Lichess4545 Ledger 023

Lichess4545 Ledger

Issue #023 - April 24, 2017

State of the League

Four rounds have come and gone and the league no longer has any perfect teams. All teams have drawn or lost at least 1 match. Truth is, Caro can't, Isolated Puns, and Chessistential Crisis lead with 7 match points.

There have been a few cases of people being banned for engine use. Please do not public shame anyone. But the mods used to send out the following message after cheater cases, in season's past and it's worth mentioning again: Just a reminder that this is a engine-free league. Individuals who are found to be using engine assistance forfeit all games and are removed from our Slack group. We take all accusations extremely seriously and only rule under either full moderator agreement, or if Lichess's site marks the individual as a cheater. We are dedicated to promoting an interesting, engine-free community that is interested in learning and enjoying chess - not cheating it. Thanks for all your support, and remember, you can reach out to any of the moderators if you feel suspicious of anyone's play.

LoneWolf #7 is starting this week! Welcome to all the new members and all those embarking on the 11 round swiss tournament. It will be the same format as last time, an 11 round swiss with accelerated pairings at the start of the tournament.

From @cyanfish
1. I'd like to officially welcome @yago666 to the Lonewolf moderator team. He's joining @jptriton and myself.
2. We have a small rule change: If you win by forfeit against a higher-rated player, you may request a half-point or zero-point bye instead.
Last season we had a few people that won multiple games by forfeit and ended up playing higher rated players for the rest of their games. If that happens to you and you want to take the win and play up, that's totally fine. But if you'd rather play people closer to your rating you can now ask for a bye.
3. As a reminder, round 1 pairings will be released 24th April at 22:00 GMT.

Register here:

Quick updates on the other leagues.

  • Competition is still going strong in #ladder! No major updates.
  • #Blitz-battle: Congrats to @the_fischer_king who won the battle on 23rd April. The next battle will be Sunday 30th April 2017 @ 18:00 UTC.

Coaches Corner

This is a new feature in the Ledger and hopefully other chess coaches in our community will find time to contribute their ideas.

None this week. If you have a chess tip be sure to share!

Notable Lichess4545 community member video/contributions:

@chessicstudent shares the 3rd video in his series. A quick one!

@quirked recorded the Silman study session. They cover Reassess Your Chess and chess endgames.

Glad to have other new content, but I'm calling out the other lichess4545 youtubers who have not posted anything for 2 weeks in a row. @ChessLeagueTV, @TonyRo, @Atrophied (you at least posted a bughouse video), @thepawnslayer, @Fuzz0410, @Journey_to_NM. Shame! angry I'm only joking and hope you do put out more content soon!

Stats from Round 4 of 45+45: Thanks to @somethingpretentious for his work to automate the process of coming up with these stats. It is much appreciated!

  • Biggest upset: 219 point difference RazorBoy2129 against Alex_slow 2343 Gamelink
  • Lowest ACPL game: 8 ACPL by Toffeeman against joecupojoe  Gamelink
  • Lowest combined ACPL game: 25 combined ACPL Klip98 vs SMC Gamelink
  • Highest ACPL game: 111 ACPL SMNs in loss to lakinwecker Gamelink
  • Highest combined ACPL game: 161 combined ACPL hive vs Happy0 Gamelink
  • Longest game: Reached move 75 Klip98 vs SMC Gamelink
  • Quickest mate: Mate on move 13 by lakinwecker against SMNs Gamelink
  • Fastest draw: Ends on move 28 TIE
  • Fastest resign: Resignation on move 17 by ethanpowell against ianjf Gamelink

Finally as always feel free to join #lichessledger on slack if you want to help or contribute in any way to this newsletter.

Chess For You

Move Orders in the Modern Benoni

by @tnan123 for the Lichess4545 Ledger

The benoni is a defense for black against 1. d4. It is characterized by the following unique pawn structure (see below).

In the following article I will be exploring various move orders in this opening. This is NOT an opening survey that will explore any theory beyond the various main variations that might arise after either 1...c5 2...c5 or 3...c5 in the modern benoni. Be aware that transpositions from other openings such as the KID also are not covered.

