Thursday, November 26, 2015

How Strange.

Knowing a lot about the Jerome Gambit, Bill Wall can fight against it, when he has to. How strange: he makes it look easy with the White pieces, and he makes it look easy with the Black pieces!

Bhutti - Wall,B, 2011

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Bxf7+ 

The Abrahams Jerome Gambit. Plucky to play it against Bill Wall.

3...Kxf7 4.Qh5+ Kf8 5.Qxe5 d6 6.Qg3 

A couple of additions to The Database: 6.Qf4+ Qf6 (6...Nf6 7.d3 Nc6 8.Nc3 Nd4 9.Kd2 Be6 10.a3 Bb3 11.Nf3 Nxc2 12.Rb1 Bxf2 13.Ng5 Be3+ White resigned, Stevens,J - Wall,B, Internet, 2001) 7.d3 Nc6 8.Nf3 Nd4 9.Qxf6+ Nxf6 10.Nxd4 Bxd4 11.Nc3 Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 Bd7 13.Rb1 Bc6 14.Bg5 Kf7 15.0-0 Rhe8 16.f3 Rab8 17.Rb3 Re5 18.Be3 a6 19.Rfb1 Rb5 20.Bd4 Rxb3 21.cxb3 Re8 22.c4 h6 23.Kf2 Nh5 24.Ke3 g5 25.b4 Nf4 26.g3 Ne6 27.f4 Nxd4 28.Kxd4 gxf4 29.gxf4 Kf6 30.Rg1 Re7 31.c5 dxc5+ 32.bxc5 Rd7+ 33.Ke3 h5 34.d4 Re7 35.e5+ Kf5 36.Rg5+ Ke6 37.f5+ Kd5 38.Rxh5 Bb5 39.e6 Bd7 40.f6+ Kxe6 41.fxe7 Kxe7 42.d5 Be8 43.Rh7+ Kd8 44.Kf4 Bb5 45.Ke5 a5 46.Ke6 Black resigned, Wall,B - Guest3119, Internet, 2005.


Another defense was 6...Qf6, seen in Philidor 1792 - guest321,, 2014 (1-0, 26).

7.c3 Nf6 8.d3 Bd7

Or 8...Kf7 as in Philidor 1792-guest543,, 2014 (½-½, 42).

9.Bg5 d5

Tricky - but it works.

10.e5 Qe8 11.d4 Ne4 12.Qf3+ Kg8 13.Bf4

Best to steer clear of 13.dxc5 Nxe5 14.Qe3 Ng4 15.Qe2 Nexf2, etc.

13...Nxd4 14.cxd4 Bxd4 15.Nc3 Bxe5 16.Bxe5 Qxe5 17.Nxe4 Bf5

 18.Ne2 Bxe4 19.Qg4 h5 20.Qh3 Qxb2 21.Rc1 Re8 

White resigned

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Steam Rolled

After my last game with Philidor1792 (see "A Flurry of Punches"), of course we had to have another, and, of course, he had to play the Jerome Gambit...

My experience was something like being flattened by a steam roller.

Philidor1792 - perrypawnpusher, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.0-0

A "modern" Jerome Gambit, without the "classical" 5.Nxd5+. It still has a lot of bite, as I learned.

Worth reviewing are the two earlier posts: "But – Is this stuff playable??" (Part I and Part II)

5...Nf6 6.c3

We have seen the plucky 6.Ng5+ in  Philidor 1792 - guest143,, 2014 (1-0, 34).


Planning to castle-by-hand.

It might have been better to push the Rook one square further, with 6...Re8, although my opponent has dealt with this, too, in Philidor1792 - Chicken_Monster, 1100 KINGS vs Team Russia,, 2014 (1-0, 38) and Philidor 1792 - NN, 2015 (1-0, 40).

I wasn't about to try 6...Nxe4 as in  Philidor 1792 -guest826,, 2015 (1-0, 29) and  Philidor 1792  -guest826,, 2015 (0-1, 33).

