Saturday, December 10, 2016

Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit Investigator

Recently I received a request for The Database from Rodolfo Pardi (librarian, Italian Chess Federation chess instructor and tournament director), the author of a good number of chess books, including A dreadful Chess Trap: Blackburne ShillingHe said he had been frequently meeting the Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 4.Bxf7+), and wanted to know more about it.

Of course, I sent the (compressed) PGN file right away!

As we exchanged emails, and he remained politely skeptical about the BSJG, he shared one of his own games featuring an early Bishop sacrifice.

lapaget - pa_chiro 1720
GameKnot Blitz, 20161.e4 e5 2.Bc4 c6 3.Nf3 b5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke6 6.Qh5 Nh6 7.d4 

7...g6 8.Qh3+ Ke7 9.Bg5+ Ke8 10.Bxd8 Kxd8 11.Nc3 d6 12.Qh4+ Kc7 13.Nf3 Nf7 14. Qf6
Black resigned

Nicely done!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Jerome Gambit: We Have A Winner!

A quick look at the Jerome Gambit Tournament shows that the second round (and thus the tournament) has been "decided". (One game remains, but it will determine who will be the "line follower" not the "line leader".)

With 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw, SeinfeldFan91 topped the list handily with 24 points, going unbeaten through both rounds. Hat tip to the man!

The rest of the players: procyk 15 points,  kristjan 9 points,  junnujannu 6 points and rigidwithfear 3 points.

(junnujannu and rigidwithfear remain locked in an interesting battle.)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Cliff Hardy Returns

"Cliff Hardy" is back with another hard-fought Jerome Gambit battle that shows that the life of a P.I. is never boring, even if it is at times a bit painful. There are lessons to be learned from the following game.

I still struggle with my 3 days per move games. I have no idea how anyone plays 3 minutes per game! (Guess I'm not hero material.)

Notes are by "Hardy". (Occasional note by me, in red - Rick)

"Hardy, Cliff" - NN
3 0 blitz, FICS, 2016

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Kf8 7.Qxe5 Bd6

(I was shocked to find 867 games in The Database with this slightly strategically suspect move - the Bishop blocks the d-pawn which blocks the light-squared Bishop which blocks the Rook - but there are tactical reasons for its success, as White scores only 42% against it. - Rick)

8.Qc3 Qe7 9.f3?

Not the best move to defend the e-pawn and Stockfish
prefers 9.Qe39.d3?? Bb4 would have been an absolute disaster, however.


9...Qh4 would be even better.

10.O-O Qh4?!

10...Qe5 to swap queens was better.

11.e5 Bc7 12.d4 Ne7 13.g3 Qh3 14.f4?

14.Nd2 was much better and if black had continued, as he did in the
game with 14...h5 15.Ne4 h4?? 16.g4, he would then lose his queen to 17.Ng5

14...h5 15.Nd2 h4 16.Rf3 hxg3 17.Rxg3 Qxh2

(Ah, yes, the femme fatale, weakness of many a private eye. - Rick)

18.Kf1 Nf5 19.Rg2 Qxf4+ 20.Rf2 Ne3+??

(The Jerome Gambit player must hang on against all odds, waiting for an opportunity to strike back. Here it is. - Rick)


Whoops, missed 21.Qxe3, as black's queen is now pinned :).


21...Qxf2! 22. Kxf2 Nd1

22.Qxe3 Rxf2+ 23.Qxf2 Qxf2+ 24.Kxf2 d6

The position is equal now, but I was down to 22 seconds versus 1 minute 26 seconds on the clock for my opponent so I had to start moving instantly. 

25.Nc4 dxe5 26.dxe5 Bf5 27.Bf4 Bxc2 28.Rh1 

28...Kf7?? 29.Ne3??

29.e6! Kxe6 30.Bxc7 


The rest of the game is not really worth going through! (That's "Cliff's" comment, not mine. - Rick)

30.Rh4 Rf8 31.Bg3 Ke6+ 32.Ke2 Bf3+ 33.Kd2 Bxe5 34.Bxe5 Kxe5 35.Rb4 b6 36.Kc3 Bd5 37.Ra4 Rf3 38.Kd2 a5 39.Rh4 g5 40.Rh5 Rg3 41.Ke2 Bxa2 42.Rh8 Bd5 43.Re8+ Kf4 44.Rb8 Rxe3+ 45.Kd2 Re7 46.Rxb6 g4 47.Rb8 g3 48.Rf8+ Rf7 49.Rg8 g2 50.Rg6 Kf3 51.Kc3 Kf2 52.Rg7 Rxg7 White lost on time

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Be Sure to Check the Notes

Sometimes Bill Wall and his opponents leave me little choice. Putting together a blog post, I am just getting warmed up - and the game is over. So I add a bit more to the notes... 