A quick look at the pawn structure will show that white has a space advantage due to their advanced pawn on d5. White also has a 2 vs 1 pawn central majority. On the other hand, black has a queenside majority. If black can get in a6 and b5 the 3 vs 2 majority on the queenside provides black great counterplay. Black also typically has a fianchetto'd dark square bishop on g7 which often exerts great influence due to the white center pawns being on light squares. This imbalanced structure often leads to complex, doubled edged games.

The benoni is characterized by the move c5 from black. This can occur at various times in the opening, move 1, 2, 3, and even later and I will explore these 3 moves in more detail below.

The Old Benoni 1...c5

Occurs after 1. d4 c5. Typical benoni positions arise after white pushes d5 in response to black's challenge of the center. However, the big difference with this move order is that often white's c pawn is not traded for black's e pawn. The most popular plan is actually to reach a Czech Benoni position characterized by the following blocked pawn center (see below). There are also several other independent variations which deviate from the standard modern Benoni. There are too many to list and I would suggest you explore an opening database.

The Standard Move Order 2...c5

Many of the traditional lines in the Benoni are reached after 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5. Note that the most popular move plan here is 3. d5 b5, the Benko Gambit. We will not discuss that separate opening here. The 2... c5 move order has been overshadowed in modern times with 3...c5 which will be discussed later. With the 2...c5 move order white has the option of the flick knife (see below).

This tabiya is reached after 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. e4 g6 7. f4! Bg7 (see below) and includes the Mikenas variation (8. e5), the Taimanov variation (8. Bb5+) or can tranpose to various lines in the 4 pawns attack of the King's Indian defense (8. Nf3 O-O 9. Be2). Rarer sidelines such as Kapengut variation (7. f3) or Knaak variation (7. Bd3) are also possible with this move order.

Modern Move Order 3...c5

As black often wants to sidestep the previous dangerous lines, Black now most often reaches the modern benoni via 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5!? This move order also allows black much greater flexibility. If white plays 3. Nc3 black often goes into a Nimzo-Indian instead, though he could transpose to modern benoni lines as well with 3...c5, but again must watch out for f4 ideas as before. He could also decide at this point to try the QID, Ragozin, QGD, Bogo etc. after either 3. Nc3 or 3. Nf3. If white plays 3. g3 aiming for a Catalan 3...c5! and going into the the fianchetto Benoni offers great chances for black. Lastly, with 3...c5 compared to 2...c5 black has the extra option of playing the Blumenfeld gambit after 4. d5 with 4...b5!?

After 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. d5 many Benoni practioners would play 4...exd5 however. 4...d6 is considered maybe more correct, though a vast majority of the time things tranpose. The reason is that white can play 5. cxd5 d6 and 6. e4 without having commited their c1 knight. It also allows for an Nd2 to c4 which is known to be a great square for a white knight in the Benoni attacking the d6 pawn.

Using this move order you will still be open to a wide array of variations. I'm sure you'll have plenty to explore in the modern main line, the classical main line, the fianchetto variations and the 7. Bf4 lines. I only wanted to give a brief overview of the beginning moves and what lines are possible after 1...c5 2...c5 and 3...c5. There are tons of other ideas to explore in the Benoni, such as when to play Bg4 as black (often with the idea to trade for the knight on f3), when to watch out for white's e5 push or the Nd2 to Nc4 plan from white, how to defend your d6 pawn, how to mobilize the black queenside (a6 b5 white often plays a4 to stop this), where the black rooks might go (Re8 maybe Rb8) and much more. I've cloned a chapter from my private Benoni study and modified it for easy viewing which explains a lot of the above and more. Hope you enjoy!



Chess Puzzle

From a round 4 game in 45+45 on board 5: @Boviced vs @CarlosMagnussen. White just played Be5, a big blunder. Black can save a draw here Black to move. Only 1 move saves the draw for black. This one is super tough!

For the answer see gamelink.



Creative Commons License

Lichess4545 Ledger #023 ©2017 by Thienan Nguyen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Thanks to the lichess4545 mods for their contributions. Thanks to @petruchio for his help in editing this issue.