Fast and Furious: The Berlin with 5.Re1

by Robert Ris
5/16/2019 – Today on the Fast & Furious show we will have a look at how White can try to beat the Berlin with sharp play, starting with 5.Re1! The live show at 17:00 UTC (19:00 CEST / 2 PM EDT) is free to watch, and available on-demand for ChessBase Premium account holders (but FREE for a limited time!). To chat, please visit or login via Playchess for Windows.

Beating the Berlin Defence Beating the Berlin Defence

Ever since the Kasparov-Kramnik WCh match (London 2000) players with the white pieces have been breaking their teeth biting on the Berlin Wall in the Ruy Lopez. The situation from White’s point of view has become precarious – ducking it is equivalent to capitulation, because in all alternative variations to the Berlin endgame White gives up from the start on the struggle for an opening advantage. White has to find ways to crack open Black’s defence. There is hardly any other grandmaster of his class who is as well known for his uncompromising and creative play as the Latvian Alexei Shirov.


The Berlin with 5.Re1

Ever since Kramnik defeated Kasparov in their match back in 2000, the Berlin (Endgame) has posed White so many problems finding new ideas to fight for an advantage with 1.e4. Lately the Berlin Endgame has been avoided by many White players and the variation with 5.Re1 is currently trending. Could one ever expect these ensuing symmetrical positions to be problematic for Black at all? Despite the fact it was a blitz game, Topalov's loss against Karjakin must have been one of the most painful miniatures of his career. More about this game and other interesting ideas with 5.Re1 will be discussed in tonights Fast & Furious show.

The live show is free to watch and available on-demand for ChessBase Premium accounts.

An appetizer

White is an exchange and a pawn down, but how should he continue developing a massive attack?


Move the pieces on the live diagram

This week's show

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Robert is an International Master who mostly spends his time training and coaching talented youngsters. On the PlayChess server The Fast and the Furious is a popular show where he explains sharp opening lines for a wider audience. He is also a well-known ChessBase author who produced numerous DVDs and regularly contributes to ChessBase Magazine as well. Since 2015 he is the organizer of the Dutch Rapid Championships in his home town Amstelveen. He has started a YouTube channel with chess analysis as well.


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