Sunday, July 21, 2019

Jerome Gambit: Simply A Chess Bomb!

Image result for free clip art excited

I love it when a chess player gets excited about a Jerome Gambit game, even if it is the notorious destruction of the opening, Amateur - Blackburne, London, 1884.

So I enjoyed Suren Aghabekyan's YouTube video, "This Is Simply A Chess Bomb!", part of his "Chess with Suren" series.

It was nice to see that he not only showed that 10.Qd8 was the saving (winning) idea that White had missed against Blackburne, he showed how the Queen can be freed from the back rank.

Check it out.

[For those of you who are counting, and especially for those of you who are not, this is blog post #2,800. Just saying.]

Friday, July 19, 2019

Jerome Gambit: Meanwhile

Image result for free clip art impatient

While waiting for the second round in the tournament "Italian Battleground" to begin, I joined the "Italian Game Battlegrounds" tournament, and quickly started a couple of games with Jerome Gambit related openings - one with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Na5 4.Bxf7+ and one with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nxe4 5.Bxf7+.

I played an interesting move 9 novelty in the first game, and probably have an advantage. On the other hand, I am still struggling to reach equality in the second game - knowing, as always, that when White reaches an even game in the Jerome Gambit, he has the advantage...

We shall see.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Jerome Gambit: Finish the Game

Tacical sharpness - plus the ability to move quickly - is essential in fast games. With a 1 0 bullet time control, it is essential to be able to finish the game when you are handed the opportunity.

In the following game, angelcamina does so, admirably.

angelcamina - bbobbyfischerx41
1 0 bullet,, 2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ 

The Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit.

4...Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.d4 Bxd4 8.Qxd4 d6

9.O-O c6 10.f4 c5 11.Qf2 Neg4 

Black's last few moves waste time, but he still holds on to the advantage.

12.Qe2 Re8 13.h3 Nh6 14.e5 dxe5 15.fxe5 Qb6 

Looking to set up a discovered check, but the direct 15...Qd4+ 16.Be3 Qxe5 would win a pawn. 

16.Bxh6 gxh6 17.Qh5+ Ke6 

With 17...Kg8 it would take a little bit longer for White to checkmate him.

18.Rxf6+ Kd7 19.Rxb6 axb6 20.Qf7+ Re7 21.Rd1+ Kc6 22.Qxe7 Bd7 23.Qd6 checkmate

Monday, July 15, 2019

Jerome Gambit: Mystery (not quite)

Image result for free clip art the end sign

The following game appears to end too soon. The position is equal, which should not bring on feelings of loss - unless the defender was troubled at having moved from a "won" game at move 4 to an even one, and decided to let the game go.

The answer, as with many 1 0 bullet games, probably lies with the clock, as we shall see. 

angelcamina - plutonia
1 0 bullet,

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Kf8 

7.Qxe5 Qe7 8.Qf4+ Nf6 

9.d3 d5 10.e5 Kg8 11.O-O Nd7 12.d4 Bb6 13.Nc3 h6 14.Nxd5 Black resigned 

White has 3 pawns for his sacrificed piece. Black's King has found relative shelter. Balance. Why the resignation?

My guess is that Black realized that he had only 17 seconds left on his clock, while White had 39 seconds. Black would have to make "ordinary" moves in a rather ordinary position, twice as fast as White, to have a chance to win the game. That probably wasn't an attractive option.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Jerome Gambit: Transpositions Small and Large

The following game goes mildly along its way, featuring an arcane transposition from a "modern" Jerome Gambit to a Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit. Then, suddenly, the game lurches into deadly waters. And out, again.

Of course, Bill Wall is playing the Jerome.

Wall, Bill - Guest1507051, 2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+

4...Kxf7 5.d3 

Bill plays a "modern" variation of the Jerome Gambit - one without 5.Nxe5. He decides that sacrificing one piece is enough - for now.


Black wants to keep a White piece out of g5. The move is playable, but probably not best.

Bill has faced the stronger 5...Nf6 three times: Wall,B - Richard123,, 2010 (1-0, 10); Wall,B - Hovo,D,, 2010 (1-0, 23); and Wall,B - Bandera,M,, 2010 (1-0, 28).

