Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense Bibliography

Anticipating that The Berlin Defense to the Ruy Lopez (a.k.a. Spanish, with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6) might make its appearance in the upcoming World Championship match between Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov (both of whom have it in their repertoires as Black, though neither favors 1.e4 as White), I've put together a bibliography of web resources and recent publications. Of course, with such a popular line this is necessarily a first draft and I therefore welcome additions or corrections by readers.

Online Resources, Articles, and Annotated Games

Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense (C65) at

Martin, Andrew. Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz
Offers a refutation of 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O d6(?!)

Morss, Mark. The Classical Defense to the Spanish, Part One
Offers a great analysis of what might be termed "The Classical Berlin," 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Bc5.

James, Colin III. The Fishing Hook / Fishing Pole: RIP
A refutation of the author's audacious 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Ng5?! 5.h3 h5?!

Anand - Topalov, Leon 2006 annotated by IM V Saravanan

Nisipaneu - Topalov, Match Bucharest 2006 annotated by Mihail Marin (also here)

Nisipaneu - Topalov, Match Bucharest 2006 annotated by Mikhail Golybev (in Russian)

Svidler - Topalov, Linares 2006, annotated by Dennis Monokroussos at The Chess Mind blog

Svidler - Topalov, Linares 2006, annotated by Malcolm Pein at TWIC

Svidler - Topalov, Linares 2006, annotated by Maxim Notkin at ChessPro

Svidler - Topalov, Linares 2006, annotated by IM Alexander Alpert

Svidler - Topalov, Linares 2006 annotated by Isofaro at ChessVault

Polgar - Topalov, San Luis 2005 annotated by Bobby Ang

Shirov - Kramnik, Linares 1998 annotated by S. Ionov
In a consideration of Shirov's play, this nice win against the Berlin Wall is interesting.

Short - Gelfand, Brussels 1991 annotated by Yasser Seirawan
Trailing in the match, Gelfand pulls out the Berlin as a surprise weapon, but Short is prepared and wins a nice ending.

Winslow-Thornally, Tempe-Skopje Sister City Open 1974 annotated by Elliot Winslow
Also here -- beginning 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 a6.

Steinitz - Zukertort, World Championship Match 1886 annotated by Mark Weeks
Features Steinitz's favorite 4.O-O Nxe4 5.Re1 Nd6 6.Nxe5!? which was played several times in the matches of these two opponents.

Boris Kreiman - David Vigorito, Reno Western States Open 2004
On page 4 of the California Chess Journal.

Moritz Porges - Emanuel Lasker, Nuremburg 1896 annotated by A.J. Goldsby
The game continues 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Be7 6.Qe2 Nd6 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.dxe5 Nb7

Harry Nelson Pillsbury - Jackson Whipps Showalter, New York Match Game No. 19, 1897 annotated by Neil Brennen
The game begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Be7 6.Qe2 Nd6 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.dxe5 Nb7.

Ivanchuk - Kramnik, Wijk aan Zee 1991 annotated by Larry Evans
Features 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 Nf6 4 d3 Bc5 5 c3 0-0 6 Bxc6 bxc6 7 Nxe5 d5

Radjabov - Topalov, Linares 2006 annotated by GM K. Sakaev

Petrosian, T.L.- Minasian, 66th ch-ARM Yerevan 2006 annotated by Bobby Ang
Starting 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0–0 Nxe4 5.Qe2 Ng5!?

O. Wiggers - L. R. Walden, PNCCA Grand National 1900, annotated by A. E. Swafield
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Be7 6.Re1 Nd6 7.dxe5 Nxb5 8.a4 d6

C. S. Howell - John Ford, PNCCA East vs West Match 1901, annotations by C. S. Howell
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.dxe5 Nxb5 7.a4 d6 8.e6 Bxe6

Blehm - Finegold Chicago FIDE 2006 annotated by Ben Finegold
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Bc5

Selected Recent Books and Articles

Almasi, Zoltan. "Rebuilding the Wall with Bc8-d7." New in Chess Yearbook 62 (2002)

_____. "Another Brick in the Wall, Part I." New in Chess Yearbook 63 (2002)

_____. "Another Brick in the Wall - Part II." New in Chess Yearbook 64 (2002)

Benko, Pal. "Instant Endgame. " Chess Life (January 2006): 48-49.
Looks at the endgames in two of Topalov's "Berlin Wall" games from San Luis.