7.d4 exd4 8.cxd4 Bb6 

9.d5 Ne7 10.d6

An excellent idea - the pawn is well invested.

10...cxd6 11.Nc3 Ng6

It was probably better to complete "castling" with 11...Kg8 - if not on this move, then the next one.

12.Qb3+ d5 13.Nxd5 Nxd5 14.Qxd5+ Ke8

Not only is Black's King back in the center - look at his locked-in light-squared Bishop, a clear sign of danger in the Jerome.

15.Bg5 Ne7 16.Qd6 Bc7 17.Qa3 h6 18.Bh4 g5 19.Bg3 Bxg3 20.hxg3 Qb6 21.Rad1 Rf6 

I was not making much progress. Philidor1792 calmly continued.

22.e5 Rc6 23.Nd4 Qc5 24.Qd3 Qxe5

Silly. Black doesn't need material (or open lines against himself). He should pursue exchanging Queens with 24...Qc4.

25.Rfe1 Qf6 26.Nxc6 bxc6 

Black's position is wretched, despite some returned material.

27.Qa3 d5 28.Re3 Kd7 29.Rde1 Nf5 30.Rf3 Qd6 31.Rxf5 Qxa3 32.bxa3 Kc7 

The Queens are finally off the board, but Black is down the exchange, and only his King is developed.

33.Rf6 Bd7 34.f4 gxf4 35.gxf4 h5 36.Rf7 Re8

This silly blunder ends the suffering.

Even the more appropriate 36...Kd6 would have led to a complicated endgame where White could be expected to continue to outplay his opponent.

Black resigned

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Flurry of Punches

Years ago I read a first person account by a small time boxer who managed to wrangle some sparring time with Muhammad Ali. After some warm up exchanges, The Champ was momentarily distracted by a loud noise - a slamming door, a falling chair - and the author landed a solid punch on him. I hit Ali! I hit Ali! the writer enthused. Of course, that was all he remembered, as Ali almost immediately returned a knockout punch...

Imagine my excitement when the app on my phone indicated that Philidor1792 wanted to play a game. Sure! I thought. We took more time on our moves than some of the 3 0 games of his that I have posted here, but the result was still the same: a flurry of punches and a KO.

perrypawnpusher - Philidor1792, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Bc5

The Busch-Gass Gambit, which can turn out similar to a reversed Jerome Gambit, a move down.

3.Nxe5 Nc6 

Chiodini's Gambit.


I don't know if this move is good or not, but there was no way that I was going to follow along with Black's offer of 4.Nxc6. which would lead to a kind of reversed Boden Kieseritzky Gambit.

Instead, I would prefer to see something calm now like 4...Nxe5 5.d4 Bd6 6.dxe5 Bxe5 7.Bd3 Nf6, a reversed Italian Four Knights.

No such luck. Philidor1792 came to complicate.

4...Nf6 5.Nf3 Nd4 6.e5 

This risky pawn move is good, but I did not appreciate why.

6...Ng4 7.Bc4

I had anticipated Black's upcoming sacrifice, but I would have done better to prevent - not provoke - it with 7.Ne4, protecting f2.

7...Nxf2 8.Kxf2 d5 

9.Bxd5 Nxf3+ 10.d4 Nxd4 11.Be3 O-O

Here it looked for a moment like the game might settle down, after exchanges on d4 and a pin-and-win on d5, to a positional advantage for Black.


12.Bxd4 Qh4+ 13.g3

After the game Stockfish "reassured" me that 13.Ke3 would have led to an even game, or one where Black had only a slight advantage. I don't think it would have helped me much, though.

13...Bxd4+ 14.Kg2 Qh3+ 

White resigned

Friday, November 20, 2015

"Nudge 3.0"?

A significant part of the Jerome Gambit box of tactics is the often vulnerable enemy Bishop on c5 - a proper Queen check by White, and the next move (or the one after) it can fall.

In the following game, Bill Wall waits - and waits - and waits for a Jerome, finally sacrificing his Bishop, anyway. Black never develops his dark-squared Bishop, but he drops a piece to a Queen check, any way.

