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IM Gerard Welling about Diemer's strange moves...

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At the Hastings Chess Congress in 1937 Emil Josef Diemer created a stir in a game with an English gentleman. Diemer had a bad position, but after a move by his opponent he replied quickly, then jumped up, and to the chagrin of his opponent exclaimed: "Precisely the blunder that I have been expecting!" Well, in a tournament as venerable as Hastings this was seen as an act of bad manners, but I am sure it was not so intended.

In a conversation in the mid-1980s Diemer told me about the ability to predict future events. He was very much absorbed in deriving mystical meanings from words and the relationships of letters in them. To him words did hide the essence of past and future...

Diemer also talked and wrote about a sixth sense he had in anticipating his opponents' moves. He could not explain why, but he was sure that a perceptive person could sense good moves, and perhaps even his opponents' moves, beforehand.

It is a well known fact that Dutchmen do not believe in fairy tales, so I was very skeptical about this occultism.

But quite recently I found this game, published in a Russian magazine in 1974. The strange Black moves are a complete success, as White seems to play completely into Diemer's hands.

Did Diemer play 1. ..f6 and 2. ..c6 and other uncommon moves because he knew what his opponent intended to do?

I don't think so. Diemer's play has always been sharp and provocative, and in my own practice I have seen that it is not uncommon to overreact to such an approach by an adversary. The number of plausible moves is not that extensive.

I can imagine that a person of Diemer's romantic nature might took for a more mysterious explanation. But still I think it is worthwhile to play through this game (Hammargren - Diemer, noted by author), and to admire the originality of Black's conception...

Gerard Welling

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