Mission: Checkmate! the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit

  • FM FM_Eric_Schiller
  • | Jul 28, 2012

For the last few months I've been working on a new book on the Blackmar Diemer Gambit. This gambit is sort of a Rodney Dangerfield of chess openings, it just doesn't get any respect. Statistically, it performs quite well especially if you consult the mega database compiled by Rev. Tim Sawyer with more than 20,000 games. The opening promises an exciting game with great attacking possibilities for white, even in the most reliable of defenses. In the past I have held a slightly negative view of the opening because I thought it could be handled rather easily by the Lemberger variation but Rev. Sawyer's work has convinced me that even there white has good attacking possibilities and this view was confirmed recently in a new book by Scheerer.


I have not tried to cover all of the theory in great detail in my new book. Instead, I have written it in the spirit of the early books on the gambit which stress White's ability to play for checkmate from the very first move. So what I have tried to do is show the possibilities of building a checkmate attack in each of the variations. For detailed repertoire analysis and computer. I refer you to any of the other excellent publications on the opening.


As a preview of the book here on chess.com. I am using unedited PGN files, so please forgive any typos and the odd formatting of game references.. The book will be published in August by Ishi Press in paper and Kindle editions, so if you have any comments I can still make changes.


After White captures with the knight (5.Nxf3), Black has a lot of possible defenses. In other words, he has plenty of ways to go already! It is not easy to defend against the Blackmar Diemer gambit, since White will maintain the initiative for a long time. Still, with careful play Black is likely to survive, and if he plays flawlessly he might even wind up with an extra pawn for his efforts.

Of the many defenses discussed in this part of the book, only the first four need be seriously studied but it is important to play through complete games to get an idea of how to attack the various defensive formations. Efficiency is the key to the Blackmar Diemer gambit Accepted. If you stumble as White, Black, will laugh all the way to the bank. If, however Black makes the first mistake he may not live to see his deposit clear.

The best defenses are the Bogoljubow defense (5…g6), the Euwe defense (5…e6), the Tartakower defense (5…Bf5), and the Teichmann defense (5…Bg4). These are the ones that you need to study in some detail. Against all the others. You just need to keep developing your attacking forces though if you learn the lines presented in those chapters you will have an easier task at the chessboard


  • 4 years ago

    FM FM_Eric_Schiller

    @PeterArt Your opening is a Ryder Gambit, not BDG. It is also fun and I wrote a book about it in 2011.

  • 4 years ago


    Nice game PeterArt!

  • 4 years ago


    I really enjoyed your Hypermodern book and like the fact that you write opening books geared to chess mortals :P  I look forward to picking up your books on the BDG as I have started playing it on the advice of others to improve my tactics and attacking skill.  

    Would you consider investing time in a chess mentor course on the BDG?

  • 4 years ago


    I play this game so often.
    This is the main opening i study, and your right most often brings succes
    It's my white favourite opening.

    I play a variation of it which is slightly different but leads to a lot of traps
    (yes it has a small weakness, but most often players miss it i notice)

    The game shows the variation i play, and leads to fire on the board :)
    I described a risk in the comments too, but as you can see its fun.
    The game is not a perfect game dough still its nice i think.

    If you like i'd love to play against you with this opening :)

  • 4 years ago


    I play always 5. ... c6 as black and depending where the white squared white bishop goes, I develop the c8 bishop. It usually then drops back to g6 ( sometimes via h5) and white has a hard time trying to attack.

  • 4 years ago


    I am in touch with IM Gerard Welling from the Netherlands. I did mention
    this post by you (Eric Schiller) to Welling and that you had one of his games with the BDG posted. I examined that Welling game and it was a really nice game.

