b4  c5 2 bxc5 e5 3 e3)  3 e3 Bxc5 4 d4 exd4 5 ed4 Be7 6 Bd3 d5 7 Nf3 Nc6 8 00 Bg4 9 c3 Nf6 10 h3 Bh5 11 Qb3 Qc7 12 Ne5 00 13 f4 Bg6 14 f5 Nxe5 15 dxe5 Bc5+ 16 Kh2 Nh5 17 Qd5 Rad8 18 Qe4 Rfe8 19 fxg6 hxg6 20 Rxf7 Qxf7 21 Bc4 Re6 22 Bxe6 Qxe6 23 Nd2 Qb6 24 Nf3 Rd1 25 Be3 Bxe3 26 Qc4+ Kh7 27 Rxd1  Bf4+ 28 Qxf4 Nxf4 29 Ng5+ Kh6 30 Rd4 g5, 0-1.

Black tried to improve in the game W.  Labahn - R.  Merten, Germany 1990, by playing 3...Bxc5 (The actual move order was 1 b4 c5 2 bxc5 e5 3 e3 Bxc5 4 d4 exd4 5 exd4 Be7, which transposed), but after 4 d4 exd4 5 exd4 Be7 6 Bd3 d5 7 Ne2 Nf6 8 OO Nc6 9 c3 OO 10 Nd2 Bg4 11 f3 Be6 12 f4 Qc7 13 Nf3 Ne4 14 Bxe4 dxe4 15 Ng5 Bd5 16 f5 h6 17 Nh3 Bc4 18 Rf4 Bd6 19 Rg4 Bxh2+ 20 Kh1 h5 21 Rg5 Rfe8   22 f6 g6 23 Nef4 it was White who won  the game.

But the Zilbermints Benoni can also be reached from the Reti Opening, 1 Nf3 c5 2 d4 cd 3 b4; Benoni, 1 d4 c5 2 Nf3 cxd4 3 b4; the Orangutan, 1 b4 c5 2 d4; the Franco-Benoni, 1 d4 e6 2 Nf3 c5 3 b4 cxd4 4 a3.  In the first two cases, the move sequence 1 d4 c5 2 Nf3 cxd4 3 b4 and  1 Nf3 c5 2 d4 cxd4 3 b4 carry an important advantage over the other two lines.  That advantage lies in the fact that Black is deprived of the .cxb4 option.  That said, let us see an illustrative game.

Zilbermints - Joseph Lux (2081), 4 Rated Games Tonight!, Marshall Chess Club, New York, 7 December 2000
1 Nf3 c5 2 d4 cxd4 3 b4 The first time this particular move transposition into the Zilbermints Benoni was played.  3...d5 4 a3 Nd7 5 Qxd4 N8f6 6 Bb2  Qc7 7 Nc3 e6 8 Nb5  Qc8 9 c4 a6 10 Nc3 dc 11 Qc4 b5 12 Qh4 Bb7 13 e3 Be7 14 Qg3 Qxg3 15 hxg3 Rc8 16 Rc1 00 17 Be2 Nb6 18 00 Nc4 19 Bxc4 Rxc4 20 Rcd1 R8c8 21 Rd3 Nd5 22 Nxd5 Bxd5 23 Rfd1 h6 24 Rd4 Rd4 25 Bd4 Rc2 26 Rd2 Rd2 27 Nd2 f6 28 f4 Kf7 29 Kf2 Bd6 30 e4 Ba2 31 Ke3 g5 32 e5 fe 33 fe Bc7 34 Ne4 Bd5 35 g4 Kg6 36 g3 h5 37 gh5 Kxh5 38 Nf6+ Kg6 39 g4 Bc6 40 Ne4 Bd5 41 Nc5 a5 42 Ne4 ab 43 ab  DRAWN.

 

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