Benoni Sono Buoni

 “Huh? 1. … Nf6?”

 It wasn’t the defense he was expecting, but boy was he ready for it.

“You really don't want to play the Modern Benoni against Mesgen,” said Bill Brock sagely during the Blaze match against the Los Angeles Vibe Wednesday night. Had GM Mesgen Amanov’s opponent—IM Zhanibek Amanov, no relation—had a word with Bill earlier, perhaps he would have chosen a different defense against the Chicago-area grandmaster who is playing superb chess for the Blaze this year. As it happened Zhanibek found himself in a line that his opponent and namesake understood in a deep theoretical way. The result was one of the most interesting games we’ve seen this year. Below, Mesgen, the victor, analyzes it. Get ready for chessical treat of the first rank.

photo: GM Mesgen Amanov, by Jae Lim

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