Friday, July 29, 2016

Jerome Gambit Thematic: More Fighting Chess to Come

Image result for image battle

The first round of the Jerome Gambit thematic tournament at is almost complete. One game remains in motion, an endgame where Black has B+N+5p and White has 5p. Assuming that Black is able to convert his advantage to a win, the following players will advance to the second round;

SeinfeldFan91 won all 6 of his games, and will advance from Group 1.

procyk and rigidwith fear each won 5 of their games, and both will advance from Group 2.

kristjan, with 5 wins, will advance from Group 3.

junnujannu, with 5 wins, will advance from Group 4.

It is pleasant to note that all players (except one who forfeited all games) in the first round were able to score at least 1 point.

Expect more fighting chess in Round Two!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Short Game, Longer Notes

If you are aware of your opponent's plan, it is always a temptation to refuse to go along with it. The following game is an example, however, where this ploy fails - fairly quickly.

Wall, Bill - Guest2877685, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 
4.Bxf7+ Ke7 

The Jerome Gambit Declined.

The Database has 42 games with this position, with White scoring 72%.

The more popular way of declining the piece is 4...Kf8. The Database has 271 games with this line, with White scoring a more modest 55%.

Still, it is important to point out that The Database has 12,603 games with the capture 4...Kxf7 with White scoring 44%.

Black, take the Bishop.

We are looking at a Bill Wall game, however, so it is relevant to note that he has scored 91% with White in the Jerome Gambit accepted lines, as opposed to 100% with White against the Jerome Gambit declined 4...Ke7 and 4...Kf8.

5.Bxg8 Rxg8 6.d4 Black resigned

White threatens Black's Bishop on c5, as well as the skewer 7.Bg5+ threatening to win the enemy Queen.

Instead of ending at this point, drewbear - AAlekhine,  Jerome Gambit Thematic Tournament, 2007 continued: 6...h6 7.dxc5 d6 8.cxd6+ cxd6 9.h3 Kd7 10.a3 Kc7 11.b4 Rf8 12.b5 Na5 13.Qd2 Kb8 14.Bb2 Nc4 15.Qc3 Nxb2 16.Qxb2 Qa5+ 17.Nc3 Bd7 18.O-O a6 19.bxa6 Rxa6 20.Rab1 b6 21.Nd5 Bb5 22. Rfc1 Ka7 23. Nc7 g5 24.Nxb5+ Kb8 25.Nxd6 Qc5 26.Qxe5 Qxe5 27.Nxe5 Rh8 28.Ndc4 b5 29.Rxb5+ Kc7 30.Rd1 h5 31.Rd7+ Kc8 32.Nb6+ Kb8 33.Nc6 checkmate

That game was from an interesting Jerome Gambit thematic tournament. See "Jerome Gambit for Dummies (5)" for a study that I made of the effect of playing the Jerome Gambit.

After that, you might want to read the earlier "Jerome Gambit for Dummies (4)"! That post refers to a study of the effect of one player's knowledge of a particular line of play - suggesting that a study of the Jerome Gambit (or any particular opening) could give additional benefits to the attacking player.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Jerome Gambit: White Sees Further

In the following game, White sees further into the position than his opponent does, allowing him to take advantage of the tactical play that the Jerome Gambit affords. 

Wall, Bill - Guest3992982, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Qe7 

This is a very reasonable defense, and apparently a modern one, as the earliest example that I have in The Database comes from an internet game in 2002.

The move can be considered a "tool" from Black's toolbox: when two pieces are attacked, one will be lost, so do not waste time saving one, develop another piece instead.

7.dxc5 Qxc5

Black scores 50% in 25 games with this move in The Database

8.O-O Nf6 9.Be3 Qb5

Black perceives a possible weakness in White's position - a notion that White encourages, because he sees it as time-wasting pawn-grabbing.

10.Nc3 Qxb2

White gets decent play for this pawn and he recovers material quickly.

11.Bd4 d6 12.Nd5 Qa3 13.Nxc7 Rb8 14.Nb5 Qa6 15.Bxa7 


Fascinating. Instead of giving up his Rook for the Knight with 15...Qxb5 (the correct move, with perhaps still an edge), Black prefers to gain the Bishop for the exchange. But there is more to the position than he realizes.


White does not have to take the Rook right away. 

16...Ke6 17.Bxb8 Rxb8 

In this complicated position, Black has two pieces for a Rook and 3 pawns, but his insecure King is probably his main concern. White continues to add pressure.

18.Nf5 g6 19.Ne3 Bc6 20.Qd4

Another surprise: White does not have to defend the doubly attacked e-pawn with f2-f3. Why not? Let's see.

20...Bxe4 21.f3 Bc6 22.Rae1 

White's development continues to be aimed at the enemy King. 


Leaving His Majesty to take care of himself. Stockfish 7  can only suggest that the King flee, 22...Kf7 leaving to the surrender of another piece whith. 23.Qxe5.

23.Nc4 Black resigned

Black's position has become untenable. He will lose his Queen no matter how he defends.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Taking Risks, Finding the Win

Wall, Bill - Guest3603239, 2015

 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 

The Blackburne Shilling Gambit.


