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Poll Question: Black's best winning chances in the Berlin endgame



« Created by: snakebite on: 03/11/11 at 10:17:38 »
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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Black's best winning chances in the Berlin endgame (Read 35233 times)
Oblonskij
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Re: Black's best winning chances in the Berlin endgame
Reply #28 - 09/06/11 at 11:06:53
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I doubt it. The main choice of 2700+ players playing for a win is still the Najdorf.

sry for offtopic, according to the current world cup the usual choice for must-win games seems to be the Pirc/Modern. It usually backfires though unless you happen to be Ivanchuk.
  
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Re: Black's best winning chances in the Berlin endgame
Reply #27 - 09/06/11 at 02:27:15
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Maybe I am unusual, but I find that some Berlin positions are fun to play for Black, perhaps especially effective against aggressive players who play 1. e4 to attack. I cannot recall another Ruy Lopez system whose main line transpires into an endgame so quickly.
  

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Markovich
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Re: Black's best winning chances in the Berlin endgame
Reply #26 - 09/06/11 at 01:54:04
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Off topic, I think the Zaitsev is Black's best winning try against the Spanish, once you get past the possible repetition. Watson substantiates that in one of his "Mastering" volumes.

Sorry not to address the Berlin.
  

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Re: Black's best winning chances in the Berlin endgame
Reply #25 - 09/06/11 at 00:01:02
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Decisions of2700s are irrelevant to 2200s.
Aronian, Carlsen have better technique than those 500 points below. Obviously.

  
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TN
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Re: Black's best winning chances in the Berlin endgame
Reply #24 - 09/05/11 at 21:58:59
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Pantu wrote on 09/05/11 at 20:55:20:
Well, I think the point is that the Marshall is so heavily analysed, has multiple forced draws in it, and black is often going into a pawn down ending where the bishop pair provide enough compensation to draw. 


I disagree with you on this point. There are a number of forced draws, but Gustafsson's DVD and games like Ivanchuk-Leko show that Black can play for a win against almost any variation if he is well prepared. There is still a lot of scope for further investigations because unlike most gambits, Black's compensation is quite long-term in nature but still offers good short-term compensation in the opening unlike, for instance, the Benko Gambit.

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It is very hard to win with at a high level where people know their stuff.


This is the case with any Black opening. If someone proved that an opening that gave excellent chances to win at 2700+ level, everyone would be playing it, or everyone would be not allowing it.

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The Berlin has much less forcing lines and requires both sides to actually play rather than trotting out theory.  The caveat is that, as I said, white can bail out but there are few openings where that is not possible and most 2600+ players are reluctant to give up a white for nothing.


I think the real caveat is that objectively White is slightly better and most of the top guys have appreciated the strength of the e6 sacrifice, as some recent games have shown.

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Carlsen has also been using the Berlin to win, and the Breyer as his more heavily analysed "solid" choice.


I think the Breyer is a better winning try than the Berlin or Petroff because it keeps more tension in the position. Mamedyarov's games are particularly instructive if you want to play for a win with the Breyer as Black. If White makes a slight error then often a timely ...d5 is already better for Black.

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Currently I think the Berlin is almost the main choice of the 2700+ when wanting to win as black vs 1 e4...in the endgame the positions just aren't as sterile as the Petroff.


I doubt it. The main choice of 2700+ players playing for a win is still the Najdorf.
  

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Pantu
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Re: Black's best winning chances in the Berlin endgame
Reply #23 - 09/05/11 at 20:55:20
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Well, I think the point is that the Marshall is so heavily analysed, has multiple forced draws in it, and black is often going into a pawn down ending where the bishop pair provide enough compensation to draw.  It is very hard to win with at a high level where people know their stuff.

The Berlin has much less forcing lines and requires both sides to actually play rather than trotting out theory.  The caveat is that, as I said, white can bail out but there are few openings where that is not possible and most 2600+ players are reluctant to give up a white for nothing.

Carlsen has also been using the Berlin to win, and the Breyer as his more heavily analysed "solid" choice.

