Sunday, June 25, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Humiliation

Image result for free clipart yuck


Abject humiliation.

I just completed a 10 0 online blitz game with the Jerome Gambit.

I won on time.

I won't annoy my opponent by giving his name. 

For historical purposes, here is the final position when his flag fell (with Black to move, mind you). I don't need Stockfish's help to figure this one out.

I know that I have shown other Jerome Gambit players escaping similarly, but it's a bit different when it is my game.

What kind of a role model is that?

I have half a mind to take up knitting.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Jerome Gambit: I Am Glad That I Read This Blog

I know that I have said before that I am glad that I read this blog, but my most recent Jerome Gambit game reinforced this habit - on the day the previous post appeared, I played the following game. Using "The Machine Idea", I quickly developed an advantage. Despite my opponent's efforts at counter-attack, and the time ticking off my clock, I was able to construct a checkmate.

perrypawnpusher - Praotorian

5 5 blitz, FICS, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 

7.Qf5+ Kd6 8.f4 Bd4 

An idea favored by some chess computer programs, looked at in Petasluk - GriffyJr, blitz, FICS, 2017, (0-1, 30).

9.fxe5+ Bxe5 

Instead of this capture, Stockfish 8 recommends the following line, which takes the game in a very different direction, but which winds up with a small advantage for Black: 9... Kc6 10.c3 d6 11.e6 Ne7 12.Qf1 Rf8 13.Qc4+ Bc5 14.a4 a6 15.d4 b5 16.Qe2 Ba7 17.axb5+ axb5 18.d5+ Kb7 19.Qxb5+ Bb6 20.Ra3 Rxa3 21.Nxa3 Ka7 22.Qa4+ Ba6 23.Nc2 Qe8 24.Qxe8 Rxe8. White has three pawns for the sacrificed piece, but Black has the two Bishops.

Analysis Diagram


I remembered GriffyJr's improvement.


A blitz move. Black's best was the counter-attack with 10...Qh4+.

11.Qd5+ Ke7 12.Qxd4 Qe8 13.Bg5+ Kf8 

Material is even, but White's attack is deadly. Stockfish 8 comlained after the game that 13...Kf7 would have held out longer, but I still would have had a significant advantage.

14.O-O+ Nf6 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.Rxf6+ 

Good enough to win, but a post mortem suggested 16.Qxf6+ Kg8 17.Qg5+ Qg6 18.Qe7 Qe8 19.Qxe8+ Kg7 20.Qe5+ Kh6 21.Rf6+ Kg7 22.Qg5 checkmate. This is a good maneuver to remember - even in time pressure. 

16...Kg8 17.Qd5+ Kg7 18.Qg5+ Qg6 19.Rxg6+ hxg6

 White has a Queen and a couple of pawns for a Rook - if he can manage his clock. Unfortunately, although my opponent's time was moving quickly, mine was falling even faster. My opponent was aware of this, and continued to fight.

20.Qe5+ Kg8 21.Nc3 d6 22.Qf6 Rh7 23.Rf1 Bd7 

Heh. In the Jerome Gambit I sacrifice two pieces and challenge my opponent: show me your win. Here Praotorian throws the challenge back at me.

24.Qxg6+ Rg7 25.Qf6 Kh7 26.Rf4 d5 27.Rh4+ Kg8 28.Nxd5 Rf8 

Everything is fine, but tick, tick, tick...

29.Qc3 Bb5 30.Ne3 Be2 31.Nf5 Rgf7 32.Qh8 checkmate

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jerome Gambit: A Machine Idea

Besides being used to annotate Jerome Gambit games of interest, computer programs have served as proponents or opponents in Jerome and Jerome-related games. The program below, GriffyJr, has visited this blog on several occasions - for starters, check out "Bots on Our Side" Part 1Part 2  and Part 3 as well as "Ionman vs the Bots".

In today's game we examine the most recent example of a computer - generated move. There is still a lot of game to play afterward, however.

