The Benko Gambit is a rare sort of opening: Black offers a pawn on the third move to snatch the initiative from White. The psychological effect is instantaneous. White, who thought he would control the opening with the initial tempo is immediately faced with vexing decisions. 'Do I take the pawn and try to keep it?'(Accepted); 'Do I take it for a little white but offer to return it later?' (Semi-Accepted); 'Or do I avoid the gambit altogether?' (Declined).
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5!. In any event we show that whichever course white adopts, black will obtain fluid counter-play. If white commits inaccuracies(even relatively slight ones), Black can quickly seize the initiative. By first studying our familiarization section the student new to the Benko will be given a good overview of all the main variations in the Benko Gambit. Next we present a thorough and up-to-date survey of all the major variations to show how Black can steer play into dynamic counter-play-oriented positions, which will provide exciting games and good practical winning chances. Bash 'em with the Benko!