DDGA'96 Motivation

Here are my thoughts on the DDG e-mail tournament 1996 -- or how's and why's of playing the DDG.

Play the DDG

I must say I was extremely glad to hear that Tomas will organize the DDGA'96. Last year, having heard that "my" 3. c4 gambit in fact had a name and had been played before, I also had a dream of a DDG e-mail tournament. Then, however, I was worried that there might not be enough "crazy attackers" who would like to play the DDG as White. But craziness should not be underestimated...

It is also very interesting to see what happens in my 7 on-going DDG challenge games, in which 2 of them I am playing Black. I have some doubts that the DDG may be relatively easy to bust in e-mail games, but again, below master level, anything can happen. And if I cannot find good play for White in e-mail games, it only proves that I am not a good e-mail player.

Most of all, I am eager to see other people's games because there are so few games around. All the "theory" I have written is based on very few sources. I would like to collect a tournament bulletin with as much analysis as possible -- and I hope that other players will help me.

How to play the DDG

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. e4

I first thought that maybe the requirement for the DDG Accepted is too restrictive. After all, some lines of the DDG Declined are quite interesting, especially 3... c5. On the other hand, it is very annoying when you suddenly realize that it is actually Black who is offering a pawn sacrifice! OK, I can admit that I hate to play against the DDG Declined because I will not get into familiar DDG positions. If Black does not take the e-pawn, White either have to eventually play e5, closing the position, or exd5, allowing Black to play exd5, and releasing the queen's bishop. Anyway, 3... dxc4 would transpose to the Queen's Gambit Accepted, which is definitely not our aim.

3... dxe4

So 3... dxe4 shall be played -- what I relief -- but how to continue. In practice all the DDG games I know, and have played, continue with 4. Nc3. I added the DDG Accepted page not until while writing this article because I had always taken 4. Nc3 for granted.

A) 4. Nc3

It is useful to know how some "serious" openings can be reached via the DDG; the most important transpositions are collected to a separate page. I do not try to encourage anyone to play them, but just remind that when analysing the DDG, sometimes help may be found from the known opening theory. However, in most lines below, Black gives the pawn back immediately, which is not considered very brave. Besides, I am pretty sure that Black has better chances to win in other variations.

B) 4. Be3

This is the Alapin French, or Alapin-Diemer gambit (ECO C00/17): 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Be3 dxe4 4. Nd2 Nf6 5. c4. (Diemer - Johansson, 1958).

C) 4. Ne2

Both Chessmaster 3000 and Rebel Decade suggested this move, so there must be something behind it.

D) 4. g3

This nice positional move has been played, among others, by Bill Wall.

E) 4. f3?!

This is not likely to lead to original lines, and, in fact, after 4... Bb4+ 5. Nc3 c5! Black has clear advantage.

Why play the DDG

Anyway, the DDGA'96 must be the tournament of the year (or two years). Here are a few good reasons to enter the tournament:

Unfortunately, psychological aspects, which cannot be overestimated in over-the-board games, are not so much present in a thematic e-mail tournament. Many players seem to get very confused when meeting the DDG for the first time...

"Instead of the best move, I choose the most interesting one; instead of the objectively strongest move, I choose the subjectively most exciting one."
Jyrki Heikkinen