The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke8 


The position calls out for 6.Qh5+ - which Bill has also played - but if you believe Stockfish 7, the text move is a little bit better.


6...Ne6 was seen in Wall,B - Toyong,, 2010 (1-0, 22) and  Wall,B - Klevic,, 2014 (1-0, 34). 

7.Nxc6 dxc6 8.Qh5+ Ke7 

A little bit better was 8...g6 in Wall,B - Apple,, 2010 (1-0, 29) 


Keeping the draw in hand for a moment. Previously Bill had played 9.d4 in Wall,B - Verrsili,, 2010 (1-0, 19) 

9...Kd7 10.Qg4+ Ke8 11.Qe2 

Deciding to use the two extra pawns against Black's extra piece.

11...Be6 12.d4 Qe7 13.O-O Kd7 14.c4 Rd8 15.Nc3 Kc8 

Black has castled-by-hand on the Queenside. Now he concentrates on developing his pieces.

16.Be3 Nf6 17.d5 cxd5 18.cxd5 Bg4 19.f3 

The position looks about dynaically equal. Stockfish 7 suggests that the players should pursue that assessment:  19...Nxe4!? 20.fxg4 Nxc3 21.bxc3 Rxd5 22.Rae1 Qxe3+ 23.Qxe3 Bc5 24.Rf7 g6 25.h4 Re5 26.Qxc5 Rxc5 27.g5 Rxc3 28.Ree7 b6 29.Rxh7 Rd8 30.Re6 Rd2 31.Rxg6 Rg3 32.Rc6 Rgxg2+ 33.Kf1 Rgf2+ draw 

19...Bh5 20.Bxa7

Playing with fire, and daring Black to trap the Bishop with ...b7-b6. Black opts to pursue an attack on the enemy King, but the computer suggests that he go for the trap after preparation: 20...Nxd5!? 21.exd5 Qxe2 22.Nxe2 b6, etc. 


After 20...b6 21.Qa6+ Kd7 22.Qa4+ Kc8 23.Bxb6 Black's King's defenses are crumbling.

21.Rac1 Qe5

Again, 21...b6 will fall to 22.Qa6+ Kd7 23.Qa4+ Kc8 23.Bxb6.

22.Nb5 Rxd5

This attacks a piece and takes advantage of the pinned White e-pawn, but it is all too late.

23.Rxc7+ Kd8 24.Rxb7 Nxe4 25.Qxe4 Black resigned

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Toolbox for Black

Image result for image toolbox

Along with White, who has his "toolbox" of moves in the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+), Black has his own set of "tools" - standard moves or ideas to make sense of the opening.

Wall, Bill - Guest6953174, 2016

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bb4+ 

The "tool" stays in the toolbox. The wildest move here is the "pie-in-the-face" 6...Qh4!?. True, Black's Queen loves to come to e7 or f6, but there are times when this move is critical.

The Database has 1,459 games with 6.d4, but only 223 times (15%) is it answered by 6...Qh4. Admittedly, the move makes the same "mistake" as White's early Queen development, so it is probably not on Black's mind.

It takes a search depth of 23 ply for Stockfish 7 to settle on 6...Qh4, so it is not the first thing to come to the computer's "mind" either. 

7.c3 Bd6 

Sometimes Black just leaves the Bishop on b4. See "Further Exploration of An Odd Line".

Bill has seen several responses:

7...Nc4 8.cxb4 Qf6 9.Nc3 c6 10.b3 Qg6 11.Qf3+ Nf6 12.bxc4 Re8 13.O-O Kg8 14.e5 Ng4 15.h3 d6 16.hxg4 Bxg4 17.Qg3 Rf8 18.exd6 Black resigned, Wall,B - Anonymous,, 2016;

7...Qe7 8.dxe5 Bc5 9.Qd5+ Ke8 10.O-O c6 11.Qd1 d6 12.b4 Bb6 13.exd6 Qe5 14.Bb2 Nf6 15.Nd2 Be6 16.Nf3 Qf4 17.Bc1 Qg4 18.Re1 Nxe4 19.Be3 Rf8 20.Bxb6 axb6 21.Qd4 Rf4 22.h3 Qg6 23.Ne5 Qf5 24.Nd3 Rh4 25.Qxg7 Qf7 26.Qd4 Rd8 27.Rxe4 Rxe4 28.Qxe4 Rxd6 29.Re1 Kf8 30.Ne5 Qf5 31.Qe3 Bxa2 32.Qxb6 Rd2 33.Qe3 Rd6 34.Qc5 Qe6 35.Re3 Qh6 36.Nd7+ Kg8 37.Qe5 Rd1+ 38.Kh2 Rxd7 39.Qe8+ Qf8 40.Qxd7 Bf7 41.Qxb7 Qd6+ 42.g3 Kf8 43.Rf3 Qe6 44.Qxf7+ Qxf7 45.Rxf7+ Kxf7 46.c4 Ke6 47.b5 Kd7 48.f4 Kd6 49.b6 c5 50.f5 Black resigned, Wall,B - Guest3742987,, 2015;