(Does it seem like we have been here before, lately? True; perhaps those who defend against the Jerome Gambit need to catch up on their reading of this blog...)

Wall, Bill -NN, 2016

1 e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4..Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bb4+ 7.c3 Ba5

Of course, Bill has been this way before. Let's take a look at some alternatives.

7... Bxc3+ The most popular choice for Black in The Database. Black scores 65-77-4 for 46%. He might do better with the alternatives. See below. 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,, 20129.O-O N8e7 (9...Nf6 10.e5 Ne8 11.Qf3+ [11. f4 Rf8 12. f5 Ne7 13. Qb3+ d5 14. exd6+ Black resigned, Wall,B - FJBS, FICS, 2015] 11...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, 2012) 10.f4 Rf8 11 f5 Nh8 12.Bg5 Kg8 13.Qb3+ Nf7 14.f6 gxf6 15.Bxf6 d5 16.Nxd5 Re8 17.Qg3+ Kf8 18.Qg7 checkmate, Wall,B - NN,, 2016).

7...Be7 (In The Database Black scores 3-3 for 50% with this move) 8.dxe5 Nh6 9.Qf3+ Ke6 10.Bxh6 gxh6 11.Qf5 checkmate, Wall,B - ChrSav, FICS, 2010

7...Qh4 is a feisty choice; Black is 10-0, scoring 100%, according to The Database.

The solid 7...Ng6 shows up in The Database 4 times, Black is 2-2, scoring 50% 

7...Bc5 is untested and funny, but probably playable. 

8.dxe5 d6 9.Qd5+ Black resigned

White will capture the offside Bishop on his next move, and will be a couple of pawns ahead. Black's lead in development - say, after 9...Be6 10.Qxa5 dxe5 11.Qxe5 Nf6 - will not be enough compensation. Black would prefer to move his attention to another game.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Find Something New

The following game shows the benefit of going further off the beaten path in an already unusual opening. Bill Wall varies from previous experience, and continues to find success. The notes suggest that Black could have found chances by varying his play, too. The game ends with a bit of psychological mind-reading.

Wall, Bill - NN, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bd6

This strategy is not unusual and seems reasonable, although it does have a tactical flaw. The Database shows that it has been faced by Jerome Gambit regulars such as chessmanjeff, HauntedKnight, frizerkaHR, jfhumphrey, stretto, Teterow and yorgos.

Oh, and of course, Bill Wall.

7.dxe5 Bxe5

Better is 7...Bb4+ (no game examples in The Database), 7...Bf8 (no game examples in The Database) or 7...Be7 (20 game examples in The Database, White scores 45%); each moving the Bishop out of danger of a Queen check/fork.


Bill tries something new, deviating from his previous 8.Qd5+:
Ke8 (8...Kf6 9.f4 c6 [9...Bd6 10.Qg5+ Kf7 11.Qxd8 Black resigned, Wall,B - NN,, 2016] 10.Qxe5+ Kf7 11.O-O Qe7 12.Nc3 d6 13.Qh5+ g6 14.Qe2 Nf6 15.e5 Nd5 16.Nxd5 cxd5 17.Qb5 dxe5 18.fxe5+ Kg7 19.Qxd5 Re8 20.c3 Qxe5 21.Qf7+ Kh8 22.Bg5 Qxg5 23.Qxe8+ Kg7 24.Qf8 checkmate, Wall,B - Neilson,C, Melbourne, FL 2016; or 8...Kf8 9.Qxe5 d6 [9...Qe7 10.Qf4+ Nf6 11.Nc3 d6 12.O-O Qe5 13.Qxe5 dxe5 14.f4 exf4 15.Bxf4 Ne8 16.Bd6+ Kg8 17.Rf8 checkmate, Wall,B - Guest539122,, 2015] 10.Qd4 [10.Qb5 Nf6 11.Nc3 c6 12.Qd3 Be6 13.Bg5 h6 14.Bh4 g5 15.Bg3 Ke7 16.O-O-O Ne8 17.f4 g4 18.Bh4+ Nf6 19.e5 dxe5 20.Qg6 Qf8 21.fxe5 Black resigned, Wall,B - NN,, 2016] 10...Nf6 11.O-O c5 12.Qd3 Bd7 13.Bf4 a6 14.Bxd6+ Kf7 15.e5 Bb5 16.c4 Black resigned, Wall,B - Guest5856753,, 20169.Qxe5+ Qe7 10.Qh5+ g6 11.Qe2 Nf6 12.Nc3 d5 13.Bg5 Qe5 14.f4 Qd4 15.Bxf6 Qxf6 16.O-O-O Qxf4+ 17.Kb1 dxe4 18.Nxe4 Bf5 19.Ng5+ Kf8 20.Ne6+ Kf7 21.Nxf4 Black resigned, Wall,B - NN,, 2016 


