Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Blackmar Diemer ?... Never heard of.

Last saturday I was playing an open tournament in Belgium - seven rounds of fast chess - each player gets 25' of time. In the first round I got paired to GM Petr Velička. As expected, I got crushed. He played an unusual move in my beloved Scandinavian defense, I sacrificed a pawn ( which he happily accepted ) for development, but never saw it back. Finally, with only s few minutes left on the clock, I decided to play my last card and sacrificed a piece to bring his king in the open. Again, he did not hesitate, took the piece and rebuffed my last attack.

Between rounds, I asked GM Petr Velička on his opinion on the Blackmar Diemer. He said "What, I don't know this opening". I re-asked, and said "You know, the Blackmar Diemer, the opening in which white sacrifices his f3 pawn." Again he answered "Never heard of such an opening." So I showed him the initial moves 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3. "Never seen that" he confirmed once again, Unfortunately, after being beaten to death in our game, I realised that I was not in a position to question the chess knowledge of my GM opponent. So I asked him what he would do in this position. He was kind enough to look at the position for 15 minutes or so and we analysed 4...exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6 8.g4 e6 9.g5 Nd5 10.Bd3 Bd6 (diagram).

I said I wrote a book on it, maybe he would be interested... ? "I dont read books."  he said firmly and commented "Look's okay" as he dashed off, as our next round was about to start

Now I understand how Diemer must have felt when he got standard replies back from the leading chess players when trying to sell the Blackmar Diemer... But it also shows that we need to market our opening more and grasp every opportunity to show the lines to "serious" chess players. Maybe, maybe, we will get them interested.

PS. I noticed another FIDE master in the tournament with a book on the Smith Morra. Maybe there is a slight chance they get into gambit play again... Let's hope.


  1. I find it so hard to believe a GM does not know Blackmar-Diemer!

  2. That´s not so strange, I have show the line to an old master that played an interzonal on the 60s, and he have never seen that line. He even remember me because he says that I´m the only person that he know that plays that line.

    Have a nice day!
    Jorge Q.