Saturday, September 8, 2012

If It Were Always This Easy...

Here is a trio of "shock and awe" Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) games to get us started on the new MrJoker collection.

You know the kind: where Black is so kerfuzzled by White's brash attack that he quickly turns over his King.

MrJoker - Melbourne
blitz, 2 12, Internet Chess Club, 2011
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 7.Qd5+ Black disconnected and forfeited

MrJoker  - bishop12
blitz, 2 12, Internet Chess Club, 2012
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 7.Qd5+ Black resigned

MrJoker - Ronint
blitz, 2 12, Internet Chess Club, 2012
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Kf8 7.Qxe5 Qf6 8.Qxc5+ Black resigned

Of course, if it were always this easy, Magnus Carlsen would be playing the Jerome Gambit!

Friday, September 7, 2012


The following game reminds me of the story about two guys in the jungle who are suddenly spotted by a carnivorous beast. The first quickly changes to his running shoes. "You don't think you're going to outrun that tiger, do you?" asked the second, skeptically. "I don't have to outrun him," said the first, "I just have to outrun  you."

My game was a sloppy mess, but less sloppy and less messy than my opponent. Sometimes that's how it goes.

perrypawnpusher - trunkat
blitz, FICS, 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 4.0-0 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ 

The Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit.

5...Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.Qh5+ Ng6 8.Qd5+ Kf8 9.Qxc5+ N8e7 


Or 10.Nc3 as in perrypawnpusher - sarBear, blitz, FICS, 2009 (1-0, 16). 


Black kicked my Queen with 10...b6 in perrypawnpusher -blackflower, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 29).

11.Qe3 h5 12.f5 Ne5 13.d4 Nc4 14.Qd3 d5 

It was better to simply withdraw the Knight.


Jumping at the chance to advance my "Jerome pawn," but 15.Nc3 was probably better.


There has to be a miscalculation somewhere... Simply 15...Bxf5 16.Rxf5+ Nxf5 17.Qxf5+ Kg8 kept White's edge small.

16.Bxb2 Bxf5 17.Rxf5+ Nxf5 18.Qxf5+ Kg8 

19.Ba3 b6 20.Nd2 Qh4 21.c3 Rf8 

An oversight that puts the game out of reach. Black was looking to counter my next move, instead of remembering the one a few moves ago. 

22.Qxf8+ Kh7 23.Qf5+ Kh6 

24.Rf1 c5 25.dxc5 Black resigned

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Return of MrJoker

I just received an email from MrJoker (aka Louis Morin, of Montreal, Canada) which included a file of his games. Most interesting to me were the 65 Jerome Gambit (or Jerome-ish) games that I did not have in The Database (currently 26,600 games - and I have several months of FICS games still to add).

Many thanks to MrJoker. I am sure that Readers will enjoy the games that will appear here shortly.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Just Another Day on the Job

In the following game, Philidor1792 makes the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) look like just another day on the job. Ho-hum. Do the work. Collect the point.

Philidor1792 - guest2052
Internet online game, 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 

7.Qd5+ Ke8 8.Qxc5 Nf6 9.0-0 d6 10.Qe3

Here we have a standard Jerome Gambit position. Mrjoker, for example, has reached it 21 times, and scored 76%. Perrypawnpusher has reached it 36 times, and scored 79%.

 10...Qe7 11.Nc3 Be6 12.f4 Nf8 

An improvement over 12...Ng4 as in Wall,B - Hirami,Z, 2011(1-0, 20). 

13.f5 Bf7 14.d4 N8d7 

15.Qg3 Kf8 16.Bg5 Re8 17.Rae1 

Playing e4-e5 is "job one" for White.

17...Bc4 18.Rf3 Qf7 19.b3 Ba6 20.e5 dxe5 21.dxe5

21...Nh5 22.Qf2 Nb6 23.e6 Qg8 24.Qc5+ Black resigned

It is checkmate next move.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


In the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) sometimes Black's Knights can't help themselves, they just have to harass the enemy Queen. It seems like a good idea at the time, but things do not always turn out as they are planned. The time invested in the horsing around is lost.

Philidor1792 - guest2052
Internet online game, 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 

7.Qd5+ Kf8 8.Qxc5+ Qe7 9.Qe3 d6 

10.f4 Nf6 11.Nc3  Ng4 12.Qf3 c6 13.f5 N6e5 14.Qg3 h5 

15.d4 Nc4 16.0-0 Kg8 17.b3 Nb6 18.h3 Nf6 19.Bg5 Qf8 

Breaking the pin, while still protecting the (retreated) Knight.

The "Jerome pawns" are getting ready to roll.

20.Bxf6 Qxf6 21.e5 dxe5 

Rybka suggests that the only way out of this mess for Black is tactical: 21...h4 22.Qe3 Qe7 23.f6 gxf6 24.Rxf6 Rh7 25.Rxd6 Bf5 26.Rf6 Bxc2 27.Qd2 Nd7 when White sacrifices the exchange 28.Raf1 Nxf6 29.exf6 Qd7 30.Qxc2 for an edge.

22.dxe5 h4 23.Qf4 Qh6 24.Qd4 Kh7

As in many successful Jerome Gambit games, it is hard not to notice Black's misplaced Knight on b6, and his undeveloped Bishop and Rooks.


White had the threatening 25.Rf4, but he had to see that after the tricky response 15...Rd8, he could still proceed with 16.Qe4.

25...Bd7 26.e6 Be8 27.Rf4 Kg8 


Allowing the blockade, while 28.f6 was playable right away. 

