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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Berlin (Read 25726 times)
kevinludwig
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Re: Berlin
Reply #62 - 03/07/06 at 00:13:05
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Recently in the Berlin, it seems that black has been playing 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. 0-0 Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Nc3 Ne7. Is there some reason why 8. ...Ne7 is currently preferred? Is it my imagination? Or fashion? For example, if I remember right, when Kramnik first started playing these lines, he was playing h6/Bd7/Kc8/b6 etc..., and only Ne7 later. Any insight would be helpful...
  
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micawber
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Re: Berlin
Reply #61 - 02/21/06 at 04:59:04
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Look at www.chessbase.com (Svidler-Topalov; Linares round 1; 1-0) for a good example of white's chances to demolish the berlin wall
  
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Fernando Semprun
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Re: Berlin
Reply #60 - 02/16/06 at 10:36:20
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Also, 4.Qe2 looks bad. Black can play Bc5, 0-0 and Re8 and have a very good position.
  

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Fernando Semprun
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Re: Berlin
Reply #59 - 02/16/06 at 10:33:40
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Why is loosing castling rights not mentioned? THAT is the difference white has in favour in the Berlin.

What I find difficult is the white square control black has on the kingside. The manouevre Bb4-c3 (removing white knight) is played by Black as a means of increasing the grip on the white squares. Of course white moves the knight....

The winning chances black has come from the b6 Kc8-b7-c6 set up, the weakness of the e5 pawn and the pressure on the white pawns placed on white squares on the Q-side (typically a2-b3-c4). This is implemented by a Be6 and a well timed b5 and/or a5-a4....
  

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TimS
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Re: Berlin
Reply #58 - 02/08/06 at 16:40:32
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[quote author=Paddy link=1077692552/45#55 date=1139333837
In both lines, with only the queens and one minor piece each exchanged, it could be argued that we are still in a queenless middlegame, in which therefore some middlegame themes still apply.

[/quote]

Of course you are correct. That was careless of me. It's very much a middlegame, albeit a queenless one.
  
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8arms
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Re: Berlin
Reply #57 - 02/08/06 at 12:32:53
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I play the Ruy Lopez Exchange myself, just to cut down the amount of stuff I have to study on top of the other main lines in other openings I play.

Anyway, back to the Berlin Defence, can anyone point or provide us with a sample of critical games?
  
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TalJechin
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Re: Berlin
Reply #56 - 02/08/06 at 10:44:30
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Quote:
I think it would be a mistake to choose the Berlin Wall because of it's recent popularity in
grandmaster-chess. A strong grandmaster might judge a draw with black fully acceptable and have the technique to make it so. For club-level players things might be a little different. To spend your whole evening defending a slightly inferior endgame without winning-chances is not everyone's idea of enjoying his/hers chess-evening.
I know, i defended the ruy-lopez exchange queenless endgame twice against players of master-strength.
Result:  0.5/2 while both games ran over 80 moves; it was just pure torture for me!


One good thing with the Berlin is that it avoids the exchange variation. Last night I met 4.Bxc6 in five games in a row against five different opponents. So it seems Ruy players have lost faith in their main lines...  Roll Eyes
  
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Paddy
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Re: Berlin
Reply #55 - 02/07/06 at 17:37:17
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TimS wrote on 02/06/06 at 11:30:10:
[quote author=TalJechin link=1077692552/45#49 date=1139223301]
What I find interesting is that Theory generally considers the Berlin endgame to be slightly advantageous for White despite the pawn on e5, whereas the Exchange endgame is supposed to be equal even though the pawn is on e4. Surely something is wrong here?


A good question.

In both lines, with only the queens and one minor piece each exchanged, it could be argued that we are still in a queenless middlegame, in which therefore some middlegame themes still apply.

After 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.d4 exd4 6.Qxd4 Qxd4 7.Nxd4 it is Black to move, so he is only the usual one half-move behind in development and, being able to castle, is able to connect his rooks and coordinate his forces rather quickly and easily.

But after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0–0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 it is White to move, so White is two tempi ahead in development. In addition, Black finds it difficult to coordinate his forces and connect his rooks, since he cannot castle. Also the Nf5 is not ideally placed and often needs to move again. Finally Black often needs to consume more time with ...h6 to control g5 and protect his bishop pair from harassment. IMHO compared with the Exchange Variation, in the Berlin Wall it takes a strong player to be able to coordinate Black's forces and make good use of the bishop pair

PS Isn't it interesting how chess theory is so often cyclical? Tarrasch and Pillsbury both played and thought highly of the Berlin Wall. For instance, in Tarrasch's "The Game of Chess" he wrote after Black's 8th move: "The play has brought about an end-game in which the chances are approximately equal. White's king's pawn is not well placed, and Black's two bishops ensure him a good game."
  