Currently I think the Berlin is almost the main choice of the 2700+ when wanting to win as black vs 1 e4...in the endgame the positions just aren't as sterile as the Petroff.
  
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Re: Black's best winning chances in the Berlin endgame
Reply #22 - 09/05/11 at 19:00:26
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Pantu wrote on 09/05/11 at 15:49:05:
Well, Aronian for one has said he plays the Berlin when he wants to win, and the Marshall when he is satisfied with a draw.

One big problem with the Berlin is that white has a couple of deviations that end up in a fairly sterile position especially 5 Re1.  So if white isn't up for a real game e.g. Smeets-Kramnik and Nakamura-Kramnik, both at Wijk aan Zee 2011, he has some fairly well known ways to do this.


That is an interesting choice. That sounds like playing the Najdorf when trying to draw and the Petroff in a must-win situation Smiley, but I can see how some want to positionally outplay their opponents in the Berlin. I was not sure how many favour doing so though, especially around the 2200+ level.
  

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Re: Black's best winning chances in the Berlin endgame
Reply #21 - 09/05/11 at 15:49:05
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Well, Aronian for one has said he plays the Berlin when he wants to win, and the Marshall when he is satisfied with a draw.

One big problem with the Berlin is that white has a couple of deviations that end up in a fairly sterile position especially 5 Re1.  So if white isn't up for a real game e.g. Smeets-Kramnik and Nakamura-Kramnik, both at Wijk aan Zee 2011, he has some fairly well known ways to do this.
  
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fling
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Re: Black's best winning chances in the Berlin endgame
Reply #20 - 09/05/11 at 11:07:02
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I have no idea about the alternative, but ...h4 (after b3) looks like more of a weakening than strength in this game.
  
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Re: Black's best winning chances in the Berlin endgame
Reply #19 - 09/05/11 at 07:16:40
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Tend to agree with TN.
I have heard tell of folk who like to be walked on by women in high heels, or who stay at home to flay themselves with lengths of knotted rope.
But I can't see such becoming too popular.
Best avoid.
  
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Re: Black's best winning chances in the Berlin endgame
Reply #18 - 09/05/11 at 06:18:18
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If you look at the recent World Cup games you'll see that Black has some losing chances in the Berlin. I could be wrong but I think the Berlin Wall is about to experience a massive drop in popularity.
  

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Re: Black's best winning chances in the Berlin endgame
Reply #17 - 09/05/11 at 04:05:37
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I am around 2250 FIDE, but I have seen players around this level play the Berlin Wall and win (partly why I find the Berlin interesting and intrigued about how often people play it to win).
  

Creo lo que creo no importa lo que creen los demás.
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Re: Black's best winning chances in the Berlin endgame
Reply #16 - 09/05/11 at 03:59:58
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Are you, say, over 2500 rating?

If not, I really struggle to see the attraction, beyond the Bandwagonesque (thanks Teenage Fanclub for that).

You will suffer a lot.

(and yes I have seen Cox's book).
  
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Re: Black's best winning chances in the Berlin endgame
Reply #15 - 09/05/11 at 03:33:27
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I am interested in learning the Berlin, but how realistic are the winning chances for Black? Would it be advised to play it to positionally outplay a player who prefers sharp positions, and would it be advised to play it in a last round match of an open tournament where a win is absolutely necessary?
  

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trw
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Re: Black's best winning chances in the Berlin endgame
Reply #14 - 03/16/11 at 20:03:15
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I got in trouble in a game in correspondence that continued

5. Re1 Nd6 6. Bf1 Be7 7. (tranposing to your move order Nxe5 Nxe5 8. Rxe5 0-0 9. Nc3 Bf6 10. Re1 Nf5 11. Nd5 d6 12. Nxf6+ Qxf6 13. c3 c5 14. Qf3 where white has a little something for sure thanks to the bishop pair. Game is still going but I should hold a draw however this is not a way to play the opening I care to repeat. Maybe I will try your Ne8 next time (Though Cox's book also reocmmends this). Of course, Cox called this whole line harmless for black.
« Last Edit: 03/17/11 at 03:59:21 by trw »  
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