7...Bxc3+ 8.Nxc3 Ng6 (8...Nc6 9.d5 [9.O-O Qf6 10.e5 Qg6 11.Qf3+ Ke8 12.Nb5 Kd8 13.Qf8+ Qe8 14.Qxe8+ Kxe8 15.Nxc7+ Ke7 16.Nxa8 Nxd4 17.Bg5+ Ke6 18.Nc7+ Kxe5 19.Rae1+ Kd6 20.Bf4+ Kc6 21.Rc1+ Kb6 22.Nd5+ Kb5 23.Rxc8 Ne6 24.a4+ Kxa4 25.Ra1+ Kb3 26.Be5 Black resigned, Wall,B - Caynaboos, FICS, 2011] 9...Ne5 10.f4 Ng6 11.h4 Nxh4 12.Qh5+ g6 13.Qxh4 Qxh4+ 14.Rxh4 Nf6 15.e5 Ne8 16.Be3 c6 17.O-O-O d6 18.e6+ Ke7 19.g4 Nf6 20.f5 gxf5 21.gxf5 cxd5 22.Bg5 a6 23.Nxd5+ Kf8 24.Bxf6 Rg8 25.Rxh7 b5 26.Be7+ Ke8 27.Nf6 checkmate, Wall,B - ChessFlower,, 2012) 9.O-O  Nf6 10.e5 Ne8 11.f4 (11.Qf3+ Kg8 12.Qd5+ Kf8 13.Be3 a6 14.Rae1 c6 15.Qb3 d5 16.f4 Kg8 17.f5 Nh4 18.Qc2 g6 19.f6 Be6 20.Bg5 Qb6 21.Bxh4 Qxd4+ 22.Bf2 Qf4 23.Ne2 Qc4 24.Qd2 Qxa2 25.Nd4 Bf5 26.Nxf5 gxf5 27.Qg5+ Kf7 28.e6+ Kf8 29.Bc5+ Nd6 30.Bxd6+ Ke8 31.f7 checkmate, Wall,B - Boris,, 201211...Rf8 12.f5 Ne7 13.Qb3+ d5 14.exd6+ Black resigned, Wall,B - FJBS, FICS, 2015; and

7...Be7 8. dxe5 Nh6 9. Qf3+ Ke6 10. Bxh6 gxh6 11. Qf5 checkmate, Wall,B - ChrSav, FICS, 2010.

Once again, the "tool" stayed in the toolbox. As an alternative, Black had 7...Qh4!?, which was seen 10 times in The Database, with 10 wins for Black. It is slightly less mysterious: Stockfish 7 takes only 15 ply to find the move. 

8.dxe5 Bxe5

There was reason to admit that move 7 was a mistake, and to try 8...Be7.

9.Qd5+ Kf6 10.f4 Kg6 11.O-O Bf6 

This allows mate.

12.f5+ Kh5 13.Qd1+ Kh4 14.Rf4+ Kg5 15.Rf3+ Black resigned

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Jerome Gambit Hammer

Sometimes defenders will believe that the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) is such a dubious opening that just about any defense will be good enough to defeat it. When that happens, the attacker should double his efforts to finish the game off quickly.

The following Internet game is from chessfriend Vlasta Fejfar of the Czech Republic. He makes fast work of his opponent.

Vlastous - PornobeshKumar
Internet, 2016

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.f4 g5

Quite an odd move. I was surprised to find several examples in The Database, including two games where it was played by the "Boris" computer personality at

8.fxe5 Kxe5

Stockfish 7 suggests 8...Nf6 9.exf6 Qxf6 10.Rf1 Qg6 11.Qe2 Ke7 12.Nc3 Kd8 when White is better.

Wall, B - Lisandru,, 2012, continued 8...Qf8 9.Rf1 Qe7 10.Qg4+ Kxe5 11.Qf5+ Black resigned


White played 9.c3 and then 10.d4+ successfully in Black,D - Boris,, 2012 (1-0, 18).

Stockfish 7 argues that White can hit the center immediately: 9.d4+ Bxd4 10.Bxg5 Nf6 11.Bxf6+ Kxf6 and Black's Bishop, Queen, and King remain in danger, e.g. 12.Rf1+ Kg7 13.Rf7+ Kg8 14.Rf3 Bf6 15.Nc3 Kg7 16.Nd5 Rf8 17.Rh3 Rf7 18.e5 - a line worth looking at in detail as an example of building an attack.


Or 9...Be7 10.d4+ Kxd4 11.Be3+ Kxe3 12.Qf3+ Kd4 13.Qc3+ Kxe4 14.Qd3+ Ke5 15.Rf5+ Ke6 16.Qd5 checkmate, Wall,B - Boris,, 2012.

10.d4+ Bxd4 11.Bxg5 Qd7

Black was doomed after 11...Kd6 12.Bxd8 in GuestCRJQ - Despistado, FICS, 2009 (1-0, 26).

12.Bh4+ Kd6 13. Qxd5  checkmate