Petasluk - GriffyJr
5 0 blitz, FICS, 2017

 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.f4 Bd4 

An interesting and somewhat unusual idea. The earliest example of it in The Database was played in 2002 by the computer program BigBook at the online site FICS.


Instead, 8.c3 was seen in the oldest and most recent games with the line in The Database: 8...Nd3+ 9.Kd1 (9.Kf1 Nxc1 10.cxd4 a6 11.Qe5+ Kf7 12.Nc3 Nd3 13.Qf5+ Qf6 14.Qxf6+ Nxf6 15.e5 Ne8 16.f5 Nxb2 17.Rb1 Nd3 18.g3 a5 19.a3 b6 20.Ke2 Ba6 21.Ke3 Bc4 22.Nb5 a4 23.Rhc1 Nxc1 24.Rxc1 Bxb5 25.h4 c6 26.g4 d6 27.g5 dxe5 28.dxe5 c5 29.d4 cxd4+ 30.Kxd4 Be2 31.e6+ Ke7 32.Rc6 b5 33.Rb6 Nd6 34.Rc6 Nxf5+ 35.Ke5 Nxh4 36.Rc7+ Kf8 37.e7+ Ke8 38.Ke6 Ng6 39.Rc2 Bf1 40.Rf2 Bd3 White forfeited on time, megagurka - BigBook, FICS, 2002) 9...Nf2+ 10.Ke2 Nf6 11.Qf5+ Kf7 12.cxd4 Nxh1 13.d3 d5 14.e5 Bxf5 White resigned, Petasluk - GriffyJr, FICS, 2017. 

And there was also another computer-with-black game: 8.f5+ Kd6 9.d3 g6 10.Qe2 gxf5 11.c3 Qh4+ 12.g3 Bxc3+ 13.bxc3 Qg4 14.d4 Nf3+ 15.Kf1 Qh3+ 16.Kf2 Nxh2 17.Bf4+ Ke7 18.exf5+ Kf8 19.Nd2 Nh6 20.Bxh6+ Qxh6 21.Kg2 Qg5 22.Rxh2 Qxf5 23.Rf1 d5 24.Rxf5+ Bxf5 25.Qe5 Kf7 26.Rh5 Bd7 27.Qxd5+ Kg6 28.Ne4 Rae8 29.Qg5+ Kf7 30.Qf6+ Kg8 31.Rg5 checkmate, Moller,M - Mephisto, Denmark 2008.

Interestingly, Stockfish 8 suggests 8.fxe5 g6 9.Qg4+ Kf7 10.Qf4+ Kg7 11.c3 Bb6 12.a4 a5 13.d4 d6 14.O-O Qe7 15.exd6 cxd6 16.Na3 Be6 17.Kh1 h6 18.d5 Bd7 19.Nc4 Bc5 20.e5 Rf8 21.Qxf8+ Qxf8 22.Rxf8 Kxf8 23.Bf4 Ne7 with an even game because White's pawns are balancing out Black's extra piece. 


A clear improvement over 9.c3 Nd3+ 10.Ke2 Ne7 11.e5+ Nxe5 12.fxe5+ Bxe5 13.Qd3+ Ke6 14.Qc4+ d5 15.Qg4+ Kd6 16.d4 Bxg4+ White resigned, fehim - blik, FICS, 2006. (Yes, blik is a computer.)


If it can't see a reason not to, a computer will grab material. Here GriffyJr shows some nearsightedness. 



