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Alexey Shirov vs Francisco Vallejo Pons
Linares (2002), Linares ESP, rd 6, Mar-01
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. l'Hermet Variation Berlin Wall Defense (C67)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-01-02  knight: Pons has proven himself an expert in this hundred year old defense to the Ruy Lopez.
Jun-10-02  atripodi: this variation intrigues me. does it have a name? what are the advantages for black?
Jun-10-02  refutor: this is the berlin variation...this was played ad nauseum in the kasparov-kramnik match in 2000. from the CFC magazine, en passant "the solid berlin defense reduces the chances of early tactical skirmishes to a minimum, and therefore avoids Kasparov's greatest strength by steering the game into a maneuvering middlegame that is quite in keeping with Kramnik's solid and conservative approach". apparently, kramnik said that you get a "feel" for the berlin positions, and apparently he got a feel for them as it was it main weapon v. kasparov. it's interesting that shirov would give up half a point in this variation, as i'm sure he analyzed it to death once he realized that kramnik was playing it :) one of the advantages for black is the queenless middlegame, similar to many of the lines in the petroff which, of course, kramnik is a master of. my line v. this line in the berlin is 9.Rd8+ right away, not allowing the king to move over to f8 and get away from the attack, forcing 9. ... Ke8 because if 9. ... Be7? 10.Ng5!

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