What’s the main purpose of the opening?
The main purpose of the Old Benoni Defense is to counter the opponent’s 1.d4 opening move and to control the central squares d5 and e4.
Black aims to delay the development of their kingside pieces and instead focuses on attacking White’s central pawn chain with moves like c5 and e6, putting pressure on White’s pawn on d4.
Is the Old Benoni defense good for new players?
The Old Benoni Defense can be challenging for new players, as it requires a good understanding of pawn structures and a willingness to play with an unbalanced position. The opening can lead to a cramped and passive position for Black if not played correctly, which can make it difficult to find good moves.
Why you should try the opening
One might try to play the Old Benoni Defense as a surprise weapon or to avoid more common openings like the Sicilian Defense or the French Defense. Additionally, players who enjoy dynamic and unbalanced positions may be attracted to this opening.
How do you counter it?
The best way to counter the Old Benoni Defense depends on White’s individual playing style. However, some general principles to keep in mind include developing pieces quickly, controlling the central squares, and avoiding pawn exchanges that may benefit Black’s pawn structure.
One common idea is to play e4, which can lead to a pawn sacrifice and a dynamic position for both sides. Another option is to play a4, discouraging Black’s pawn push to b4, and developing pieces quickly to put pressure on Black’s position.