Interestingly, two earlier several-days-per move games (all players human) missed the idea:

10.O-O Qh4 11.h3 Qg3 12.Rf2 Nf6 13.d4 Bxd4 14.Bf4+ Kc6 15.Bxg3 Bxf2+ 16.Bxf2 d6 17.Qa5 Nxe4 18.Qa4+ Kd5 19.Nc3+ Nxc3 20.bxc3 Ke6 21.Re1+ Kf6 22.Qf4+ Kg6 23.Re3 Bf5 24.Rg3+ Kf6 25.Bd4+ Ke6 26.Re3+ Kd7 27.Qxf5+ Kd8 28.Bxg7 Rg8 29.Bf6 checkmate, blackburne - eddie43, Jerome Gambit thematic,, 2008; and

10.c3 Nh6 11.Qf3 c5 12.Qd3+ Kc7 13.Na3 a6 14.Nc4 d6 15.Rb1 Qh4+ 16.g3 Qh3 17.Nxe5 dxe5 18.Qe3 b6 19.b4 Rf8 20.bxc5 b5 21.Ba3 Ng4 22.Qg5 Rf7 23.Qh4 Qg2 24.Qxg4 Bxg4 White resigned, Gary_Seven - drewbear, JG3 thematic, 2008


GriffyJr decides to mix it up.

11.Kf1 Qf6 

Yikes. Instead, GriffyJr gets mixed up. I have no idea how or why. Much better was 11...Kc6.

12.dxe5+ Qxe5 13.Qxe5+ 

Oh, dear. The crusher was, of course, 13.Bf4 winning Black's Queen. These things happen in blitz games.


Even game.

14.Nc3 Nf6 15.g3 Nxe4 16.Bf4+ Kf5 17.Nxe4 Kxe4 18.Re1+ Kf5 19.Kg2 b6 20.Rhf1 Bb7+ 21.Kh3 Ba6 22.Rf2 c6 

Play continues in a Queenless middlegame, about balanced, despite White's pawn minus (because of his activity).

23.Be5+ Kg6 24.Rd2 d5 25.Rd4 Bc8+ 26.Kg2 Bf5 27.h3 Rhe8 

By focusing on development Black has pulled ahead. Still, if White can exchange Rooks, the possibility of a drawn bishops-of-opposite-color endgames is there.

Unfortunately, the computer can move lightning fast, while the human actually has to think - a disadvantage in blitz. White makes a tactical slip.

28.g4 Bxc2 29.h4 Be4+ 30.Kg3 Rxe5 White resigned

Monday, June 19, 2017

BSJG: Chance for A Miniature

Why play the Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit, when there are perfectly playable responses for White within the regular lines of the Blackburne Shilling Gambit? Fun and familiarity are two reasons. The chance for a miniature is another. 

DVYate - melazzini
FICS, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 

The Blackburne Shilling Gambit.

4. Bxf7+ 

The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit.

(Certainly White can play 4.0-0, 4.Nxd4 or 4.c3 instead, with advantage.)

4...Kxf7 5. Nxe5+ Ke8 

The Database has 2,256 games with this move. White scores 58%.

"Best" seems to be 5...Ke6.

6.Qh5+ g6 

Likewise, The Database has 1,356 games with this move. White still scores 58%.

7. Nxg6 Bg7 

This Bishop moves seems, at first glance, to be a practical response - arranging to capture White's Knight after it takes the Rook at h8.

There are three things wrong with this move, however: the game continuation, the recommendation in the notes, and the straight-forward capture 7...hxg6 (best).


At the very least White is now going to wind up ahead a Rook and 4 pawns. That is more than enough.

However, in all fairness, he also had the King hunt 8.Ne5+ Ke7 9.Qf7+ Kd6 10.Nc4+ Kc5 11.Qd5+ Kb4 12.a3+ Ka4 13.Nc3 checkmate. 


Holding out longer is 8...Ke7, but why bother? 

9.Qf7 checkmate

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit: Creativity

I recently ran across an unusual line in the Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit that led to some interesting play - no doubt "enhanced" by the blitz time limit. White's creativity is to be applauded.

sahistonline - sriwijaya
5 5 blitz, FICS 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 Nd4

Blackburne Shilling Gambit.


Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke6 6.c3 Kxe5 


A rare, but interesting idea. Most recommended is 7.cxd4+ leading to an equal game.