The move in the game, 5...h6, creates a transposition to the Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit - in this case, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 4.d3 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 - and White decides to capture on e5, after all.

6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.Qh5+ Ke6 

Bill has also faced 7...g6, as in Wall,B - Riichmarj,,  2010(1-0, 29); and 7...Ng6 8.Qd5+ Ke8 9.Qxc5 d6 10.Qc3 Qf6 11.Qxc7 N8e7 12.O-O Kf7 13.Nc3 Be6 14.Qxd6 Rhd8 15.Qg3 Rac8 16.f4 Bd7 17.f5 Nh8 18.e5 Qb6+ 19.Be3 Qxb2 20.Bd4 Nxf5 21.e6+ Bxe6 22.Rxf5+ Bxf5 23.Qxg7+ Ke6 24.Re1+ Kd6 25.Qe7+ Kc6 26.Qc5+ Kd7 27.Re7 checkmate, Wall,B - Guest396164,, 2017

8.Qf5+ Kd6 9.f4 Qh4+ 10.g3 Nf3+

Quite a shot! Without d2-d3 for White, and ...h7-h6 for Black, as in the current game, this move leads to a complicated and deadly (for White) variation - see "Repairing A Variation" Part 123 and 4 for a more complete assessment. I recall getting an email from my friend, "Mad Dog", about a Jerome Gambit correspondence game that he figured he was winning, as he had just won his opponent's Queen - alas, it was a Queen sacrifice, and he was ultimately thrashed.

What difference do the "extra" moves make in this case?

11.Kd1 Qd8

Uh, er, never mind.

The real test of the line goes something like this: 11...Ne7!? 12.e5+ (White must force the issue) Kc6 13.Qe4+ d5 (the only move to keep Black in the game) 14.exd6+ Nd5 15.gxh4 (there goes the Black Queen, White's only chance) Bg4 16.h3 (in the original line, "Mad Dog" tried Qa4; in a series of games against the computer program Crafty in 2012, Philidor1792 tried d4, and Crafty tried f5; all to no avail) Bh5 17.c4!? (The White Queen does not have to retreat, as she is protected in this line) Ng5+ (best) 18.Kc2 Nxe4 19.cxd5+ Kxd5 20.dxe4+ Kxd6 21.Nc3 and the game is balanced, as Black's two Bishops counter White's extra, doubled pawn.

analysis diagram

In the current game, Black is temporarily up a couple of pieces, but that situation does not last.

12.Qd5+ Ke7 13.Qxc5+ d6 14.Qf2 Bg4 

Black cannot save his Knight, and so falls behind by a pawn or two.

15.h3 Nd4+ 

Better was 15...Nh2+ 16.hxg4 Nxg4

16.hxg4 c5 

17.g5 Kd7 18.Be3 Qb6 19.Kc1 Ne7 

The game remains complicated, but White is clearly better.

20.gxh6 gxh6 21.Nd2 Raf8 22.Nc4 Qc6 23.Bxd4 cxd4 24.Qxd4 Kc8 

Things begin to slip away.

25.Nxd6+ Kc7 26.Nc4 b6 27.Qe5+ Kd8 28.Qb8+ Nc8 29.Ne5 Qc7 30.Qxc7+ Kxc7 31.Ng6 Black resigned

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Jerome Gambit: Beware the Refutation

The Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) is an opening with many refutations. That said, it is still necessary for the opponent to play out the line to a win. After all, it is not likely that White will see one strong move, and then resign...

In the following game, the "refutation" leads to a win in 13 moves - for White.

Wall, Bill - Guest15060744, 2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Qh4 

This is Black's strongest response to 6.d4. Bill has faced it 39 time, scoring 83%. 

7.O-O Ng4

The Database has 280 games with this move (White scores 67%), starting with Sorensen - X, Denmark, 1888 (1-0, 27).

8.h3 Nxf2 

Black sacrifices to break up White's King's shelter - but he overlooks his own King's safety.

9.Rxf2+ Nf6 10.dxc5 Kg8 

The monarch ducks out of the Rook's pin on his Knight. Alas, the Knight can not move, anyhow, as it would lead toward Qd5 checkmate.

11.e5 d5 12.cxd6 Ne4 13.Qd5+ Black resigned