28...Qf6 29.Qe3 Rd8 30.Raf1 Rh5 

Rybka sees a way out for Black: 30...Nd5 31.Nxd5 Rxd5 32.Qxa7 Rh5 33.Qxb7 Rhxf5 34.Rxf5 Rxf5 35.Rxf5 Qxf5 36.Qe7 Bg6 37.Qd8+ Qf8 38.Qxh4 Qc5+ 39.Kh1 Qxc2 40.Qd8+ Kh7 41.Qh4+ Kg8 42.Qd8+ Kh7 43.Qh4+ Kg8 44.Qd8+ Kh7 45.Qh4+ Kg8 draw

31.Ne4 Qd4 32.Qxd4 Rxd4 33.f6 

Even without Queens on the board, the breakthrough wins.

33...Rxe4 34.f7+ Bxf7 35.exf7+ Kf8 36.Rxe4 Black resigned

Monday, September 3, 2012

Trapped Times Two

The latest game from Bill Wall (with notes by him):
I played an interesting Jerome Gambit yesterday, and with a little luck I won in 22 moves.  I sort of trapped his king and queen at the same time.

Wall,B - Guest327668, 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 

7.Qd5+ Ke8 8.Qxc5 d6 9.Qb5+ 

[As seen in Wall - Yunfan,, 2011, (1-0, 18) and Wall - Zhu,, 2011, (1-0, 19) - Rick]

9...Qd7 10.Qe2 Nf6 

11.d4 Qg4 12.f3 Qh4+ 13.g3 Qh5 14.Nc3 c6 

15.e5 dxe5 16.0-0 Bh3 

I expected that.  Perhaps better is 16...Kf7, threatening 17...exd4.

17.Re1 Kf7 

 Or 17...Rf8 18.dxe5 Nd7.


I wanted him to move the f6 Knight so I could get in g4 and not have hims sac to open up my king.  I wasn't sure about 18.dxe5 Rhe8 19.f4 Bg4.

18...Nxe4 19.g4

This looked better than 19.Qxe4 exd4 and I am in trouble.


The only place for the Queen and it seems trapped and out of play.  I thought I could hold after 19...Bxg4 20.fxg4 Qh4 21.Qxe4.


Better than 20.Qxe4 Rhe8 21.Qf5+ Qf6.


The king has to move somewhere.  Perhaps better is 20...Ke8 21.Rxe4 Rf8.


I almost played 21.dxe5+ Nxe5 22.Qxe4, but Black has 22...Qxe1+! 23.Qxe1 Nxf3+ and Black wins. 

21...Rhe8? 22.g5+ and Black resigned  

If  22...Kf5, then 23.Qf7 mate.  Black could hold out a little bit more with 22...Ke7 23.Rxh4 Nxh4 24.dxe5 Nxf3+ 25.Kh1, then 26.Qb4+, but White should win this.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

All's Well

The saying "all's well that ends well" is doubly relevant to the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) player. On one hand, it is a reminder that the "ugly" beginning of a game is not as important as the beautiful (winning) end of play. 

Also, a knowledge of endgame play, in the case of the following game, specifically that of pawns vs piece play, is very helpful. 

Philidor1792 - guest2052
Internet online game, 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Kf8 

A venerable defense, but one often mistreated by White, anyway.

7.Qxe5 d6 

Previous games from Philidor1792 have seen 7...Qe7 

8.Qf4+ Qf6 9.d3 Qxf4 10.Bxf4 Nf6 

Ask your computer, and it will say that Black is better. Watch the game, and you will see that White knows better how to handle his "Jerome pawns" than Black knows how to handle his extra piece. Comfort and experience count for a lot.

11.c3 h6 12.Nd2 g5 13.Bg3 Nh5 14.d4 Bb6 15.Nc4 Nxg3 16.hxg3 Kg7 

Black has steadfastly worked to gain the Bishop pair. (A computer assessment, however, is likely to say that in doing so he has dropped 1/2 of a pawn's worth of advantage. At least, that's Fritz 8's opinion.)

17.f3 Be6 18.Nxb6 axb6 19.a3 h5 20.Kf2 h4 21.gxh4 Rxh4 22.Rxh4 gxh4 23.Rh1 Rh8 

The next few moves are not "best" for either player, but they illustrate the interplay of each side's advantage.

24.f4 Bg4 25.f5 Kf6 26.Ke3 d5 27.Kf4 Be2 28.e5+ Kg7 

Which side would you like to play?

White may have a small edge, but the game should be drawn with "best play" by both sides, as they say. Of course, that is also said about the game's starting position.

29.g4 hxg3 30.Rxh8 g2 31.Rh3 g1Q 32.Rg3+ Qxg3+ 33.Kxg3 Kh6 

34.Kf4 Bh5 35.e6 Kg7 36.Ke5 

This looks dangerous for Black, but his defense will hold if he can a) get his King in front of the passed pawns, while b) keeping White's King from coming out from behind the passed pawns. Black's Bishop can move back and forth, when necessary, burning tempos.


Black would do better protecting his d-pawn with the Bishop, i.e. 36...Bf3. It is difficult to see what White can then do to win. Of course, there is 37.f6+ Kf8 38.Kf4 Be2 39.Kf5 but 39...Bd3+ 40.Kg5 Be4 seems to hold.

The text gives White's King an entry to the Queenside, where it can create havoc, taking the spotlight off of the pawns vs piece debate. Or, the King can make use of his entry to help the pawns, which was Philidor1792's choice.

37.f6+ Kg6 38.f7 Kg7 39.Kd6 Bg6 40.Ke7 Black resigned