Sunday, December 6, 2015

A nice Jerome gambit

Friday evening, as a surprise act, I played a nice little Jerome gambit in our local chess club. My opponent, who had prepared himself for a firece BlackmarDiemer, could not believe his eyes.

Guido De Bouver - Verstappen
Mechelen, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ (diagram)
the starting point of the Jerome gambit

6...Ng6 7.Qd5+ Ke8 8.Qxc5 d6 9.Qe3 Nf6 10.0-0 Rf8 11.d4 b6 12.f4 (diagram)
Jerome pawns on the move !

12...Bb7 13.Nc3 Qe7 14.f5 Nh8 15.e5 dxe5 16.dxe5 Nd5 17.Nxd5 Bxd5 18.b3 Nf7 19.Bb2 (diagram)
Draw agreed.

A very complicated position - white has two strong pawns for the piece and has the safer king. If black however can exchange a few pieces, black should have the better endgame.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

An interesting Lemberger

First of all, let me apologise for not posting so long - sometimes other things n life such as work get priority. I know, it is a false excuse for not playing chess , but still...

Yesterday evening I started a knockout tournament where the lower rated player advances to the next round in case of a draw. I was lucky twice - I am the lower rated player and I was playing white.

My opponent choose the Lemberger defense, but I got a crushing attack.

Guido De Bouver - Jan Jelgrims.
Mechelen 2015
1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 e5
the Lemberger. Good for balck, but certainly no refutation.

4.Nxe4 Qxd4 5.Bd3 (diagram)

5...f5 is the most crushing move by black here, also suggested by Diemer.

5...Nc6 6.Nf3 Qb4+ 7.c3 Qe7 8.0-0 f5 (diagram)
Better late than never, as the saying goes.

9.Ng3 g6
My opponent aims to defense his centre from behind with a bishop on g7.
However, my position is great position and I should have difficulties in finding a bad move.

I found it !!

Luckily, my opponent also misses the chance to equalize.

A key move. I open up the 1st rank for my rooks and bring the knight to f6 - limiting the scope of the future bishop on g7.

11....Qc5 12.Be3 Qe7 13.Bg5 Nf6
I was happy to repeat moves as I would advance into the next round after a draw.
Now, with the first rank cleared for my rooks, I decided it was time for a sacrifice

14.Nxe5 (diagram)

14...Nxe5 15.Qxb7 Bc6
Both 15...Rc8 and 15...Rd8 would have been a bit better

16.Bb5 Bxb5 17.Qxa8+ Kf7 18.Bxf6
I was under the impression I had a better position, but since a draw was suffcicent, I wanted to exchange a few pieces. Unfortunately, this exchange gives black the better play.

18...Kxf6 19.Rfe1 (diagram)

Black now misses a simple move to lock my queen away : 19...c6 would have been quite effecitive !

19...Qc5  20.Qd8+ Kg7 21.Qd2 bd6 22.b4 Qc6 23.Qd4 (diagram)

Draw agreed here. Black cant avoid exchanging queens after which I will be a pawn up - hopeless situation for black as he needs to win to advance.

A potential line could be :
23...Qb6 24.Rxe5 Qxd4 25.cxd4 Bxe5 26.dxe5 and white is a pawn up.

So it is clear that the Lemberger is not the ultimate refutation against the Blackmar Diemer as the resulting positions are very complicated ( maybe more complicated than the main lines ).

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Grandmaster Repertoire by Boris Avrukh

today i had the opportunity to glance through "Grandmaster Repertoire 11: Beating 1.D4 Sidelines" by the famous GM Boris Avrikh. I was delighted to see some great analysis on the Blackmar Diemer gambit. It is so good to see that such a recognized chess player takes the time to look at this so called inferior opening. The bottomline of his analysis is that Black is better when playing the corretc lines. But he is quick so say that the opening complications are not to be underestimated. Guess we already knew that :-)

In any case, GM Avrukh suggests the trusted O'Kelly defense 5...c6 and comes up with some in depth analysis. I havent had to opportunity to go through all of it, but it sure seems he points out some of the weak spots in white's armory.

Thnaks Boris for giving our opening this much prime time coverage !!!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Annoying defenses should be forbidden.

Yesterday evening, I was confronted with an annoying defense, I was confident I got it right, but found myself without any advantage.

1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 e6 6.Bg5 Bb4
Not the strongest black continuation in the Euwe

7.Bd3 h6 (diagram)

The analogy with the lines after 6...h6 forced me to exchange on f6 without any thought, as white gets a great attack on the f column.

