Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Transposing to the Winckelmann-Reimer gambit

I have been strungling for some time with a rather unorthodox line in the Euwe defense occuring after 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf2 5.Nxf3 e6 6.Bg5 Bb4 7.Bd3 Nc6
Several experts have called 6...Bb4 a "weak" move, but to me it seems that the combined Bb4 and Nc6 is actually a very strong black defense. In fact, Houdini suggests the continuation 8.Qd2 with several black moves, such as 8...h6.

Is there no better white reply to 6...Bb4 than 7.Bd3 ? Scheerer surely does not mention anything else, but I believe the immediate 7.a3 is far better.

If black retreats 7...Be7, white has effectively won an important tempo after 8.Bd3 ( this move comes in handy against a potential 8...Nc6 )

If black captures 7...Bxc3 8.bxc3 then we effectively reach a position from the Winckelmann-Reimer gambit
For the interested, I can suggest the excellentr analysis at

After 7...Ba5, white has an immediate continuation in 8.b4 Bb6 9.Ne4
Black's best reply now 9...Nbd7 can then be countered in various ways, the strongest being 10.c4 a6 11.c5 Ba7 12.Bd3 with an obvious white advanatge.

After 7...Bd6, the black bishop is misplaced somehow but it seems difficult to show any immediate white advantage, eg 8.Ne4 Nbd7 9.Bd3

Black's last try might be 7...h6, allowing the exchange 8.axb4 hxg5 9.b5 with complete equality

Bottonline : I believe 6...Bb4 is an important move that must be addressed carefully, since the standard 7.Bd3 Nc6 might not be easy for white. I believe 7.a3 ( in the spirit of the French Winawer ) gives white the better chances.

Monday, October 24, 2011

New exciting Belka-Neumeyer line

I was playing in the Belgian interclub competition yesterday in Gent ( the city in Belgium where Diemer played several tournaments ) and faced a tough Gunderam defense. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the correct continuation.

De Bouver - Van Den Bossche, 23-OCT-2011
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bf5 6.Ne5 e6 7.g4 Be4 8.Nxf7 !!
The start of the hugely complex Belka-Neumeyer line.

8...Kxf7 9.Nxe4 Nxe4 10.Qf3+ Nf6 11.Qxb7

It is widely known that the Belka-Neumeyer line is incorrect against correct play, but here my opponent played something new, a line that did not appear in my book, so it must be inferior, I said to myself, right ...?

Now my opponent played surprisingly 11...Nxg4 !!
The purpose of this move is to give room for the queen check on h4.

12.Qf3+ Nf6 13.Qxa8 Nd5 !!
A second surprise. Black could have played this move already on move 11, so black effectively won the g4 pawn for a tempo.

I now played 14.Be2 (?? - 14.h4 should have won) but came under heavy fire after 14...Qh4+ 15.Kd1 Qxd4+ 16.Bd3 Be7 17.Rf1+ Bf6 18.Qb7. The game eventually ended in a draw, which was a very lucky result for me, since I was completely outplayed by black.

But how should white proceed after 11...Nxg4 or 11...Nd5 ?

After 11...Nxg4, I believe the right move is 12.Qxa8 (diagram), since 12.Qf3+ Nf6 13.Qxa8 allows for 13...Qxd4 with a small black advantage.
a/ 12...Qh4+ 13.Kd2
...a1/ 13...Qf2+ 14.Kc3
......a1a/ 14...Bc5 15.a4 (+=)
......a1b/ 14...Nd7 15.Qc6 (+-)
......a1c/ 14...Na6 15.Kb3 (+-)
......a1d/ 14...Qe1+ 15.Bd2 Bb4+ 16.Kb3 Qxd2 17.Qf3+ (+-)
......a1e/ 14...c5 15.Qxb8 (+-)
...a2/ 13...Nf2 14.Qf3+ (+-)

b/ 12...Qxd4 13.Qf3+ Nf6 14.Be2 (+=)

The other option 11...Nd5 12.Qxa8 is better for black :

c/ 12...Qh4+ 13.Kd1 Qxg4+ 14.Be2 Qxd4+ (=), transposing in the game I played

d/ 12...Bb4+ 13.c3 Qh4+ 14.Kd1 Bxc3 15.bxc3 Qf2 16.Bd2 (=)

Still, I have to note that this Belka-Neumeyer line is quite dubious, since it is actually refuted. The simple 8.Nxe4 Nxe4 9.Qf3 is probably a much better continuation for the attacker.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Update on Welling's line

After last weekend's Ziegler game, where I did not dare to play Welling's line as black, I have been looking in this fascinating line, starting after 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bf5 6.Bc4 c6 7.Ne5 e6 8.00 Bxc2 9.Nxf7 Kxf7 10.Qxc2 Qxd4+ 11.Be3 Qxe3 12.Kh1
But does black really have no resources ? Scheerer gives a lengthy analysis by Bucker from Kaissiber, but this is 13 years ago...

