Robert Ris’ Fast and Furious: Toppling the Berlin wall

by Robert Ris
3/18/2021 – In this week’s show, well-known Dutch trainer Robert Ris takes a look at a remarkable game in which Ian Nepomniachtchi found a brilliant idea to take down Hikaru Nakamura’s Berlin Defence. Have fun and enjoy! | “Fast and Furious” is available on-demand with a ChessBase Premium Account. You can register a Premium account here.

Mastering Pattern Recognition in the Opening Mastering Pattern Recognition in the Opening

Pattern recognition is an important tool in modern chess, as it helps you to understand better the characteristics of a position. Particularly when you have been confronted with a surprise opening system played by your opponent, it helps when you can just


A top-level miniature

Nowadays, we hardly ever get to see miniatures in top level chess, but when it happens it’s often a spectacular game!

In this week’s game, Ian Nepomniachtchi came up with a very spectacular new idea against the Berlin and managed to defeat Hikaru Nakamura in impressive style by launching a massive pawn storm on the kingside. By sacrificing two pawns, the Russian relied on his key pawn on e6, which basically dominated all of Black’s pieces on the back rank.

As the analysis shows us, things are far from clear and both sides have to play very precisely. However, being caught by surprise with this new concept, the American player was already getting low on time when he made the final mistake.

Can you spot the winning move for White?


You can move the pieces on the live diagram!

This week’s show

Robert is on air every other Thursday at 18:00 UTC (19:00 CET / 16:00 EST)

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Solution of the exercise


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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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