Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Blackmar-Diemer Huebsch Gambit

The Huebsch Gambit falls under the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit (BDG) chess openings. The Huebsch Gambit arises after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 Nxe4. The gambit is named after E. Huebsch who won as White vs Tartakower in 1922. As in the BDG proper (3...dxe4 4.f3), this 3...Nxe4 aims to rapidly develop the pieces and open lines for the attack at the cost of a pawn. The Huebsch Gambit trades off Black's kingside knight.
The normal continuation 4.Nxe4 dxe4 seeks to exploit the central pawn structure imbalance. White's idea behind this pawn sacrifice is to gain a lead in development and open lines for attacking the Black king. The gambit leads to unbalanced positions that can offer white good chances for an initiative, especially in club play or among players unfamiliar with the intricacies of the gambit. The critical evaluation of the Huebsch Gambit, like many gambits, depends on the player's style and preparation.

After the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 Nxe4 4.Nxe4 dxe4, White has several options for the fifth move, each leading to different types of positions and strategies:
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 Nxe4 4.Nxe4 dxe4:
The main line for this post is 5.Be3, but first let's consider two other options:

5.f3: With this move, white aims to undermine the e4 pawn and reclaim it, restoring material equality while opening lines for the bishop and queen. This move signals white's intention to play for a strong center and develop the pieces rapidly. Although it weakens the kingside somewhat, the idea is to leverage the lead in development and central presence to launch an attack or exert pressure across the board.
5...Bf5 (Or 5...e5! 6.Be3 exd4 7.Qxd4 Qxd4 8.Bxd4 Nc6 and Black is better.) 6.Bc4 e6 7.Qe2 Qxd4 8.Be3 Qxb2 9.Rd1 Bb4+ 10.Kf1 0–0 and 0–1 in 31. Le Goff - Girsh, 2022

5.Bc4: Targeting the vulnerable f7 square, this move is more aggressive and aims to put immediate pressure on black's position. Bc4 also prepares white to castle kingside quickly and supports the idea of recovering the pawn on e4 with a better-developed position. This move can lead to sharp play, as white seeks to exploit the lead in development and the weaknesses in black's camp, especially around the king.
and now:
5...Bf5 6.g4 Bg6 7.Ne2 e6 8.h4 h6 9.Nf4 Bh7 10.g5 e5 11.g6 exf4 12.Bxf7+ Ke7 13.Qe2 Qxd4 14.Bxf4 Bg8 15.Rd1 Qa4
16.b3 (White missed a mate in 7: 16.Bg5+! hxg5 17.Qd2 Qa5 18.Qxa5 b5 19.Qxc7+ Kf6 20.hxg5+ Kxg5 21.Rd5+ Kg4 22.Qg3#) 16...Qc6 17.Bxg8 Rxg8 18.Rd4 Qc3+ 19.Rd2 Kf6 20.Qxe4 Bb4 21.Bg5+ hxg5 22.hxg5+ Kxg5 23.f4+ Kf6 24.0–0 Bc5+ 25.Rdf2 Qg3+ 0–1 Pert - Lee, 2021

5…e6 6.Ne2 Nc6 7.c3 e5 8.0–0 Bd6 9.Ng3 exd4
10.cxd4 (10.Nxe4=) 10...Bxg3 (10...0–0 would favor Black.) 11.fxg3 0–0 12.Be3 Qe7 13.Qh5 g6 14.Qh6 Be6 15.d5 Qb4? (15...Na5=) 16.Bb3 Bd7 17.dxc6 Bxc6 18.Rad1 Rad8 19.Rxd8 Rxd8 20.Bxf7+ Kh8 21.Bxg6 Qe7 22.Rf7 Rd1+ 23.Kf2 Rd2+ 24.Bxd2 Qc5+ 25.Qe3 Qc4 26.Rxh7+ Kg8 27.Qb3 Bd5 1–0 Christensen - Muminova, 2021

5.Be3: This move develops a piece, supports the d4 pawn, and speeds up the possibility of queenside castling. White prepares to open up the center via f3. This move keeps the central tension and prepares for a kingside or central assault, depending on Black's responses.
and now:
5...e5 6.dxe5
6...Qxd1+ (Or 6...Qe7!?=) 7.Rxd1 Nc6 8.f4 exf3 9.Nxf3 Bg4 (Black could save a tempo with 9...Be7 10.Bb5 Bd7) 10.Bb5 Bd7 11.0–0 Be7 12.Bg5 a6 13.Bc4 Bg4 14.Bxe7 Kxe7 15.Bd5 Bxf3 16.Rxf3= and 1–0 in 85 (possibly on time). Arslanov - Doluhanova, 2023

