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|Sep-27-04|| ||Dick Brain: <how can she be cheating in chess> Didn't Geller in the '72 world championship match suspect Fischer of hiring a psychologist to hypnotize Spassky from the audience? Or maybe I have my anecdotes mixed. Also, I think Lasker or somebody else from that era thought that Tarrasch had the power to hypnotize his oppenent into playing lethargicly. |
|Sep-27-04|| ||tamar: The funny thing is that Kasparov was accused of cheating against Polgar years ago, and it is widely acknowledged he did, because there was a videotape of him taking his hand off a piece and moving another. She confronted him in a hallway after viewing it, and asked him "how could you do this to me?" In an interview afterwards, Kasparov said his conscience was clear, because he did not remember doing it. |
|Sep-27-04|| ||Ron: In the database for this opening, there are two wins by Steinitz against Zukertort , and also two wins by Steinitz against Tchigorin. In all four games Steinitz's fourth move was 4. d3. |
|Sep-28-04|| ||square dance: <ron> 4.d3 was the "old" way of playing against the berlin. |
|Oct-20-04|| ||Giancarlo: How ironuic, this is the opening of the day. We did not see Kramnik attempt to play this opening once in the WCC with Leko, and yet he comes out on top (Really drawed, but the rules...) Seems the Pettrov worked well. |
|Oct-20-04|| ||SicilianDragon: The Berlin was meant as a surprise weapon against Kasparov, just as the Petroff was meant to surprise Leko since Kramnik is regarded as one of the leading authorities on the Sveshnikov Sicilian. 4. d3 is still a great way to meet the Berlin Defense. In addition to instantly threatening 5. Bxc6 followed by 6. Nxe5 (thus making 4...Bc5 and 4...d6 the only feasible moves), it allows white to slowly build up a d4-break with c3, Re1, Nbd2, etc. |
|Dec-30-04|| ||acirce: <
- How did you hit upon the idea of the Berlin Defence as a way to neutralise Kasparov – was it your own idea to play it?
- No! It was just one of the many candidates I looked at with my team. Don’t think for one minute I arrived in London with this as my only defence! Certainly I prepared it for the match – but it certainly wasn’t the only thing I had prepared! But it simply went well, as I suspiciously thought it would.
The Berlin Defence suited my strategy for the match. I had a defensive strategy – Actually, I had in my pocket some other sharper stuff to fall back on – but first I wanted to try the defensive strategy with Black and it worked so well. This was all new to Kasparov – he probably expected me to fight for equality with Black.
Okay, when you start to fight for equality, like Anand did in 1995, you could end up losing game 10, like he did, without putting up any kind of fight. With the Berlin you get a “feel” for the positions. I accepted that the endgame was better for White, but he has to win over the board, not with his legendary home preparation – that’s crucial!
With the Berlin I was able to set up a fortress that he could come near but not breach. When others play against Kasparov they want to keep him distant. I let him in close but I knew where the limit was. I think this surprised him because normally when you fight, you don’t want your opponent to have some advantage, but I gave some advantage from the beginning. Close enough to touch my wall, closer, closer, but not break it. Someone even compared it to Ali’s “rope-a-dope” trick against George Foreman – this was a very good analogy! Okay, I suffered a little, but with some defences Black commits his forces leaving behind openings into his camp. But with the Berlin, I was able to allow him to get near, but not quite near enough, and I knew where to draw the line with the fortresses I had set up.
At some point he seemed to lose all confidence trying to break down the Berlin Wall. He was still fighting as only Kasparov can, but I could see it in his eyes that he knew he wasn’t going to win one of these games. For him it was always a case of “Better, better, better…draw!” This is what broke him down psychologically. It was all very difficult for him as he’s used to winning ever second tournament game. This was my strategy and it worked very well.>
|Dec-30-04|| ||Backward Development: very interesting excerpt acirce!
