Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Sneiders Attack

A popular line to avoid the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit is called the Lemberger Countergambit, marked by the move (1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3) e5. On April 28, 1960, in a tournament in his hometown of Lansing, Michigan, Edgar Sneiders tried a new approach against 3...e5: Sneiders,E - Kelly,J Lansing, Michigan, 1960 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 e5 4.Qh5 4...exd4 5.Bc4 Qe7 6.Bg5 Nf6 7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.Nd5 Qd6 9.0-0-0 Nc6 10.Ne2 g6 11.Qh4 Be6 12.Nf6+ Kd8 13.Bxe6 Qxe6 14.Nxd4 Nxd4 15.Rxd4+ Kc8 16.Rxe4 Bh6+ 17.Kb1 Qc6 18.Qh3+ Kb8 19.Nd7+ Kc8 20.Ne5+ Qe6 21.Nxf7 Qxh3 22.gxh3 Kd7 23.Rd1+ Kc6 24.Re6+ Kc5 25.Nxh6 and White won. "Certainly a totally original game,” remarked E. J. Diemer in his chess column, which was reprinted in the second issue of Kampars’ Blackmar Diemer Gambit (March 1962). In fact this game was the stammpartie, the original example of what has come to be known as the Sneiders Attack in the Lemberger Countergambit. One may be at first tempted to dismiss White's early Queen excursion as a patzer's move, but Sneiders was a master, not a patzer. Closer examination reveals the move is not that easy to refute. In the November 1988 issue of BDG World I included a comprehensive overview of this variation, which is much too long to reprint here.

In a 1987 letter to Anders Tejler, Edgar commented on his namesake. Do you want to know the history of the Sneiders Attack and how it was born? Well, here it is: About 20 years ago when I was very active in the BDG movement I played in one OTB tournament 4.Qh5, which evidently was "the First", as Herr Diemer promptly honored me by attaching my name to this move. Afterwards I had hardly any opportunity to play 4.Qh5, as in those days 3…e5 was very seldom played. So I never analyzed it and forgot the whole thing. Then I became dormant for about 10 years and did not play chess at all.

I resumed my BDG games again after Walter Schneider coerced me to join one of his BDG tournaments. To my amazement I discovered that in the meantime lots had been written and analyzed about 4.Qh5. There were strong suggestions that 4…Nc6 refutes the Sneiders Attack. I do not know! I must say that in comparison to German BDG-ers I was the least knowledgeable guy on my own attack.