Not 7...Kxf4 which gave White an immediate payoff after 8.Rf1+ (8.Qh5!?) Ke5 9.cxd4+ Kxd4?! 10.Qa4+ (10.Rf5!?) Ke5 11.d4+ Ke6 12.Qb3+ (12.d5!?) Kd6?! 13.Qd5+ Ke7 Black resigned, drakorg - borodin, FICS, 2002.

Best, as always in this line of the Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit, was to retreat the King, e.g. 7...Ke6.


White should not seek to immediately recover his sacrificed material, i.e. 8.cxd4 Kxd4 (8...Kxf4 leads to mate 9.Rf1+ Kg5 10.d3+ Kg6 11.Qg4+ Black resigned, jorgemlfranco - FoldZero, FICS, 2012; 8...d5!?) 9.O-O Bc5 10.Kh1 Qh4 11.Qa4+ Kd5 12.Nc3+ Kd6 13.d4 Bb6 14.Bd2 Nf6 15.Qb4+ Ke6 16.Rae1+ Kf7 17.Qc4+ Kg6 18.f5+ Kh5 19.Ne2 d5 20.Qd3 Ne4 21.Nf4+ Kg4 22.Qf3+ Kxf5 23.Ng6+ Kxg6 24.Qf7 checkmate, richiehill - steadylooking, FICS, 2011.

Best is to lock the enemy King in the center with 8.Qh5.

8...Kd5 9.Qh5+

The King is free. White might as well play 9.cxd4 and accept that he is worse.

But, remember, this is a blitz game!

9...Kc6 10.cxd4 Qe7+ 11.Kf2 Nf6 12.Qf3+ Nd5

In the BSJG, as well as in the Jerome Gambit, Black should always be concerned about blocking in his light-squared Bishop, which in turn blocks his Rook. Best, therefore, was 12...d5!?.

13.Nc3 Qd6 14.Be3 b6 15.Rac1 Kb7 16.Nxd5 c6 17.Nc3 

Black has castled-by-hand on the Queenside.

White's advantage isn't his extra, doubled pawn, it is his great lead in development.

17...g5 18.Rhf1 Be7

Black would have done better to stick with his original idea 18...gxf4 19.Qxf4 Qxf4+ 20.Bxf4 d5 and White has only an edge.


More direct was opening the position with 19.d5!?


How ironic: Black erred earlier by putting his Knight on this square, now he is mistaken putting his Queen there. Then as now, ...d5!? was the move with near equality. The locked up pieces will never become part of the game.

20.Qxd5 cxd5 21.fxg5 Rf8+ 22.Kg1 Rxf1+ 23.Kxf1 Bd8

24.Nd6+ Ka6 25.Nxc8 Rxc8 26.Rxc8 Black resigned

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Daily Business

The following game is a good example of a serious Jerome Gambiteer going about his daily business of building his game toward equality, and then advantage...

HauntedKnight- joshuaabby
15 0, FICS, 2016

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

The Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit, also reached by 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nc3 Nf6.

Play usually develops slower than in the main line Jerome.

5...Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.d4 Bxd4 8.Qxd4 d6 9.Bg5 Be6 10.O-O-O

HauntedKnight has over 400 games with the white pieces in The Database. He has tried a couple other, equally strong, ideas instead of the text:

10.f4 Nc6 11.Qe3 h6 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.O-O-O Nb4 14.e5 dxe5 15.fxe5 Qg5 16.Rhf1+ Ke7 17.Qxg5+ hxg5 18.a3 Na2+ 19.Nxa2 Bxa2 20.b3 Rad8 21.Kb2 Rxd1 22.Rxd1 Bxb3 23.cxb3 Rf8 24.Rd2 Ke6 25.Re2 Rf5 26.g4 Rxe5 27.Rc2 c6 28.h3 Re3 29.Rc3 Rxc3 30.Kxc3 Ke5 31.Kd3 Kf4 White resigned, HauntedKnight - craquou, FICS, 2014; and

