index 2011
Letter #14 -  2011

Sub:    Berliner Gambit
04/06/11  7:49:00
From:  Richard Moody Jr.

Hi Chess Poster,

Dr. Hans Berliner using the strongest Chess computer at the time Hitech, argued for decades that his gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nd4 6.c3 b5 7.Bf1 Nxd5 8.Ne4 Qh4??) was the refutation of the entire 4.Ng5 variation of the Two Knights' Defense.

Actually, it is the most poorly analyzed position in all of Chess because Dr. Berliner even seduced the great World Champion Garry Kasparov into believing it was a sound gambit. Kasparov devoted an entire page of faulty analysis to this opening in BCO 2!!

Here are four cooks of the Berliner Gambit--- three refutations on move 13. alone!! 9.Ng3 Bg4 10.f3 e4 11.cxd4 Bd6. First, the three wins on move 13. 12.Qe2 (the Muir variation) Be6 is book.

Here are the three cooks of 12...Be6. First of all, the absolute worst move is 13.fxe4??, allowing Black to gain time with Nb4/O-O-O.

Win # 1--- 13.Qf2 According to John Jerz, it is a win for White but it is too "computeree". Check with a strong engine and you will find the win.

Win # 2--- 13.Nc3! dxc3 (There is nothing better; I beat Fritz 8 with this continuation) 14.dxc3 (Notice how White's ugly duckling becomes a beautiful swan) 14...Bxg3 15.hxg3 Qxh1 16.Qxb5ch Kf8 (Bd7 17.Qe5ch Bd7 18.d5 +/-) 17.fxe4 +-.

Win # 3--- 13.Qxb5ch!! That's right, Berliner and Kasparov appear to have missed a check winning material, forcing the Black King to an undesirable square and winning on the spot. We now follow the game Moody-Fritz 12 120'40: 13.Qxb5ch Kd8 14.fxe4 a6 15.Qd3 Nb4 16.Qc3 Nxa2 17.Rxa2 Bxg3ch 18.hxg3 Qxe4ch 19.Kf2 Bxa2 20.Na3 Qf5ch 21.Qf3 Qxf3ch 22.gxf3 Ke7 23.Bc4 Bxc4 24.Nxc4. According to GM Lev Alburt, the simplest winning procedure is to play b3/Ba3ch.

Win # 4--- White wins in the main line with 12.Bxb5ch Kd8 (Kf8 is no better) 13.O-O exf3 14.Rxf3 Bxf3 15.Qxf3 Rb8 16.Bf1!! +- (When I had Fritz 12 in infinite mode look at the position, i.e. not play book, it finds 16.Bf1 instantly) Bxg3 (Qxd4ch 17.Kh1 +-) 17.hxg3 Qxd4ch 18.Qf2 Qxf2ch 19.Kxf2 Nb4 20.Nc3 (The Bishops are lethal) +-.

So it looks like two World Champions four wins for White, three of which are simple wins.

Richard Moody Jr.
Schoharie N.Y.

Dear Mr. Moody,

We're very delighted to hear from you again and very amazed of your deep involvement in Chess opening analysis. We welcome and surely appreciate your e-mail.

About the Author:

Richard Moody Jr has a Master's Degree in Geology. He is the author of three books on Chess theory and has written for the Mensa Bulletin.

For the past four years, he has done intensive research into Albert Einstein. Mr. Moody can be contacted by email at

The following diagram was taken from the front cover of his Chess book "Magic: Black to Move and Win!" and shows the author doing just that, despite giving the Chess playing computer an initial massive development and playing time advantage:

black to move and win
Black to move and win

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