5...Nd7 6.f3 exf3 7.Nxf3 Nf6 8.Ne5 c6 9.Bc4 e6 10.0–0 Be7 11.Bd3 0–0 [This position resembles the BDG 5.Nxf3 e6 line.] 12.Qf3 Qe8 13.Qh3 g6 14.Rf3 Nd7 15.Qh6 Nxe5
White has a forced mate. 16.Rh3 Ng4 17.Qxh7# 1–0 Graif - Rios Escobar, 2022

5...c6 6.Qd2 b6 7.0–0–0 Bg4 8.f3 Be6 9.fxe4 Nd7 10.Kb1 a6 11.Nf3 Nf6 12.Ng5 Bg4 13.Re1
and 1–0 in 32. Sawyer - Silas the Strong, 2024

5...e6 6.Qd2 Be7
7.0–0–0 (Better is 7.f3 c5 8.fxe4 cxd4 9.Qxd4 Qxd4 10.Bxd4=) 7...0–0 8.f3 c5 9.dxc5 Qxd2+ 10.Rxd2 exf3 11.Nxf3 Nd7 12.b4 a5 13.c3 Nf6 and 0–1 in 39. Palczert - Krzyzanowski, 2024

5...g6 6.f3 exf3 7.Nxf3 Bg7 8.Qd2 Bg4 9.0–0–0 Bxf3 10.gxf3 Nc6
11.Bb5 (Sharper is 11.d5! Ne5 12.f4 Ng4 13.Bb5+ Kf8 14.Bc5=) 11...a6 12.Bxc6+ bxc6 13.Bh6 Bxh6 14.Qxh6 Qd5 15.Kb1 0–0–0 16.Qe3 e5 17.Qxe5 Qxe5 18.dxe5 Rxd1+ 19.Rxd1 Re8= and Black outplayed White in the endgame. 0–1 in 46. Graif - Zierk, 2022

5...Bf5 and now:
6.Qd2 e6 7.0–0–0 Be7 8.f3 Nc6 9.g4 Bg6 10.Bb5
10...a6 (Or 10...exf3 11.Nxf3 Qd5 favors Black.) 11.Bxc6+ bxc6 12.h4 h5 13.g5 Qd5 and 0–1 in 25. Palczert - Taspinar, 2024

6.g4 Bg6 and now:
7.Ne2 Nd7
8.Nf4 (8.h4! h6 9.Nf4 Bh7 10.Qe2=) 8...e5 9.Nxg6 hxg6 10.Bg2 f5 11.Qe2 exd4 12.Bxd4 Qg5 13.Be3 Qf6 14.0–0–0 0–0–0 favors Black, and 0–1 in 34. Graif - Ovchinnikov, 2022

7.Bg2!? [Maybe 7...h5!?] 8.Ne2 Nd7 9.h4 h5 10.Nf4 e5 [10...Bh7 11.Nxh5=] 11.Nxg6 fxg6 12.Bxe4 Qf6 13.g5 Qe6 14.Qd3 0–0–0 15.d5 cxd5 16.Bxd5 Qd6 17.0–0–0 Be7 18.Bxb7+ Kxb7 19.Qxd6 Bxd6 20.Rxd6
[and White has a big advantage.] 20...Nb6 21.Rxg6 Rd7 22.Bxb6 axb6 23.Re6 Rf8 24.Rd1 Rc7 25.Rd2 Rf4 26.Rxe5 Rxh4 27.Rde2 Rh1+ 28.Re1 Rh2 29.Re7 Rxf2 30.Rxc7+ Kxc7 31.Re7+ Kd6 32.Rxg7 Rf1+ 33.Kd2 Rf2+ 34.Kc3 Rf3+ 35.Kb4 Rf2 36.Kb3 Rg2 37.a4 Rg4 38.Rg6+ Kc5 39.Rg8 Rg3+ 40.c3 Rg4 41.g6 h4 42.g7 h3 43.Rc8+ 1–0 Palczert - Fernandez Garcia, 2024

For an expanded look at the 50 games (105 diagrams) I did last year, see my new book Chess Chronicles: Blackmar-Diemer Gambit and Other Chess Games

Below are my Blackmar-Diemer Gambit ebook collections.

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