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Magnus Carlsen vs Levon Aronian
Tal Memorial (2012), Moscow RUS, rd 6, Jun-14
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. l'Hermet Variation Berlin Wall Defense (C67)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-14-12  lost in space: no chance to win against the Berlin wall
Jun-14-12  Call Me TC: Magnus couldn't win this because he didn't know any Capablanca games to rely on in this type of position.
Jun-14-12  beenthere240: He achieved the classic winning formula in the RL exchange -- blocking black's queen majority and establishing a king side passer. I bet he never expected 37...Rxh3, which is a very clever way to draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  hansj: Doesnt Magnus win on 50.Rxd5 cxd5 51.Kxd5 Kb7 52.Ke6etc
Jun-14-12  Calar: <Magnus couldn't win this because he didn't know any Capablanca games to rely on in this type of position>

Yes, in all of his years of chess studying and becoming world's highest rated player, I think we can safely assume that Carlsen studied none of Capablanca's games.

Jun-14-12  magnuschess: Against 2800 player , really hard to win in berlin system , i doubdt that carlsen wants to win this , maybe he wanted to keep his strength for toma , naka and mcshane games in a safe way.
Jun-14-12  haydn20: <hansj> In your line 51...Kd7 is a book draw.
Jun-14-12  JonathanJ: as ugly as chess gets. still, if you want to be nr 1, you have to play well in those ugly games, that's what distinguishes best from the good.
Jun-18-12  master of defence: <haydn20> Can it be a win for Magnus. See it: 50.Rxd5 cxd5 51.Kxd5 Kd7(your recommendation) 52. c6+ wins.
Jun-18-12  haydn20: <master> What's the line after 51...Kd7 52. c6+ Ke7? Black can always keep the opposition.
Jun-18-12  master of defence: <haydn20> 53.Kc5 followed by 54.Kxb5. What black can do to draw here?
Jun-18-12  master of defence: Wait... Now I can see what happens if 53.Kc5: 53...Ke6 54.Kxb5 Kd5 wins the c6-pawn and draw. And your 52...Ke7! is the only move for draw.
Jun-18-12  Klopstix: Agree!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: In order for Black's fortress to work, the black king has to be on c8 when the knight comes to d5 and White can capture twice on that square, so that the resulting pawn endgame in case of Rxd5 will be drawn, e.g. 61.Rxd5 cxd5 62.Kxd5:

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62...Kd7 63.c6+ Ke7 64.Kc5 Ke6 65.Kxb5 Kd5 1/2

However, with the king on b7 White would win, e.g. 56...Nf6+?? 57.Ke6 Nd5 58.Rxd5! cxd5 59.Kxd5:

click for larger view

59...Kc8 60.Kc6 Kd8 61.Kb7 Kd7 62.Kb8 Kc6 63.Kc8 Kd5 64.Kxc7 1-0

Jul-11-12  solskytz: Gotta love 37...Rxh3 here -

it's like the Armenian player is telling his brilliant and young opponent -

"well Magnus, you are better, but probably rook vs. knight and pawn kind of better, not checkmate kind of better"

One day chess will be played to utmost precision and the better players will be judged only on being able to get the stronger side of a draw - in material or in position

maybe they'll then have 'victory on points' like they have today in boxing in the absence of a knock out

Jun-18-13  Everett: This line of defense starting with an immediate 9..Ke8 through to 11..Bb4 was introduced by Bronstein back in 1956. Pilnik vs Bronstein, 1956

12.Ne2 is recent attempt to mix things up for White. Allowing the exchange on c3 seems to offer Black a comfortable game.

For an interesting gambit line for White in the Berlin Ruy, look at the kibitzes on the above game.

Jan-26-14  thomashalbrook: this defense has been demonstrated to be a draw by krmnik, anand, and carlsen. hence. do not take queen d8 on move 8. queen to e 2. retain the pawn structure and trade down to opposing queens or opposing knight v. bishop. the pawn structure is an end game win for white. am I wrong????
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