|Dec-30-04|| ||RisingChamp: Maybe Kasparov should have switched to something else.He can play just about any opening so he should have tried SOMETHING else-anything but playing into your opponents game.Leko did a better job of this with his d4 switch. |
|Dec-31-04|| ||ongyj: Why switch when you strongly believe in something? Like most World Champions and modern top Grandmasters, they love playing the Ruy Lopez. Do you mean to say Kasparov should avoid 1.e4 just because he knows that he'll face the Berlin variation in the Ruy Lopez or maybe even Petroff's defence, another Kramnik's forte? Certainly as a player who enjoys tactical games Kasparov prefers 1.e4 rather than 1.d4 or 1.Nf3. A point to note is that he did try 1.c4 but could not gain more. Perhaps if they do play again Kasparov could be more prepared. On the other hand, Kasparov could consider playing 4.d3 which avoids exchanges and has shown quite impressive records against the Berlin defence. In addition, Kasparov did gain advantage from the opening, which is probably a motivating factor to stick on to it. After all, it's good to know you're fighting on an advantageous ground:) |
|Dec-31-04|| ||tex: <ongyj> Kasparov played hundreds of 1. d4 games throught his career. Check his "most played openings" list. |
|Dec-31-04|| ||azaris: <ongyj> I wish people would get over this notion that playing 1. e4 results somehow in a more tactical game than playing 1. d4. It's simply not true in the least. |
|Dec-31-04|| ||RisingChamp: exactly tactical slugfests can arise from 1 d4 and boring yawners from 1 e4 this is just not an accurate generalization.Having played nearly all openings,I cant believe that Kasparov sees that 1 e4 is stronger than all other openings or any other such dogmatic belief.Secondly your playing for a world title,not trying to just stick to your opening beliefs.He could also have tried something else other than the Ruylopez-its not the only opening after 1 e4 e5. |
|Dec-31-04|| ||ongyj: To tex, azaris and RisingChamp: Thanks for waking me up from my indulgence. |
Yes I admit that saying 1.d4 is more positional play and 1.e4 is more tactical is overgeneralising. In fact it depends on which line both players want to play I suppose. I thought that 1.d4 is more positional simply because most of the time White is unlikely(or unable) to play x.e4 in the opening. As the centre won't open immediately, I tend to see the game going more in the positional way. Perhaps that idea of mine arised after watching way too many Queen's Gambit Denied Games. Now I recalled, that there are many other Queen Pawn lines, such as the aggresive Gruenfeld, Dutch, Nimzo-Indian, King's Indian Defence ectera. In addition, there are sharp lines in every opening variations, even Queen's Gambit Declined itself.
On the other hand, I'm still in favour that Kasparov play 1.e4 as I bet he'd put in lots of preparations especially as White. I mean to say, he can play extremely well on both sides with 1.e4. Looking back at the Kasparov-Kramnik world Championship years ago, did anyone notice that he lost both games defending 1.d4 ? Especially the game lost in the Nimzo Indian defence, this somewhat shows that Kasparov was not as well prepared playing 1.d4. On the other hand, Kramnik obviously was better prepared for 1.d4, probably to avoid Kasparov's Najdorf defence. With these ideas in mind, do you still think Kasparov made a wrong choice challenging Kramnik in the Berlin Wall? If he'd resorted to 1.d4, Kasparov will be caught less prepared in every game as White and Black.
After game 2 being a game down, the best strategy would surely be going for something he's familiar with: 1.e4 and go on to the Ruy Lopez.
True, there are openings other than Ruy Lopez from 1.e4 e5, which I don't entirely understand why Kasparov didn't try it out. My personal, and I emphasise, personal, interpretation is that Kasparov wanted to verify the Berlin's defence himself. Yes it cost him the title, but I bet it's an unforgettable lesson for not just he himself but for the chess players all over the world. I thought he'll go into the Scotch Game or the Evans Gambit, but he didn't make that choice. Kasparov did mention before that he didn't like Giuoco Piano and/or the four knights opening that much, so that leaves him with fewer choices left.
Interestingly, in the Kramnik-Leko encounter we didn't see the Berlin again, did we? :)
Once again, I thank all chessgames.com users for their constructive comments and criticisms. Happy New Year! :)
|Dec-31-04|| ||acirce: <Maybe Kasparov should have switched to something else.He can play just about any opening so he should have tried SOMETHING else-anything but playing into your opponents game.>|
Well he did just that, opening with 1.c4 in games 5 and 7. That didn't work either so then he went back to the Ruy, after all as <ongyj> points out and the interview indicates he did get a good position in game 3. Still didn't work so in the last game he tried 1.d4 but still to no avail. I think just like Kramnik says that in a longer match it would have been more room for experiments. Also the strategy of deliberately allowing White a tiny advantage instead of going for equalization and dead draws was interesting in this regard. If Kasparov had gotten nothing out of the opening at all in the first two Berlins he probably wouldn't have returned to it; say if the best he could get was a dead draw like in Leko vs Kramnik, 2004.
