Monday, June 29, 2009

Keres, Diemer, and the BDG

Thinking about the Lemberger Countergambit in the last post reminded me of the only game I know where Paul Keres played a Blackmar-Diemer—or more exactly, a BDG avoided. I no longer have any record of where I originally came across this game, but I notice that it’s included in ChessBase’s large database. Keres would have been 17 years old when this was played. 

Keres,Paul – Luhmann
Correspondence , 1933
Lemberger Countergambit

1.e4 e5 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 A Lemberger by other means. 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Nxf6+ Nxf6 


7.Nxe5 [A couple of grandmasters continued here with 7.Bd3 c5 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.0-0 h6 10.Qe2 0-0 11.Bf4 Bd6 12.Nxe5 Qc7 13.Rad1 b6 14.Bg3 Rd8 15.c3 Bb7 16.Bb1 Ba6 17.Qxa6 Bxe5 18.Bxe5 Qxe5 19.h3 Qc7 1/2-1/2 Tiviakov,S (2608)-Hodgson,J (2640)/Istanbul 2000] 7...c6 8.Bd3 Qc7 9.Bg5 Be7 10.0-0 0-0 11.Re1 b6 


12.Re3 [12.Qf3 Bd7 (12...Bb7? 13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.Qf5) 13.Be4+-] 12...h6?? Usually a mistake, as it is here. [12...Nd5 13.Bxe7 Nxe3 14.Bxh7+ Kxh7 15.Qh5+ Kg8 16.Bxf8 Nf5+-] 13.Bxh6!+- gxh6 [13...Re8 14.Rg3 Bf8 15.Qf3+-] 14.Qf3


14...Ne8? [14...Nd5 is better. 15.Qg3+ Bg5+/=] 15.Qh5+- Bg5 16.Rg3 f6


17.Ng4 [17.Rxg5+! fxg5 18.Bc4+ wins easily.] 17...Ng7?? [Black was still in the game with 17...Bxg4 18.Rxg4 f5] 18.Nxh6++- Bxh6 19.Qxh6 f5


20.Re1 [I've read that Keres played as many as 150 correspondence games at once during this time, which may account for his overlooking 20.Bc4+ Be6 21.Bxe6+ Rf7 22.Qxg7#] 20...Qf7 [20...Ba6 21.Bxa6 b5 22.Qe6+ Rf7+-] 21.Ree3 1-0


[21.Ree3 b5 22.Rg6+-; but 21.Bc4 still mates quickly: 21...Be6 22.Bxe6 Qxe6 23.Qxg7#]

In his book, Vom Ersten Zug an auf Matt!, Diemer included this fragment of a game with Keres as game 167:

Diemer,EJ - Keres,Paul
Correspondence, 1935
Blackmar-Diemer Avoided

1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 g6


4.Nxe4 Bg7 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bd3 Nbd7 7.Neg5 0-0 8.h4 h6 9.Ne4 Nxe4 10.Bxe4 Nf6 11.Bd3 Bf5 12.Bxf5 gxf5 13.Qd3 Qd5 14.Be3 Qe4 15.Qe2 Nd5 16.c3 a5 17.Nd2 broken off.


Play through the games and download PGN here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Australian Lemberger

In the first round of the just-concluded Oceania Zonal an untitled player gave up 400 points to an IM and still had good chances to win against a Lemberger Countergambit. This 4.dxe4 line is not my idea of fun, and I can’t imagine that either player was totally relaxed in the wild melee that ensued.

Stevens,Tristan (2006) - Xie,IM George Wendi (2402)
Oceania Zonal Gold Coast AUS (1), 20.06.2009
Lemberger Countergambit

1.e4 d5 2.d4 dxe4 3.Nc3 e5


The Lemberger Countergambit, not what a Blackmar-Diemer player wants. On the other hand, many BDG players enjoy playing the black side of it--I always did.