    Best Regards
    aka Clyde Nakamura

  • 4 years ago


    The Blackmar Diemer Gambit has the moves 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3.
    For me it a base chess opening. A base chess opening is an opening
    that if you learn this opening it enables you to learn other chess openings. You should play it and master it because you can learn how to attack the kingside. Once you master the Blackmar Diemer Gambit Opening you can play other openings such as:

    Soller Gambit 1.d4 e5 2.dxe5 f6 A reverse form of the BDG
    Diemer Duhm Gambit 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.c4 and white sacs the e pawn
    Diemer Duhm Gambit 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.c4 and white sacs the e pawn
    Alapin Diemer Gambit 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3
    Mieses Gambit 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3

    There are other openings based on the BDG.
    This opening will teach you how to attack. But you will have to learn
    how to sac your minor pieces to play for checkmate. This will take
    you to the next level. Tactics is what separates the various rating
    Best Regards
    aka Clyde Nakamura
  • 4 years ago

    FM FM_Eric_Schiller

  • 4 years ago


    Can you write on the Ryder Variation (5.Qxf3)?

    There's a popular Halosar trap with it.

  • 4 years ago


    Just wanted to say I still have your Cambridge Springs Defense book on my shelf and have been a huge fan for 20+ years. Still not sure about Blackmar-Diemer, but I guess I will have to buy the book to find out!

  • 4 years ago


    The opening on the 1st game was very enteresting. Great article overall!

  • 4 years ago

    FM FM_Eric_Schiller

    @kebay: This book is about the BDG with 5.Nxf3. I don't include the Ryder 5.Qxf3 only because I jest published a whole book on it in April! It is not sound but if Black is not prepared he usually gets clobbered. In Sawyer's megadatabase it scores almost 69% and White's performance is much higher than rating.

  • 4 years ago


    Should be noted that this is also a waepon against the Skandiavian Defence. One member of my local chess club loves this opening and in blitz games I hate to play against the setup with Nf6 and later Nb6, my center pawns are always hanging then…

    So I tried this gambit (without any theoretical knowlege) and got a lot of fun games – and rather odd lines. I don‘t remember any of them in detail, but my opponent ever refuses to accept the gambit. If he took on e4, then he never took on f3 afterwards.

    So: Does your book start at White‘s decision whether to take the f3 pawn with the knight or the queen, or do you question the moves before? Apart from not accepting the gambit: Why does White play Nc3 first? What‘s about Nc3 f5 and after f3 "simply" Nf6? The last variation looks funny and Black will have problems to castle, but it is playable?

    Anyway, I‘d love to have a new attacking book! :)

  • 4 years ago


    It might be "easy" to acheive equality as black through CC chess. But OTB chess espeically in a shorter time control like hour or under, I could see this being a real weapon.

  • 4 years ago


    Blackmar-Diemar isn't as unsound as, say, the Danish Gambit, but it is easily refuted and to be very honest in the games I have seen, Black can achieve easy equality. Its a fun opening to know for speed games or fun games with friends, though.

  • 4 years ago


    what does "%08DA" mean?

  • 4 years ago

    NM GreenLaser

    Hi Eric,

    There is quite a lot of material for one article. I wonder about the Diemer-NN games. Were they really played or were the lines not played, but listed in databases as games?

    In Stadelmann-Theilig, instead of 13...Bxd4, I think that 13...Nxd4 hitting f3 and covering e6 wins. Instead of 17...Re8, I prefer 17...Qf4=. You say Black went wrong with 20...Qf8. I agree and propose 20...Qd6=.

    In Welling-Wrobel, the referenced game Motta-Suits begins with 12...Ke7. My database has 12...Kd7, but it does not matter because the king goes to e8 next from either square. Your suggested 18.Ne4 with advantage, I would answer with 18...Be7, which I think is equal.

    Thanks for your work. Perhaps we'll meet again.

    Lonnie Kwartler

  • 4 years ago


    Excellent !!  Gonna  try it !  Looks like fun

  • 4 years ago


    This is a nice presentation of typical BDG checkmates! Tim Sawyer


  • 4 years ago

    FM FM_Eric_Schiller

    @brilliantone: Scheere's excerllent book contains many interesting ideas, but I don't see 8...Nbd7 as much different from the 9...Nbd7 line I give in the notes. Black is OK, but White has plenty of compensation. 8...Nbd7 has a 50% score in practice.

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