8.Bdf6 Qxf6 9.0-0 Bxc3 10.bxc3
With a pawn ahead, black decides to exchange another piece.

10...0-0 (diagram)
"Life can be simple, even when faced with the complicated Blackmar Diemer gambit"... That's sort of blakc's thinking here. Another one could be "Show me what you have for the pawn".

11.Ne5 Qe7 (diagram)

 I had been playing on automatic up till this point, under the impression that I would have a simple game. However, now I realised that things aren't that simple as I believed... I played 12.Qg4 in the above position and lost in the resulting endgame.

With silicon assistance, it seems 12.Qe2 is best here.

a/ 12...Nd7 13.Rf3 Nxe5 14.dxe5 (+=)

b/ 12...Nc6 13.Nxc6 bxc6 14.Rf5!!! (+=)

c/ 12...Bd7 13.Qg4!!!! (++)

So it seems that every annoying defense has some great refutation - but you have to find it !!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Reminder on the Pietrowsky lines

In 2011, I covered the Pietrowsky lines and concluded that 5...Nc6 6.Bb5 Bd7 was not simple to deal with. White has to be carefull in order not to overextend.

The main line is 5...Nc6 6.Bb5 Bd7 7.0-0 e6 8.d5 (diagram)
White is ahead in development at the expense of a pawn. The easiest way for black is to exchange a few pieces :

8...Nb4 !!
Forces the exchnage of the light coloured bishop, doesnt it ?

9.dxe6 (diagram)

9...Bxb5 10.Nxb5 Qxd1 11.Rxd1 (diagram)

Mission Exchanging is completed ! But does black have an advanatge ? Absolutely not, since black still needs a move to recapture the pawn on e6, but this is not possible since c7 is under attack.

So we can safely conclude that the Pietrowsky line does not offer any advantage for the defender, proviuded white plays is quitely - a task not easy for the Blackmar Diemer gambiteer.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Mea Culpa

It seems my last post on the Queen's Indian Euwe contained a mistake as pointed out by Maximilien from France.

I indicated that white gets a confortable play after 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 e6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 b6 9.Qe1 Bb7 10.Qh4 h5 (diagram) 11.Bxf6

White is indeed better after 11...Bxf6 12.Qxh5 g6 13.Bxg6 fxg6 14.Qxg6+ Kh8 15.d5 (diagram)

a/ 15...exd5 16.Qh5+ Kg8 17.Qg4+ Kh8 18.Nh4 (++)

b/ 15...Bxd5 16.Qh5+ Kg8 17.Qg4+ Bg7 18.Ng5 (++)

c/ 15...Qe8 16.Qh6+ Kg8 17.Ng5 (++)

d/ 15...Qe7 16.Ng5 (=)

So is seems i missed black's best continuation 15..Qe7 and 11.Rad1 is the only move that gives white an advantage.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Queen's Indian Euwe

when playing blitz games, I get lately a lot of Euwe defenses where black fianchettos his queens bishop - a horrible strategy.

1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 e6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 b6 9.Qe1 Bb7 10.Qh4 (diagram)

Many of my blitz opponents play these moves rather quickly, as if the Blackmar Diemer behaves like a normal opening...

In the above postion, black is hopelessly lost, eg 10...Nbd7 11.Bxh7+ (++) or 10...h6 11.Bxh6 (++)

Black's best ( if this word can still be used in this position ) might be to remove the target on h7 :

10...h5 ( diagram)

White's best reply here is 11.Rad1, but also an inferior move can bring white victory :

11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.Qxh5 g6 13.Bxg6 fxg6 14.Qxg6+ Kh8 15.d5 (diagram)

White opens up many lines and has by far the most promising game.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The defender becomes the attacker.

The immediate 7.g4 is a rude answer to black's trustowrthy O'Kelly defense. But is it correct ? Probably not, but that wont keep me from winning with it.

1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5
The O'kelly, which can lead to the Ziegler defense, but white has other plans.

7.g4 !!! (diagram)

7...Nxg4 8.Nh4 g6 9.Nxf5 gxf5 10.h3 Nf6 11.Bg5 e6 12.d5
A key move for the attacker

12...cxd5 13.Bxd5 (diagram)

13...Nbd7 14.Bxb7 Rb8
probably not the best move. 14...Be7 15.Qf3 Rb8 16.Rd1 would give black a small advantage, but it very unlikely any defender would have been able to get this far without mistakes.

15.Bc6 Qb6 (diagram)

let's look at the situation : white is a pawn down and his king is defenseless. Black on the other hand has whaethered the storm and is now starting to deploy his forces. So it seems white can safely resign here, isnt it ?