10.O-O Rf8 11.f4 Nc6 12.Qd2 Bc4 13.Rf2 Qd7 14.e5 Ne8 15.b3 Ba6 16.Qd5+ Qe6 17.Qxe6+ Kxe6 18.exd6 Nxd6 19.Re2+ Kd7 20.Rd2 Rae8 21.h4 Kc8 22.h5 Ne4 23.Nxe4 Rxe4 24.c4 Nd4 25.Rd3 Ne2+ 26.Kh2 Nxf4 27.Rf1 Nxd3 28.Rxf8+ Kd7 29.Rd8+ Ke6 30.Rxd3 Kf5 31.Bd8 c6 32.Bc7 b5 33.Rf3+ Rf4 34.Rxf4+ Black resigned, HauntedKnight -  Bernano, FICS, 2013.


Preparing to castle-by-hand. HauntedKnight has also faced:

10...Nc6 11.Qe3 h6 12.Bh4 g5 13.Bg3 Qe7 14.Rhe1 Rad8 15.h3 Rhe8 16.f4 gxf4 17.Qxf4 Rg8 18.Bh4 Ne5 19.Qxh6 Rh8 20.Qf4 Ng6 21.Qf2 Rxh4 22.g4 Ke8 23.e5 dxe5 24.Rxd8+ Kxd8 25.Qxa7 c6 26.Qb8+ Kd7 27.Rd1+ Nd5 28.Nxd5 cxd5 29.Qxb7+ Ke8 30.Qb8+ Kf7 31.Rf1+ Kg7 32.a4 Qg5+ 33.Kb1 Nf4 34.a5 Rh8 35.Qc7+ Kg6 36.h4 Qxh4 37.Qxe5 Qf6 38.Qxf4 Qxf4 39.Rxf4 d4 40.Rxd4 Rh1+ 41.Rd1 Rxd1 checkmate, HauntedKnight - spip, FICS, 2011; and

10...h6 11.Bh4 g5 12.Bg3 Nh5 13.Bxe5 dxe5 14.Qxe5 Qf6 15.Qxc7+ Kg6 16.f3 Rac8 17. Qxb7 Rb8 18.Qxa7 Nf4 19.h4 Ne2+ 20.Nxe2 Qxb2+ 21.Kd2 Rhd8+ 22.Ke1 Qb4+ 23.c3 Qb2 24.h5+ Kf6 25.e5+ Kf5 26.g4+ Kxe5 27.Qe3+ Kf6 28.Nd4 Qxa2 29.f4 Bxg4 30.fxg5+ hxg5 31.Rf1+ Kg7 32.Qe7+ Kh6 33.Qf6+ Kh7 34.Qg6+ Kh8 35.Qh6+ Kg8 36.Qxg5+ Kh7 37.Rf7+ Qxf7 38.Qxg4 Re8+ 39.Kd2 Qf2+ 40.Kc1 Qb2 checkmate, HauntedKnight - davidromero, FICS, 2014;

11.f4 Nc6 12.Qe3

Also: 12.Qd2 Kg8 13.e5 dxe5 14.Qxd8 Raxd8 15.Bxf6 Rxd1+ 16.Rxd1 gxf6 17.fxe5 Nxe5 18.h3 Rf7 19.b3 Rd7 20.Rf1 Kf7 21.Ne4 f5 22.Nc5 Rd6 23.Nxb7 Ra6 24.Kb2 Kg6 25.Nc5 Rd6 26.Rf2 Rc6 27.Na4 Nd7 28.Nc3 Nb6 29.Ne2 Nd5 30.Nd4 Rd6 31.g3 c5 32.Nb5 Rd7 33.Na3 f4 34.gxf4 Bxh3 35.Nc4 h5 36.Ne5+ Kf5 37.Nxd7 Nxf4 38.Nxc5 Bg4 39.Nd3 Black resigned, HauntedKnight - craquou, FICS, 2012.

