Blackmar Diemer Gambit | How to Play

blackmar diemer gambit

There are many aggressive chess openings for white. We have the Smith-Morra Gambit, Evan’s Gambit, and the Danish Gambit. But, all of these start with 1. e4.

If you want to play a gambit with 1. d4, here’s your answer–Blackmar-Diemer Gambit.

Although a rare opening in games by grandmasters, it’s quite common amongst Candidate (CM), FIDE (FM), and International Masters (IM). It leads to several variations and provides ample opportunities to play an aggressive game.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into it.

Blackmar Diemer Gambit | All You Need to Know

Before I tell you about the Blackmar Diemer Gambit, let me tell you what gambit is in chess.

What is a Gambit

In chess, a gambit is a type of opening in which a player sacrifices a pawn or piece to achieve a positional advantage.


The Blackmar Diemer is one of the few gambits in Queen’s pawn opening (1. d4). The initial moves are 1. d4 d5 2. e4 dxe4 3. Nc3

Blackmar Diemer


Nobody knows when this opening originated. The initial moves remained the same since this opening was created. So, the very first moves were:

  1. d4 d5 2. e4 dxe4

Armand Blackmar Played 3. f3

It was Armand Blackmar who played 3.f3 officially for the first time in the 1800s.

Armand Blackmar
Image Credits:

Besides being a chess player, Mr. Blackmar was also the chess club treasurer in New Orleans when the legendary Paul Morphy was president of the same “chess club.”

Emil J. Diemer Played 3. Nc3 Nf3

Emil J. Diemer
Image Credits: Wikipedia Commons

While 3. f3 was doing just fine, the German master Emil Josef Diemer took charge of improving it. He was the first player to modify 3. f3 into 3. Nc3, so that we can open the square for sacrificing the e-pawn, leading to 3.Nc3 Nf6 4. f3 exf3 5.Qxf3.

The main idea is to bring out the queen on f3.

Play an Aggressive Middlegame to Excel the Endgame

Read 8 Chess Middlegame Strategies to learn how to do that.

Why should you play Blackmer-Diemer?

1. To Gain Tempo in the Game

While playing Blackmar-Diemer, after black plays 2…dxe4 white wants to go for 3. f3.

after black plays 2…dxe4 white wants to go for 3. f3.

After that, we get 3…exf3 4. Nxf3

3…exf3 4. Nxf3

The whole point is to gain a tempo by sacrificing the pawn at f2. To summarize pointwise, white should play this gambit for the following reasons.

2. To open paths for the bishops

Bishops have their paths open, and they can go long if they want to.

open path for bishops

3. For rapid development

The primary goal of the opening is to bring out your knights and bishops. Playing the Blackmar-Diemer gambit can be the best opening to achieve this.

Learn the Best Endgame Strategies to Beat your Enemy in no time

Checkout “11 Chess Endgame Strategies” to find out.

4. To control the center

You can have good control over the center as white. The important squares such as the c3, d4 are yours. You basically control the center with the knights and bishops by paying the cost of the gambit pawn.

5. To keep black distracted from developing pieces

While black is busy playing its d-pawn and capturing your pawns, your pawns and pieces are developed. They’re not only in good squares but also ready to launch an attack on black.

Variations if White plays Knight (5. Nxf3)

The main line of the gambit is is 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3

As you can guess, the variations are mostly depending on what black plays on the fifth move.

1. Teichmann Defense

If black plays 5…Bg4, it’s Teichmann Defense.

The moves that lead to Blackmar-Diemer Teichmann variation are 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4

Here are two famous games on this variation.

Emil Joseph Diemer vs Ritter | Harbatshofen, 1951

This is one of the most important games using Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. As Diemer himself played this variation, it established this line forever.

The moves are 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bh5 7.g4 Bg6 8.Ne5 Nbd7 9.Bf4 Nxe5 10.dxe5 Qxd1+ 11.Rxd1 Nd7 12.Nb5 O-O-O 13.e6 fxe6 14.Nxa7+ Kb8 15.Nb5 e5 16.Bxe5 1-0

Georg Studier vs N. Grant, 1962

In this game, Georg Studier played the Teichmann variation as white and defeated N. Grant.

The moves are:


2. Euwe Blackmar-Diemer Variation

If black plays 5…e6, it’s the Euwe Blackmar-Diemer Variation.