4.dxe5 Qxd1+ 5.Kxd1 Nc6 6.Nxe4 Nxe5 7.Bf4 Nf6


8.Nxf6+ [‹8.Bxe5 Nxe4 9.Bd4 Bg4+ 10.Be2 Rd8 11.Bxg4 Rxd4+-+] 8...gxf6 9.Nf3 Ng4 10.Bg3 Bf5 11.Bb5+ c6 12.Re1+ Kd7 13.Nd4 Bg6 14.Be2 h5 15.h3 Nh6 16.Bc4 Bc5 17.Nb3 Bb6 18.Bh4 Rhe8 19.c3 Nf5 20.Bxf6 Bxf2 21.Rxe8


21...Rxe8 [‹21...Kxe8 22.Ke2 Bb6 23.Kf3+/=] 22.Kd2 Be3+ 23.Kd1 Bf4 24.Bd4 h4


25.Bd3 [25.Bxa7? Be3 26.Nd4 Ng3-+] 25...Kc7 26.Kc2 Ng3 27.Bxg6 fxg6 28.Bf6 Re2+ 29.Kd3 g5 30.Nd4 Re3+ 31.Kc4 c5 32.Nb5+ Kc6 33.Nxa7+ Kb6 34.Nc8+ Ka6 35.Rd1 Re6 36.Be7 Nf5 37.Bxc5 b5+ 38.Kb3 Kb7


39.Ne7! Nd6 [39...Rxe7 40.Bxe7; 39...Nxe7 40.Rd7+] 40.Nd5 Nc4 41.Nxf4 gxf4


[Too bad. White had good winning chances with 42.a4!
a) 42...Re2 43.axb5 Nd2+ 44.Kb4 Rxg2 (44...Kc8 45.Rg1) 45.Re1 Rg7 (45...Rg3 46.Re7+) 46.Re2;
b) 42...Re5 43.Bd4 Na5+ (43...Rg5 44.axb5 Ne3 45.Bxe3 fxe3 46.c4+-) 44.Ka3 Nc4+ 45.Kb4 Re2 46.axb5+-;
c) 42…Ne3 43.Rd2 bxa4+ 44.Kxa4 Kc6 (44...Nc4 45.Rf2+-) 45.Bd4+-]
42...Kc6-/+ 43.Re7 Rg6 44.Kb4 Nxb2 45.Bd4 Nd3+ 46.Kb3 Rxg2

47.Rh7?? Now Black has mate in four. 47...Nc1+ 48.Kb4 Rb2+ [48...Rb2+ 49.Ka5 Rxa2+ 50.Kb4 Ra4#] 0-1

Play through the game and download PGN here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not just any move…

Now and then (but not often enough) the happy position arises on the chessboard where it seems almost any move wins. Here’s such a case. White’s 18.Rxg7+ begs to be played. So White plays it, and mate soon follows.In fact, mate is forced.

But not with just any move. In his follow-up White played a slight inaccuracy, after which Black could have drawn. Plug this into your computer and the drawing move pops up instantly. But give it a try on your own first.

Alanic,X (2080) - Brient,Y
France, 2000
Hübsch Gambit

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 Nxe4 4.Nxe4 dxe4 5.f3 Bf5 6.Qe2 exf3 7.Qxf3 Qc8 8.Bc4 e6 9.Nh3 Bd6 10.0-0 0-0 11.Bf4 Nc6 12.c3 Bxh3 13.gxh3 e5 14.Be3 Qd7 15.Kh1 exd4 16.cxd4 Nd8 17.Rg1 Re8

18.Rxg7+ Kxg7 19.Bh6+ Kxh6 20.Qf6+ Kh5 21.Rg1 Be7 22.Be2+ 1-0

Solution and PGN are here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Last Blackmar-Diemer Gambit?

“It is possible that the Latvian Counter-Gambit (1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 f5), Albin Counter Gambit (1 d4 d5 2 c4 e5), Blackmar-Diemer Gambit (1 d4 d5 2 e4) and even the King's Knight's Gambit (1 e4 e5 2 f4 ef 3 Nf3) may have been refuted, but that does not mean they are easy to refute. I would expect to win against them in a postal game but would be less confident or doing so 100 per cent or the time in an over-the-board game against the clock.”  --Tim Harding, Why You Lose at Chess.
When I began playing the Blackmar-Diemer back in the mid-1970s it wasn’t seen that much because not too many players knew too much about it. I find it a wee bit ironic that these days it isn’t seen that much because too many players know too much about it. Or so it seems.

