Thursday, January 29, 2009

A New BDG Book

Here's an announcement of a new book on the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit from the Everyman Chess web site. I've corrected the spelling of Diemer in the headline, which originally appeared as Deimer on the web page. I hope it's changed by now. Publication is scheduled for late summer.

The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit:
A modern guide to a fascinating chess opening

Christoph Scheerer (previously Wisnewski)

Do you wish to set your opponents problems from the very start of the game? Are you happy to roll the dice and take some risks? Then enter the intriguing world of the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit!

The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit is a dangerous attacking opening which has amassed a cult following amongst club players, a loyal band of supporters like no other in chess. White sacrifices a pawn in return for a strong initiative which tests Black’s defensive capabilities to the limit. Some experts have questioned its objective soundness, but there’s no doubting its success and popularity over the board, where pressure and a ticking clock often means it’s impossible to find the right defence.

In this book, openings guru Christoph Scheerer takes a modern look at the gambit. He covers in detail the most promising lines for White and the most resilient defences for Black, discusses the key ideas for both sides and highlights the many tricks and traps awaiting the unsuspecting player.
  • Covers everything White needs to know
  • Packed with original ideas and analysis
  • Ideal for improvers, club players and tournament players
Published August 2009 EU, September 2009 US | ISBN 9781857445985
Format Paperback, 192 pages

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Morphy, Maróczy, and Diemer

Yesterday I noticed a special book for sale on eBay. It was a copy of Paul Morphy: Sammlung der von ihm gespielten Partien mit ausführlichen Erläuterungen, by Géza Maróczy, published by W. de Gruyter & Co, Berlin and Leipzig, 1908, 436 pages. E. J. Diemer relied on the 1909 edition of this book for a number of his comments on Morphy in his writings.
A great admirer of Morphy, Diemer credited him as the inspiration for his own love of gambits and the development of his combinational skills. In Vom Ersten Zug an auf Matt he went so far as to suggest Morphy was the "spiritual father" of the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. On pages 162-164 of Vom Ersten Zug... in an essay entitled "Paul Morphy, Der Geistige Vater des Blackmar-Diemer Gambits," written on 22 June 1957, the 120th anniversary of Morphy's birth, Diemer gives game number 352 from Maróczy's book, page 394. It is a game between Morphy and his good friend Charles Maurian, with Morphy playing without his Queen's Knight. Here's the game in PGN format so you can clip it and play through it if you'd like. [Event "New Orleans"] [Date "1866.??.??"] [White "Morphy, Paul"] [Black "Maurian, Charles A"] [Result "1-0"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/R1BQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] [PlyCount "89"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nh3 dxe4 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. O-O b6 6. f3 e3 7. Bxe3 Be7 8. Qe2 O-O 9. Rad1 Nd5 10. Bc1 Nc6 11. c3 Bd6 12. Bd3 f5 13. Bb5 Nce7 14. c4 Nb4 15. a3 c6 16. Ba4 b5 17. c5 Bc7 18. Bb3 Nbd5 19. Bg5 Qe8 20. Bxe7 Qxe7 21. Bxd5 cxd5 22. Qxb5 e5 23. Qc6 Be6 24. dxe5 Rac8 25. Ng5 Qxg5 26. Qxe6+ Kh8 27. f4 Qg4 28. Rf3 Bb6 29. b4 Bxc5+ 30. bxc5 Rxc5 31. Qd6 Rfc8 32. Rxd5 Rc1+ 33. Rd1 h6 34. h3 Qh4 35. Rxc1 Rxc1+ 36. Kh2 Qe1 37. Qf8+ Kh7 38. Qxf5+ Kg8 39. Rd3 Qh1+ 40. Kg3 Qe1+ 41. Kg4 Qe2+ 42. Kh4 Qf2+ 43. g3 Qb6 44. Rd6 Qc7 45. Rd7 1-0 Here's a link to the Maróczy book on eBay (the auction closes on 1 February).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chess Query Language

