Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Much Ado About... Nothing

It's true.

As I posted before, "The Jerome Gambit Is Going To Drive Me..." (Part 1 and Part 2).

It has been 2 1/2 months and I have heard nothing further from Fat Lady of the online site TimeForChess (also known as RedHotPawn) about the supposed Alekhine Jerome Gambit game...

I will let Readers know if anything ever turns up, but it looks like for now this game will have to join the pile of Jerome Gambit "urban legends", such as the book All or Nothing! The Jerome Gambit by Chaim Schmendrik

By the way, did you hear the one about Grandmaster Larry Christiansen playing the Jerome Gambit at the Internet Chess Club...?

[August 2014 was the 4th most-visited month in the history of this blog - starting in 2008. All four of those top months are within the last year, too - add May 2014, December 2013, November 2013 - showing increasing interest. To our Readers - many thanks - Rick]

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Longest (and Strangest?) Game in The Database

I really don't know what to make of the following game...

HappySong - ninthknight
standard, FICS, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 4.Bxf7+

Okay, this is a sort of "Accelerated Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit" kind of thing. The Database has 1,739 examples; and White scores 40% - nothing majestic, but about on par for what happens in a large sample of Jerome Gambit games.

4...Kxf7 5.c3 d6 6.Qb3+ Be6 7.c4 Na5 8.Qb5 b6 9.d3 

Now follows some foreshadowing.

9...Bd7 10.Qd5+ Be6 11.Qb5 Ke7 12.0-0 Bd7

Black has the standard extra-piece-for-a-pawn advantage.

One might think White would be comfortable with a draw.

One might be wrong.

Hold on, now.

13.Qd5 Be6 14.Qb5 Bd7 15.Qd5 Be6 16.Qb5 Bd7 17.Qd5 Be6 18.Qb5 Bd7 19.Qd5 Be6 20.Qb5 Bd7 21.Qd5 Be6 22.Qb5 Bd7 23.Qd5 Be6 24.Qb5 Bd7 25.Qd5 Be6 26.Qb5 Bd7 27.Qd5 Be6 28.Qb5 Bd7 29.Qa6 Bc8 30.Qb5 Bd7 31.Qa6 Bc8 32.Qb5 Bd7 33.Qa6 Bc8 34.Qb5 Bd7 35.Qa6 Bc8 36.Qb5 Bd7 37.Qa6 Bc8 38.Qb5 Bd7 39.Qa6 Bc8 40.Qb5 Bd7 41.Qa6 Bc8 42.Qb5 Bd7 43.Qa6 Bc8 44.Qb5 Bd7 45.Qa6 Bc8 46.Qb5 Bd7 47.Qa6 Bc8 48.Qb5 Bd7 49.Qa6 Bc8 50.Qb5 Bd7 51.Qa6 Bc8 52.Qb5 Bd7 53.Qa6 Bc8 54.Qb5 Bd7 55.Qa6 Bc8 56.Qb5 Bd7 57.Qa6 Bc8 58.Qb5 Bd7 59.Qa6 Bc8 60.Qb5 Bd7 61.Qa6 Bc8 62.Qb5 Bd7 63.Qa6 Bc8 64.Qb5 Bd7 65.Qa6 Bc8 66.Qb5 Bd7 67.Qa6 Bc8 68.Qb5 Bd7 69.Qa6 Bc8 70.Qb5 Bd7 71.Qa6 Bc8 72.Qb5 Bd7 73.Qa6 Bc8 74.Qb5 Bd7 75.Qa6 Bc8 76.Qb5 Bd7 77.Qa6 Bc8 78.Qb5 Bd7 79.Qa6 Bc8 80.Qb5 Bd7 81.Qa6 Bc8 82.Qb5 Bd7 83.Qa6 Bc8 84.Qb5 Bd7 85.Qa6 Bc8 86.Qb5 Bd7 87.Qa6 Bc8 88.Qb5 Bd7 89.Qa6 Bc8 90.Qb5 Bd7 91.Qa6 Bc8 92.Qb5 Bd7 93.Qa6 Bc8 94.Qb5 Bd7 95.Qa6 Bc8 96.Qb5 Bd7 97.Qa6 Bc8 98.Qb5 Bd7 99.Qa6 Bc8 100.Qb5 Bd7 101.Qa6 Bc8 102.Qb5 Bd7 103.Qa6 Bc8 104.Qb5 Bd7 105.Qa6 Bc8 106.Qb5 Bd7 107.Qa6 Bc8 108.Qb5 Bd7 109.Qa6 Bc8 110.Qb5 Bd7 111.Qa6 Bc8 112.Qb5 Bd7 113.Qa6 Bc8 114.Qb5 Bd7 115.Qa6 Bc8 116.Qb5 Bd7 117.Qa6 Bc8 118.Qb5 Bd7 119.Qa6 Bc8 120.Qb5 Bd7 

