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Hans Johner vs Emil Joseph Diemer
"Pawnslaught" (game of the day Jan-25-2008)
Thun (1956)
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-18-04  arthur nugent: Does anyone know where I can
get a German book on Diemer?
It was written by Studier and
is biographical.Would like to know what Diemer plays as black.Thanks. arthur
Jan-05-05  aw1988: <Sneaky: No, the Blackmar-Diemer is 1.d4 d5 2.e4.> I thought it was 1. d4 d5 2. e4 dxe4 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. f3?
Mar-28-05  aw1988: It's true, Diemer was scary... it was indeed like he has ESP. One time, we played, and got into quite an unbalanced double-rook endgame. (I had two(!) pawns more, but one of the rooks was locked out of play entirely, never to be released, while the two pawns I had were passers, guided by the remaining rook from behind. His two rooks were suprisingly passively active, meaning that they were confined to about 3 ranks, but those 3 ranks were crucial to prevent maneuvers by my rook to queen... he was pushing his a and b-pawns guided by the two rooks while trying to prevent me from queening first. Oh, he had a pawn on h4 blocking my pawn on h3, and I was looking for tempi to grab it and then push the other pawns while defending against his monster pawns... nuts)

Anyways, there were no "obvious moves", and I believe out of the 56 moves(!!!) that the endgame lasted, he predicted about 85 percent of what I played, as he told me later, and even pointed them out.

I won! After asking him "If you could predict what I was going to play so accurately, how did you not win or at least draw that?" to which he responded "I may see what you are going to play, but I had a difficult time looking for refutations and such."

In my opinion, he could have won by 2 tempi, in my analysis of the game afterwards, which took about 5 months solid, bear in mind no computers.

However, in this analysis black has to give up 5(!!) tempi to win by 2.

Not an easy job.

The main point being, I guess he had excellent intuition.

Mar-10-06  LluviaSean: Where are all of white's bloody pawns???
Apr-16-06  IMDONE4: They've all been taken by Diemer :)
Apr-16-06  IMDONE4: I'm not sure white's position is completely resignable though... His pawns are still way back and it will be hard for him to protect them all while white's Queen snipes off a few of them.
Apr-16-06  IMDONE4: Crafty, is it possible we could get some analysis on this?
Apr-16-06  IMDONE4: O nvm, I didn't see the final position where black gets white's knight... Beautiful dragon played by Diemer, but I believe that white has at least drawing chances had he not given up the knight for nothing.
Jan-25-08  chessdude2: So much for White's ill-prepared attack. Impressive how Black keeps his cool even when most people would fear White's Qd2 and Qh7+.
Jan-25-08  Zorgach: Nice game! but 6 pawns advantage is huge!
Jan-25-08  whiteshark: In their bizarreness of thoughts on non chess topics Diemer and Fischer have had quite a comparative level.
Jan-25-08  asiduodiego: Wild game!!. The exchange sacrifice in 21. ... Rxc3! is beautiful, as it absolutely demolishes White's pawn structure. And, of course 26. ... Qc5!!, which sacrifices the Bishop for a combination in which all of White's pawns fall. Only if White hadn't played 42. Kf1??, Qf3+!, which forks the Knight, and White now is hopeless... I guess that 42. Kg1, is safer for the moment (no more dangerous checks), and the game would have continued into an wild ending.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: What could have been a neat endgame-though hopeless for white-to have six pawns marching down on his lone rook. Instead,white falls into a pitfall and loses his knight,turning a hopeless game into a call for immediate surrender.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: White should have played on. I'm not sure Diemer knew what to do when he actually had six pawns left.
Jan-25-08  erlepettus: Not that it has much to do with the chess here (in which many commendations are owed to Mr. Diemer), but the title "Pawnslaught was used for a game of the day in April, two years ago. Another example of Black illustrating Philidor's principle "Pawns are the soul of the game."

See here: F J Lee vs H Shoosmith, 1904

Jan-25-08  PaddyAlekhine: How about "Where have all the pawns gone?" as a different title?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <erlepettus> It seems to me that this game has nothing to do with Philidor's principle. He was talking about pawn structure and positional considerations; this game is pure tactics all the way. The pawns, though important as a future consideration, play little part in the action.
Jan-25-08  milner: Reminds me about: Judit Polgar vs Etienne Bacrot 0-1, Bastia 1999. It was game of a 23th March 2006. Black managed to win that ending despite loss of a rook, because they kept their pawns rolling.

What about the pun: "Pawns for a Diemer"?

Jan-25-08  Lastwarrior: 6 pawns always beats a rook in the endgame
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Diemer took advantage early with 8...Nxe3 and later won the game with the demolition exchange sacrifice 21...Rxc3! With a pair of doubled pawns and a fifth isolated rook pawn, against Black's six strong pawns, White is busted after this exchange sacrifice, since being the "exchange up" is no help to White here.

The six pawns against the Rook at the end is amusing, but in reality was a natural consequence of White's earlier weak play. Improvement needed to start earlier in the opening. One early improvement is to play 8. Nxc6 dxc6 (8...bxc6 9. Bd4 Bxd4 10. Qxd4 ) 9. Qxd8+ Kxd8 10. Bd2 =.

Jan-25-08  ruyfanatic: Kind of blows your mind.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: If you think Fischer had psychological issues, then read Diemer's mini-biography at

What I find ironic is that a minor Master with major psychological problems and otherwise unable to hold a job became the "chess reporter for the great German Reich," while Lasker, a long-reigning world Chess champion who was Jewish and a respected Matematics Professor, had to flee Nazi Germany to avoid persecution and find employment.

For knowledgeable chess enthusiasts, this fact alone demonstrates the absurdity of the logic of the Nazis, based on the false premise that all Aryans (i.e. European Nordic peoples) were superior to all Jews (by birth or religious conversion), or worse yet that the Jews and other non-favored groups had to be exterminated based on this false premise.

Feb-29-08  D.Observer: See S Erenburg vs D Fridman, 2005
Oct-19-08  Xeroxx: I am always surprised to see a game from E.J. Diemer that looks almost "normal"!?
Jan-13-09  WhiteRook48: ouch! what's ironic is black has a lot of pawns and white has none!
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