I picked up a copy of Aquarium for Rybka last week and have enjoyed playing with it and taking a while getting used to the interface. Chess Assistant users are no doubt family with Chess Query Language (CQL) as a way to search a database for specific chess positions and themes, but it was new to me. Aquarium offers this capability, although in a scaled down version compared to the Chess Assistant interface. If you're as unfamiliar with CQL as I was, I've included a few informative links at the end of this article. Here's an example of a simple inquiry that will find all games in a database where White delivers mate with a Knight:
(position :mate :attackcount N k 1 100 )
If you change the N to a B you find games where White mates with a Bishop. If you run that on a subset of the database with Knight mates you turn up positions where White mates with Knight and Bishop simultaneously. A few examples in the BDG: Peilen,M - Daniels,Erbie Boaz, AL match, 1986 BDG, Gunderam Defense 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bf5 6.Ne5 c5? 7.g4 Bg6 8.Bb5+ Nbd7 9.dxc5 Qc7 10.Bf4 Rd8 11.Nxd7 Qxf4?? 12.Nxf6#
Meszaros,Guyla - Videki Kecskemet, Blitz, 1993 BDG Avoided, Lemberger CG 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nxe4 exd4 5.Bc4 Be7 6.Qe2 Nd7?! 7.Nf3 Ngf6? 8.Bxf7+ Kxf7 9.Neg5+ Kg6 [9...Kg8 10.Qe6+; 9...Kf8 10.Ne6+; 9...Ke8 10.Ne6 Bb4+ 11.c3] 10.Nh4+ Kh6 11.Nf7#
Diemer,EJ - Albrecht Isny, 1948 BDG Declined 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 g6 5.fxe4 Bg7 6.Bc4 0-0 7.Nf3 e6 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 g5 10.Bf2 Ng4 11.Bg1 Nc6 12.h4 e5 13.d5 Na5 14.Bd3 b6 15.hxg5 hxg5 16.Qd2 f6 17.0-0-0 Qe7 18.Qe2 Bd7 19.d6 cxd6 20.b4 Nc6 21.Bc4+ Be6 22.Nd5 Qd7 23.Nxg5 fxg5 24.Qxg4 Bxg4 25.Nf6#
Should you care to read more on Chess Query Language (CQL), here are a few references:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A GM meets the BDG

It's always interesting to see how a grandmaster reacts to a BDG, especially since we get to see so few of such games. Here's one from last week's This Week in Chess. Black is Petr Velicka, a 41 year old GM from the Czech Republic. His opponent is an untitled player almost 400 rating points below him.

Schmid,Pab (2095) - Velicka,P (2464)
5th Open Vandoeuvre les Nancy FRA (7), 29.12.2008
BDG, Teichmann Defense

1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6 8.g4

This line is known as the Seidel-Hall Attack. I always like to see if a strong player will take the d-pawn. Black can do so and survive, but the GM doesn't risk it.

8...h6 9.Be3 e6 10.Bd3 Bb4 11.0-0 Qe7 12.a3 Bd6 13.b4 a6 14.Na4 Nbd7 15.Nc5 Rb8 16.Rae1 Bc7 17.Re2 Qd6 18.Rg2 Nxc5 19.bxc5 Qe7 20.Bd2 Qd7 21.c3 Nh7

After some maneuvering White come out of the opening in pretty good shape (for a BDG player). Black can't castle long, and would be going into danger on the Kingside. Rybka thinks White has the advantage here.


Rybka likes the line 22.g5!? Nxg5 (22...g6 23.gxh6; 22...hxg5 23.Qh5 are okay for White) 23.Qh5 Rf8 24.h4 Nh3+ 25.Kh1 b6+- (25...Qd5) 26.cxb6 27.Qf3 Ng5 28.hxg5 hxg5 29.Bxg5+-

22...f6 23.Re2 Nf8 24.Rfe1 Kf7 25.Bc4 Re8

26.d5 cxd5 27.Bxd5 Qb5 28.c6 Qc5+ 29.Kh1 bxc6 30.Bxc6 Rd8 31.Bc1 Ng6 32.Bb7 Ne5 33.Qe3 Qc4 34.Be4 Rd7 35.Bb1 Rhd8 36.Ba2 Qc6+ 37.Qe4 Qxc3 38.Re3 Rd3 39.Rxd3 Rxd3 0-1

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Naming the Variations: the Ziegler Defense

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, there's a discussion going on over at the ChessPub forum about antidotes to the Blackmar-Diemer. Someone wondered why the 5...c6 defense was called the Ziegler Defense anyway. Here's a little background I printed in BDG WORLD 5, May 1983:

At the beginning of 1950, Diemer began to experiment with the 5.Nxf3 variation in games with his friend Paul Locher. He has written that the first tournament test of this variation (instead of 5.Qxf3) came in the spring of that year, in the following game:

Game 68
Easter Tournament
Wangen, 1950

1. d4 d5 2. e4 dxe4 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. f3 exf3 5. Nxf3 c6

6. Bc4 Bg4? 7. Ne5 Qc8 8. Bxf7+ Kd8 9. Qd3 Qf5 10. Qe3 Qxc2?? 11.0-0 and Black resigned.

The Queen is trapped and Rf2 is coming.

