Copyright ©

Alle Rechte vorbehalten. Rev. 1.0 - 15.08.2003
[mailto:] caissist ad        disclaimer

[deutschsprachig] deutschsprachig

My adventures with the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit...

... Dave Regis from Exeter Chess Club

back to main

If you haven't met this spendid opening before, do check out Tom Purser's BDG World magazine for games, variations, stories and a chance to meet the characters of the BDG community.
The opening is named for Blackmar, who described the gambit 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.f3..., and for Diemer, who improved the line by avoiding the defence 3...e5, suggesting and practicing instead 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3... [4...e5 e.g. 5.d5...].
I have a book and a database on the BDG, and in each White scores about 80%! This must be too good to be true, I thought (and it is), but certainly worth a look. So, I entered Tom Purser's BDG e-mail theme tournament to find out more about this opening, which survives despite the scepticism. Here are my games in a preliminary section (BDG-P01, 1997) [where, for the record I used Andres Valverde's cracking little ECTOOL programme to keep track of the games.].

  1. Dave Regis 0 - 1 Unes Hassim : BDG Vienna Defence
  2. Dave Regis 1 - 0 Volker Drüke : BDG Bogolyubov Defence
  3. Dave Regis 1 - 0 Kevin Kent : BDG Vienna Defence
  4. Volker Drüke 0 - 1 Dave Regis : BDG Euwe Defence
  5. Unes Hassim 1/2 - 1/2 Dave Regis : BDG Langeheinecke Defence
  6. Kevin Kent 0 - 1 Dave Regis : BDG Bogolyubov Defence
  7. Summary:

One key line I didn't get to try was the Teichmann Defence, 5...Bg4. During the tournament I played the BDG in blitz against an IM, and guess what he came straight back with? Anyhow, here's how the games went. I won't get into the opening theory too much, apart from noting known or speculative alternatives, and will concentrate on what I thought were the critical moments of the games. When he knew I was planning this session, Pete Lane e-mailed me the following quote:

"It should also be noted that there are openings where I feel the chances for theoretical rebirth are extremely poor. An obvious example is the Blackmar-Diemar Gambit: 1.d4 d5 2.e4... Sacrificing a prime central pawn for a tempo in the face of a healthy, solid Black position cannot be sound." -- MEDNIS

There is of course, LOMBARDY'S Defence to Mednis' System:

"At amateur level, all openings are sound."

I remain like Mednis a sceptic about the theoretical status of the line, but no player from a country where also lives Mike Basman can possibly dismiss the practical chances afforded by unorthodox lines.
Anyhow, I enjoyed the games, and I learned not just about the BDG but some general lessons as well. Check out the games from the links above.

Summary of lessons:

  1. Play with a plan: plausible or visually appealing moves are not good enough, OTB or CC
  2. Playing by analogy is OK but notice the differences.
  3. You can accept a gambit Pawn and win
  4. "Don't believe all you read" and
  5. "Look before you leap!"
  6. Play good moves, not good-looking ones.
  7. Don't drift, waiting for your opponent to build up: hit back when you can!
  8. Don't panic! You must search for an answer to your opponent's threats. Juniors are sometimes very worried by opponent's king's-side attacks, and go into a hedgehog posture, and it's the posture that kills them. I sometimes say, oh, don't worry about that, they're only threatening mate.
  9. Fight back! You must not drift when you are worse, you must fight a way to create problems, and think seriously about our opponent's counters.
  10. "Don't believe what you read!" (again)
  11. Passive play is difficult; Mednis calls it "awaiting the undertaker"
  12. Maybe it's really true, the only way to refute a gambit is to accept it!
  13. Long aside...
  14. Don't hope, don't fear: analyse and find out!

Dave Regis

Copyright © 1998? Dave Regis, All Rights Reserved.