16.Qf3 Be7 17.Rd1 Rd8 18.Ke2

White is desperately trying to get some space as to centralize his pieces

18...h6 19.Bxf6 Bxf6 20.Rxd7 Rxd7 21.Rd1 0-0 22.Rxd7 23.Qxb2 Kd2

White is a piece ahead for two pawns, but it is black who has the safer king and the king. White may be able to survive but it wont be easy. But then again, chances are low that black will be able to get this far against a well prepared white berserker.

Friday, June 12, 2015

An interesting novelty

Today I faced an interesting novelty, something I never encountered before in my 15-year Blackmar_Diemer experience ( ok, maybe I forgot a few less memorable games, but it wont be a many ). In any case, black tried to exchange a few pieces but quickly lost the way in the labyrith of moves.

1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 e6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 Ng4 (diagram)

This is the novelty, black tries to exchange a few pieces as to use his pawn majority in the endgame.

My silicon assistant indicate sthat both 9.Bxe7 and 9.Qd2 might be slightly better, but 9Ne4 is good enough.

9...Bxg5 10.Nfxg5
I gave this a 30 minutes thought, but I could not find a good move after 10.Nexg5 h6. I was hoping somehow that black would try 10...Ne3 ??, but I guess the white refutation 11.Qh5 was too obvious.

10...Qxd4+ (diagram)
And now I played a great move... can you find it ?

Creating three different threats :
> the attack of h7
> the knight on g4
> the queen is undefended after Bxh7+
My opponent noticed the chances were turning and hoose the only reasonable defense

11...f5 12.Bxf5 Qxd1 13.Bxh7+ Kh8 (diagram)

Here I choose 14.Raxd1, resulting in an equal game, but 14.Nxd1 would have been better after 14...Rxf1 15.Kxf1 Nxh2+ 16.Ke2 Ng4 17.Ne3 (diagram) with nasty threats along the h file.

Black has no other option than 17...Nf6 18.Bg6 and white is leading the dance, despite being a pawn down.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

One too many mistakes

I got the name of this post from the Dylan song "One too many mornings" from his "The Times They Are a-Changin'" album in 1964. I wonder if Diemer ever heard of Bob Dylan and what he thought of this new kind of music.

In any case, yesrreday evening I was humiliated in a speed game in my local chess club - too many mistakes in a mere 16 moves costs me dearly.

1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6 8.g4 Nd5 (diagram)

The correct move here is 9.Bd3, with a nice white lead. However, without thinking at all, I played the inferior 9.Bc4 ( mistake #1 ).

9.Bc4 e6 10.Rf1 f6
Despite my first mistake, white still has the edge.

Not optimal, but wont classify as a mistake.

11...Bb4 12.000 Nxc3 (diagram)

I now played 13.bxc3 -bad idea. the simple 13.Bxc3 would have brought a great lead due to black's fragile pawn structure ( mistake #2 )

13.bxc3 Ba3 14.Kb1 Qb6 15.Bb3 a5 (diagram)

After a (short) thought, I moved 16.d5?? now, as I was planning for Be3 on the next move, chasing away the queen and thus saving my bishop from entrapment. However, the simple c5 will block the bishop.... I should have played 16.g5 here, opening many lines with favourable complications.

I wont give the remainder of the game after my third horrible  mistake 16.d5 - there might be children reading this blog...

Lesson learned - take your time to think and play the best moves, even when playing at a speedy tempo. Otherwise, you risk being slaughtered after three mistakes in only 16 moves.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Further madness

The yearly speed championship started yesterday evening in my local chessclub - each player is alloted 25 minutes of time with a 10 seconds move increment. Ideal for a Blackmar Diemer. But unfortunately, my first opponent refrained from playing d5, so I had to revert to some other madness.

1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 g6
What player is so unreasonable as to refuse to enter the Blackmar Diemer ? He should be punished immediately with ...

That got him thinking !

3...Bg7 4.h4 (diagram)
You cant say I am not consistent in my moves :-)

4...d6 5.h5 gxh5 6.g5

The other option is 6...Nd5 7.e4 Nb6 8.Ne2, which is probably better for white.

Here my opponent choose the inferior 7...e5 and I could easily get the advantage with 8.d5.

The obvious critical line is 7...c5 and we reach the standard Paleface setup after 8.d5 (diagram)

My silicon assistant gives following line as best : 8...h6 9.gxh6 Bxh6 10.Bxh6 Rxh6 11.Qd2 with a slight advantage for white.

