Thursday, May 28, 2009

IM Kurt Richter and the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit

For several years in the mid-1960s I had the pleasure of living in Berlin. Chess was not a part of my life at that time. Had it been I believe I would have attempted to meet International Master Kurt Richter (1900-1969), who was born and died in that city.

Anders Tejler, writing in Kampars’ Opening Adventures, took note of a Richter comment:
In Kurt Richter and Rudolf Teschner's "Schacheröffnungen", 2nd edition, 1957, the authors have the following to say about the BDG: ". . .and if many theoreticians say 'Its soundness must first be demonstrated ', then one can counter-reply: 'Demonstrate its unsoundness!! Both might be impossible.”
At one time I had a copy of Richter’s 666 Kurzpartien, which was a little book of miniatures. I may have sold it, as I can’t find it around the house. I’m sure the book contained several of Diemer’s games; perhaps that’s where I turned up this game:

Richter,Kurt - Dietze
Karlsbad-Berlin, 1940
BDG, Weinspach Declination

1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f3 e6 4.e4 dxe4 5.fxe4

5...Be7 6.Nf3 0-0 7.e5 Nd5 8.Bd3 c5 9.Nxd5

9...Qxd5 [9...exd5 would have been better. Taking with the Queen allows Whites mobile central pawn to push Black against the wall.] 10.c4 Qd8 11.d5 exd5 12.cxd5 Re8 13.0-0 Qb6 14.Kh1 Nd7 15.d6 Bd8 16.Bxh7+

16...Kh8 [16...Kxh7 17.Ng5+ Bxg5 18.Qh5+ Bh6 19.Bxh6 Nxe5 (19...Rxe5 20.Bg5+ Kg8 21.Qxf7+ Kh7 22.Rf4+-) 20.Bf4+ Kg8 21.Bxe5 Rxe5 22.Qxe5+-] 17.Bc2 g6 18.Qd2 Kg8 19.Qh6 Nf8 20.Ng5 Be6 21.Bxg6

Mate cannot be avoided. 1-0

This variation is known by most BDG partisans as the Weinspach Declination, after a 1949 Diemer game with an opponent by that name (game 274 in Diemer’s Vom ersten Zug…), although it is often spelled as Weinsbach.

Playable game and PGN download.