Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Cult of Blackmar-Diemer

Early in my chesshood I decided to give the Blackmar-Diemer gambit (BDG) a try. I had very little playing experience but I had solved quite a few tactics problems. I thought it was a wise thing to join the Cult of Blackmar-Diemer. My results were terrible or worse. It did not occur to me that playing a gambit is a lot more that using a bag of tricks.

After trying a whole range of openings (and buying books on most openings!), I am again tempted to give the weird world of gambits a try inspired by a handful of highly inspirational Facebook updates by talented chess book author Frisco Del Rosario.

A real gambit must have a Middle Earthesque double name! If you plan to play the BDG you must arm up with a few properly named gambits. Black will try 1. d4 Nf6 and then it might be worthwhile to introduce the wonderful Gibbins-Weidenhagen gambit (1. d4 Nf6 2. g4?!). So I did in my comeback game as a d4-player and it was a disaster (a topic for a later blog post). In my second game black was trying the dirty trick of trying a transposition into something French. Counter Measures! Enter the Diemer-Duhm gambit (1. d4 d5 2. e4 e6 3. c4?!). The Diemer-Duhm is presented in heartwarming fashion at Jyrki Heikkinen’s web site. I am especially impressed by his one page summary of the “duties” of all the pieces (for both sides!) in the opening ( This is a great way to prepare for studying the nuances of the opening. I think all opening books aimed at improving players should include such a condensed introduction.

1 comment:

  1. I have found that the nice thing about the BDG is that most people will accept it. Unlike the Morra or Kings gambit for instance, there really isn't a great way to decline it without being a specialist yourself (the Lembergher defense). And there isn't a great way to avoid it without handing White the center on a silver platter. You may see the French or Caro-Kann, but everyone has to deal with those anyway at some point.