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17

Back in the days of over-the-board chess I use to run themed blitz tournaments over the summer to keep members of our chess club occupied in the off season. In July 2019 I ran one on the Berlin Defense. Only 6 players turned up instead of the usual dozen or so (surely not put off by the boring reputation of the Berlin?) so I ran a 6 player double round robin ...


4

Before I address the questions, it's important to understand that the Berlin and Petroff are different openings in the sense that one cannot force the Berlin to appear over the board in a King Pawn opening. The Berlin is a variation of the Ruy Lopez, whereas the Petroff deviates from any Spanish variations on move two with 2...Nf6. Historically, the ...


4

There no certain answer to your question. It depends. An opening with a "drawish reputation" usually turns against the player who chooses it without having a deep knowledge of the opening itself. That said, I think that both of these, if understood, can be a very hard match against a White player who desperately tries to win. But they're not easy to play. ...


4

The reason, as far as I know, it is because it is drawish. GMs look for opens that are either heavily imbalanced or uncertain, like the sicilian or the scotch, or quiet oppenings that allow positional manuevering, like the Caro-Kann. Drawish lines are used by GMs solely when they are required. Another reason is that the Berlin wasn't almost played at all in ...


3

If black needs a draw in the last round to win the tournament, which opening should black pick? If a player only needs a draw in the last round, he or she should play normally (of course this is easier said than done) and only sometimes remember that to reach the goal they only need a draw, for example if they can force draw by perpetual. This means the ...


2

As Phonon said in his comment: “The transposition from the Berlin Defense (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4...) to the Four Knights Game (Spanish variation 4.Nc3) is a perfectly valid one, but the four knights game is known to be a quite dry opening for white, as in there are various easily equalizing lines for black, starting from the Rubinstein 4...Nd4 (see ...


2

One of the reasons could be that the knight on f5 is already developed. Probably it doesn't appeal to many players to spend 2 tempi to reposition the knight, while black is already slightly behind in development. Futhermore, many alternative setups are possible and perfectly playable: Ke8, Bd7 and Kc8, etc... However, it seems that an early Ne7 recently ...


2

I used to read an old book about openings written by Ludek Pachman. It was probably published in 1980 though I am not sure of that because I read a translation... anyway, I digress :) The interesting part of his analysis started after those standard moves [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 ...


2

The reason apart from being a drawish opening, is that it can be unpleasant to play as black without correct play with the double pawn and disconnected rooks, in case one goes for the Queen exchange variation, like the one being played most often these days. A good thing going for black is the obvious bishop pair. Kramnik revived it successfully and used it ...


2

The goal in a World Championship match is to press with white and draw with black. Kramnik was the first to realize what an incredibly solid opening it could be. As to why it was dropped earlier, From the Wikipedia article on the Berlin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruy_Lopez#Berlin_Defence): "The Berlin Defence was played in the late 19th century and ...


2

Is it due to the limited strength of the featured Lichess engine? Most probably it is the above. Using the engine at lichess.org/analysis (which is Stockfish 13 NNUE, almost the newest version of Stockfish available), on move 20 its eval was -5.9 for Black and it recommended 20...Rxe1+. The move played, 20...Be6, cost Black a significant amount of its ...


1

As already said in some answers, 4. Nc3 is relatively harmless as it transposes into the four Knights game. It is a shame because developing the Knight on c3 might seem very logical (it follows the generic principles of the opening !). Instead, 4. O-O is forcing Black to play a committal move, as 4... Be7 leaves Black with an unpleasant position: [FEN "...


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