Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Romantic Chess Return of Tom Purser's Blog

Happy Valentine's Day 2012! Today we celebrate romantic love. Sweethearts Enjoy!

Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch is quoted as having said: "I have always a slight feeling of pity for the man who has no knowledge of chess, just as I would pity the man who has remained ignorant of love. Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy."

There is a style players love called Romantic Chess. It has nothing to do with hearts, chocolates, movies, restaurants or kissing. Wikipedia has an excellent description of Romantic Chess:

"Romantic chess was the style of chess prevalent in the 19th century. It was characterized by brash sacrifices and open, tactical games. Winning was secondary to winning with style, so much, in fact, that it was considered unsportsmanly to decline a gambit (the sacrifice of a pawn or piece to obtain an attack). It is no coincidence that the most popular openings played by the Romantics were the King's Gambit accepted and the Evans Gambit accepted. Some of the major players of the Romantic era were Adolf Anderssen, Paul Morphy and Henry Blackburne. The Romantic style was effectively ended on the highest level by Wilhelm Steinitz, who, with his more positional approach, crushed all of his contemporaries and ushered in the modern age of chess."

The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit is another opening in the same Romantic Chess style. In the United States, no one has done more in the last 30 years to promote this opening than "Mr. BDG", Tom Purser. Since October 2011, Tom has been away from his blog. One week ago today Purser returned. Glory Hallelujah!

I celebrate with a Purser win in a BDG Gunderam Variation which appeared in my Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Keybook II (below are some of the notes from that book).

Purser-Alekhineim, USA Today Ladder 1991 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bf5 Gunderam Variation 6.Ne5 e6 7.g4 Bg6 8.Qf3 [The alternative is 8.Bg2 c6 9.h4 Bb4 10.0-0] 8...c6 9.g5 Nd5 The most popular move. 10.Bd3 How about a bishop swap? Actually, White just wants Black to leave f7 uncovered. 10...Nd7 Black challenges the knight on e5. 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.0-0 Once again White threatens checkmate. 12...Qe7 13.Nxd5 cxd5 14.c4 White is ripping open the position to make use of Black's weaknesses. 14...0-0-0 15.cxd5 exd5 16.Bf4 Nb8 17.Rfe1 Qb4 18.Qg4+ Rd7 19.Re8# This was a well played game by Tom Purser, "Mr. BDG." 1-0



You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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