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Sergey Karjakin vs Peter Leko
SportAccord World Mind Games (Men, Rapid) (2013), Beijing CHN, rd 4, Dec-12
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-17-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Ah, Leko plays the Berlin: famously drawish opening, famously drawish player. Result? 0-1. In fact, Black has been winning some top-level Berlin games recently.
Dec-17-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Eat your heart out, Magnus. You're not the only one who can win an unwinnable ending.
Dec-17-13  MarkFinan: Dom, what's the idea behind 5.dxc6 in this variation. I would have thought taking with the b pawn to get an early d5 in and control the centre, with the possibility of a bishop on a6(always dangerous in my experience!) would be better?

Dec-18-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Mark> I see your point, but I have no idea of the answer. I've (really!) never played either side of the Ruy Lopez ... and I'm not about to start now.
Dec-18-13  Shams: <Mark>, Black has to take with the d-pawn here to tactically defend his e-pawn. If 5...bxc6? 6.Nxe5 .

As for similar positions, though-- wikipedia has this to say about the Exchange Variation:

<After 4.Bxc6, Black almost always responds 4...dxc6, although 4...bxc6 is playable. It is not usually played due to the reply 5.d4 exd4 6.Qxd4 and White is in control of the centre.>

Dec-18-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Now that <Shams> has given the reason, I see that ...dxc6 has been played in *all* of the 156 games in which this position arose.
Dec-18-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Dom>: While not having looked there, I would be willing to make a small wager, payable to the charity of one's choice, that at www.365chess.com, there are examples of 5....bxc6.
Dec-18-13  Shams: <perfidious> You're a shrewd gambler: 365 has fifteen (15!) games with 5....bxc6, including four where white declined to take e5, and two where he took on e5 and still lost! Needless to say, you won't recognize any of the player names.

http://bit.ly/18XiqHa

The player Redondo Arguelles actually had this position twice, both times in national championship tournaments. And here is where I'm glad I looked this up, since I learned of a new, err, not-quite-country: an autonomous community in Northwest Spain called "Asturias". Well, new to me of course. (It was granted autonomy in 1981.)

Dec-18-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Shams> Fascinating, thanks. I'd heard of Asturias, but didn't know it was autonomous. I see that Arguelles won both games, but it took a long time. <perf> You win, naturally.
Dec-19-13  fishcat: Shuffling the knight around with 13. Nd2 and 15. Nf3 is no good.

It looks like White has a draw until 81. Bc7 -- the bishop is needed to block the e pawn; it can't help on the queenside since all but one of the pawns there are on the other color. Maybe he was trying to free up his king by covering all 3 knight moves?

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from C65 Spanish: Berlin [Black] by chess.master


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