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Re: Berlin
Reply #54 - 02/07/06 at 09:29:25
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Personally, while certainly not looking to encourage people to play this way, I think that at lower levels, the Berlin is as good a way as any to play for a win with Black.  Demonstrating any advantage for White is no easy matter even at 2700+ and requires masterful technique and a good appreciation of the endgame.  Moreover, it is easy for White to get frustrated and overpress.
  

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micawber
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Re: Berlin
Reply #53 - 02/07/06 at 01:05:22
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I think it would be a mistake to choose the Berlin Wall because of it's recent popularity in
grandmaster-chess. A strong grandmaster might judge a draw with black fully acceptable and have the technique to make it so. For club-level players things might be a little different. To spend your whole evening defending a slightly inferior endgame without winning-chances is not everyone's idea of enjoying his/hers chess-evening.
I know, i defended the ruy-lopez exchange queenless endgame twice against players of master-strength.
Result:  0.5/2 while both games ran over 80 moves; it was just pure torture for me!
  
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TalJechin
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Re: Berlin
Reply #52 - 02/06/06 at 12:23:31
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TimS wrote on 02/06/06 at 11:30:10:
TalJechin wrote on 02/06/06 at 10:55:01:
One way of getting to know the Berlin endgame might be to look at the typical endgames arising from other Spanish main lines.

The exchange variation is very similar - except that the Berlin should be the better version due to white having a pawn on e5 blocking his bishop and black having played Nf6 instead of a6.


What I find interesting is that Theory generally considers the Berlin endgame to be slightly advantageous for White despite the pawn on e5, whereas the Exchange endgame is supposed to be equal even though the pawn is on e4. Surely something is wrong here?


Good point!

I suppose the Berlin gives black better long term chances due to pawn-e5, but the chance to place a controlling knight on e4 gives white a dynamic advantage of better piece play/activity. Which may explain why a slight inaccuracy from white can lead to an advantage for black very quickly, as 'dynamic play' has a tendency to evaporate...

At my club we recently had a double rounded theme quickplay tm on the Berlin ending, and afterwards all agreed that it was easier to play black with limited time, while the titled players believed that white should be able to keep control of the game at longer time controls. But if black really knows what he's doing he's OK.

Most of us had noticed Aleksandrov's games as black, where he usually advances his a-pawn very soon, instead of 9....Ke8/9...h6/9...Ne7 etc. I guess it's a waiting move or two to see white's set-up, but one must really understand the position to be able to judge what replies would be best to counter white's different set-ups. - It'll be interesting to see what conclusions Aagaard/Lund come to here.
« Last Edit: 02/07/06 at 12:08:42 by TalJechin »  
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chessy
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Re: Berlin
Reply #51 - 02/06/06 at 12:11:46
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I wouldn't agree. The theorie also gives a slightly advantage to white. In the book of Kinderman is some analysis.
  
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TimS
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Re: Berlin
Reply #50 - 02/06/06 at 11:30:10
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TalJechin wrote on 02/06/06 at 10:55:01:
One way of getting to know the Berlin endgame might be to look at the typical endgames arising from other Spanish main lines.

The exchange variation is very similar - except that the Berlin should be the better version due to white having a pawn on e5 blocking his bishop and black having played Nf6 instead of a6.


What I find interesting is that Theory generally considers the Berlin endgame to be slightly advantageous for White despite the pawn on e5, whereas the Exchange endgame is supposed to be equal even though the pawn is on e4. Surely something is wrong here?
  
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TalJechin
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Re: Berlin
Reply #49 - 02/06/06 at 10:55:01
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One way of getting to know the Berlin endgame might be to look at the typical endgames arising from other Spanish main lines.

The exchange variation is very similar - except that the Berlin should be the better version due to white having a pawn on e5 blocking his bishop and black having played Nf6 instead of a6.

In the Steinitz deferred I saw some Keres game where black's bishops did very well despite having his queenside split.

Suggested sources: Mastering the Endgame: Open Games, or game collections by Keres, Fischer and others who've played the Ruy consistently.
  
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John Simmons(Guest)
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Re: Berlin
Reply #48 - 02/01/06 at 13:39:21
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Hello,

I was interested to see the option of going into an Open Ruy Lopez from Berlin move order. On that theme, if black wants a change from the endgame, can try 4... Bc5, which Leko liked a lot in 99. He introduced a new plan with e5*d4 and g5, but it has not been popular with top players more recently.

Bye John S
  
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