g3 Benoni by GM Magesh and GM Arun
This week we shall see an idea against the Benoni system. The g3 fianchetto system is one of the strongest replies against the Benoni. Benoni is one of the dynamic systems where Black seeks counterplay on both wings and white needs to be careful in handling them. With the fianchetto structure white keeps his king safe and prepares a central break with e4,f4,e5 with the help of the knight on c4.
As we have mentioned in one of our previous articles, it is very important to get the central breakthrough when the opponent is creating an initiative on either wing. This is the basic idea for white against the Benoni and if white manages to get the central break he will mostly come out successful as most of his pieces will be optimally placed to launch a decisive attack. In the meantime black will try to get his wing activity before white can get this central break and this struggle will decide the outcome of this system.
Our first game is Grischuk-Vocaturo, Olympiad 2010. In this game Black sacrificed a pawn and tried to create counterplay on the queenside. Black had a good position but soon misplayed and lost the game.
Black committed an error on the 29th move and was never able to get back into the game. 29. ... Rb8 was a possible improvement and the struggle would have continued. Anyways the opening was still a success for Black even though he later misplayed and lost. Our next game is Harikrishna-Al Modiahki Asian Games 2010.
Again it was Black who had a good position but managed to spoil his chances and lost the game. Even though Black got four pawns for the piece, his pawns structure was very weak and White just followed the tradional idea of getting his knight to c4 attacking the d6-pawn and soon the whole structure collapsed. We hope the readers got an idea about the Benoni system and ways to counter it. This g3 system was recommended by GM Boris Avrukh in his book 1.d4 Grandmaster Repertoire Volume 2. We recommend to our readers to read this book to get a broader picture about this system.