Blackmar-Diemer Gambit: Lamb Defense


The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.e4, usually followed by 2. ..dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf3 4.f3) is one of my favourite openings. White gambits a central pawn in move 2, in return for quick piece development and active play. The “BDG” has a lot of variations possible but my opponent chose to decline the gambit with the rather uncommon 4. ..Nc3, also known as the Lamb Defense. There isn’t a lot of theory available about this one and the only information I could find online was somebody referring to it as “probably the worst defense against the Blackmar-Diemer”. Having read similar and worse comments about some of my own preferred lines, I feel like a variation is only bad if the opponent is able to exploit the weakness and gain an advantage. Challenge accepted!

Conclusion: The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit is a very nice opening for a tactical player. There are enough lines for Black and White in the running to allow for a wide variety of games, you won’t see your opponent’s counterplay reduced to some standard-line. And if you see your adversary seek refuge in the Lamb Defense, I wouldn’t be too unhappy. To the Black player I would recommend trying another reply. Simply taking the pawn (4. ..exf3) or defending it properly (like in the Vienna Variation with 4. ..Bf5) might prove more challenging for White.