Since at least last fall USCF has made Chess Life available in PDF. This morning I did a search through those back issues for Blackmar-Diemer games. As far as I can tell, the last BDG published there was in the May 2008 issue in Alex Dunne’s correspondence chess column, “1997 and 1999 Golden Knights Champions Crowned.”

Cook,Randy (2391) - Tate,Roy (2282)
1999 Golden Knights Finals
Hübsch Gambit

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 Nxe4 4.Nxe4 dxe4 5.Be3 Bf5 6.g4 Bg6 7.Ne2 


7...Qd6 A novel move. More usual are

7...Nc6 8.h4 h6 9.Bg2 e6 10.Nf4 Bh7 11.c3 Be7 12.Nh5 0-0 13.g5 hxg5 14.hxg5 Bf5 15.Nf6+ Bxf6 16.Qh5 1-0 Flude,D-Ghumman,S/Australia 1997;

7...h6 8.h4 (8.Nf4 Bh7 9.h4 e5 10.dxe5 Qxd1+ 11.Rxd1 Nd7 12.e6 Ne5 13.exf7+ Kxf7 14.Be2 Bd6 15.g5 Bf5 16.gxh6 gxh6 17.Bh5+ Ke7 18.Nd5+ Ke6 19.Nf4+ Ke7 20.Nd5+ Ke6 21.Nf4+ 1/2-1/2 Flude,D-Cook,J/Victorian Interclub 1997) 8...e6 9.Nf4 Bh7 10.Qd2 c6 11.0-0-0 Nd7 12.Bc4 Nb6 13.Bb3 Nd5 14.c4 Bb4 15.Qe2 Nxe3 16.fxe3 Bd6 17.Nh5 Rg8 18.d5 cxd5 19.cxd5 e5 20.Rhf1 a6 21.Qf2 Bg6 22.Kb1 Ferreira,K (2103)-Chauca,J (2185)/Rio de Janeiro BRA 2008/1/2-1/2;

7...Nd7 8.h4 h6 9.Nf4 Bh7 10.g5 e5 11.Nd5 c6 12.Nc3 hxg5 13.hxg5 Bb4 14.Qg4 Qa5 15.g6 Bxc3+ 16.Kd1 Nf6 17.gxf7+ Kxf7 18.Bc4+ Nd5 19.Qd7+ Kf8 20.Qxb7 Rd8 21.Qxc6 Bxd4 22.Bg5 Nc3+ 23.bxc3 Qxc3 24.Be7+ Kxe7 25.Qe6+ Kf8 26.Qf7# 1-0 Diebert,C-Boe,D/Columbus City CS 1987;

7...e5 8.h4 h6 9.dxe5?! Qxd1+ 10.Rxd1 Nd7 11.e6 fxe6 12.Nf4 Bf7 13.Bc4 0-0-0 14.Bxe6 Bxe6 15.Nxe6 Re8 16.Nxf8 Rhxf8 17.g5 h5 18.Ke2 a6 19.Rd4 Rf7 20.Rhd1 Nf8 21.Ra4 Ng6 and the Black knight was more useful in this position than the White bishop. 0-1 Stevens,T-Shipman,W/Berkeley 1999 (42)

8.c3 Nd7 9.Bg2 h6 10.Qa4 c6 11.Ng3 Nf6 12.h3 e6 13.Qc2


Is White playing to win back a pawn he gave away on move 4?? 13...0-0-0 14.0-0 Qd7

15.Qa4 [15.Bxe4?! Nxe4 16.Nxe4 h5-/+] 15...a6 16.c4 Bd6 17.b4 Bc7 18.Rab1 Bd6 19.Ne2 Kb8 20.Nc3 Rc8 21.Rb3 Rc7 22.Qa5 Rcc8 23.Rfb1 Qc7 24.Qa4


24...Rhd8? [24...h5!? Black has allowed white to leisurely marshal his forces for the queenside breakthrough. It's too late now for any counterplay on the kingside. 25.b5 cxb5 26.Rxb5 axb5 (26...hxg4?? 27.Qxa6+-) 27.Nxb5+-] 25.b5!+- cxb5 26.Nxb5 Qxc4 [26...axb5 27.Rxb5 Rd7 28.d5+-] 27.Qxc4


[Black resigned. Dunne gives the most logical finish as 27...Rxc4 28.Nxd6 Rxd6 29.Rxb7+ Kc8 30.Bf1! Rcc6 31.Bf4 Rxd4 32.Rb8+ Kd7 33.R1b7+] 1-0

Play through the game and download PGN here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Do Aliens understand the Blackmar-Diemer?

