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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Dutch-Benko

     I have played the Dutch only four times in correspondence play, scoring three wins and one draw against players rated 1900-2300. It's never been my favorite though, which is kind of odd considering one of my early heroes, Botvinnik, played it.
     If you play the Dutch you have to be alert to the Anti-Dutch systems and one of the most popular is the tricky 1 d4 f5 2 Bg5. I've used this move against the Dutch a few times and it is true that black has to be extremely careful when facing it because many players have fallen victim to a miniature! When meeting 2.Bg5 it's recommended that French and Stonewall players should play 1…e6, Leningrad players should use 2…g6. While the risky line 2…h6 3.Bh4 g5 4.e4 is playable, I think black should avoid it because it's the move that often gets black into trouble. 
     In a couple of recent correspondence games where I played the Dutch, I am toying with playing a Benko Gambit-like move, an early ...b5. Before actually playing it, I subjected the diagrammed position to a deep position and infinite analysis using Komodo 10. After letting Komodo work on the position for a few hours, here's the resulting analysis. Clearly, white stands better, but I am willing to try it anyway...except against one opponent in particular; he is an ICCF SIM! It might be worth a try in blitz, or maybe even in a tournament game if you are feeling adventurous.
 

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