An interesting alternative is 8...Ke6 9.Qf5+ Kd6 10.Na3!?, which may have seemed riskier to Black, but which would put White more on his own resources. There are two examples of the line in The Database:  10...Qf6 (10... Bf6 11.Nc4+ Ke7 12.Bf4 d6 13.Qb5 Qe8 14.O-O-O Qxb5 15.b3 Be6 16.Ne3 Qb4 17.g4 Qa3+ 18.Kd2 g5 19.Bg3 h5 20.h4 gxh4 21.Bxh4 hxg4 22.Bxf6+ Nxf6 23.Rxh8 Rxh8 24.f4 gxf3 25.Rf1 Nxe4+ 26.Kd3 Ng5 27.c4 Qxa2 28.Re1 Qxb3+ 29.Kd2 Ne4+ 30.Kc1 Qc3+ 31.Nc2 Nf2 32.Kb1 Kf6 33.Rf1 Rh1 34.Rxh1 Nxh1 White resigned, HauntedKnight - VSRajput, FICS, 201511.Nc4+ Ke7 12.Qxe5+ Qxe5 13.Nxe5 d6 14.Bg5+ Ke6 15.Nc4 b5 16.Ne3 h6 17.Bh4 g5 18.Bg3 Nf6 19.f3 b4 20.b3 Ba6 21.O-O-O Bb5 22.h4 Nh5 23.Be1 Nf4 24.hxg5 hxg5 25.Rxh8 Rxh8 26.Bxb4 Rh2 27.Rg1 Ne2+ 28.Kd2 Nxg1 29.Bc3 Nxf3+ 30.Kc1 Rh1+ 31.Kb2 Nh4 32.g3 Ng6 33.Nd5 c6 34.Ne3 Rh3 35.Nf5 Ne5 36.a4 Be2 37.Nd4+ Kd7 38.Nxe2 Rh2 39.Nd4 c5 40.Nf5 Nd3+ 41.Ka3 Nb4 42.Bxb4 cxb4+ 43.Kxb4 Rxc2 44.Nd4 Rg2 45.e5 dxe5 46.Nf3 Rxg3 47.Nxe5+ Ke6 48.Nc4 Rg4 White forfeited on time, noatun - Papaflesas, blitz, FICS, 2008

9.Qxe5 Nf6 10.Bg5 

Putting pressure on the Knight at f6, a regular strategy for White in the Jerome Gambit.

10...Re8 11.Qf4

White could have played the prosaic exchanging 11.Bxf6+ Qxf6 12.Qxf6+ Kxf6 13.Nc3 with a pawn advantage. I think he realized that his opponent saw the White e-pawn as pinned by the Black Rook to the White King, and played for the win of a piece.

11...b6 12.e5 Black resigned

The threat by White's advanced pawn is real. One possibility: 12...d6 13.Bxf6 dxe5 14.Bxe5+. It is worth taking time to explore other lines, too.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Jerome Gambit: This Is How It's Done

I just received another selection of games from Bill Wall.

The following game of his will be of interest to those who play the Jerome Gambit and who want to be aware of every finish-quickly variation. 

Wall, Bill - NN, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke6

This move follows the "psychology" of "If you want me to take the Knight, then I won't take the Knight", but it is simply not a good move. It is relatively rare: The Database has 24 games, with White scoring 65%.

