Taking Out The Trash - Part 4 - The Blackmar-Diemar Gambit

In your chess career you'll likely find certain players, usually trapped in the 1400-1600 range with no hope of improvement, who absolutely insist on giving up material.  The Blackmar-Deimer gambit appeals to these players, as there isn't really a great way to decline the gambit without transposing into a French (and your opponent likely has some gambit prepared there too...).  The great thing about facing the B.D gambit is that it's just a bad opening!  

Let's check, I suggest you pay special attention to the variation 8. g4, as many white players will try it, but black has a beautiful refutation.


  • 23 months ago


    I don't know if it's a bad opening. The lines of this post are just too straight, i guess. I suggest analysing Emil J. Diemer games for better understanding of this gambit. There are many ideas of attack on BDG...

  • 3 years ago



  • 3 years ago

    NM ih8sens


    As I've mentioned in a few places on various editions of TOTT, these blogs are not comprehensive refutations of every variation of any opening.  I'm covering what (in my experience) most tournament level players are likely to face.  The Budapest, for example, is a huge opening... and black has all kinds of unsound tries... but I personally have only faced the mainline (a couple times) and I've won convincingly using the line I've provided.  

    Basically, I'm a practical player more than a theoretician.  If you have a particular opening variation that you'd like to see a "TOTT" blog on, feel free to message me and I'll try my best to get back to you!


    Ps- For those interested - (Wilshusen-Keber, 2010, 0-1) shows a great way to play against the even worse 4. Qxf3.

  • 3 years ago


    You claim to be taking out the trash, yet there's not even a single mention of 4. Qxf3. Yes, the Blackmar-Diemer (not Diemar) is dubious, and 4. Qxf3 is probably more dubious than 4. Nxf3. But you are essentially claiming you have refuted the opening (I can't tell if is your intention to make other believe that, but that's the image you are giving) yet skipped the second main way to play the gambit. I'm guessing people relying on your lines to counter Blackmar-Diemer players will be unpleasantly surprised if their opponents decide to play 4. Qxf3.

    Do you plan on updating this post or making a new one dedicated to 4. Qxf3?

  • 3 years ago


    Here are a few ideas and analysis on 3..Nxe4!?   Honestly, I'm not convinced it's better than 3..dxe4, and I'm not really looking to be persuaded one way or the other.   I am convinced that White's try of 5.Bc4 is harmless.

    What is needed is some treatment of 3..Nxe4 4.Nxe4 dxe4 5.f3!?  The missing Knights don't appear to dull White's ability to make a few threats.


  • 3 years ago


    My favorite Blackmar-Diemer game is   Schuman vs Gurevich Illinois, 1993.


  • 3 years ago


    I prefer the Ryder, taking with the queen. Then to increase attacking chances, I castle queenside and throw pawns at my opponent's king. But I rarely face it since 1. e4 d5 2. d4 is the only way I play it.

  • 3 years ago


    Nice article. To my mind, however, the simpliest thing to avoid the BDG is just to play 4. ... e3, giving the pawn back. There arises a typical Caro stucture with an odd pawn on f3, so Black can enjoy a safe & solid position. Additionally, the fact that White can't have the f file opened diminishes any risks of a kingside attack, although castling long (typical for classical Caro lines) is also good for Black.

  • 3 years ago

    NM ih8sens

    Great comment, and a very valid reason to do pretty much anything - fun!

    Thanks for the comment,


  • 3 years ago


    I am one of the hack players the author describes in his first sentence.

    For whatever reasons, I detest playing straight up e4-e5 games and have not done so in decades. That probably has something to do with it being considered, "Best by test.", a sentiment fostered strongly by Bobby Fischer (but whom I still worship in many other ways for what he did for American chess).

    If and when my focus in chess becomes more fixated upon my rating than my enjoyment of  casual play then I might give up my "bad opening". Until such time though, I will enjoy playing the BDG because of the sharp lines and it is a lot of fun. I can't count the number of miniatures I have won with this opening, that makes it very appealing to me. I have probably lost more games playing it but the wins were so satisfying that the losses seem to fade rather quickly. 

    There is something to be said for an opening that allows you to quickly steer the game into usually uncharted waters for your opponent and then quickly mate him or mangle him so bad he resigns in frustration. There are numerous traps in this line at white's disposal. I believe Mr. Diemer (co-developer of the gambit) titled his written work on it, "Towards Mate from the First Move" - you gotta love that! Many of the players 1600 and under (at least on here) do not know what is happening when they are confronted with it and then get brutally crushed in blitz games - bwahahahaha

    I play 10 minute games or less on here because of the cheating that is rampant with live games of any longer length. Also, black has less time to come up with "original" refutations on his own. Does playing mostly Blitz games lead to sloppy chess for lazy players like me?...probably so..do I really care?...probably not. This is not to infer that someone who consistently plays this opening with white is either lazy or incompetent as I am speaking of myself in this regard.

