Is there an accepted refutation of the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, 1. d4 d5 2. e4 or what is the strongest line for Black to prove that the gambit is unsound?

  • At the moment, Ziegler's defense is threatening to refute it. Alchemy Variation seems to "hold" the opening, but White really struggles. Seek out the current theory on Alchemy Variation -> if that line fails then BDG is refuted. To know how just seek out Ziegler's defense. Sep 21, 2015 at 22:09

3 Answers 3


The simplest refutation is 2...e6, the french defense, one of the most stable openings for black. It is also fine to accept the gambit 2... dxe4, but you have to know some specific traps....

  • 1
    If (and only if) the French defense is a part of black's opening repertoire, then 2....e6 is indeed the easiest reply. But what if black doesn't want to play the French?
    – Maxwell86
    Sep 20, 2015 at 16:55
  • 4
    So 1...e6 is the refutation of 1.e4?
    – bof
    Sep 21, 2015 at 9:51
  • In fact you are right. 1...e6 or 2..e6 is not a real refutation but a simple way to avoid Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. For many players it is simpler to know a simple and positional way to avoid this gambit tactics (which is typically much better known by the gambit player than by someone who is playing it for the first time....). And finallly in fact I know of no real strait forward refutation of this gambit. Sep 21, 2015 at 15:24
  • 1
    When I played the BDG, the French was the only reply I didn't want to be played.
    – Mike Jones
    May 29, 2020 at 10:18
  • So you're OK with 1 . . . c6 ? Mar 4, 2021 at 19:28

Not an expert, but I'd say the onus is on the gambiteer (White) to prove anything. W is delaying development and must waste time to capture the pawn later. Black has natural moves like Nf6 and Bf5 which both develop and delay W's capture of the pawn (and can possibly even hold on to it). W is just giving away some of the opening advantage. I don't think Black can expect more than this. W can also choose to give up a pawn altogether with f3, exf3, Nxf3 with in-adequate compensation.

  • 1
    It would be a bit silly to offer a gambit and immediately start to worry about regaining the material
    – Philip Roe
    May 30, 2020 at 2:09
  • I didn't suggest regaining the pawn "immediately"; the very word that I used is "later", and as I said, the alternative to not regain the pawn is to truly gambit it with a move like f3. I doubt that this gives W anything, but opening choices are also a matter of taste, and you are welcome to play this if you like it better than, say the QGD. I am not a master level player (yet).
    – Aravind
    May 30, 2020 at 5:16
  • And I did not say that you would try to regain the pawn immediately. I said that you would start to worry about it immediately. That is not how a gambiteer should think. (And I did not claim to be a gambiteer myself)
    – Philip Roe
    May 30, 2020 at 15:28

Just accept it. the traps are the only thing you have to know except the opening principles.

  • The BDG, like the Benko Gambit, is a long-term, pressure gambit. Avoiding these so-called traps won't get you a good game.
    – Mike Jones
    May 29, 2020 at 10:19
  • the blackmar diemer is not the bad trap only opening, but it's not so good for white. in the blackmar diemer, accept it and play the principles.
    – Rookie
    May 31, 2020 at 1:01
  • Restating you answer isn't a useful comment. Black doesn't have a good until he beats back the attack starting around move 20.
    – Mike Jones
    May 31, 2020 at 9:37
  • 1
    @Mike Jones, If the BDG has similar principles to the Benko Gambit, and works well, then why isn't it played more often in master games?
    – user24344
    Sep 7, 2020 at 22:24
  • The bar is higher for White's openings than for Black's because White starts a tempo ahead. Mar 4, 2021 at 19:30

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