I cant find any games on this line in nay database, but the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 g6 3.g4 certainly seem playable. Please let me know if you had any experience with this.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

10.Qf2 or 10.Qf4 in Gunderam's line

As a follow up from last post on Gerhart Gunderam's line 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bf5 6.Ne5 e6 7.g4 Bg6 8.Qf3 c6 9.g5 Bh5 (diagram), I am checking now whether 10.Qf2 or 10.Qf4 is the better choice.

Previoulsy, I believed 10.Qf2 was the better move  - it leads to a forced game after 10...Ng4 11.Nxg4 Bxg4 12.Bd3. But now, after analysis, I believe black is better after the simple 12...Be7 13.0-0 Bf5 14.d5 g6 and white has less than nothing for the sacrificed pawn.

So let's have a look to 10.Qf4, when black has two responses : 10...Nd5 and 10...Nd7. Let's first check out 10.Qf4 Nd5 11.Qh4 (diagram)

a/ 11...g6 12.Qf2
...a1/ 12...Qe7 13.Ne4 Nd7 14.Nxd7 Qxd7 15.c4 (+=)
...a2/ 12...Qc7 13.Nxd5 (+)
...a3/ 12...f5 13.gxf6 Qxf6 14.Qxf6 Nxf6 15.Bh3 (+=)

b/ 11...Bg6 12.Nxg6 fxg6 13.Qe4 
...b1/ 13...Be7 14.Bh3 (=)
...b2/ 13...Nxc3 14.Qxe6+ Qe7 15.Qxe7 Bxe7 16.bxc3 (+=)
...b3/ 13...Bb4 14.Qxe6+ Qe7 15.Qxe7+ (+=)
...b4/ 13...Nc7 14.Bh3 (+=)
...b5/ 13...Qd7 14.Bh3 (+=)

c/ 11...Nxc3 12.bxc3 
...c1/ 12...g6 13.Qf2 (+=)
...c2/ 12...Bg6 13.Nxg6 fxg6 14.Bh3 (+)

The second line 10.Qf4 Nfd7 11.Be2 Nxe5 12.Bxh5 Ng6 13.Qf2 (diagram) is far more complicated for the attacker ( to be noted is that white also has 13.Bxg6 hxg6 14.Rf1 with equal play )

Black's most promising defense is 13...Bb4 14.Bxg6 Bxc3+ 15.bxc3 hxg6 16.0-0 Qe7 17.Rab1 and white has to prove he has some compensation.

Summary. Both 10.Qf2 or 10.Qf4 do not win by force, but then again, didn't Gunderam predict that already ?

Sunday, May 3, 2015


I have been working through Gerhart Gunderam's "Neue Eroffungswege" this week, and I have to admit, there are some great lines in it. Of course, this has to been seen in the context of the time of writing this book - 1961 - when there was no silicon assistent available...

Let's have a look at a line presneted on page 26 - Gunderam labels this as "Stammanalysen meiner Verteitigung, Hauprezept", roughly translated as the main line of his defense against the Blackmar Diemer.

Analysis Gerhart Gunderam, 1961.
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3
Gunderam does not cover the move 2.f3 - so it is obvious he has to deal with the Gubsch defense a lot.
2...d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bf5 6.Ne5 e6 7.g4 Bg6 (diagram)
The main position in the Gunderam defense.

In addition to to tsandard move 8.Qf3, Gunderam now also considers 8.Bg2 c6 9.h4 butblack's reply 9...Bb4 is quite strong.

8.Qf3 c6 9.g5 Bh5 ! (diagram)

The author correctly indicates 9...Nd5 as inferior and suggests 9...Bh5 as the best defense, but now Gerhart misses the best white move.

10.Qh3 ??
We all know that 10.Qf2 or Qf4 is needed here. I will come back on that difficult choice in my next post. The text move is logical, it attacks a piece whose defender is attacked. But unfortunately black is to move first.

10...Qxd4 (diagram)

Gunderam still suggests 11.Nd3 Bg4 12.Qh4 but it is obvious that black is winning.
My computer finds 11.Nxf7 Kxf7 12.gxf6 Bg4 13.Qg3 but black is ahead.

So we can only applaude the work performed by Gunderam. His analysis proved to be invaluable for the development of the Blackmar Diemer. Obvuiously he misses some moves, but the ideas in his work on defending against the Blackmar Diemer ( eg 9...Bh5 ) have contributed a lot to modern theory.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

New Opening Lanes

Yesterday evening all old books in my local chess club were auctioned. I was able to get some bargains, as one of the books was written by Gerhart Gunderam, a name that is familiar to many Blackmar Diemer gambiteers. I bought the book for 1 euro and indeed - the book is loaded with lots of games and analysis on the Blackmar Diemer. The is dated 1961 and is signed, unfortunately not by the author. It is like holding history in my hands as I was still like that one.

