Saturday, February 1, 2014

Tangled Up in Blue.

"".Early one morning the sun was shining, I was lying in bed...." So starts off  the famous Bob Dylan song. That's the feeling I got when I played an ex-Belgian champion yesterday evening. I was playing black, but he surprised my Winawer defense with an ultra sharp line.

Robert Scheurmans - Guido De Bouver
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4
The Winawer, most often leading to very sharp play

4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Qc7  7.Qg4 (diagram)
Leading to the very complicated play

7...Ne7 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 cxd4 (diagram)
The poisoned pawn variation has come on the board. A complicated line where any mistake by either party has disastreous consequences.

The normal move is now 10.Ne2, however my noted opponent played 10.Kd1 (diagram) here ! This is listed as the Euwe-Gligoric variation in the Poisoned pawn.... Wow. After the game, he copnfessed he knows this line quite well - it seems to be a pet line of GM Uhlmann, THE authority on the French defense.

In any case, the odd king move takes away all of black threads and is very hard to handle for black.

The game continued 10...Nbc6 11.Nf3 Nxe5 12.Bf4 Qxc3 13.Nxe5 (diagram)

After some thought, Houdini rates the position as equal. Black gets the exchange, but the black knight is very strong in his e5 outpost.

13...Qxa1+ 14.Bc1
Yet another surprise. I hqd been hoping for 14.Kd2, so i could draw after 14...Kd3+, but 14.Bc1 avoids the draw. By now, I had consumed already more than 1 hour of my allocated 2 hours for 40 moves, so I started to get very unconfortable.

I now played 14...d3, to block the bishop from coming out. 14...Rg8 would have been better says my silicon assistant, but I was afraid of letting the bishop out, becuase this would allow for the h1 rook to come into play quickly.

14...d3 15.Qxf7+ Kd8 16.Qf6 dxc2+ (diagram)

I had expected 17.Kxc2 Qa2+ 18.Bb2 Bd7 19.Nf7+, but my champion-opponent has again a surprise for me.

17.Kd2 !!
The correct move is now either 17...Qb1 or 17...d4, my move is slightly inferior.

17...Qd4+ 18.Bd3 (diagram)
Complicating things even more as 18.Kxc2 Qc5+ 19.Kb1 Bd7 would have given me some breathing space.

I started to get into time trouble here, with 20 minutes to go in this hugely complicated position ( my opponent only took 15 minutes to get here... ). So I made a mistake. I think I played well till now - 18...Qc5 would have defended e7 and d6. But white didnt see how to benefoit from my miostake.

18...Ke8 19.Qf7+ Kd8 20.Re1 Qa4 (diagram)

White could have taken the advantage by 21.Qf6 but played the inferior 21.Ke2, which allowed me 21...Qe8 22.Qxe8 Kxe8 23.Kf1 (diagram).

Objectively, black is better, but the knight on e5 might be well worth a rook. In any case, I lost the game in time trouble.

Wow, what a game. I am glad I had the opportunity to play this aginst this respected opponent - but I was beaten by a bigger gambiteer. Aftre the game, he confessed he had my Blackmar-Diemer gambit book standing in his library next to Diemer's. What an honour !


  1. Hey Guido,

    thx for this great blog about the BDG :)
    Is it possible to buy your book "Attack with the Blackmar Diemer"
    Please write a email

    cheers Steffen

  2. I am interested in purchasing this book as well. Please email


  3. Good game and good opening analysis. Good to see you writing about other openings as well as the BDG.

  4. I've had some outings in the Winawer Poisoned Pawn myself too, from both sides of the board (though mostly the white side) and all of them were similarly exciting, though none featured 10.Kd1. It's probably not as exciting to play at the GM level due to the extensive amount of theory, but at mortal levels it rarely fails to provide fascinating complications.

  5. Winawer is one of my favorite openings (next to the BDG.) Please show more of them. I know GM Uhlmann has some nice games as black where he sacked his rook when white played ng5 (ok different line.) I think f6 is the move, alowing the queen check and running the king to safety. Yeah in this set up, I know there are a few positions where grabbing the a1 rook is bad. Haha, it's been so long since someone tried this against me, I forgot. I better look it up.