The moves that lead to this variation are 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 e6

Here’s another game by E. J. Diemer where he demonstrated how to win using Euwe variation.

Emil Joseph Diemer vs W Buis | Haarlem, 1952

The moves are:

1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 e6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Bd3 Nbd7 8.Qe2 b6 9.Ne5 Nxe5 10.dxe5 Nd5 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.O-O-O Nxc3 13.bxc3 Qa3+ 14.Kb1 Qxc3 15.Qe4 Rb8 16.Bb5+ Ke7 17.Rhf1 g5 18.Rd3 Qc5 19.Qf 3 1-0

3. Bogoljubov Blackmar-Diemer Variation

If black plays 5…g6, it’s the Bogoljubov variation.

The moves that lead to Bogoljubov variation are 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 g6

4. Ziegler Blackmar-Diemer Variation

To play the Ziegler variation, one must play 5…c6.

The series of moves are 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 c6

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Variations if White plays the Queen (5. Qxf3)

If white decides to play the queen instead of the knight, the game gets aggressive, leading to the Ryder Gambit.

The mainline of Ryder Gambit is 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Qxf3

1. Ryder Gambit

The moves that lead Ryder Gambit are 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Qxf3

Next, the most common moves for black are

  • Qxe4
  • A6
  • Nc6

The most interesting thing about Ryder’s Gambit is the Halosar Trap. If white can somehow manage to pull this off, black is destined to ruin.

How to Trick Black into Halosar Trap

If you’re a fan of aggressive openings, you must try this trap. Here’s a step-by-step guide to catch black in this trap.

Where were we? Yeah, Ryder’s Gambit. So, this trap is possible only when black makes the mistake of playing 5…Qxe4.

The series of moves for the Halosar trap are:

1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Qxf3 Qxe4 6. Be3 Qb4 7. O-O-O Bg4 8. Nb5 Bxf3 9. Nxc7#

1. Threaten the Black Queen with 6. Be3

After the black queen captures the d-pawn, it will have an advantageous position. Play the dark-squared bishop to counter-attack the queen.

Here, instead of going back, the enemy queen will go to b4-square. Besides being a safe square, it also threatens the b2-pawn.

At this point, black presumes an upper-hand in the game. Take this opportunity and strike.

2. Go for Queenside Castling

After black plays the queen, castle on the queenside. Black will play its bishop on g4, threatening the white queen and the rook on d1.

Here white gains the empty d-file for the rook on d1.  Remember, this is an advantage that will give you a smooth checkmate.

3. Play the Knight on b5

Now, sacrifice the queen on f3 and play the knight on b5. If black takes the white queen, you play 9. Nxc7#

That’s a checkmate. This is how white can trick black into this trap.

Ways to Decline Blackmar-Diemer Gambit

  • French Defence by playing 2…e6
  • Caro–Kann Defence by playing 2…c6
  • Vienna Gambit by going with 4..bf5
  • Weinsbach Declination by opting for 5…Bb4

More Chess Strategies

King’s Indian defense Queen’s Gambit
London System Sicilian Defense
Dutch Defense

Do you know How to Decline the Queen’s Gambit?

Learn 7 Queen’s Gambit Declined Strategies in this blog.



What is the point of the Blackmar Diemer Gambit?

White sacrifices the king’s pawn (e-pawn) to play Blackmar-Diemer gambit to develop pieces and gain control over the center within the first four to five moves. White can also go for an aggressive game by playing the queen on the fifth move (5. Qxf3) and tricking black into Halosar trap.

How do you do Blackmar Diemer Gambit?

The moves to play the Blackmar Diemer gambit are 1. d4 d5 2. e4 dxe4 3. Nc3

Who invented the Blackmar Diemer Gambit?

The exact inventor of this opening is unknown. Armand Blackmar played 1. d4 d5 2. e4 dxe4 3. f3 for the first time in the 1800s. Later, Emil J. Diemer modified 3. f3 into 3. Nc3.

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Although it’s not a common opening amongst top-level chess players, the Blackmar-Dier is quite popular in club tournaments and among amateurs.

The BDG is an excellent opening for white to achieve an early checkmate without reaching the endgame. It’s aggressive, and it leads black into the Halosar trap.

If you’re an intermediate player, you should definitely use this to crush your opponents. But, if you’re a beginner, first train yourself before using it in the upcoming tournaments.

Adios, amigos! All the best for future tournaments!

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