French Grandmaster and Magnus Carlsen second Laurent Fressinet teaches you how to play the Berlin Defence with Black. The Berlin, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6, is arguably the most popular opening at the highest level, pioneered by Vladimir Kramnik and employed by Vishy Anand, Magnus Carlsen, and many others.
It also happens to be AlphaZero’s first choice against the Ruy Lopez.
- Berlin Endgame | 9.h3
We dive right into the heart of the infamous Berlin endgame, starting with White’s best try, the setup with 9.h3.
- Berlin Endgame | 9.Rd1+
We continue learning about the Berlin Endgame by looking at arguably the most obvious move in the position, 9.Rd1+.
- Berlin Endgame | 9.Nc3 and sidelines
Laurent Fressinet continues his overview of the endgame by tackling some popular but less critical lines.
- Berlin Endgame 9.h3 | Part 2: MVL vs our Berlin
Laurent Fressinet looks at another critical line that has been used by his countryman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.
- Berlin with 5.Re1 | Intro and 9.Nc3
5.Re1 has established itself as a solid yet tricky way to meet the Berlin. Laurent tells us how to deal with it.
- Berlin with 5.Re1 | 9.d4 intro and non-c3 lines
Laurent starts his coverage of the critical 9.d4 by looking at several options for White, including the trendy plan to go d4-d5 and grab more space.
- Berlin with 5.Re1 | 7.Bd3 and 10.Re2
We look at two tricky sidelines of the 5.Re1 complex, one of them played by Magnus Carlsen himself.
- Berlin with 5.Re1 | The main line
We have arrived at the main branch, where White goes 10.Re1 and follows it up by playing c3, opting for a small edge.
- 4.d3 | Intro and systems with Nc3
We start analysing arguably the most critical response to the Berlin these days, the move 4.d3. In this video Laurent looks at setups where White follows it up with Nc3.
- 4.d3 Bc5 | Bg5 ideas
Laurent looks at various ways White can try to pose problems by playing Bg5, pinning the knight.
- 4.d3 Bc5 | 5.Bxc6 sidelines
We start our investigation of the strategically rich positions where White decides to give up his bishop on c6.
- 4.d3 Bc5 | 5.Bxc6 dxc6 6.Nbd2
We have arrived at the main line of the 5.Bxc6 branch. Time to pay attention!
- 4.d3 Bc5 | 5.0-0 and 5.Nbd2
We continue our journey through the 4.d3 lines by looking at other options for White on move 5.
- 4.d3 Bc5 5.c3 | The main line
The move 5.c3 is the main battleground of the elite these days. Check out Laurent’s recipe!
- 4.0-0 Nxe4 sidelines | 5.Qe2 and 5.d4 Nd6 6.Ba4
With the heavy lifting done, it’s time to learn about some small but tricky sidelines.
- 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.dxe5 and 6.Bg5
We complete our knowledge of tricky sidelines.
- Odds and Ends
Laurent looks at the leftovers, most prominently 4.d4 and 4.Qe2.