Chess Openings: Benko Gambit

The Benko Gambit is one of the most well respected chess gambits. It is a sharp line for black in the Benoni Defense giving up a pawn sacrifice on b5 to gain complete control of the queen side. Black would like to put his rooks on a8 and b8 and put lots of pressure on the queen side of white.

Make sure to check out more great chess content at:

Chess Software used in the video can be found at and

96 Comments

  1. I have most of the main lines of the gambits memorized simply because I love to play gambits. I'm a very aggressive player by nature and I really enjoy a real aggressive chess game. As far as having every chess opening memorized, no. Do I have a lot? yes. Do I learn more and more as I make more videos? Yes. I try to play every opening I make a video on for a week to give me a better feel for it and it helps me to remember later on down the road. It def is good to have lots memorized.

  2. You mentioned that the light bishop is whites most powerful bishop, why is that? Is it just in the opening because of Bb5 check?

  3. How does this compare to the Benko Lasker Special?

  4. Kevin good vid. but at 0:22 that's the Benoni defense decline, and shouldn't black make the move e6 to defend against the pawn from coming down later in the game, because i played games were i went into the benoni decline and i try the benko gambit too, and i had a really hard time stopping the pawn on e5 later in the game.

  5. I have an aggressive line for white against the Benko, 7.f4

    It destroys black if they don't find the antidote ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. @gtamateur Not if play goes as follows:

    x . … Qa5+
    y. Nc3

    because the knight is blocking the check and simultaneously defending the bishop. so it would be cleverer to overload the knight instead.

  7. This gambit isn't agrassive cause you play a queenside attack and not going straight away for the king. However the gambit is very good playable for black.

    The most annoying way for black is if white declines the gambit with b6. Wasn't it better for black instead of immidatly caputring back with the queen, to play d6, Nd7 and then Nxb6? You don't have to do it immidatly cause you will win back that pawn anyway.

  8. i am a defensive type of guy, what openings should i use, should i know? cause i don't play aggressive

  9. gambits are awesome, it's a trade of material for moves and positions

  10. hey kevin can you do something on the Traxler?

  11. thank you for this series on chess. it's very well done and i've learned a lot, because i watch them over and over again. could you do a series on master chess games with a running commentary?

  12. I just played this opening against a Fide master, and I won! Just played the match a couple hours ago =)

  13. @thechesswebsite
    Hi, I recall that retaking the pawn on a6 immediately was somewhat refuted. It is recommended i think to first play g6 or d6. You will win the pawn back anyway. If white can d6 himself maybe things might get nasty. But I am not a Benkoplayer myself so i cannot get to the bottom of this. But, definitely a nice video, well done!

  14. 4:23 The light square bishop from white CANT take on b5 because of Qa5+
    losing the bishop :s

  15. @MagoMinelli The bishop can take on b5. If Qa5, then Nc3 from white, blocking check and defending the bishop on b5. Please look at all possibilities!

  16. @drdwitte
    You might be right because after 4…Bxa6, I think White can fianchetto his light bishop, put his knights on f3/c3 and complete his queenside development with Rb1, b3, Bd2 or Bb2 and castle kingside. After eventual moves like a4! and e4, Black is down the pawn and has to figure out what to do with his rooks and Queen as White will be playing on the queenside with most of his major pieces instead of Black. But most players won't know any of this. The Benko is very playable for Black.

  17. Quick question, at the start of the gambit why wouldn't white simply the pawn at C5? Basically killing the gambit in it's tracks?

  18. Has anyone figured out what the 'best' overall openings for an advanced but not GM player is? Main features need to be: Forgiving if not developed perfectly, dynamic, and still strong overall against competitors during different variations.

  19. @Spudst3r I believe the blackmar-diemer gambit is one of the highest scoring for white it is also fun to play. There really is no best though. If your opponent is well studied in the Sicilian 1. e4 might not be the opening.
    I'd suggest playing around with Blackmar-Diemer gambit though.

  20. can't find benoni defence,link it plz when you make a reference,i love your channel

  21. You mention White's problems developing the light-squared bishop. It is because of this problem that I prefer to play 5.b6 (rather than bxa6), leaving the pawn so that Black can't play …Ba6.

  22. As 5.b6 is becoming very popular at the GM level, perhaps you should spend a little more time on it. For example, black is by no means obligated to immediately play Qxb6. It is not unusual for Black to delay the capture in favor of development.

  23. 1:54 Did he just say, "There is no reason to take with the rook and not the bishop? What does that mean? :-O

  24. At 4.36, is white plays e3, how do you respond if ur black? you basically lost a pawn for nothing. I don't wanna use a computer to check cause they all hate gambits. But can someone clarify what to do next?

  25. it means that there is no reason to take with the rook, when you can take with the bishop…

  26. If you don't mind me asking, why is this so highly respected? I don't see black as being significantly better positionally, so I don't really see why you'd go down a pawn for this. Rybka 3 seems to agree with me, putting the position at a pretty solid +0.35 at a depth of 15 (and after playing a few moves against itself, +0.68), and the annotations claim it's at a beefy +1.07. Is it just a case of computers hating gambits, or is this really not as good as it's hyped up to be?

  27. stop using computers play and use your imagination, the main point about this is that your opponent will be confused if u are willing to sacrifice pawns and therefore he will make mistakes ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. 1:06 After cxb5; a6 how about immediatly playing Nc3? You didn't mention the possibility: is that a weak move or something?
    Great website, my main chess-knowledge-base since yesterday;) Thx for doin' it!

  29. obviously when you play against humans they are not an engine so don't assume perfect play, the main ideas are the rapid development and queen side couner play as well as controlling the dark squares especially e5.

  30. I was thinking about it too…after putting the knight in nc3 and if the black pawn in a6 captures the white pawn at b5 the white knight on n3 can capture it and if black plays Qa5 the knight can still go back n3, covering the check. I guess it's a good move sir, but i'm not sure ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. f7…., he explained it thousands of times in earlier video's
    damn you Chuck

  32. I played it alot with black and came into this variation alot: is this a bookline?

    1. d4 – Nf6 2. c4 – c5 3. d5 – b5 4. dxb5 – a6 5. bxa6 – Bxa6. 6. g3! (not with the idea bishop g2, but with Kg2. After d6, white plays e4.

  33. Wait wait wait…I'm white and at 3:38 you said "a lot of black players prefer this position". So are you saying I wouldn't find this position preferable based the pasty and chalk like hue of my skin tone?? That sounds very racist and derogatory sir… I really think you need to apologize here… I liked the rest of the video but it's just that one comment truly irked me! There's enough racism in this world without needing to find it in the safe haven of acceptance of a chess video!!!! :((

  34. After Nc3 black will play Ne4 and will eventually recover the pawn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.