The first option is 12...Bd6 13.Rae1 Qh6 ( 13...Qd4 is punished by 14.Ne4 )
Scheerer now indicates 14.Bxe6+ as the main move ( as per Bucker ), and suggests 14.h3 might even be better. Houdini conforms this and gives black a huge advantage after 14.h3.
Black is indeed completely lost as Houdini gives an advantage of +2,9 to white.

Secondly, what about 12...Ke8 ? The simple 13.Rae1 Qg5 14.Ne4 Nxe4 15.Qxe4 and Houdini gives 15...Nd7 as the best defense, but still a whopping 2.6 advantage for white.

Thirdly, 12...b5 attacks the bishop and wins a bunch of pieces after 13.Rae1 Qxe1 14.Rxe1 bxc4
White can get an nice advantage after 15.Ne4 Nd5 16.Ng5+ Ke7 17.Qxc4 Kd7 18.Qe4

All other lines after 8..Bxc2 9.Nxf7 Kxf7 10.Qxc2+ simply loose, so I guess black's only try for equality is 9...Bxd1 10.Nxd7 Kxd8 11.Rxd1
It is said that this line is good for white, but Houdini gives only a slight 0.28 advantage for white at depth 21, so I guess this leaves black sufficient room for defending.

So I guess I should have taken the risk in last friday's game by taking on c2 - there is always an important chance that white won't know the correct move 9.Nxf7.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Winning a "refuted" BDG position is not always easy.

Yesterday evening, I played in my local chessclub and my opponent ventured a Blackmar Diemer against me. It's the second time this month, seems like my efforts to promote the gambit are well received...

Lesage - De Bouver, Mechelen 14-OCT-2011
1.e4 d5 2.d4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 ex3 5.Nxf3 Bf5
I had never played my opponent, but I knew he had an agressive style. I choose the Gunderam defense

6.Bc4 c6
Transposing in the Ziegler ( aka O'Kelly ) defense

7.Ne5 e6 8.00
I was considering to play Welling's line, 8...Bxc2, but what if my opponent knew about the refutation 9.Nxf7 ? So I choose to chicken out and play on the safe side.

8...Bg6 9.Be3 Nbd7 10.Nxg6 hxg6 11.Qf3 Qc7 12.h3
12...000 would have been great now, but I choose the inferior plan

12...Nb6 13.Bd3 Nd5 14.Nxd5 exd5
My supposed opening advantage has completely evaporated.

15.Bg5 Be7 16.c4 000
Choosing once again the inferior option. 16...00 is better.

17.c5 Rde8 18.b4 Nh5 19.Bd2

19...Qg3 20.Qxg3 Nxg3 21.Rxf7 Bf6 22.Bxg6 Bxd4+ 23.Kh2 Bxa1 24.Kxg3 Be5+ 25.Kg4
The start of white's king odyssee - but this time not to glory, but to potential doom.

25...Rhf8 26.Bf5 Kb8 27.Rd7 Rd8 28.Re7 Bf6 29.Bf4+ Ka8 30.Re3 Rde8 31.Rd3 Re2 32.g3 Rxa2 33.b5 Rb2 34.bxc6 bxc6 35.Ra3 Rb4 36.h4 Rb5 37.Bd6 Rb4+ 38.Kh5
A blunder of my opponent.
38...Rh8+ 39.Kg6

Due to a lack of time, I failed to see the (easy) win after 39...Rh6+ 40.Kf7 Rb7+ 41.Kg8
and I could have ended the game with the simple 41...g6!!!

But alas, I failed to see the line and had to agree to draw after 39..Rb7 40.Bf4 as white's bishops proved to be great defenders.

Bottomline - beating a so-called refuted (?) Blackmar Diemer line is not that easy as the right moves need to be played again and again.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

No Blackmar Diemer for Kasparov

I was invited yesterday evening into the television studios for a broadcast of the Belgian national television for "De Laatste Show", featuring chess legend Gary Kasparov.

He talked mostly on children and chess, indicating that schools with chess lessons performed far better on all topics. He explained that chess is a kind of bridge that links the old world of traditional playing and the new computer era.

He also covered Russian politics and expressed his sadness on the Russian democratic process.

My two children Caroline and Penelope ( 6 and 9 years ) were hoping to get an authograph of him, but after the show, he rushed away, leaving them disappointed. I has been hoping to give him a copy of my Blackmar Diemer book - maybe even trying to get a few comments from him on our beloved gambit. But no luck this time - guess he had more important things on his to do list.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I got an interesting mail yesterday on the copyright on the material listed on this blog.

Be assured, you can play the moves that I recommend in any of your chess games !!!

But, as usual, no part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the autor. That's obvious.

As far as quoting the moves I suggested here, it implies that clear references should be added to this blog/author when including my ideas and moves in any publication.

So, hope that is clear now.