Wednesday, July 27, 2011

One more Vienna Defense

There’s something distasteful about the Vienna Defense. Not that I’ve got anything against Vienna, or Austria, or even Hans Müller, the guy Diemer always blamed credited with dreaming the defense up. But when somebody offers you a pawn, take it! If you don’t want to play into a Blackmar-Diemer, step up and fight like a man with something like the Lemberger (my personal favorite) or, if the opportunity presents, the Hübsch. But 4...Bf5, that’s just...well, distasteful. (Not to mention that I don’t like to play against it.) And we recently saw where Scheerer had his problems with it as well: Scheerer - Kopylov Revisited.

So I comb through over four thousand games in this week’s TWIC and turn up only one solitary BDG, and what is it? One more Vienna Defense. And a draw at that. It is distasteful.

Monday, July 25, 2011

More old BDG friends

Old photos again... I was rummaging through back issues of BDG WORLD and in Vol III, No 5, Oct-Dec 1985 I came across this photo and caption: 
Robert Fleuriot, E. J. Diemer
Bob Fleuriot was in Europe a few months ago,and stopped by to pay his respects to E. J. Diemer, who lives now in the little village of Fussbach in the Black Forest. Bob sent us this photo of himself with EJD. If they’re considering a position on the board, Bob (on the left) would seem to be more content with it.
Bob and I played a few correspondence BDGs. He went way back with the opening. I think he had good nerves. I say that because he was willing to venture a Kampars Gambit against the Vienna Defense. You have to have good nerves for that. After he won it he received a congratulatory letter from Kampars himself (you remember letters—people sent those in the days before email). Here’s that game, presented without notes. My nerves won’t stand for it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A new walk on an old battlefield

The photo of old BDG friends which I posted recently induced me to review the battle between Diemer and Gunter Müller, Biel 1975, which Gunter annotated for BDG WORLD 25 in December 1986. I’ve retained Gunter’s original notes and augmented them with a few of my own (indicated with ***), assisted by computer analysis and tablebases which were of course not readily available almost a quarter century ago.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Some BDG Buddies

You get more that way the older you get. You’re looking for something, a missing key, say, and you open a drawer and there's an old box. You open the box, and look, there’s an envelope, and inside, why, some old pictures. And now the key is forgotten. Now it’s the pictures...
The pictures, like this one, about a quarter of a century old now, taken somewhere in Germany in the late 1980s. I once played correspondence chess with all these guys, except the old fellow with the white beard.

The gentleman with the tie is Walter Schneider, who did yeoman’s service in directing the finals of the first BDG World Correspondence Championship. Standing to Walter’s right is Gunter Müller, a master correspondence player and finalist in that tournament, finishing sixth in a field that began with 276 players. Seated in front of Gunter is Volker Drüke, editor of BDG-Revue, later Gambit-Revue, and beside Volker is the old master himself, E. J. Diemer.

Looking through the old pictures...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Have you no shame?

I freely give you one pawn, and you turn right around and snatch another?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A BDG Fishing Pole?

In Atzerpay's last game he played 15.Ng5, hoping to provoke 15...h6, weakening Black's kingside, while at the same time opening the f-file to give his rook a shot at a sac on f6--which only works, symbiotically enough, because Black did weaken his kingside with h6--a comforting relationship.

In Bird Defense Fishing Pole, Michael Goeller presents a recent game... 
 "...employing my favorite Bird Defense to the Ruy Lopez. For the second week in a row, I found myself sacrificing material for a direct attack on my opponent's king. In this case, I employed what Brian Wall likes to call "the fishing pole" theme: dangling my Knight at g4 for capture in order to open the h-file."
Before continuing here, I recommend you take a look at Goeller's post now, and also his links to several "fishing pole" examples. Heartwarming.

I called Atzerpay's provocation his rope-a-dope strategy. It has a similar idea to the fishing pole, but it's not specifically designed to open the h-file. So I looked for a BDG that went all the way. Our old friend David Gedult did not disappoint--even if he was playing the black pieces.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Float like a butterfly...

My old friend Peter Atzerpay, the private investigator and strong amateur chessplayer, often tells me that chessplayers can learn from other sports (games, arts, sciences, whatever). Even boxing.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Black Square Anemia

Or, Why Did You Stray So Far From Home, Little Bishop?

What do you call the opening 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 Bb4? The ECO classification is A45, unusual Indian openings. Tim Sawyer did me the honor of including one of my games in this line as Game 1 in his Keybook II, and called it the Nimzo-Indian variation. "Sometimes I wonder," he wrote, "if Black realizes there's a pawn on e4 instead of c4."

Whatever you call it, if you try for the Blackmar-Diemer with 2.Nc3 you'll see it sooner or later. I can no longer remember where I first saw the line with 5.Qg4, but I've played it dozens, if not hundreds of times. In fact I'm sure I've played the exact game given below a dozen or more times in blitz. It's a little like the ubiquitous Halosar trap that is such a popular subject of YouTube videos.

But for all that, I never got the chance to play it in a rated OTB game. Larry Carroll, who recently returned to active play after some time away, got one a few days ago in a G/30 tournament. I've added a few short notes to Larry's game. For some detailed analysis of the line, see Tim's Keybook II.