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.