Friday, 19 April 2013

Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Ziegler Defence

A while ago I wrote a blog article over at about the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, Ziegler Defence, and the related O'Kelly Defence.

Stefan Bücker and Lev Gutman have already established that White is doing OK in the line 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.Bg5 e6 8.Nh4!, for example see
Stefan Bücker's article 

But what does White do against 7...Nbd7, intending to develop with ...Be7 and ...0-0?  Now 8.Nh4 doesn't work as well because of 8...Bg4, so White continues 8.Qe2 e6 9.0-0-0 Be7 (9...Bb4?! is met by 10.d5).  

Now Guido De Bouver's blog (well worth a look, btw, for fans of the Blackmar-Diemer) gives 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.d5 in his article, "Not yet equality, but close", but concedes that Black might be slightly better after 11...Qe7.

At move 10 I prefer 10.Rhf1, putting the rook straight onto the f-file, a line which I recall discussing with "ArKheiN" at the forum (via the move-order 7.Bg5 e6 8.Qe2 Be7, but unfortunately Black has the strong 8...Bb4! in that move-order).  

I'm not 100% sure that White's compensation is objectively sufficient, but I would certainly fancy my chances with White in that final position.  The g and h-pawns come rolling forward in the direction of Black's king.


  1. I suppose you have read the comment on Avrukh, who suggests 15...Qd7 in the Bücker/Gutman line 7.Bg5 e6 8.Nh4. I have never liked this for White as it's hard for White to make progress.
    So back to 7.Bg5 e6 8.Qe2 and according to you Bb4 9.O-O Nbd7 is promising for Black. Imo Bb4 is slightly misplaced and while this is not much it at least is something. So I had another look and found in my notes 10.Ne5 Nxe5 (10...O-O 11.Nxd7 Qxd7 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.Rad1 idea 14.Ne4 and at least White has something tangible even if too many light pieces are exchanged) 11.dxe5 Qd4+ 12.Kh1 Ng4 (Bg4 13.Qe1 Nh5 14.Nb5 looks like sufficient compensation) 13.Rf4 Qxe5 14.Rxg4 Qxe2 15.Bxe2 unclear.

  2. Apologies for taking ages to reply- I was going to look into this a while ago but didn't get around to it. A couple of points:
    A) In the 15...Qd7 line I agree that 16.Rhf1 Nxc3+ 17.Qxc3 Ne4 18.Qe3 f5 as given in the Chesspub thread is better for Black. I prefer 16.Ne2 with the idea Nf4, e.g. 16...0-0-0 17.Qf3 Qc7 18.Nf4 Qb6 19.Nxd5 exd5 20.c4, and White has some chances to hack on the queenside, although I'm not sure if it is enough.

    B) In your second line, I originally thought 12...Ne4 was a stronger move than 12...Ng4 (after which 13.Rf4 indeed looks sufficient), but it seems that White can get enough play with the sacrificial 13.Rad1! Nxc3 14.bxc3 Qxc3 15.Bd2 Qa3 16.Rxf5! exf5 17.Bxf7+.
    However I'm not sure of a good answer to 12...Qg4 trying to get the queens off. White can regain the pawn with 13.Bxf6 Qxe2 14.Nxe2 gxf6 15.c3 Bc5 16.exf6, but then after 16...0-0-0 Black stands better.

    Another possibility that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere is 10.Nh4, whereupon one interesting line is 10...Bg4 11.Qe3 h6 12.Bxf6 Nxf6 13.h3 Bh5 14.g4, but it appears insufficient after 14...Bxg4!.