Very weak play by Black, of course, and we printed the game solely on the basis of its historical interest. Not only is it the point where Diemer turned to 5.Nxf3, it is also apparently the basis for Diemer’s calling 5…c6 the Ziegler Defense. If this is in fact the case, then until we find examples of stronger play of this line by Ziegler we must be sympathetic to Gunderam’s claim that this defense is inappropriately named.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A New Book on the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit?

David Flude, an old friend from BDG WORLD, days has started a thread at the ChessPub Forum on antidotes to the the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. A post there by IM Christoph Wisnewski caught my interest.
"I am currently working on a new book about the BDG," he wrote. "It is nearly finished, the final first draft will probably be finished in a week."
And in a follow-on post:
"...I did "refute" a few lines so far thought to be playable. But that doesn't mean, the BDG is refuted itself! In fact, I do think that in every Black setup White has enough play to justify his pawn sacrifice. I will not deny that Black will come close to equality (or even achieve it) in most of these lines, but at least it is dynamic (and not dull) equality."
Well, this will be something to look foward to. You can read more here: ChessPub Forum - Antidotes to the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Gambitting Against the Nimzovich Defense

As I mentioned in my last post on his death, Hugh Myers once wrote a small piece for BDG WORLD. It's reprinted here, by request, from the July-August 1992 issue. I haven't checked Hugh's lines with the help of Rybka, but I imagine they'll stand up pretty well. At the end of this article Hugh announced the resurrection of his magazine, renamed The New Myers Openings Bulletin, which he continued until 1996. Gambitting Against the Nimzovich Defense By Hugh Myers I've had enough respect for the dangers of the BDG that I’ve advised 1.e4 Nc6 players to try to transpose away from it, for example with 1.d4 d5 2.e4 Nc6, or 1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.e4 e6 (or 3...dxe4 4.d5 Ne5). But a determined gambit player can always can always find a way to play a gambit. An example of that is on p.33 of my book Nimzovich 's Defense to 1.e4, 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.d5 Ne5 5.f3 That book, written in 1985 and published in early 1986, was revised by me in 1989, with expectation of 1990 printing. For various reasons the publisher had to postpone it. Recently I did more updating of portions of it, as the publisher was optimistic that it would he published this year. That's still uncertain. Anyway, here is a sample, the rewritten 5.f3 section: 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.d5 Ne5 5.f3
We'll take separate looks at the gambit accepted and the gambit declined. (a) 5...exf3 This has been questioned since... 6.Nxf3 Nxf3+ 6...Ng6 7.Bc4 Nf6 8.0-0 Qd6 9.Be3 a6+/= +/=, Sherborne-Hutchinson, corres. 7.Qxf3 Nf6 8.Bf4 a6 9.h3 g6 10.g4 Bg7 11.0-0-0 +/- Milner-Barry - Mieses, Margate 1935 (1-0, 21). But accepting the gambit is not bad in the opinion of Lorenzo Buttari, who wrote the following analysis (there are minor additions by me) for the 10/87 issue of L'Italia Scacchistica. Moves are as in the main line above through 8.Bf4.