Burgess, Graham. "Berlin with 4...Be7 and ...d6." 101 Chess Opening Surprises (Gambit 1998): 25-26.

Dautov, Rustem "Berlin Defense" New in Chess Yearbook 36 (1995)

Flear, Glenn. Offbeat Spanish. Everyman Chess 2000. 31-68.
Covers more alternate lines after 4.O-O than Kaufman does (see below), including the interesting 4.O-O Nxe4 5.d4 Be7 (where the wandering Knight typically ends up on b7) and 4.O-O Bc5 (The Classical Berlin), which are two interesting alternatives to the Berlin Wall. However, White side-lines receive little or no coverage (4.Qe2 is hardly mentioned), except the popular 4.d3 when he offers 4...d6 5.O-O g6.

_____. "The Berlin Wall Defence." New in Chess Yearbook 57 (2000)

Jonkman, Harmen "Berlin Defence 3...Nf6." New in Chess Yearbook 52 (1999)

_____. "The Westerinen Variation." New in Chess Yearbook 55 (2000)

Kaufman, Larry. The Chess Advantage in Black and White (Random House 2004): 247-281.
IM Kaufmann makes the Berlin the cornerstone of his 1.e4 e5 Black repertoire. The specific Berlin lines he recommends are fairly safe and include "The Berlin Wall" 4.O-O Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 Ke8 etc.; 4.Qe2 Bc5 5.c3 O-O!? etc.; and 4.d3 Bc5 5.O-O d6.

Khalifman, Alexander. Opening for White According to Anand, Volume 1 (Chess Stars 2003) Considers major Black alternatives after 1.e4 e5 (including the Latvian, Philidor, Petroff) and Spanish lines without ...a6 (including, of course, the Berlin) all from the White perspective.

Llanos, Guillermo and Guillermo Soppe, "Steinitz Always Valid." New in Chess Yearbook 66 (2003)

Polgar, Susan. "Ruy Lopez - 'Berlin' Variations (C67)." Chess Life (January 2006): 36-37.

_______."Ruy Lopez - The Famous Berlin Endgame." Chess Life (February 2006): 28-29.
A two part article, the first devoted to White deviations the second to the "Berlin Wall" endgame.

Rodriguez, Amador "Berlin Defense" New in Chess Yearbook 24 (1992)

Shamkovic, Leonid. The Chess Terrorist's Handbook. Ed. Paul Hodges. American Chess Promotions 1995.
Discuses Shamkovich's pet line 4.O-O Nxe4 5.Re1 Nd6 6.Nxe5 Be7 7.Bd3!?

Van der Tak, A.C. "The Revival of an Old Line." New in Chess Yearbook 61 (2001)

Yudovich, Mikhail. Spanish without ...a6 (Batsford 1986).


Anonymous said...

Mihail Marin promised to do a book on the "Berlin Wall" some time back. Any idea what happened to that project?

Michael Goeller said...

I came across references to that project during my web search but know nothing more than you do about its progress or release date.

I should probably add the recently free PDF of Karsten Muller's book on the Kasparov - Kramnik 2000 match (where the Berlin Wall was featured, raising its profile considerably.

Anonymous said...

John Cox is writing a book about the Berlin Wall for Quality Chess Europe and will be released soon (september/October).

dvpjal said...

The Berlin Wall By John Cox has 328 pages; $29.95.
This opening Kramnik used to dethrone Kasparov in their world championship match in London 2000.
The book is divided into parts
Part 1 : Understanding the Berlin Wall, Positional introduction, typical Berlin Endings, Positional Themes,

Part 2 : The theory of the Berlin Wall
4 -- Ne7
5 ---Ne7
6 Ne7
7 --- Bd7
8 --- Be7
9 Berlin Endgame. etc.


DVPJAL said...

Visit the following URL for the details of the book "Berlin Wall" John Cox

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