Well over 100 moves have been made, and we're back to the same position. Of course, we have been there so many times, either player could have claimed a draw by repetition. In fact, a draw according to the "50 move rule" could also have been claimed.

Now White varies, claiming his disadvantage and eventually losing.

121.Qb4 Ke8 122.d4 exd4 123.Nxd4 Nc6 124.Nxc6 Bxc6 125.Re1 Nf6 126.e5 dxe5 127.Rxe5+ Kd7 128.Qd2+ Bd6 129.b3 Kc8 130.Re2 Kb7 131.Nc3 Qf8 

132.Nb5 Bxb5 133.cxb5 Re8 134.a3 Rxe2 135.Qxe2 Qf7 136.Qf3+ Kb8 137.Qc6 Re8 138.Bd2 Ng4 139.Rf1 Nxh2 140.Rd1 Qxb3 141.Qxe8+ Kb7 142.Ra1 Qc2 143.Bb4 Ng4 144.Rf1 Bh2+ 145.Kh1 Qc4 146.Qe1 Bf4 147.Bd2 Bxd2 148.Qd1 Bf4 149.Rg1 Nxf2 checkmate

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Small Return - Or A Larger One?

Black defends well in the following game against Philidor 1792, until he has to make the decision to return a pawn. He declines - but the result is that he loses a piece.

Philidor 1792 - guest132
3 0 blitz, www.bereg.ru, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6

What, no Jerome Gambit?



4...Kxf7 5.Qe2 h6 6.c3 d6 7.d4 exd4 8.cxd4 Bg4 9.Qc4+ Ke8 10.Nc3 Qe7 11.Qd3 a6 12.a3 d5 13.e5 Rd8 14.Be3

Prudent now for the defender would be 14...Ne4, when, after 15.Nxe4 dxe4 16.Qxe4 Qe6 he would maintain his advantage. Instead, he retreats his attacked piece.

14...Nd7 15.Qg6+ Black resigned

True, Black is only down a pawn after White collects the piece at g4, but his King remains trapped in the middle of the board, while White will castle his own monarch to safety and begin the attack.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

An Email Discussion

Earlier this month I received two emails from chessfriend Yury Bukayev. The first, with the subject "Your post of July 18 has a large error‏" and contained the following
Your post of July 18 has a large error. Thus, you have published your appraisal of the position: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6? 4.b4?! Bxb4? 5.c3 Ba5 as winning for Black. It isn't true! Look, please, Paragraph 2, part III of my article! Yury 
The second email, with the subject "Else about your error in the post of July 18‏" continued
The position 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6? 4.b4?! Bxb4? (4...d6 =) 5.c3! leads to Evans-Bukayev gambit in all cases: http://chessproblem.my-free-games.com/chess/games/ChessArticle.php?art=C51 . It isn't important, is White's pawn on d2 or on d3. Dear Rick, I suggest you to write a new post in August about it. I think, my 2 Evans-Bukayev gambits have done the Evans idea immortal for strong theory.
My response was pretty straight-forward
I will take another look at my July 18th post, at your two emails, and your article, and post about it all on my blog.
At this point I can say that I wrote that after 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 h6 4.b4 Bxb4, Houdini 3, at 22 ply, gives Black an advantage of about 1/3 of a pawn. That much is factual - and neither Houdini 3 nor I consider "1/3 of a pawn" as "winning" for Black.
The game wardcleophus - Kiera, blitz, FICS, 2013, which I gave in the notes in the blog post, continued 5.c3 Ba5 and Black did win - but only after White immediately blundered with the Jerome-ish 6.Bxf7+? If, instead, White plays 6.0-0 the situation would be completely different from the game. Likewise, if Black plays 6...Nf6 (instead of 6...d6, similar to your article) the second player does not look lost, either.
Readers are encouraged to review the offending post, "Creative Exercise" and decide for themselves.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Another RHP Jerome Gambit Tournament - Game 2

