IM Denny gives "TopNotch" analysis of Blackmar-Diemer!

Kevin Denny, "Death to the Blackmar-Diemar Gambit," 26 March 2003 (Barbados).

It was with great interest that I followed this Blackmar Diemer Gambit (BDG) debate, if only for the reason that this marginally playable line seems to have acquired and continues to acquire a dedicated and unshakeable following.

To convince an adherent of the BDG that it is unsound, is like trying to convince a child that there is no Santa Claus. Furthermore the chess literature that does exist on this opening is generally highly biased towards white, while other sources tend to be too vague or superficial in their analysis to be of much help to advocates of the black side. For instance many sources end their analyses after move 9 or 10 with an assessment of slightly better for black or clearly better for black, however while this maybe objectively true, this assessment does nothing to help black cope with the considerable initiative that white may generate against half hearted defence.

IM Kevin Denny

IM Kevin Denny

No wonder then that the BDG despite its poor theoretical reputation continues to wreak havoc at club level, and occasionally at master level as well. This trend is likely to continue unless you are lucky enough to be a member of this forum and reading this right now!

There are three ways to meet a gambit 1) Acceptance 2) Decline 3) Counter Gambit and the method chosen is largely a matter of taste, however, I have noticed that gambiteers and BDG specialists in particular hate to defend and for this reason I think the third method listed is the most unpleasant for them to face. Having said that, it is my contention that black can take the offered pawn with impunity, nevertheless the line I am recommending here is a combination of both the second and third methods, with the added bonus that it offers strong counterplay without gambiting a pawn (Sounds cool doesn't it). The line in question is called the
O'Kelly defence, and in my opinion it is one of the best counters to the BDG, it also has the added benefit of being able to be used by Caro Kann players. Ok, that's enough hype don't you think, now its time to get to work .

The following two games along with the accompanying analysis will equip you to face your next encounter against the dreaded BDG with confidence and conviction, and for white players attempting to refute my analysis (Good luck you'll need it! ) you have my condolences.

Short-Bareev, Sarajevo, 2000

Alburt-Tal, Baku, 1972

I hope those that have digested my contribution have enjoyed it, you better, as I am not in the habit of giving away this kind of Top Secret (and TopNotch), highly classified knowledge for free (Kidding). You are now equipped with an effective and deadly weapon against the BDG, all that is left now is for you to rip your next unsuspecting opponent limb from limb.

Your feedback to this post would be most welcome, so till then, may the force be with you.


TopNotch (IM)

Editor's note: This analysis was originally published at forum under Denny's handle "TopNotch." He has the same handle at the Internet Chess Club (ICC).

Posted by The Chess Drum: 27 March 2003