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Alle Rechte vorbehalten. Rev. 1.0 - 12.07.2004
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IM Gary Lane...

... with a 2nd look on Huebsch Gambit and Ziegler Defence, too

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The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit continues to inspire lots of interest: "My name is Jan van Gils from Belgium. I haven’t played chess for more than twenty years, but I am preparing to return to the chess-battlefield. As I used to play the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, my intention is to collect all the information that is available. In your last column you talked about a problem in the Huebsch Gambit: 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nc3 d5 3 e4 Nxe4 4 Nxe4 dxe4 5 Bc4 Nc6 6 c3 e5 7 d5 Ne7 8 f3 Nf5. I found an interesting game from the Fernschachmeisterschaft, USA 1965 between Nastopka and Marchetti. The only difference is that White didn’t continue with 8.f3, but played 8 Qa4+! I give you the rest of the game."

I dutifully keyed in all the moves supplied and although I soon recognised it as a classic it deserves a wider audience:

Nastopka – Marchetti Correspondence 1965

1 d4 Nf6 Instead 1...d5 2 e4 dxe4 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 f3 is the standard way to enter the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. 2 Nc3 d5 3 e4 Nxe4 4 Nxe4 dxe4 5 Bc4 Nc6 6 c3 e5 7 d5 Ne7 8 Qa4+

[Diagramm 1] In last month's column I did indeed discuss 8 f3 when 8...Nf5 was suggested, which is apparently an idea by French grandmaster Eric Prie. Tommy J. Curry from the USA asked the original question and I gave the line 9 Bb5+ Bd7 10 Bxd7+ Qxd7 11 fxe4 Nd6 12 Qe2 with equal chances. However, Mr. Curry has since written to say that Black is better after 12...Qa4 and mentioned various software packages as witnesses. However, I still think 13 Nf3! attacking the e5-pawn is fine for White and would be delighted to hear about any further analysis in this line. 8...c6 Or 8...Bd7 is met by 9 Qb3 with some compensation for the pawn but 9...Nf5 looks like a decent chance for Black to free his pieces. 9 dxc6 Nxc6 10 Bb5 Qd5 11 Bg5 Bf5 12 Rd1 Qe6

[Diagramm 2] 13 Qxa7! A wonderful move, which is a dream come true for any gambit player who wants to win in style. 13...Qc8 14 Rd8+ Qxd8 15 Qxb7 This is an accurate continuation to continue the pressure by aiming to snare the black king. Not 15 Bxd8?? because 15...Rxa7 means it is time to count the pieces. 15...Qxg5 16 Bxc6+ Kd8 17 Qxa8+ Kc7 18 Qb7+ Kd6 19 Ne2 There are times when a good player resists the urge to keep checking and find time to get the rest of the pieces into the game. 19...e3 20 f4 Qe7 21 Qb6 Ke6 22 fxe5 Qc5 23 Qc7 1–0

Finally, it is difficult enough to play a game – but surely it is even worse when you have to confront a team of players! Tim Goodspeed from the USA was on the winning side and writes: "I have recently completed a correspondence game that I think you will find of interest. It involves your favourite Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. We have a small group of friends that get together to play an informal tournament. One of the regulars, Larry Ball, challenged all comers to a correspondence game via email. A small group of us took up the challenge. At the critical sixth move for Black, which really dictates the direction of the game, I lobbied our group for the Ziegler Defence. This line is not often played and I only found three games in my database: one win, one loss, and one draw. In the game that Black lost he did not play the best tenth move. This is a critical variation and I would like to know your opinion regarding the Black move 10...Qd6 in this line. Although the game we played did not follow this line, I think you will enjoy it."

I took the liberty of annotating the game myself and any notes by Tim are indicated:

Larry Ball – 2nd Wednesday Chess (Bill Gagnon, (1685) / Chuck Schulien, (2358) / Tony Midson, (1430) / Tim Goodspeed, (1655) E-mail 2004

1 d4 d5 2 e4 dxe4 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 f3 exf3 5 Nxf3 c6 6 Bc4 Bf5 7 Ne5

[Diagramm 3] This is standard for Blackmar-Diemer players, which is great for quick games on the internet, but when Black has time to think then the defence can be accurately played.
7...e6 8 0–0 White has also experimented with 8 g4 when J. Fletcher - P. Kemp, Jersey 2004, continued: 8...Bg6 9 g5 Nfd7 10 Nxg6 hxg6 11 0–0 Qc7 (perhaps 11...Nb6 is worth considering) 12 Bf4 Bd6 13 Qg4 Bxf4 14 Rxf4 Nb6 15 Bxe6! fxe6 16 Qxe6+ Kd8 17 Raf1 N8d7 18 Qxg6 Nd5 19 Nxd5?! (19 Qxg7! is much better for White. For instance: 19...Re8 20 Re4 Nxc3 21 Rxe8+ Kxe8 22 Re1+ Kd8 23 Qg8+ wins) 19...cxd5 20 Qxg7 Re8 21 Rf7 Qd6 22 R1f3 Qe6 23 h4
1/2-1/2. 8...Bxc2 9 Qxc2 The team playing Black were expecting 9 Nxf7 when they wanted the position arising from 9...Kxf7 10 Qg4 Qd6 and White is struggling to justify his sacrifice. 9...Qxd4+ 10 Kh1 Qxe5 11 Bf4

[Diagramm 4] Tim comments: "Larry plays in typical BDG style getting his pieces out quickly and with threats. White's pieces begin to swarm all over the board, and Black is having difficulty developing and bringing the king to safety. This is a critical position in the game."
11...Qa5 12 Bxe6 fxe6 13 Qb3 Nbd7 14 Qxe6+ Be7 If 14...Kd8 then 15 Rad1 gives White decent attacking chances. 15 Rae1 0–0–0 16 Qxe7 Rde8 17 Qxg7 Qb4 18 Be5 Reg8 19 Qf7 Nxe5 20 Rxe5 Or 20 Qxf6 Qxb2 21 Re2 Qxc3 22 Rxe5 transposes to the main game. 20...Qxb2 21 Re2 Qxc3 22 Rxf6 Rf8 23 Qe6+ After 23 Qxf8+ Rxf8 24 Rxf8+ Kc7 25 h3 I prefer Black who can try to advance his pawns on the queenside. 23...Kc7 24 Rf7+ Kb6 0-1 White did the honourable thing and resigned. However, I think White can carry on with h3 ensuring decent chances of a draw because the black king is poorly placed.

Mr. Goodspeed concludes: "Overall, after playing the Ziegler Defence, I can see why it is not played often by Black. The defence is by no means a refutation of the BDG for Black. White gets strong play for the sacrificed pawns in the opening. Had this not been a correspondence game, and a team effort at that, I am not sure how well Black would fair. The defence must be played very precisely; White's pieces develop with ease and the attack almost plays itself."

There are certainly encouraging words for gambit players or is it just a ruse by Tim to constantly be a pawn up?

Gary Lane

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