Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Beginning of His Best Year (Part 1)

E. J. Diemer was at the top of his playing form in the mid-1950s, and as Gunter Müller notes in A Life for Chess, the year 1956 was his most successful. He began that year with a fine victory in the Premier Reserve Master Tourney of the Beverwijk (Holland) Open, winning clear first over severa1 European masters. He finished the nine round robin with six and one-half points, a half point ahead of his nearest rival. Although he won all his games with White, he did not play a single BDG--his opponents wanted no part of one. Nevertheless, in the foreword to his book, Vom ersten Zug an auf Matt, Diemer credits his success in this tournament as leading directly to the publication of his book. It is also interesting that when he began the first round on January 7, 1956 Diemer had not played a tournament game for almost two years--since Easter, 1954. As he traveled to the site, Diemer was a guest of chess friends and clubs along the way. In his Blackmar Gemeinde he relates how on the evening of January 4th he visited at the club of his friend William Buis in Haarlem, and played the following game against the “Blitzmeister” of Holland. Diemer,EJ - Schneiders Haarlem, 1956 Lemberger Countergambit (Game 321 in BDG World) 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 e5
4.Nxe4 exd4 5.Bb5+ c6 6.Bc4 Be7 7.Qe2 Qc7 8.Nf3 Nd7 9.0-0 Ngf6 10.Bxf7+ Kxf7 11.Neg5+ Ke8 12.Ne6 Qd6 13.Nxg7+ Kf7 14.Nf5 Qc5 15.Ng5+ Ke8 16.Ng7+ Kd8 17.N5e6# 1-0
From then until the end of the tournament on January 15th, Diemer got no closer to a BDG than this. The tournament games would not be so easy, of course. (To be continued)