I will start looking into it and report any interesting stuff back to you asap.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Picking up old loves again

Sometimes it is good to pick up old loves again. Okay, maybe not in real life, but in chess for sure. I got bored of the drawish French defense and have decided to pick up good old Latvian again. Despite the horrible beatings I had to endure... And the first serious game got me nearly into a win against a much stronger opponent.

Simic - De Bouver, Antwerpen,
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Bc4 fxe4 4.Nxe5 Qg5

A horribly complicated position for white - white can emerge with an advantage, but it is not easy...

5.d4 Qxg2 6.Qxh5+ g6 7.Bf7+

White seems to know the theory... bad luck for me...

7...Kd8 8.Qg5+
No good, much better is 8.Bxg6, when white sacrifices his h1 room in a search to strangle the black king.

8...Qxg5 9.Bxg5+ Be7 10.Bd5

The remainder of the game was quite simple for me after 10...Bxg5 11.Nf7+ Ke7 12.Nxg5 Nf6 13.Nc3 and a draw was quickly agreed.

So my old love did not turn me down after dating someone else !!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Back on the Viking study after a short break

Last post, I looked at a Viking-French-Blackmar-Diemer attack when black decided to capture the offered pawn on e4 : 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 e6 4.Be3 dxe4 5.fxe4 Nxe4 6.Nd2 Nxd2 7.Qxd2.

From the resulting massacre, we can conclude that blacks 6th move is certainly not optimal : it does exchange a piece, but brings the white queen into the game and allows for white castling queenside quickly. So 6...Nxd2 is certainly no good. A quick look at my silicon assistant tells me that 6...Nf6 is far better.

let's look at the lines after 6...Nf6 7.Ngf3 and compare this to the normal Euwe defense`( black to move )

It is obvious the Viking attack differs in two ways from the regular Euwe defense
- the bishop is on e3 instead of g5. On e3, it discourages the typical French c5 break, but obvioulsy, it does little to attack the black defense - if white wants to attack lateron, an additional move will be needed to redloy it to g5.
- the knight is on d2 instead of c3. This should not make much difference, since it goed most of the time to e4 anyway. Also, black can defend d4 with a pawn on c3, which allows for the white queen to go to c2.

So based on these two observations, it seems the Viking attack is an inferior version of the Euwe defense - silicon analysis seems to confirm this.

But is sure is a decent surprise weapon against a french defender that refuses to head into the Blackmar Diemer.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Viking-French-Blackmar-Diemer-... attack

I already played my opponent from yesterday evening a year or so ago. At that time, he accepted the f3 pawn and was swept away by a berserk attack. Have you ever seen the series "Vikings" ? Well, I looked like Ragnar Lothbrok and England was there to conquer.

Yesterday evening, my opponent choose the more cautious path - he initially declined the offered pawn but could not resist lateron.

Guido De Bouver - Robert De Hert
Antwerpen 2015.

1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 e6
Black steers into a French-like defense

4.Be3 (diagram)
Vikings on the horizon !

4...dxe4 5.fxe4 Nxe4 6.Nd2 (diagram)
Vikings have set ashore and immediately set camp.

6...Nxd2 7.Qxd2
King Aelle of Northumberland believes he won the first battle, but Ragnar sees it differently.

7...Bd6 8.Nf3 Nc6 9.Bd3 e5 ?
It is strange what the sight of a berserk viking does to man. King Aelle should have tried to reduce the viking forces by 9...Nb4, and if this fails, set up an outpost with Nd5.

10.000 exd4 11.Nxd4 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 0-0 (diagram)

Now Ragnar makes a premature attack, but king Aelle doesnt really benefit from this mistake.
13.Qc3 c5 14.Bf2 Qg5 15.Kb1 Be5 16.Qxc5 Qf6 (diagram)

17.Rf1 ! Bxb2 18.Bxh7+ Kxh7 19.Qxf8 Bf5 20.Qb4 (diagram)

The remainder of the game is of no interest to us - we dont want to witness the massacre that Ragnar imposes on the poor English defenders. But the suggested Viking attack certainly has some potency in it - especially as the defender is likely to make mistakes when faces with this unusual attack.

Editors note : This story is historically correct - vikings got into contact with chess when they travelled the seven seas, Ragnar did invade England, king Aelle suffered a terrible blow, and yes, the vikings would have played the Blackmar-Diemer if it had already been invented...