Saturday, December 29, 2007

Benoni Defense and Benoni Sabah !

While browsing the internet I found an interesting article here about the origins of the word benoni. As we all know there is a chess openings called the Benoni defense but the interesting things is there is a place in Malaysia called Benoni. It is in Papar, Sabah!

The Benoni Defense is a group of chess openings generally characterized by the opening moves 1.d4 c5 2.d5 although Black's ...c5 and White's answer d5, is often delayed until move 2 or 3. The most usual opening sequence for the Benoni is 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5. Black can then sacrifice a pawn by 3...b5 (leading to the Benko Gambit). If Black elects not to sacrifice then 3...d6, 3...e6 or 3...g6 are common moves, leading to the mainline Benonis.

There are many variations of the Benoni.

Source: Wikipedia

Here are the excerpt from Edwin winter article

.....4435. Benoni confusion

Before quoting a reader’s contribution, we supply the context by reproducing C.N. 2250.

Modern books record that the word Benoni comes from the Hebrew for ‘child/son of (my) sorrow/sadness’.

Page 318 of The Chess-Player’s Companion by Staunton implied that Benoni had been somebody’s name: ‘M. St Amant derived this somewhat bizarre defence from Benoni. (Benoni, oder [die] Vertheidigungen [gegen] die Gambitzüge im Schache, etc. Von Aaron Reinganum, Frankfort, 1825)’ was the note after 1 d4 c5 2 d5 f5. R. Rey Ardid was even more specific (about 1 d4 c5) on page 22 of Cien nuevas partidas de ajedrez (Saragossa, 1940): ‘An old, audacious defence which comes from the English player Benoni (1825)’. Presenting the game Petrosian v Schmid in his book L’intuition à l’affût, A. O’Kelly noted the Hebrew meaning but claimed that around the 1830s there were two brothers named Benoni who had regularly played the opening. O’Kelly further remarked that during a visit to South Africa he had been surprised to find a town named Benoni in the Johannesburg area. We add that there is also a place called Benoni in Malaysia......

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