Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Push for "a Nudge"

It's a small thing, but in one particular line of the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) I continue to play a move that I call "a nudge," despite its relative unpopularity.

After 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 we reach the following position:

There are 268 games in my database that have reached this position. Sixty of them – 22% – continued with 7.Qd5+, nudging the King, followed by 8.Qxc5. The rest continued with the straight-forward 7.Qxc5.

I suppose it could all be a matter of style. On the other hand, while the popular 7.Qxc5 scored 45% in the database games, "my" unpopular 7.Qd5+ has scored 78%. Of course, statistics are weird things...

For the record, Rybka 3 slightly prefers the nudge to the direct capture. On the other hand, in either of the lines, Rybka 3 recommends ...Qe7 to meet the capture of the Bishop – something that shows up in only 4% of the database games.

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