|Apr-05-05|| ||athyn: Well, I play this one a lot. I would usually take the knight at this point. |
|May-29-05|| ||Ron: Here's a good part of a game I played against the Mephisto program, not at its highest level, but not at it lowest either. I set the board at the Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6; I then played 4. d3 and then it went 4 ... Bc5 5. Bg5 0-0 6. 0-0 d6 7.h3 h6 8. Bh4 Be6 9. c3 10. a6 11. Bxc6 bxc6 12. Nbd2 Ba7 13. d4 exd4 14. cxd4 g5 15. Bg3 c5 16. d5 Bd7 17. Re1 Re8 18. Qc2 Qb8 19. Nc4 Qb4 20. Rad1 Nh5 21. Bh2 Ng7 22. e5 g4 23. Nfd2 gxh3 24. Ne4 Bf5 25. Nf6+ Kf8 26. Qc1 hxg2 27. Qxh6 Qxc4 28. Qh8+ Ke7 29. Qxg7 Kd8 30. Nxe8 Kc8 .....|
|May-29-05|| ||nightsend: What do people think about playing 4. d4 and treating the opening as a cross between Petroff and Two Knights?|
For example, 4. d4 Nxe4 5. dxe5 d5 6. Nd4 Bd7 <is> Two Knights, cf. 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d4 exd4 5. e5 d5 6. Bb5 Ne4 7. Nxd4 Bd7.
An alternative is 4. d4 exd4 5. e5 Ne4 6. O-O Be7.
It looks like these lines keep pieces on the board and give White a dynamic and open game. If White is having a hard time finding an advantage after 4. O-O and 8. Qxd8+, shouldn't he be trying other variations?
|May-29-05|| ||Ron: <nightsend> Seems that 4. d4 is perfectly playable for White.
It seems to me that if White is intent on winning, he should avoid an early exchange of queens; it somewhat puzzles me why players, which include 2600+ ELO, go into such queenless games.
Death to the Berlin Defense (and also death to the Petroff.)|
|May-29-05|| ||Sydro: What If 4. d4 exd4 5. e5 Ne4 6. O-O a6
What should white do then? Seems like either pieces will be traded or the position will be closed.
|May-29-05|| ||acirce: People should get rid of the primitive prejudice that a queen exchange automatically makes the position less likely to win. The position after <4. d4 Nxe4 5. dxe5 d5 6. Nd4 Bd7> is considered unproblematic for Black while the main line Berlin does give White an edge although not easy to exploit. 4.d4 *is* an interesting way to avoid the usual kind of games after 3..Nf6 though.|
|Jul-26-05|| ||Eric6312: There's a move in the Classical variation of this that is driving me nuts! After 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nc6 4. 0-0 Bc5 5. c3 Nxe4
What is white's best move? Much to my frustration, the opening explorer ends one move too soon.|
|Jul-26-05|| ||e4Newman: <1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nc6 4.0-0 Bc5 5.c3 Nxe4>|
6.d4 is the only move I know of. Look at white's f-pawn...double attacked! And, d4 is a strategic objective in KP games. Here it forks black's bishop and e-pawn.
Although, white is left with an isolated QP after 6...exd4 7.cxd4, and black still has the extra pawn.
|Jul-26-05|| ||e4Newman: <Eric6312:> After looking through my database, and that of chessgames.com, it appears you may need to try this one out.|
John Emms claims 5...Nxe4!? "...but no convincing refutation has been found."
He claims the initiative gained by 6.d4 is strong, but continues by suggesting the untested 6.Qe2!? Bxf2+! 7.Kh1! (7.Rxf2 Nxf2 8.Kxf2 f6) d5 8.c4!? 0-0 9.cxd5 Nd4 10.Qxe4 (not 10.Nxd4 Qh4!) Bf5 11.Qxe5 f6 12.Qf4 g5 13.Nxd4 gxf4 14.Nxf5 Bb6 15.d4
I think he may have been drunk.
|Jul-27-05|| ||Eric6312: Thanks Newman! I don't know if I trust Qe2. Isn't it interesting that no convincing refutation has been found to what seems to be such a natural move? I usually go with d4 here, but after the exchange, your right, White has an IQP, is one pawn down, and doesn't really have any compensation. Maybe instead of 5. c3 White should play either 5. Nc3 and go into the 4Knights or play 5. Nxe5 with the d4 fork to follow. Since 5. c3 seems to be the advice most give, I really wish I had an answer to 5...Nxe4!|
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