Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Hoskavich on Blackmar-Diemer Gambit

Jeff Hoskavich entertains us with humorous notes on a memorable Blackmar-Diemer Gambit he played in a tournament 30 years ago. His experience was typical of what many of us went through when we first faced this opening.

"Tim, I stumbled across your website about a month ago. I used to play on Tuesday nights in Williamsport and especially enjoy the games you annotate from those nights at Lycoming College. It brings back many fond memories.
"I see that you have an interest in the Blackmar Diemer Gambit. I’ve played just over 200 USCF rated games and have had the BDG played against me just once – in my very first tournament. It was in round 4 of a 4 round tornado in DuBois, Pa. My opponent was Jan Philipp, who sported a 1700-1800 rating. When we sat down at the board I introduced myself and asked “Are you Jan?”, to which he responded in a very Arnold Schwarzenegger sounding voice, “My name is Yan”. I said, “Good luck” and he replied “There is no luck in chess”.  He then proceeded to “terminate” me with the BDG.  When he announced mate (after just a few minutes of play), I remember remaining seated at the board until the chuckles from around the tournament room died down (no point in advertising the face of the person who just got slaughtered). Anyway, not long afterward, I quit playing 1…d5 as black, which is why I have not met the BDG since."

Thanks Jeff! I assume that White was played by Jan Philipp listed in the USCF as being from PA with a rating of 1889 when he stopped playing many years ago. The critical line in the Ryder Gambit variation they played is 6...Qg4 (saving a tempo over the game continuation) 7.Qf2 e5. Instead Jeff was in for a surprise!

Philipp - Hoskavich, Dubois, PA 22.11.1986 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 [What? He's giving me a pawn?] 2...dxe4 [I'll take it.] 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 [He's 1700+ rated? This is going to be easy!] 4...exf3 5.Qxf3 Qxd4 [I'm up two pawns and his king is exposed...it doesn't get any better (or so I thought).] 6.Be3 Qd7 7.Rd1 Qg4 8.Nb5 [And now, the wheels fall off...] 8...e6?? [There were a lot of bad moves that could have been made, but I chose the absolute worst one. Of course, 8...Na6 holds the position.] 9.Nxc7+ [Even now, I didn't see it coming...] 9...Ke7 10.Bc5# [Ouch.] 1-0 [Notes by Hoskavich]

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