Wall, Bill - DrivingJoint
Internet, 2001

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 

The Semi-Italian Opening.

4.O-O a6 5.Nc3 b5 

It is not a Jerome Gambit proper, but this is enough provocation.

6.Bxf7+ Kxf7 7.Nxe5+ Nxe5 8.Qh5+ Ng6 9.Qd5+ 

A different kind of "nudge".

9...Ke8 10.Qxa8 c6 11.d4 N8e7 12.f4 Kf7

Preparing to castle-by-hand? If so, it is untimely.

13.f5 Nh4 14.g3

Black resigned

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Eyes on the Prize

White commands his not-quite-a-Jerome-gambit with skill, until his attention wavers - and his game disintegrates. Eyes on the prize, folks!

BOGuk -CrisChess

standard, FICS, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6

The Semi-Italian opening.

4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Bxf7+

White gives up waiting - if he was, indeed, waiting at all - for Black to play ...Bc5, and fires off his Bishop. An ounce more of patience was to be found in 5.0-0.

5...Kxf7 6.d4 exd4 7.Nxd4 Bb4 8.O-O Bxc3 9.bxc3 Nxd4 10.cxd4 d6 

Here we have a Jerome-like position, with Black (with the less safe King) holding an extra piece, and White (with the better pawn center) holding an extra pawn. The gambiteer must attack fearlessly.

11.Qf3 Bg4 12.Qf4 g5 13.Qg3 Be6 14.e5 dxe5 15.dxe5 Nh5 16.Qf3+ Kg7

Black has systematically exchanged pieces, and then harassed White's Queen. This last move, however, looks like a mouse slip, as the alternative, 16...Kg6 would have protected the offside Knight.

17.Qxh5 Rf8 

The second player's loose castling-by-hand gives his opponent the correct idea: attack the pawn at g5 with a pawn; exchange to open lines.


This is the right idea, however, with the wrong pawn. What White should have been looking for is 18.h4, and even after 18...Qe8 19.Qxe8 Raxe8 20.hxg5 he would be clearly better.


Didn't see that coming.

19.Kh1 Qxa1 20.fxg5 

So there!

20...Rxf1 checkmate

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Little Bit Of Discouragement, A Lot More Hope

Speaking of "Discouragement", I have to report that the second round of the "Italian Game" tournament has started (two sections, one with 6 players, one with 7) and I have 4 games with the black pieces, 2 games with the white pieces - and no Jerome Gambits.

At least, not yet.

Not every one of my opponents in this round will defend with the Two Knights, will they??

I hope not.

In the meantime, some things to think about: "Jerome Gambit vs Two Knights Defense (Part 1), (Part 2), (Part 3) and (Part 4)".

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Rapid Discouragement

Sometimes, when a chess game is suddenly not going the way it "should", a player will lose interest and resign. Much better to start over in another game with a full set of pieces! This seems to be the case for Black in the following game - at move 6 he received a shock (and a piece) but he kept his cool and had a fairly pleasant position after move 8. Ten moves later, he resigned.

Wall,B - Mkvibes, 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 h6 5.d3 Bc5 6.Bxf7+ Kxf7 

Here we have a Semi-Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit, where White has temporized with d2-d3 instead of 0-0 -- which he takes care of on the next move.

7.0-0 Rf8 8.Qe2 Kg8 

Black has castled-by-hand. What will he do next? Bill is willing to wait and see.

9.a3 Nd4 10.Nxd4 exd4 11.Na4 b6 12.e5 Nd5 

Time to complicate further.

13.Bxh6 gxh6 14.Qe4 Qg5

Not the best reply. Bill's response leads to his opponent's rapid discouragement.

15.Qxd5+ Kh7 16.Qxa8 Rg8 17.Nxc5 bxc5 18.f4 Black resigned

Black's position is not horrible, but he has nothing going for him; plus he is down an exchange and two pawns. And that light-squared Bishop...