If there is a theme song for the Jerome Gambit, it would have to be "I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends Opponents". One way of looking at the following game is that White did not get enough support to win.

musirapha (1874) - jankrb (2055) 
Giuoco Piano Jerome Gambit tournament, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.d4 

White goes all in. For an extra pawn he gets more open, attacking lines. I was surprised to find only 10 games with this move in The Database.

7...Bxd4 8.f4

Instead, 8.Qf5+ was tried in Philidor 1792 - guest2187, www.bereg.ru 2013 (1-0,17); 8.c3 was seen in stampyshortlegs - GladtoMateYou, JGTourney4, ChessWorld 2009 (1-0, 12); 
8.Bg5 was played in bhargavs - ehvmc, FICS, 2009 (0-1, 30); and
8.0-0 appeared in santaklaus - Wesson, FICS, 2006 (0-1, 33). 

8...Nc6 9.c3 Bb6 

Although Black's King looks ill at ease, he has an extra two pieces to comfort himself with. White is not able to make progress.

10.Qd5+ Ke7 11.f5 Ke8 12.h4 Nf6 13.Qc4 Qe7 14.Nd2 d5 15.Qb5 Bxf5 16.c4 Nxe4 White resigned.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Another RHP Jerome Gambit Tournament - Game 1

Instead of grabbing the second sacrificed piece, Black plays a defensive system - but he plays it too defensively. Hanging on to material, instead of returning it at the right moment, can spell disaster, even (especially) against the Jerome Gambit.

jankrb (2055) - musirpha (1874)
Giuoco Piano Jerome Gambit tournament, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Kf8 


Experimental are 6.Nd3, from Wall,B - Tim93612, Chess.com 2010 (1-0, 36) and 6.0-0 from billwall - DeDrijver, Chess.com, 2012 (1-0, 20).

Instead, 6.Qh5 is the rowdy Banks Variation, from Banks,P - Rees,M, Halesowen v Lucas BS, 2003 (1-0, 45). It is interesting to compare this line with the Paulsen Variation, where Black has placed his King on e7, instead of f8, e.g. the recently-discussed jankrb - Red House, Giuoco Piano Jerome Gambit tournament, RedHotPawn, 2013.


As noted as recently as in the game jankrb - Red House, Giuoco Piano Jerome Gambit tournament, RedHotPawn, 2013, the preferred capture is 6...dxc6, preventing 7.d4. The Database has many examples.

7.d4 Be7

A bit better was 7...Bb6 as in perrypawnpusher - hdig, blitz, FICS, 2007 (1-0, 17) and perrypawnpusher - mika76, GameKnot.com, 2008 (1-0, 17). 


Certainly an improvment over 8.f4 of perrypawnpusher - badhorsey, blitz, FICS, 2011 (1-0, 26). 

8...Ke8 9.0-0 d6 10.c4 Nf6 11.e5 dxe5 12.dxe5 Ng8

This retreat spells trouble.

13.Rd1 Bd7 14.e6 Nf6 15.exd7+ Kf7 16.Qxc6 Bd6 17.c5 Be5 18.f4 Black resigned

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Another RHP Jerome Gambit Tournament (Round 3)

Here is the third round of the second Jerome Gambit thematic tournament that I encountered at RedHotPawn.com from 2013 (won by jankrb), starting from the Jerome Gambit position:

jankrb (2055) - musirapha (1874)
Giuoco Piano Jerome Gambit tournament, RedHotPawn, 2014

(1-0) This game will be covered in a subsequent post.

musirapha (1874) - jankrb (2055)

Giuoco Piano Jerome Gambit tournament, RedHotPawn, 2014

(0-1) This game will be covered in a subsequent post.