Thursday, October 2, 2008

Georg Studier

In BDG World 20, Oct-Dec 1985, as one in a series on members of the Blackmar Gemeinde, Niels Jørgen Jensen presented the following article on a longtime friend of Diemer, Georg Studier. Any chessplayer introducing himself to the BDG will very soon come across the name Georg Studier. As Diemer’s longtime analysis partner, originator and advocate of basic BDG lines like the Studier Attack against the Bogoljubov Defense, author of the most objective—you may say scientific—volume (on the Gunderam Defense) of the German BDG series, Studier is one of the key figures in the history of the BDG.
At the age of sixteen, Georg Studier got into tournament chess. It was in 1945, just after World War II. He was taught by the old players: strategy, positional play, etc. Tactics, not to speak of gambits, were neglected concepts in those circles. This, perhaps, is why Studier has always been the "positional" BDG player, in contrast to the “wild” Diemer. During his education as a building engineer, Studier did not play chess, so the next important event is his participation in the championship of the south German town of Ratstatt in 1954. In a letter to me Studier describes that event:
“Was it the new face or the fact that I had come in third in the tournament that caused Diemer to demonstrate his BDG to me with great energy? Nevertheless, for several weeks my answer to Diemer was that White with this pawn sacrifice could expect no advantage. Today this statement sounds strange, but I was determined to prove it to him. However, at that time I did not know whom I was dealing with. We must remember that at that time Diemer was at the very top level of his chess career. He then showed me how quickly Black can get into trouble, and little by little I was convinced. From then on I played only the BDG. “In the years 1954-58 we would meet several hours twice a week, when we spent the time analyzing the gambit. Thirty years ago the foundation stones were laid for what today is fundamental knowledge of every BDG player. “Another interesting incident from those years was a correspondence match with Diemer which I won 3:5, and thereby proved the unsoundness of the ‘Vorpostenvariente’ (5...g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.Ne5?!) by means of 7.-..0-0 8.Bg5 Nc6!', followed by .-..Bf5. At the same time I worked out another strategy to build up a White attack, namely 7.0-0 0-0 8.Qe1."
After 1958, when Georg Studier had moved to Freiburg, he lost contact with Diemer, who himself had almost retired from chess through the years 1960-1970. Studier kept playing the BDG, winning the Freiburg city championship in 1960. But fortunately, this was not the end of the Studier-Diemer relationship.
“Suddenly one day Diemer and Stapelfeldt came to me, and over the next years we worked on how to meet Gunderam’s recommendation 5.Nxf3 Bf5. It was as a result of this work that I had my book published in 1980.” (Das moderne Blackrnar-Diemer Gambit, Band 3, Schachverlag Schmaus, Heidelberg).
In a letter to me Studier looks upon the history of the BDG as the succession of three different generations:
  • The first generation is now about eighty years old. These players were maintaining their points of view uncompromisingly: “Play the BDG and the mate will come automatically” or "The BDG is absolutely incorrect.”
  • The second generation has now reached the age of fifty. These players analyzed the variations without prejudice, thus building a bridge between the two poles of the first generation.
  • The third generation consists of players in their twenties. They are characterized by a thorough, scientific approach, an in-depth study of every tiny variation in order to reach stable conclusions.
Being a man in his late-fifties, and thus representing the second generation of BDG players, Georg Studier is still going strong. As to his future BDG aims, he writes:
“After preliminary and intermediate groups, the Second BDG World Tourney was concluded with two final rounds, in which I came in second in one of them, one point afterButze of East Germany. The “Superfinal” (including the first four of each final round) is yet to come." “Also, I would like to conclude my BDG writings properly. In front of me lies my manuscript for a 5.Nxf3 Bg4 volume, in which I also intend to include the very interesting defense 5.Nxf3 c6.”
I’m sure this last remark is of great interest to all BDG World readers, especially since Gunderam's contribution from July 1983 (Volume I, Number 7) has remained uncontradicted ever since. And so you see, Georg Studier is not just a second generation BDG player, but has his firm position established in the past, the present, and the future of the BDG.
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Update: Since this article was published in 1985, Studier produced the definitive Diemer biography, Emil Joseph Diemer, ein Leben für das Schach im Spiegel seiner Zeit. Dresden 1996. ISBN 3-925691-18-9, which is a subject for future posts. To my knowledge, however, his manuscript on 5.Nxf3 Bg4, the Teichmann Defense to the BDG, has not been published.