The Modern Benoni is one of Black's most swashbuckling openings, used to devastating effect by such players as Tal, Fischer, Kasparov and Topalov. From the outset, Black creates extreme imbalance, setting his piece activity and queenside play against White's spatial preponderance and central majority. However, during the 1980s and much of the 1990s, the Benoni fell under a cloud as a result of some very direct attacking systems by White. In this book, John Watson particularly focuses on various subtle move-orders by which Black can try to avoid White's most dangerous systems and direct the game into more palatable channels. King's Indian players will also find this book invaluable, since Watson covers many lines that can arise from King's Indian move-orders.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

Gambit books by Watson: The Gambit Guide to the Modern Benoni, Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy, Chess Strategy in Action, Mastering the Chess Openings volume 1, Mastering the Chess Openings volume 2, Mastering the Chess Openings volume 3, Mastering the Chess Openings volume 4, Chess Openings for Kids, A Strategic Chess Opening Repertoire for White.

"I have found John Watson's opening books excellent references for their respective openings and this book is no different. Watson provides extensive verbal descriptions of opening strategy throughout the book, which is essential for players to fully understand the opening's principles. The Benoni is an active unbalanced defence and is not suitable for those wanting a quiet solid game. King's Indian players may also find this book useful as it covers a number of lines that can arise from King's Indian move orders. Watson is a previous winner of the BCF book of the year and his books are usually of a very high quality. The quality of production of the book is excellent. A full index of variations covered in the book is given at the end. Recommended." Paul Dunn, AUSTRALIAN CHESS

"If you're serious about your Benoni, then buy this book. Watson offers Black new methods for meeting some of White's most dangerous systems including the Modern Main Line and the Taimanov Attack" - Mark Donlan, CHESS HORIZONS

"...plenty of thought-provoking material..." GM Matthew Sadler, NEW IN CHESS

"...for those who like attacking play in semi-open positions it might be just the right opening...highly recommended" - John Donaldson, INSIDE CHESS ONLINE

"Watson gives a lot of new ideas and tries to improve on existing theory. Most of the time he is successful... a fine book" - Soren Seagaard, SEAGAARD REVIEWS

"this latest work from Watson had a lot to live up to and yet does not disappoint. Throughout this work he remains objective and provides plenty of encouragement to readers who wrongly doubt the Benoni's soundness, whilst he always writes clearly and provides much detailed, and of a high quality, original analysis. For the strong club player this is one of the best repertoire books of recent years and must be a contender for the 2001 BCF Book of the Year Award." - Richard Palliser, CHESS MOVES

"Any chess book by John Watson is an event, so high is his reputation... here he offers us a repertoire book for Black in the Modern Benoni. As usual with Watson's opening books, you can be confident that he has done his homework. In every chapter, Watson offers a wealth of new suggestions and fresh assessments of existing ideas" - Phil Adams, THE MANCHESTER CHESS SCENE, THE 3 CS

"John Watson has established himself among the top rank of chess writers in recent years, as anyone who has read Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy will testify. This book continues in a similar excellent vein and represents excellent value for money for anyone seeking an uncompromising way to play against 1 d4" - Alan Sutton, EN PASSANT

"Guide to the Modern Benoni" is an excellent new 208-page GAMBIT book by IM John Watson, who always equips his readers with the armoury they need in order to quickly and confidently begin playing the desired opening" - GM Paul Motwani, THE SCOTSMAN

"As usual, Watson puts himself in the firing line and produces the goods! I predict this book will lead to a rather impressive revival in the Benoni's fortunes." Monroe Morrison, OPEN FILE

"Watson writes excellent opening monographs - and excellent repertoire books in particular... against each White system he offers a choice of reply; one a personal take on the main line, the second a more experimental variation" - Jonathan Tait, BCCA

"I particularly like Watson's openings books because they focus on strategic assessment rather than just giving variations in columns... highly recommended" - Paul Dunn, AUSTRALIAN CHESS FORUM