Sunday, October 5, 2008

Diemer and Philately

As a boy I collected United States stamps. My best friend's dad was a serious collector who passed along many of his extras to his son, who shared with me. For several years I was also serious about the hobby, but over time it met the fate of many childhood pursuits and was overrun by other interests. At the time I had no idea of the popularity of chess and chessplayers as a subject for stamps. Recently I came across an Austrian stamp honoring Diemer. I presume it's authentic, but since I've only seen it on the internet, I wouldn't say for sure.
At any rate, Diemer certainly played in several Strasbourg Opens, as Strasbourg was only 50 kilometers or so from his home in Fussbach. I don't think he did that well in 1978, when he was within a few months of his 70th birthday. However, here is a successful game from Strasbourg 1975. I suspect his opponent may have been Jorge Cuadras Avellana, a Spanish master born in 1950 whose current FIDE rating is 2337. Diemer,E. J. - Cuadras,J. Strasbourg, 1975 [A45] [Europe Echecs 197/May 75] 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4
Now 4.Nc3 would produce the standard BDG position, but Diemer goes a different way.
4.fxe4 Nxe4 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.0-0 e6 8.Nc3 Be7 9.Kh1 0-0 10.Be3 Nbd7 11.Qe1 Nd5 12.Nxd5 exd5 13.Qg3 Nf6 14.Qh4 Bxf3 15.gxf3 Re8 16.Bg5 g6 17.Rae1 Kg7 18.Qh6+ Kh8 19.f4 Ng8 20.Qh4 f5 21.Re5 Bxg5 22.fxg5 Rxe5 23.dxe5 Ne7 24.Qg3 Qg8
25.e6!! Rc8
25...Qxe6? 26.Re1 Qd7 27.Qe5+
26.h4 Qg7 27.c3 d4 28.c4 Nc6 29.Re1 Re8 30.h5 Re7 31.b4 Nxb4 32.h6 Qf8 33.Qe5+ Kg8 34.Qxd4 Nc6 35.Qf6!? Qd8?
This looks reasonable, but it is actually about the only move that allows White's next to succeed.
36.Bxf5! gxf5?
White was now winning on just about anything else. This just ends the pain quickly.
37.g6 Qd4
Black had no defense left.
38.Qf7+! 1-0