After the previous success with the Blackmar-Diemer gambit I have been throwing it around more in the 10-min blitz pool with a decent win rate. I’ve noticed that Nf6 is the most popular response attempting to keep the pawn even though 3…c6 leads to a transposition of the Caro Kann which is a calmer but lesser known opening especially in the 1200 elo range. This game showcases the power of connected Rooks on the 7th rank leading to mate in 4 as the Queen jumps in.
I am incredibly excited to be able to present and analyze this game seeing as how the Blackmar-Diemer gambit is one of my favorite openings, it is also one of only a few gambits playable after 1.d4 for White. I believe it captures the spirit of chess akin to the Romantic Era (15th-18th century) where quick and tactical battles were more popular instead of long term and positional play. As with most gambits if opponents aren’t very well prepared even the most dubious gambits can be dangerous. Later on in the game following a successful opening I get a little flashy and sacrifice a Rook for a pawn forcing a Queen trade and a weaker Black King.
This was a quick game blitz game that ended in 17 moves from a completely equal position which makes it a little unique, most times a blunder takes a few moves to really exploit. My opponent opted for the Scotch game (Thanks to my Uncle’s tendency to play this I have a few things prepared) and I answered with the Intermezzo Variation which is not quite as accurate as the main line but threatens Mate in 1 if White doesn’t answer properly. There are a lot of decent ways to reply however some do create holes in the defense of White’s structure which I was able to take advantage of this time around. I’ll go into more detail in the game analysis below about possible replies and their short comings.
I want to start off by saying dark square Bishop Bob you served well and boldly gave your self to bring the White King out of hiding, your sacrifice was not in vain. The game in question is a 22 turn miniature blitz following the Giuoco Piano Game: Main Line, Giuoco Pianissimo Variation which is mainline until the 6th move. As you can see in the position below the board is almost identical on both side except for the Knight Black has on c6 where as white has pushed his pawn to c3 instead. From this point on some questionable moves are played by White, not necessarily bad but somewhat slow and in the end deciding to forgo castling and play overly aggressively lost them the game.
This is the first game taken from Nimzowitsch’s book My System, it’s only 18 moves long deeming it a miniature but displays a few of the key points which he discusses early on. I never willingly go into the French as Black however as White it is good to have some tools in case Black decides that’s how it will be. Here it is a delayed exchange French where Alapin as Black recaptures with the Queen and looks to break the position with a c5xc4 pawn break. The line is generally very drawish with both Queens coming off, however this game Nimzowitsch doesn’t offer to trade Queens and keeps it more interesting. The position below is the critical moment where White forgoes his Knight and castles Queenside allowing Black to capture the Knight while baiting a trap that leads to Mate.
The idea of mobility and space is directly related to the opening phase of the game and also tied to development. In a typical game both sides fight to control the center and gain space in which to deploy and maneuver pieces in. The French Defense for Black is one such opening where White is allowed a spacial advantage by the line 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 which leads to the Advanced variation of the French Defense seen below.
As you can see here White’s e6 pawn controls the d7 and f7 squares which the Knight or Bishop could use in the future and additionally the Bishop on c8 is blocked in by the pawn chain on e6. In a position like this if Black isn’t aware of the plan needed his position could become overwhelmed and cramped by the loss a couple of squares and Bishop mobility. There are benefits to a closed structure that you find in an opening like this, the game becomes more positional and the tempo slows down which works well against a tactical and attacking opponent.
Above a continuation from the previous image with what could be normal development for Black has actually lead to quite a good position for white. The Knight being placed on c6 is incorrect as it blocks the pawn from advancing to c5 and breaking the pawn structure which is a typical idea in the French Defense. Pawn to …f6 was played after which attacks the forward point of Whites pawns however f4 can recapture and White is left with a strong center and open diagonals along the c1-h6 and f1-b5 for the Bishops.
In this position you can see that Black is no longer as cramped as in the other opening, the Knight has a purpose in the center, the Bishop defends the c5 pawn, and the Queen eyes the b2 pawn if White moves the c1 Bishop. The computer rates this as equal currently, White has the space advantage on the King side and Black on the Queen side and both play on their respective sides. The French has a chance to be either a slow and quite game or an exciting one since both sides have chances to attack.
Linked is a French Defense Advanced Variation game where White Mates in 20 moves showing the more aggressive side while playing against the French. White plays a sacrificial line drawing the Black Queen into fire while simultaneously developing an attack.
This game was against a 1730 rated player using Philidor Defense, something I haven’t had a lot of experience with but I don’t mind playing instead of the Spanish with 2…Nc6. The Bishop feels natural on c4 targeting the f7 pawn and assisting in the middle protecting d5. My rating is conservatively about 1200 right now and to be able to have such an interesting game come out in my favor was a great feeling. It includes a couple positional and tactical sacrifices that are always awesome when on your side.