    I usually play the Ryder Gambit version of the BDG where white takes f3 with the queen instead of the knight. Spectacular wins and spectacular losses abound with this opening.

    I debated abandoning the BDG altogether after it was trashed it on here by another prominent chess coach/author some time back, but I am too old and senile (really just lazy) to learn yet another opening for white. 

    I have also won and lost in OTB tournament games a few years back playing the BDG. If your opponent has enough time and is paying attention it often becomes difficult for white to compensate for the loss of material but it is still fun to play - you just have to work harder in tournaments.

    Anyway, despite "having my ox gored" yet once again, thank you NM Nicholson for the stimulating article on the BDG.

    It would a nice and cozy world if other commentors that disagree with your view could conduct themselves here as gentlemen. I personally feel that they if their opinions are that vehement, perhaps they should author their own article on the subject. Otherwise, it somewhat poisons the well of public opinion.

    Of which, this is my drop in the bucket.

    All the best...

    Mr. Personality

  • 3 years ago


    Oh don't remind me :D

    Had a horrific loss against, you guessed it, a guy in the 1400-1600 category you were talking about (1600 in this case though, not 1400!). I played the system with 5...e6, he played Bg5, Qe1, etc. I had a knight on d7, bishop on d6 (which is probably questionable), and allowed him to set up a queen on h4, bring the knight to e5, and do bad stuff on h7. I was fully aware of what he was threatening, but for some reason I felt like with a safe king and a pretty knight on f6 I thought that a sufficient defense simply had to be there. But there wasn't. Sometimes I guess there are so many attacking pieces a defense just doesn't exist.

    I think it's a decent system though, pretty straightforward, although obviously I had to look into it a lot more after the game. I had to play ...h6 earlier to either make his bishop go to h4 or e3, avoiding most of the problems I had in that game. Then black goes ...c5, and it plays like a rubinstein french except with an extra pawn. White probably is still doing ok with his active pieces, but a pawn is a pawn.

    I really can't blame my opponent for trying it -- get me into a situation where I have to anticipate a concrete sequence, or lose before I can show off most of my skills. Honestly, I thought I could wing it against these sorts of openings, but I guess it does pay to at least give some of these gambits a brief look. I'm starting to appreciate opening preparation a little more.

  • 3 years ago

    NM ih8sens

    @ Sollevy, Sorry for having to delete your comment, but I don't want that particular users blog advertised on mine.  He's a fool.

    In case you want proof I'm a legit NM...

    http://chess.ca/titleholders#National Master

  • 3 years ago


    re-writing my comment because the host deleted it.

    @ Mainline_Novelty, why would i make such a non-sensical generalization? pls show me where you see those comments.

  • 3 years ago


    @sollevy...I find it kinda funny how I always see you going around saying titled players don't know what they're talking about...

  • 3 years ago


    perhaps you can show us  first the chess fundamentals before dealing with intermediate or advance level topics. that way, we would know that you really know wtf you are talking about. i hope that the NM before your name stands for national master, or pls let them know that it only stands for your being a non-master.

  • 3 years ago

    NM ih8sens

    @Doriander... Great idea! Maybe I'll try taking on the Kings Gambit one of these days! :P

    I've put this disclaimer in the comments section of most if my blogs now: These blogs are NOT comprehensive attempts at refuting various gambits! My goal is to provide the reader enough information to obtain an acceptable position against these gambit systems. Usually my analysis proves a slight advantage for the side accepting the gambit. I DO, however, stand by my claim that the gambits I've analyzed here (with the exception of the Smith Morra) are "bad" in the sense that accurate play leads to an advantage for the side accepting the gambit.

    Neither the time control, nor player ratings changes the objective evaluation of a specific opening.

  • 3 years ago


    saying that bdg is a bad opening is like saying the kings gambit is bad opening

    it is certainly good for bullet blitz or active chess

    and if you know it well even in a normal tournament game

    i am a candidate master with 2144 rating


  • 3 years ago


    you have to prove it by playing a game not against yourself, or all you have is just trash talk. challenge the Last Rights, Pirates Crew or the Gambit Lines in Vote Chess. you against our group in a thematic BDG game. trash BDG or be trashed! pardon the heavy word. this is just a friendly challenge.

  • 3 years ago


    This gambit is considered an aggressive opening, but its soundness continues to be the subject of much debate both on and off the chessboard.
    But the B.D.G is far from a "just a bad opening" but surely is a "very sharp and hard to find the good moves opening". The lines you provide here are really good but do not cover the wide range of white's possibilities (6... Ne5, for instance).
    I would say that playing B.D.G. in a long time control game is very hard, but in blitz/bullet this gambit can be very handy. But in either case it requires a great deal of calculation and resourcefulness and it is easy to black to go wrong.
  • 3 years ago


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