Monday, September 29, 2008

The Beginning of His Best Year (Part 4)

Concluding an account of Diemer's success at the 1956 Premier Reserve Master Tourney at the Beverwijk Open...

In round eight Diemer faced another Yugoslavian master:

E. J. Diemer - V. Jovanovic
Beverwijk, 1956, Round 8
Alapin-Diemer Gambit Declined

1.d4 d5 2.e4 e6 3.Be3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Nf3 Be7 8.Bd3 cxd4 9.cxd4 Qb6 10.Qd2 Nb4

Black begins a time-wasting excursion on the Queenside that comes to nought.  
11.Be2 f5 12.Nc3 a6 13.h4 Qa5 14.Kf2 b5 15.Ng5 Qb6 16.a3 Bxg5
[Necessary, since 16...Nc6? leaves the e-pawn loose.]
17.hxg5 Nc6 18.Bh5+ Ke7
[18...g6? 19.Bxg6+]  
19.g4 fxg4 20.f5! Ndxe5 
[20...exf5?? 21.Nxd5+]  

[21...gxf6? 22.gxf6+ Kf8 23.dxe5 d4 24.Bh6+ Kg8 25.f7# --Diemer)]  
22.dxe5 d4 23.Kg3 g6
[23...dxe3?? 24.Qd6+ Kg8 25.f7#] "What follows next is truly ingenious defense" --Diemer.  
24.Bxg6 Bb7 25.Bxh7 Nxe5 26.g6 dxe3 27.g7+ Kf7 28.gxh8Q Rxh8 29.Qh2!
Diemer saw the Black Queen going to c7, and then threatening mate through Ng6+ and Qf5+.  
29...Qc7 30.Qh6 
[30.Qh5+?? Ng6+]  
30...Ng6+ 31.Kxg4 Qc4+ 32.Kh3 Bg2+ 33.Kg3 Rxh7 34.Qxh7+ Kxf6 35.Qh6 e5 
"And now something happened which I had never experienced...for a move and a half I no longer saw the Black Queen on c4!," wrote Diemer.  
36.Rhf1+ Bxf1 

And here Diemer was ready to play 37.Rxf1+?? when the Black Queen reappeared to him on c4. What to do? Why not another sacrifice?  
37.Nd5+! Ke6 38.Qxg6+ Kxd5 


39...Kd4 40.Qxc4+ bxc4 41.Rxf1 e2 42.Re1 Ke3 43.a4 e4 44.Ra1 a5 45.Kg4 Kd2 46.Kf4 

[White wins after 46...e1Q 47.Rxe1 Kxe1 48.Kxe4]
47.Rh1 Kc2 48.Kxe4 Kxb2 49.Re1 Kb3 50.Kd4 c3 51.Kd3 c2 52.Kd2 Kb2 53.Rc1 Kb3 54.Kxe2 Kxa4 55.Kd2 Kb3 56.Rxc2 a4 57.Kc1 1-0

With one round remaining, Diemer had only to avoid a loss to win sole first place. In still another Sicilian Defense, "ein Schachmeister, der niemals auf Remis spielte," a chess master who never played for a draw, drew in 37 moves with another Amsterdam player named Donk. Diemer finished with 6.5 points, one-half point ahead of the second-place finisher, Crabbendam.

Although he went the entire tournament without playing a single Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, for E. J. Diemer it was a good beginning to what turned out to be a very good year.

(This article originally appeared in BDG World 20, May-June 1985.)