“If you’re naturally smart, if you have an IQ that would make Einstein blush, or if you’re an alien visitor to Earth and you find all this computer stuff as easy as understanding the Blackmar–Diemer Gambit, phooey on you! Otherwise, my guess is that you’ve discovered that computers are indeed complex and intimidating and can make you feel like a dummy.”
PCs for Dummies, Chapter 1

Monday, June 15, 2009

More Blackmar-Diemer mouse-sitting

Here's another position from a Teichmann Defense to the Blackmar-Diemer--actually a position from a variation that might have occurred in a blitz game, a chance to sit on the mouse for a moment to find the best move.

After 27…Kd6
White to mate in 3. The full game is here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

WFM turns back the Blackmar-Diemer

In the recent Scotland International Open a young WFM turned back a BDG with an interesting variation in the Teichmann Defense. I think White was a bit too optimistic on his 13th move. I’ve added several other games with this line. Saxton,Gavin (1902) - Hughes,WFM Rhian (1840) 1st Chess Scotland Int Op CC Edinburgh SCO (7), 07.06.2009 Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, Teichmann Defense 1.e4 d5 2.d4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bh5 7.g4 Bg6 8.Ne5 Nbd7 9.Nxg6 hxg6 10.g5 Nh5 11.Qf3 c6 12.Bc4 e6 game_58 13.0-0 [Better is to preserve the option to castle long with 13.Rf1 Qe7 14.Bd2 Nb6 15.Bb3 Rd8 16.Ne2 Nc8 (16...Qd7 17.0-0-0 Bd6 18.c4 Bc7 19.Bb4 1-0 Rasmussen,E-Brian,O/1020 Tacoma Spring CS 1991 (29) 19...Ra8) 17.0-0-0 Nd6 18.Kb1 Nf5 19.Ba5 Rd7 20.d5 1-0 Diebert,C-Godin,E/0692 Ohio State Championship 1989 (30)] 13...Qe7 14.Bd2 Nb6 game_59 15.Bb3 [15.Bd3 Qd7 16.Rf2 Bd6 17.Ne4 0-0 18.a3 Nd5 19.c4 Ne7 20.Raf1 Nf5 21.Nxd6 Nxd4 22.Qe3 Qxd6-+ Zilbermints,L (2080)-Young,A (2512)/Marshall CC, G/30 1997 (40)] 15...Qc7 [15...Nd5? 16.Nxd5 cxd5 17.Ba4+ Kd8 18.Qxf7 Ng3 19.Qxg6 Nxf1 20.Rxf1+- McGrew,T-Giulio/Internet Chess Club 1998/1-0 (61)] 16.Ne4 Nc8 17.Rae1 Nd6 18.Bxe6?! fxe6 game_60 19.Nc5? [19.Nxd6+ is better, but the precarious position of White's king makes it hard to find a good continuation. 19...Bxd6 20.Rxe6+ Kd8 21.Rxg6-/+] 19...Nf5-+ 20.Nxe6 Qg3+ 21.Qxg3 Nhxg3 game_61 22.Nc7+?! [22.Rf3 Kf7 23.Nxf8 Rhxf8 24.Bf4-+] 22...Kd7 23.Nxa8 Nxf1 24.Rxf1 Bd6 25.h4 Rxh4 26.c3 Rh8 0-1 game_62 Download PGN and play through this game and those in the notes here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Father and son Blackmar-Diemer Gambits

In BDG World 29, December 1987, we printed a BDG from the 1950 Hungarian Championship between two players who would later become international masters.