12...h6 13. Bh4 Ng4 14.Qg3 Nf6

Interestingly enough, even though Black has a piece for a pawn, after this move Stockfish 8 sees the position as even. Instead, it recommends the messy line 14...g5 15.Bxg5 hxg5 16.f5 Nge5 17.fxe6+ Kxe6 18.Rhf1 g4 19.Rf5 Rxf5 20.exf5+ Kd7 21.Ne4 b6 22.h3 gxh3 23.Qxh3 Qh8 24.Rh1 Qxh3 25.Nf6+ Kc8 26.Rxh3 Kb7 when Black has castled-by-hand on the Queenside and is clearly better - but I don't see two club players finding their way through all of that.


Thematic, but possibly premature. The computer prefers 15.Qe3 Kg8 with equality.

15...Nh5 16.Qf2 Qd7 17.h3 Rg8

This looks like a mouse-slip, instead of the better 17...Kg8, but I am not sure. Perhaps Black is planning on expanding on the Kingside, but he never gets the chance.

18.g4 Ke8

The King senses danger, and he is right.

19.gxh5 Bxh3 20.e6

A sacrifice to open the e-file, but the simple 20.exd6 was good enough.

20...Bxe6 21.Rhe1 Rf8

White has too much fire power on the files.

22.f5 Rxf5

A final slip.


Black forfeited by disconnection, no doubt out of frustration at his last move; but the game was lost, for example 22...Qf7 23.Rxe6+ Qxe6 24.fxe6 Rxf2 25.Bxf2 when White has an extra piece and his advanced passed pawn will cause problems for Black. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Inscrutible

With the proliferation of computer engines in the chess world, the notion of a "computer-like" move - not the kind of thing that a person might easily come up with - has become frequent in game discussion or analysis. There are some "computer-like" moves in the following game - but a better word might be "inscrutible".

Wall, Bill - Computer-level 8, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4  d6 

A reasonable move, aiming to develop and allowing its opponent to choose which piece to recapture. White has scored 50% in the couple dozen games in The Database.

7. dxc5 a6 

This is a bit odd, however, and a novelty according to The Database. More frequently seen is the consistent 7...Nf6.

8.cxd6 Nf6 9.O-O Re8 

The pawn on d6 will hang for several more moves.

10.f4 Neg4 11.h3 Nxe4 12.hxg4 Bd7 

The computer continues to go its own way. It has returned the extra piece. White has an edge.

13.f5 Kg8 14.Bf4 cxd6 15.Nc3 Qb6+ 16.Kh2 Bc6 17.Nd5

Bill is willing to mix it up tactically with the computer.

17...Qxb2 18.Nc7 Rab8 

Stockfish 8 suggests, instead, the following well-balanced mess, with White for choice: 18...Nf2 19.Qd2 Nxg4+ 20.Kh1 Nf6 21.Nxa8 Rxa8 22.Rfb1 Qa3 23.Bxd6 Qh3+ 24.Kg1 Qg4 25.Be5 Ne4 26.Qf4 Qxf4 27.Bxf4 Rf8 28.Be3 Rxf5 29.Rb3 Ng3 30.Re1 Rh5 31.Bf4 Rh1+ 32.Kf2 Ne4+ 33.Ke2 Rh5 34.Kd1. I can understand the preference for the text.

19.Nxe8 Rxe8 20.g5 Nc3 

The battle rages. Black's loss of the exchange will be considered either a blunder or a sacrifice depending on how the game turns out. In the meantime, White prefers to move the attention to the Kingside.

21. Qg4 Qxc2 22. f6 Qe2 

Feeling the heat, Black offers the exchange of Queens.

23.Qh3 Nb5 

Stockfish 8 now snarkily points out that White has a checkmate in 28 moves!

The game does not last that long.

24.Rae1 Qxe1 25.Rxe1 Nc7

Very strange. Why not 25...Rxe1?

White now relentlessly closes in on Black's King with computer-like precision.

26.f7+ Kxf7 27.Qf5+ Kg8 28.Bxd6 h5 29.g6 Ne6 30.Rxe6 Rd8 31.Qxh5 Bxg2 32.Qh7 checkmate