In the Benoni, there is a certain setup for White where there is a knight on g3, and a bishop on d3. White then starts a pawn storm with f4-f5, with a large attack. How am I meant to play against this setup? Do I just trade the g3-knight off?

   rnbq1rk1/pp3pbp/3p1np1/2pP4/4P3/2NB2N1/PP3PPP/R1BQK2R b KQ - 5 9

Black to move.

  • 1
    Please provide the variation
    – B.Swan
    Aug 28, 2020 at 1:26
  • 1
    The main move seems to be ...a6, seeking to expand on the queenside with double edged play. If White prevents by responding a4, there is a nice way to loosen up White's kingside: ...Ng4-e5 in conjunction with ...Qh4 should give you nice control over White's pawnstorm, meanwhile you can play on the queenside, coordinating your bishop and knights on b2.
    – B.Swan
    Aug 28, 2020 at 1:53

2 Answers 2


The thing about the Modern Benoni is that White is usually trying to run you over on the e- and f- files. Black adopted a very small stance in the center (d6), and White's pawn play is the price to pay.

The difference between these two plans for white:

Bb5+, f4, Nf3, with a view toward e4-e5

and the one you describe here Bd3, Ne2-g3 with a view toward f4-f5

is that the f4-f5 plan is more likely to give Black the counterplay he desires with a knight on e5. You know that's why you play the Modern Benoni in the first place, yeah?

Go about your queenside business, and take their best shots on the f-file. If they crash through because you overlooked a tactic, you lose. If you hold them off and then jump all over the a1-h8 diagonal with your pieces, your Benoni is a success.

In other words, you're fretting over the plan for White that you should prefer to face as Black.


In this position, White king is still in the center.

I would go for Re8 (with ideas of Nxe4 followed by f5 in-case he has not yet castled; this in itself is a moral victory for Black, since White's center has been dismantled now)

If White castles immediately, then Nbd7 to add additional defense to e5 square and then look to expand on the queen side.

Also, always be on the look out for tactics in the Benoni (especially b5! or c4! or Nxe4!) I play this often and gives great winning chances even if I go a pawn down.

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