Still, it is worth knowing the followup, as this "defense" has shown up in the games of Jerome Gambit regulars: blackburne, MrJoker, Petasluk, stretto, UNPREDICTABLE, and ZahariSokolov. I have faced it a couple of times and come away with wins.

In fact, I have posted a disproportionate number of times on the line - although, in fairness, they were all interesting posts, going back to "You, too, can add to Jerome Gambit theory" and including "A Strange, But Intriguing Path, Parts 1, 2, & 3" and "Still Strange, Still Intriguing Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4." The most recent post on the line is "We Know What We're Doing (Sort of)".


This is the move for White.

6...Kxe5 7.d4+ Kxd4

Wow. And that's that, folks...

Best, instead, was 7...Bxd4 8.Bf4+ Kf6 9.Bg5+ Kf7 10.Bxd8 and although Black has 3 pieces for his Queen, it is not enough.

8.Be3+ Kc4 9.Qe2+ Kb4 10.Bd2+ Ka4 11.b3 checkmate

Monday, November 28, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Important Win

If SeinfeldFan91 wins the current Jerome Gambit tournament, it will be in part due to his second round win over his main rival for top honors.

SeinfeldFan91 - procyk
Giuoco Piano Jerome Gambit Tournament, 2016

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

4...Kxf7 5.c3 h6

White chooses a "modern" Jerome Gambit variation, playing something other than the "classical" 5.Nxe5+.

Black's defensive pawn move has risks as well as benefits.

6.b4 Bd6

The text is maybe a little bit better than 6...Bb6. Two examples: 7.b5 Na5 (7...Qf6 8.bxc6 dxc6 9.d4 exd4 10.cxd4 Bg4 11.Qb3+ Ke8 12.Nbd2 Rd8 13.O-O Bxd4 14.Nxd4 Qxd4 15.Rb1 b5 16.Qg3 Nf6 17.h3 Be6 18.Nf3 Qxe4 19.Qxg7 Rf8 20.Re1 Qd5 21.Bxh6 Rf7 22.Qg6 Rdd7 23.Ng5 Kd8 24.Rxe6 Black resigned, Wall,B - Albertasss,, 20108.Nxe5+ Ke6 9.Qh5 Qf6 10.d4 d6 11.Ng6 Rh7 12.Qd5+ Kd7 13.Ne5+ Ke7 14.Qxg8 dxe5 15.Ba3+ Kd7 16.Qxh7 exd4 17.O-O dxc3 18.e5 Qf7 19. e6+ Qxe6 20.Qxg7+ Ke8 21.Qf8+ Kd7 22.Rd1+ Black resigned, Wall,B - Guest2359830,, 2015.


Another idea: 7.Qb3+ Kf8 8.d3 Nf6 9.O-O Qe7 10.Be3 Qe6 11.Qc2 b6 12.Nbd2 Bb7 13.d4 exd4 14.Nxd4 Nxd4 15.Bxd4 Qxe4 16.Nxe4 Nxe4 17.Qd3 Re8 18.f3 Ng5 19.Rae1 Rxe1 20.Rxe1 Be7 21.Qf5+ Ke8 22.Bxg7 Rg8 23.Qf6 Kd8 24.Qxe7+ Kc8 25.Bf6 Ne6 26.Rxe6 dxe6 27.Qxe6+ Kb8 28.Qxg8+ Bc8 29.Qd8 Kb7 Black resigned, KingAsh - Nineyes, FICS, 2015

7...Na5 8.d4 Qf6

Overlooking a tactic based on Black's King being on f7.

9.dxe5 Qe6 

Now he sees it: if 9...Bxe5 then 10.Qd5+ will win the Bishop. As it is, White wins back the piece anyhow.

10.exd6 Qxe4+ 11.Be3 Nc4

Black gets some pressure, but it is not enough.

12.Nbd2 Nxd2 13.Qxd2 Nf6 14.dxc7 Ng4 15.O-O Re8

It is useful to point out Black's light-squared Bishop, still on its home square, blocking the Queenside Rook.

16.Bd4 d6 17.Rfe1 Qd5 18.Qf4+ Bf5 19.c4 g5 20. Qxg4 Bxg4 21.
cxd5 Black resigned