[FEN ""] 1. d4 c5 2. d5
A lot of people play it against me as black, and I am also interested in it for both sides.
What are some of the main lines? Also, what are some of the key positions and ideas?
As white I have had a pretty easy time following up with the moves c4 - Nc3 - e4 - f4. Black will usually play e6 and exd5 - respond with cxd5. White ends up with a ton of space in the center. Look up the Taimanov variation in particular.
Basically I got this from MCO15 - the author mentions that many players use a different move order to reach the Benoni just to avoid this setup (they wait for white to play Nf3 blocking the f pawn).
Let me justify that a little. The Benoni is a very combative opening from both sides of the board. Many lines are extremely sharp, especially in the Old Benoni where White has all kinds of weapons at his disposal, like the ultra-sharp Taimanov (
In modern lines, Black usually waits a move or two before playing
In the main lines, Black usually plays
This opening presents a variety of opportunities for tactical combinations. Because the center is semi-closed by the pawns on
White's most important positional advantage in the Benoni is his central pawn majority. In particular, the threat of White's eventual
As the game progresses, White may also find a variety of very strong central outposts for his Knights, depending on which pawn advances Black ends up making.
White enjoys extra space in the center and on the kingside, so his general plan is usually to pressure the center until he can either break through there, or spill over onto Black's castle. Besides the
Since Black will frequently be trying to make headway on the queenside, White has an interest in preventing him from gaining much space over there. To this end, White often plays
Black has two key weapons in this opening: his queenside pawn majority and the half-open e-file. Because White's pawn center is fairly advanced, these two factors can combine to allow Black to undermine the White center with well-timed queenside pawn thrusts (
As his opponent will often be looking to play
White's d-pawn is a bit of a thorn in Black's position, making it sometimes unclear where Black should place his queenside minor pieces. Black's Queen-Knight often develops to
Of course, kingside action is not at all out of the question for Black; the half-open e-file gives him some good options on that side of the board as well. In particular, Black's powerful Bishop on the long diagonal constantly threatens to slide into a very strong outpost on