Volga Benko Gambit Powerbook 2020

For the 21 000 games from the engine room of playchess.com and 12 000 games from Mega 2020 and the Correspondence Database 2020 the threshold set was an Elo average of 2300. The result of this was a small specialist book which nevertheless allows reliable statistics concerning a gambit opening, which is played from time to time even by top grandmasters.

The first question is always, what happens when both sides choose in every case the most frequently played moves? Things go like this: 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 g6 6.Nc3 Bxa6 7.e4 Bxf1 8.Kxf1 d6 9.Nf3 Bg7 10.g3 0-0 11.Kg2 Nbd7

but now White should not choose the most often played move, but the one with the best statistics – 12.a4! – which creates great problems for Black. Nb5 and Ra3 are typical follow-up moves. So Black should deviate earlier, perhaps by delaying ...Bxa6, e.g. 6...Bg7 7.e4 0-0 8.Nf3 Qa5!

With best play White can perhaps obtain a slight edge here, but in any case Black has a good game and may of course hope for 9.Bd3? Nxd5!, a trap which has been known since Gelfand-Carlsen, Zürich 2014.

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