That Darned Berlin Defense

Dec 10, 2011, 10:51 PM |

I've recently come to admire the black defense after 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 d6 4. d4 exd4 5. Nxd4 Bd7, inviting white to double the c pawns via N or Bxc6 bxc6, opening the b file for black as well as the attacking options against the white kingside. I had always avoided playing these kinds of defenses because I thought the doubled c pawns were too weak for black, and I also prefer to keep a pawn on e5 for as long as possible. However, after experimenting with b-pawn sacrifices early on in my white repertoire I find that doubling the c pawns isn't as bad as I thought.

Here is a series of two games in which my opponent was white and both times insisted on attacking the center as quickly as possible, with 0-0, Rf1-e1, e4-e5, etc... however, in the first game I discovered a fundamental weakness in white's position, the h2 and f2 pawns are extremely vulnerable. Enjoy.

Now in the second game White tries the same continuation with Rf1-e1 and e4-e5. Again the bishop is played to a4 and is neglected, however the main difference in this game is the move g2-g3 to defend against the attack on h2 via Nf6-g4.