In the first of my two Italian Game tournaments at Chess.com I have won one game and am near another win. Both of them are technical endgames.
In my second tournament, I suffered a loss when my "brilliant" Queen sacrifice did not lead to a back rank checkmate, after all... Awkward.
However, I have just completed a win with the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+), and that is enough for me to consider the tournament a success, already!
perrypawnpusher (1636) - Vaima01 (1773)
Italian Game - Round 1 Chess.com, 2012
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+
4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6
This is a natural response, prudently returning one of the two sacrificed pieces; yet, I am always glad to see it, as it leads to interesting clashes between the "Jerome pawns" and Black's extra piece, and the chess engines usually show a gradual slip into an even game after about a dozen moves.
7.Qd5+ Ke8 8.Qxc5 d6 9.Qe3 Qe7
Or 10.d4, as in mrjoker - lilred, ICC, 2009 (1-0, 50); or 10.0-0 as in mrjoker - blind25, ICC, 2009 (0-1, 66) and perrypawnpusher - Edvardinho, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 57).
10...Nf6 11.0-0 Be6
A bit more active was 11...Rf8, as in perrypawnpusher - MRBarupal, blitz, FICS, 2010 (0-1, 31) and perrypawnpusher - chingching, blitz, FICS, 2011 (½-½, 36).
An alternate development of Black's Bishop was seen after 11...b6 in perrypawnpusher - Navarrra, blitz, FICS, 2011, (1-0, 24).
Black's move is sensible. There have been a variety of alternatives:
The frisky 12...Bc4 was seen in perrypawnpusher - ZhekaR, blitz, FICS 2011 (0-1, 36) and perrypawnpusher - tuffnut, blitz, FICS, 2012 (1-0, 62);
The retreat 12...Bd7 appeared in perrypawnpusher - Unimat, blitz, FICS, 2011 (1-0, 25);
The bold 12...Kd7 was tried in perrypawnpusher - Solaar, blitz, FICS, 2011 (33); and
The counter-attacking 12...Ng4 erupted in Wall,B - Hirami,Z, Chess.com, 2011 (1-0, 20).
13.f5 Ne5 14.d4 Nc6 15.Qd3 Kd7 16.e5 Ne8
Black opts for the scientific solution of returning a piece for two pawns, with the goal of leveling out the position and the game.
After the game, however, Rybka suggested the way to do that would have been by 16...Nxe5 17.dxe5 Qxe5. It turns out that there is a glitch or two in giving back the Bishop.
17.e6+ Bxe6 18.fxe6+ Kd8
The second pawn is not easily taken, as after 18...Kxe6 there is 19.Qf5 checkmate; and after 18...Qxe6 White has 19.d5.
White is now better, but it took me a while to figure out how to proceed.
19.d5 Ne5 20.Qf5 h6 21.Bf4 Rf8 22.Qh3 Rf6
This helps, although in the end I decided to settle for the win of another pawn, with a strong position.
23.Ne4 Rf8 24.Bxe5 dxe5 25.Qg3 Nf6 26.Qxe5
26...Nxe4 27.Qxe4 Qc5+ 28.Kh1 Ke7 29.Rf7+
My favorite move of the game. It's success is based on finding a "quieter" move later on.
After the alternative, 29...Ke8, I had planned 30.Raf1 and Black does not have long to live.
I was happy to see that after 30...Kf8 I would have the nice move 31.Re1
31.Qe6+ Kf8 32.Rf1+ Qf2 Black resigned