Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ernst Rasmussen Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Open

If you're a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit fan and can get to Port Townsend, Washington, some 40 miles or so northwest of Seattle, on October 23rd, you should. It's a rare opportunity to enjoy the company of chess friends playing the BDG, one and all, in celebration of the 85th birthday of an old BDG fox and an all-around nice guy, Ernst Rasmussen. Here are the particulars:
Oct 23 Ernst Rasmussen Blackmar Diemer Gambit Open. Site: Towne Point Club House, 2240 Towne Point Avenue, Port Townsend, WA. Format: Four-round Swiss. TC: G/1 hr. EF: $10. This is a non-rated event. Prizes, guaranteed: $1,000: 1st, $300; 2nd, $200; 3rd, $100; 1st U2000, $100; 2nd $75; 1st U1700, $100; 2nd, $75. Best game $50; more prize money possible as entries permit. Refreshments and a catered lunch are included(!). 1 HPB allowed. Reg.: 8:00-8:45 AM. Rds 9:00, 11:30, 2:30, 5:30. All games must start from the position following 1. d4 d5 2. e4 dxe4 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. f3 exf3. Info: Stephen Chase, 11 W. Hayden St., Port Hadlock, WA 98339-9570. Phone: 360-385-3457. Entries: Gary Dorfner, 8423 E. B ST., TACOMA, WA 98445, Phone 253-535-2536, E-mail ggarychess@aol.com.
Here are a couple of Ernie's games from an earlier post: The Lost Games of Ernst Rasmussen.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Okay, It's a Trompowsky, but it quacks like a BDG

Years ago I enjoyed searching for games where masters who probably would never intentionally play a Blackmar-Diemer in a "serious" game nevertheless sometimes found themselves playing a typical Blackmar-Diemer position. Such a case can develop in the Trompowsky, after 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 Ne4 3.Bf4 d5 4.f3 Nf6 5.e4 dxe4 6.Nc3 exf3 7.Nxf3. White is up a tempo over the BDG, having the move Bf4 in hand. (Is that a feature or a bug? Does f4 turn out to be a good spot for that bishop?).

In an old (Jan-Feb1994) issue of BDG World I published such a game, Hodgson - Panchenco, Bern 1994, calling it a transposition from the Opocensky Opening to the BDG--to which several readers took exception. As I wrote at the time, I make no claim to expertise on opening names outside the Blackmar-Diemer, but relied on Hooper and Whyld in The Oxford Companion to Chess, 2nd ed. They call 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 the Opocensky Opening in their Index of Named Openings and Variations (Appendix 1). However, in their text we find an entry for the Trompowsky Opening, which is equated to the Opocensky Opening. I quote: "The one-time Brazilian champion Octavio Siqueiro F. Trompowsky (1897-1984) tried it in the 1930s and 1940s, at about the same time as Opocensky." 

Not that it matters much, but it appears that Trompowsky has carried the day, or perhaps there has been further refinement since I quit paying attention. But I digress. One of these creatures was sighted in TWIC a couple of weeks ago. I give it here with a few other examples of the species (or should I say the mutation?).

(Use the pull-down menu above the diagram to select additional games.)