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Yakov Estrin vs Hans Berliner
"Ich bin ein Berliner" (game of the day Aug-28-2017)
5th CC World Ch Final (1965), corr-5
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense. Ulvestad Variation (C57)  ·  0-1


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Given 28 times; par: 74 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: 10 ...e4! is amazing, especially when you consider that this was a correspondence game and therefore heavily analyzed.
May-06-02  bishop: Berliner one of the greatest theoreticians in the history of chess wrote a pamphlet on this opening called "On the deathbed of the two knights defense".His book "The System" in my opinion will become a classic.
Sep-30-02  drukenknight: I see we have Berliner fans on this sight.

I think this game is one of the most overrated in history. It looks to have simply been lost in the end game after an interesting opening. (take a look at whites 33rd)

However let's look at the star move 10...e4 though. What about 11 Bxb5 Nxb 12 Qa4 and the white has got his queen active.

Interestingly enuf the very same motiff (a B for 3 pawns) could have been played on move 9. And why should that be a suprise to us since this possibility was brought to us gift wrapped by black who by playing 5...b5 was already offering a B for three pawns (i.e. the q-side pawns will be disconnected) at the very outset.

That white refuses this offer and retreats the B to f1 means that white is content to give up a tempo and see what black will do. Maybe that is ok for white but you have to wonder if white doesnt value the break of the pawns as 3 how does he value them? Something less? It's funny that we are all taught from the beginning that you have to avoid doubled pawns and ISO pawns, but often even GM are afraid to take this lesson literally.

The telling pt is this: that white had a chance to swap a B for 3 pawns on move 6 and didn't take it, then he has a similar chance on move 9 then he has a similar chance on move 10. You have to ask yourself as a player: how many times can I keep avoiding a line that appears to be balanced, even though it looks tricky?

Hmm, a B for three pawns, "well I don't know about that..." is how most players probably think about it. Which is okay for one move I suppose, but when that same motiff keep reoccuring in the game you have to ask yourself if you are not fooling yourself into a bad line by avoiding the toughest line.

A better example. this young master was asking Petrosians advice, the young master only needing one more draw to achieve some rating or something. Pet. told him something I forget exactly what. So he went out and played his game as conservatively as possible and loss to some brilliant tactics.

He asked Pet. what went wrong and P. said "didn't I tell you have to play ever game as if on the edge of a precipice?"

WHite avoids the precipice that is looming since the 5th move and tries to play it safe. That's not what chess is about.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: This game is analyzed online here

<14. Rxf3 - This may be the losing move. After 14. Qe1!, black will find it hard to justify his material sacrifice.>

Nov-13-02  drukenknight: it seems that white allows black to dominate the center of the board when he plays 32 Rc7. The black K is centralized and so if the rooks come off, then blacks K will be able to capture the passed d pawn before white can capture the passed h pawn and get back to the other side.

Maybe 32 Rf5

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: 32 Rf5 Rc2+ wins for Black, I believe.
Nov-13-02  drukenknight: maybe I am missing something why not 33 Rf2?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 32.Rf5 Rc2+ 33.Rf2 Rxf2+ 34.Kxf2 Kd5 etc. Pawn ending is simply won for black.
Nov-13-02  drukenknight: then why not 32...Rxa7?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 32...Rxa7? What do you mean exactly?
Nov-15-02  drukenknight: 32...Rxc7 is what I meant, sorry I posted so wrecklessly yesterday, I need to reset mentally.

Anyhow I was hoping white could trade rooks and still be in position to grab blacks h pawn and get back and cover the queening situation. If black is left w/ a RP then maybe he can draw.

But it looks worse than that w/ black maybe keeping both a and b pawns.

Going backs to whites 31/32nd moves, it looks like he's lost time since the rook remains where it was on f1 and black has both side K and R. Perhaps a better move could be played there. Not sure what.

Moving ahead in the game.
What about 32 Kf3? trying to get this K more centralized and deferring the situaion on the h pawn for later.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: If you mean 33.Rxc7 then 33...Kxc7 34.Kh3 Kd6 35.Kh4 Kd5 36.Kxh5 Kd4 37.Kg4 Kxd3 is also hopeless for white. Black king is simply master of chessboard. After 32.Kf3 black can play 32...Rc2 with decisive advantage.
Jan-02-04  Benjamin Lau: Andy Soltis considers this to be the best game ever played. It's certainly a great game, but I don't think it was fair for him to compare it to others since it was in correspondence, so it should be excluded just like one would exclude simuls, blitz, rapids, blindfolds, etc.
Feb-22-04  iron maiden: Another wild, crazy, tactical shoot-out that finishes not with mate but with a better ending for the winner ("just" a pawn up).
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I see this as a good game,but the greatest ever! No way! It is the equivalent of a 6-3 football game. I want fireworks in my chess games! This is art,not laying pipe!
Feb-22-04  Calculoso: Why not 14. gxf3? Also, how do people get the icons of the queen, etc. in their post?
Feb-22-04  Shadout Mapes: 14.gxf3 Bxg3 15.hxg3 Qxg3+ 16.Kh1 Nf4 17.Rg1 Bxf3+
Feb-23-04  Calculoso: Thanks, Shadout Mapes.
Mar-04-04  soberknight: DK, I think you're mistaken to dismiss ...b5 so flippantly. I've played it at least 5 or 6 times, and my opponent usually walks into 6 Bxb5 Qxd5 7 Bxc6+ Qxc6 8 O-O Bb7 with a nice attack for the pawn, for example 9 f3 Bc5+ or 9 Qf3 Qb6. White misses his light-squared bishop, and black's missing b-pawn won't harm him in the middlegame: I usually castle q-side.

Anyway, what do you see in 9 Bxb5+ Nxb5 10 Qa4 Qxe4+ ?

It may be worthwhile to sacrifice a bishop for three pawns in the endgame, but usually not in the early middlegame on a board full of pieces and tactics.

Estrin might have tried Qb3, as everyone who studies this line knows.

Btw, this is my first kibitz ever on this sight. Some comments are too blatant to let pass silently. Btw, I think 1 e4 c5 2 e5 is stupid.

Mar-06-04  drukenknight: yeah ...b5 is okay; what do you think happens in the endgame soberN?
Jun-03-04  gallopingsnail: i have berliner's book. he says that if his analysis is right that the grunfeld will be refuted in a few years.
Jul-30-04  trogdor: White would be winning after 14.Qb3!
Jul-30-04  maoam: <trogdor>

But then 14...Nb4 threatens to burninate the bishop with Rb8 or c6...

Jul-31-04  trogdor: after 14...Nb4 the line should go 15.Rf3 c6 16.Rxf7 cxb5 17.Nc3 Re8 18.Rf1 or something like that, with white burninating black.
Aug-15-04  clocked: <soberknight> your line hangs the Queen
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