Then 8...Bg4 9.Bb5+ [9.Qd3 a6 then 10...Qd7 and 0-0-0;; 9.Qxg4 Nxg4 10.Bb5+ Qd7 11.Bxd7+ Kxd7; 9.Qg3 c6 and White's 0-0-0 has been delayed, but it's not clear, e.g. 10.Bg5 and I'm not sure if Bd7, Bh5, or Qd7 is best.] 9...c6 10.dxc6 [10.Qxg4 cxb5 11.Qf3 Qa5] 10...Bxf3 11.c7+ [11.cxb7+ Nd7] 11...Qd7 12.Bxd7+ Nxd7 13.gxf3 e5. Some of that might be questioned, but the main question is if White's position is worth a pawn. This is also pertinent to the variation 5.f4 exf3 ep. ( 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.d5 Ne5 5.f3) b) 5...e6 6.Qd4 6.Bf4 Ng6 7.Bg3 exf3, Harding; 6.fxe4 exd5 (6...Nf6= Harding) 7.exd5 Bd6 8.Qd4 Qe7 9.Ne4 Ng4 10.Be2 Be5, J. Littlewood-G. Kenworthy, England 1981, 0-1. 31: (6.Bb5+ c6 (6...Bd7 7.dxe6 Bxb5 8.exf7+ Kxf7 9.Qxd8 Rxd8 10.Nxb5 exf3 11.Nxf3 Nxf3+ 12.gxf3 c6 13.Nc3 = /= +, Faxon) 7.Bf4! cxb5! (7...Bd7 8.Bxe5 and 8.dxc6 answers other moves), and for some bizarre action see the rest of this game, Martin-Faxon, below. 6..Bd6 6...Nc6!? 7.Bb5 (7.Qxc4 Nf6 =/= +) exd5 8.Bf4 Bd7 9.Bxc6 Bxc6 10.0-0-0 Nf6 -/+ Frost-Kenworthy, England 1981; that could very well be Black's best choice after 6.Qd4, especially considering the new preferred move. 8.Qa4+, below. 7.f4 7.fxe4 exd5 8.exd5 Qc7 =/+; 7.Bf4 Nxf3+ 8.gxf3 Bxf4 9.Qxg7 Qf6 10.Qxf6 Nxf6 11.fxe4 Be5 = +/-+ 7...c5 8.Qa4+ 8.Qxe4 Nf6 9.Qa4+ Bd7 1O.Bb5 Ng6 11.dxe6 fxe6 and Harding suggested 12..Nf3 0-0, unclear. 8...Bd7 9.Bb5 a6 10.Bxd7+ Nxd7 l1.dxe6 fxe6 12.Qxe4 e5 13.Qxb7 Ngf6 14.Nh3 0-0 15.0-0 Kh8 15...c4 16.Qf3 +/- Black gets some compensation for his sacrificed pawn, but the messy position doesn’t compare well with one in which he's a pawn ahead. That 8.Qa4+ line is from Damele-Berni, 1983 correspondence championship. Now here is the game Martin-Faxon, referred to above. Critical marks and notes were based on those by Faxon. Martin,R - Faxon,W Team Match, Boston 1987 1228 / Nimzovich Defense 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.d5 Ne5 5.f3 e6 6.Bb5+ c6 7.Bf4! cxb5!
8.Bxe5 f6 8...a6 then b5-b4, Myers 9.Bg3 b4? 9...a6 10.fxe4 e5 Myers 10.Nb5 e5 11.d6 Kf7! 12.Nc7? 12.f4! 12...Rb8? 12...Qxd6! 13.Qd5+ Kg6 14.0-0-0 14.Rd1 14...Bd7 15.Qxe4+ 15.f4! 15...Kh5? 15...Bf5 16.Qxb4 Rc8 16.f4! Bxd6 17.Rxd6 Qxc7 18.f5? 18.fxe5 18...g5
19.fxg6 ep? 19.Bxe5! 19...Qxd6 20.g7 Nh6 21.gxh8Q Rxh8 22.Nf3 Bf5!? 23.Qe2! Bg4 24.h3 Bxf3 25.gxf3! Qa6! 26.Qd1 Qxa2 27.f4+ Kg6 28.Qd3+ Kg7 29.Rf1 e4! 30.Qd7+ Qf7 31.Rd1 Re8 32.Qa4 a6 33.Qxb4 Nf5 34.Rg1 Qd5 35.Be1+ Kf7 36.Bc3 Rd8 37.Qb6 Rd6 38.Qc7+ Ne7 39.Rg7+? Kxg7 40.Qxe7+ Kh6 41.Qf8+ Kh5 42.Qe8+ Kh4 0-1. The Myers Openings Bulletin hasn't been around since 1988 because of my heart condition and a consequent lack of funds for publishing. The situation has improved in all respects, and the largest MOB yet will be published no later than early September. It will consist mainly of original analysis of a good variety of unfashionable openings. Counting it as a double issue, I've decided on a price of $5.00 postpaid until November (prices of subscriptions or of later issues are not set). Copies will be sent to former subscribers after they let me know their current addresses. MOB back issues are all scarce, but most are available. Hugh Myers, 1605 E. 13 St., Davenport, IA 52803-3801