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.)