The Re1 Berlin strikes again (2200 vs 2460)

I think I played objectively a pretty decent game in an opening with which I have excellent results (The Berlin Defence, with White) and won against a strong opponent so I wanted to share. Enjoy and comment!

Re1 variation, almost very good in every opening variations

What is the idea behind 11...Be6? The bishop stands passive there. Usually black wants to trade rooks along the e-file. ...Be6 blocks that file and also puts the bishop between f7 and d5 as if it were a pawn.

You raise a very good point @tpr . The bishop is indeed very passive there, but my best guess is that he wanted to develop it somewhere, but where else? The knight on f5 is getting in the way of Black's natural piece configurations, that is why 8..Nxe5 is a much more mainstream and objectively better move than 8..Nf5. Trading some pieces helps Black liberate his game.

It's blitz , everything works in blitz and bullet. 5.Re1 is ok but nothing more than that. You didn't demonstrate an advantage or any interesting ideas and you won because he overpushed and blundered. What you do is " play something boring against higher rated since they have the pressure to win the game and let them blunder". A good tactic that really yields good results but hardly proves anything.

@Roper300 I disagree, and so does Stockfish. White had an edge from start to finish, objectively speaking. Of course, you may choose to think otherwise and you certainly have the right to do so.
The one move that maybe temporarily moved the game from "slightly better for White" to "roughly equal" (although the engine still gives a slight plus for White) was my 18...Ne5?! which is not an awful move, but it is not the best in the position. Other than that, White's advantage was decent right out of the opening (you can see after White's move 17...Qc2 the engine gives +0.8 for White, which is quite a significant edge for such a solid opening) and that advantage generally just got steadily bigger and bigger during the middlegame.
Also, 5...Re1 is arguably the main line of the Berlin Defence nowadays so I would also have to respectfully disagree with your opinion on that move in more general terms.

@JARANDujo I must say though, if 5.Re1 is the best they can come up with then the Berlin must be a pretty great opening and I don't see why people are still playing other openings against 1.e4.

@soni777new That is definitely an excellent point, and you can see that many of the top players are moving away from the Spanish (Ruy Lopez) Opening all together, just because of how solid the Berlin is. The endgame after 5...d4 has been proven time and time again to be quite safe for Black, and 5...Re1, while probably being the best attempt is very very solid for Black as well.
That's the reason why the Italian game has been becoming more and more popular at top level over the past few years, when it was almost never played over the Spanish about a decade ago.

The thing about the Berlin, in my opinion, is that it is quite a professional opening. It really is a Grandmasterly opening, that one really has to study in depth and understand quite well to play successfully with Black. I myself stick to the old main line of the Spanish with 3...a6 or with the Sicilian / Caro-Kann.

@Roper300 You sound kind of miserable. @JARANDujo played a good game and it wasn't his decision to play 3...Nf6 was it?

I thought it was an excellent game. Congratulations!