I am currently in a turn based game where white opened with 1.g3. I clearly see that white probably (at least white should) will fiancetto his king's bishop on the next move, aiming to control the white squares.

I google'd 1.g3 and saw it's called Benko's Opening, and as I suspected will likely transpose into something else.

It's tough for black to know exactly how white will attack, and the king's indian does fit that scenario (not overly aggressive, gives options, and also doesn't give white a full center advantage).

So my question is, giving a game that started with Benko's Opening and black plays King's Indian, does this put black at a foreseeable disadvantage where white would easily be able to capitalize?

I can see the opening possibly taking this route

[FEN ""]
1.g3 Nf6 2.Bg2 g6 3.d4 Bg7
  • 7
    Be aware that if you just say "the Benko", as in your headline, people will think you're talking about the Benko Gambit (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5). "Benko's Opening" is not a common name for 1.g3, and most chess players just refer to it as "1.g3".
    – dfan
    May 9, 2013 at 12:00

2 Answers 2


No, there is nothing wrong with this approach for Black. A kingside fianchetto is a perfectly reasonable response to White's. You are likely to end up transposing to an actual King's Indian if White eventually plays c4, in which White's fianchetto is a fine setup but not a killer.


This particular position gives white the option of going 4.e4, transposing to a fianchetto Pirc. White doesn't go for c2-c4 in the Pirc, making it quite different from the King's Indian, and it may be that black isn't prepared for that. Also this move order is quite flexible for white because he still has choices for both his knights.

That's how white got black out of his preparation in a famous game by Benko vs Fischer in the Curacao Candidates, 1962:

[FEN ""]
[Event "Curacao Candidates"]
[Site "Willemstad CUW"]
[Date "1962.05.02"]
[EventDate "1962.05.02"]
[Round "1"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Pal Benko"]
[Black "Robert James Fischer"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "80"]

1. g3 Nf6 2. Bg2 g6 3. e4 d6 4. d4 Bg7 5. Ne2 O-O 6. O-O e5
7. Nbc3 c6 8. a4 Nbd7 9. a5 exd4 10. Nxd4 Nc5 11. h3 Re8
12. Re1 Nfd7 13. Be3 Qc7 14. f4 Rb8 15. Qd2 b5 16. axb6 axb6
17. b4 Ne6 18. b5 Nxd4 19. Bxd4 Bxd4+ 20. Qxd4 c5 21. Qd2 Bb7
22. Rad1 Re6 23. e5 Bxg2 24. Kxg2 Qb7+ 25. Kf2 Rd8 26. exd6
Nf6 27. Rxe6 fxe6 28. Qe3 Kf7 29. Qf3 Qb8 30. Ne4 Nxe4+
31. Qxe4 Rd7 32. Qc6 Qd8 33. Kf3 Kg7 34. g4 e5 35. fxe5 Rf7+
36. Kg2 Qh4 37. Rf1 Rxf1 38. Kxf1 Qxh3+ 39. Qg2 Qe3 40. Qe2
Qh3+ 1-0

So that's something to look out for, it's not automatically a problem but it's different. Black can prevent this by playing an early d7-d5, but then it's not a King's Indian anymore either.

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