Thursday 31 May 2018

Is the tide turning for the Berlin?

In terms of opening re-inventions over the last 25 years, the rise of the Berlin Defence to the Ruy Lopez probably runs second only the Kasparov's use of the Evans Gambit in the mid 1990's. And since Kramnik turned it into a solid system for Black, it has been a regular feature of the Super GM events. However I've recently seen a few games at least which shows that White still has a chance to breach the Berlin Wall.
In the current Norway event, Carlsen scores a reasonably direct win over Lev Aronian, after the later went wrong in a Berlin middlegame. Aronian probably underestimated Whites space advantage (with the pawn on d5), and only made it worse by exchanging dark squared bishops. As a result he had very little counterplay, and after being forced to shuffle his pieces, eventually made a fatal blunder.
As a result Carlsen leads the event with 2 wins and a draw, while everyone else has either drawn, or in the case of Caruana and Aronian, lost to Carlsen.

Carlsen,Magnus (2843) - Aronian,Levon (2764) [C67]
6th Norway Chess 2018 Stavanger NOR (3.1), 30.05.2018

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