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Well, I haven't really read what anyone else has said, but I'd imagine most of them are talking trash about the BDG. True, it's not going to get you anywhere at GM play, but I've beaten 1900's and 1700's with it when I was 1200. It's absolutely playable for an attacking player, and I personally HATE playing against it. I would recommend you go french or caro-kann against it, if you're having trouble.
Smith morra--I have trouble with this as well. I usually just tranpose into and Alapin.
Never played Blackburne or Evans, although I'v heard of the Evans before (DIdn't Morphy go on a scalping spree with it?), so I'm pretty sure it's good.
MOST gambits are "sound" in the sense that it isn't a loss with perfect play from both sides (as far as can be proven), but the reason GMs don't play it is that black can usually give back the pawn for an equal or better postion at a later point in the game. Usually black gets in trouble because he doesn't want to give back the pawn, but it's a fact of gambits that his superior development is usually gonna win him back the pawn, so just make sure he gets it on your terms.
Queen's gambit and king's gambit are often played ....... KG leads to very creative chess. Counter gambits also work well.....
Smith Morra and Evans are not uncommon
From most to least sound:
1) Evans Gambit - played at all levels. White has good compensation.
2) Smith-Morra Gambit - White gets some compensation, so it's playable. But it's difficult to justify. Not great, but overpowered at club level because of tricksies.
3) Blackmar-Diemer Gambit - Similar to Smith Morra. White struggles to justify the pawn in some lines but isn't outright -/+ in any line. Again, overpowered at club level because of tricksies.
4) Blackburne Shilling Gambit - Very bad for Black. Not a true gambit in the sense that if White tries to take the pawn on e5, he will lose. But if white simply castles or takes the knight he will have a significant developmental advantage.
Here's Spassky playing a delayed Blackmar-Diemer Gambit in the Candidates.
So Spassky played a good version of the BDG in a 1956 game and could only draw with it. Short, as white, drew with it. The Blackmar Deimar probably isn't losing, but it throws away white's advantage entirely.
Having said that, I like Fear-Itself's quote, "The BDG is the quickest way to 2000, in both directions."
I do hate to face it against a well-prepared BDG specialist in blitz games. In slower time controls, I like my chances, even against the specialists.
Avrukh in his new book effectively dismantles the BDG completely by using the usual recipe (The Ziegler/ O'Kelly system).
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