Thursday, July 1, 2010

Swatting Another Mosquito

In the 1950s Diemer flooded the chess world with letters extolling the virtues of his gambit, making a bit of a pest of himself, no doubt. Max Euwe indulged him a bit, to be rewarded (some might say cursed) by having the 5...e6 defense to the BDG named after himself. When Diemer persisted in debating some variation, Euwe declined in a 5 May 1956 letter. The pertinent paragraphs, loosely translated:
Any opinion on my part, right or wrong, could be answered with ten other possibilities, which would again raise new problems. And these ten bring on another hundred, etc. Gambit play is just complicated, and it is often a matter of taste whether one prefers the extra pawn or the attack.
Now the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit is an interesting way of playing, but I cannot possibly spend the rest of my chess career on it. Forgive my reservations, therefore, but you must not interpret this as fear. It is rather that, if thousands of mosquitoes are attacking, it makes no sense to kill ten or a hundred.
Recently another mosquito showed up in Russia and stung the Euwe Defense.