Honfi Jr, Karoly - Füster, Geza
6th Hungarian Championship, 1950
BDG, Ryder Gambit

1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Qxf3


5...c6 6.Bd3 Bg4 7.Qf2 e6 8.h3 Bh5 9.Nge2 Nbd7 10.0-0 Be7 11.g4 Bg6 12.g5 Qa5 13.gxf6 gxf6 14.Nf4 0-0-0 15.Bd2 Qg5+ 16.Kh1 h6?

17.Qh2? [ 17.Nxg6 fxg6+- (17...Qh5 18.Nxe7+ Kb8 19.Qg3+) ] 17...Qh4?

[ 17...Bxd3 18.cxd3+/-] 18.Rg1 [ 18.Bxg6 f5+- (18...fxg6 19.Be1! and Black loses his Queen.) ] 18...f5


19.b4 [ 19.Rxg6 Bd6 (19...fxg6 20.Nxe6) 20.Rgg1+-] 19...e5 20.b5 exf4 21.bxc6 Nb6 22.cxb7+ Kxb7 23.Bxf4 


23...Bd6? [Black is lost anyway. 23...Rxd4 24.Qg2+] 24.Bxd6 Rxd6 25.Qxd6 Bh5 26.Qg3 1-0.

This game appeared in a small book by Laszlo Alfoldy, titled in its German edition, Gambit Eröffnungen. According to its author, in Hungary the BDG was advocated by the IM Karoly Honfi and his father.

N. J. Jensen wrote IM Honfi, asking him about his experiences with the BDG, and received a friendly reply. He wrote that his game against Füster was the only BDG he ever played in a tournament, but that his father had played the BDG for several years. Mr. Honfi, Sr., who worked in a post office, achieved the category of a candidate master. His son did not have that many of his father's games, but did enclose several with his letter. Here is one of those games.

Honfi Sr, Karoly – Serfozo
Budapest, 1961
BDG, Ryder Gambit

1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 exf3 5.Qxf3 e6 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.Nge2 Bb4 8.Be3 Nd5 9.0-0


9...Qe7?! [9...0-0 10.Qh3 f5 11.Nxd5 exd5 12.Bxf5 Bxf5 13.Rxf5 Rxf5 14.Qxf5 Ne7 15.Qe6+ Kh8 16.c3 Bd6 17.Rf1 Qg8 18.Rf7 Re8 19.Bh6 Nf5 20.Qxf5 Bf8 21.Nf4 gxh6 22.Ne6 Bg7 23.Rxg7 1-0 Dravnieks,O-Dalgleish, Canada 1964.] 10.Bd2 [10.Nxd5 exd5 11.Nf4+/-] 10...Bxc3 11.bxc3 Bd7 12.c4 Nf6 13.Rab1 Rb8 14.Bg5 h6 15.Bh4 0-0


16.Qg3 [16.Bxf6?! Qxf6 17.Qxf6 gxf6 18.Rxf6+/-] 16...Qd6 17.Bxf6 Qxg3 18.Nxg3 gxf6 19.Nh5 Rfd8 20.Nxf6+ Kg7 21.c3 Ne7 22.Rf4 Ng6 23.Nh5+ Kg8 24.Rf6 Be8 25.Rbf1


25...c5?? [>=25...Ne5 26.Be2 Ng6+-] 26.Bxg6+- fxg6 


And White mates in four. 27.Rf8+ Kh7 28.Nf6+ Kg7 29.Nxe8+ Rxe8 30.R1f7# 1-0.

Play through the games and download PGN here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sitting on Your Mouse in the Blackmar-Diemer

Years ago when I got my first copy of Fritz I enjoyed playing a few blitz games online by day and letting Fritz check them for blunders by night. Of course blunders (and overlooked combinations) are usually plentiful on both sides of the board. To minimize rash moves, Bobby Fischer once advised sitting on one's hands. For online play I updated that to sitting on one's mouse, and now and then I printed "mouse-sitting" positions for analysis in BDG World. Here's such a game where I was jerked around unmercifully, but still had a win at the end, which I might have found if I'd just had a few seconds to sit on my mouse. The best move is not that hard to find, but there are a few interesting variations. Pos1
After 28...Kh8. White to move and mate. See the game here.