Friday, October 12, 2012

Pawn Stars

Just saw a reference to the television show "Pawn Stars".

I checked it out right away!

Man, was I disappointed...

It's not AT ALL about chess.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Intrigued by yesterday's Jerome Gambit Declined (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kf8/Ke7) game (see "Tumbling Dice"), I thought I'd take a look at the line in The Database and see what up-to-date data I could drum up.

I was surprised to see that White, ahead a pawn and having prevented Black from castling, only scores 58% in 238 games. Admittedly, that's better for White than the straight Jerome Gambit line  44% in 8,737 games  but it still seems light.

(Perhaps one must take into account the level of play, and Geoff Chandler's "blunder table".)

Breaking it down was not much help.

In 205 games, when Black declined the Bishop sacrifice with 5...Kf8, White scored 57%. Immediately removing the White Bishop from danger or exchanging it off  what would appear to be the simplest and best plan for the first player  did not matter a whole lot. In 51 games White played 6.Bxg8, scoring 63%. This was better than the 25 games in which White played 6.Bb3, scoring 56%; and the 18 games where White played 6.Bc4, scoring 53%. However, only one of those percentages is an improvement on the core 57%.

(We seem to have hit another one of those Jerome Gambit anomalies: by playing a "worse" line, White, apparently, scores "better" – or at least not any worse.

In the 33 games where Black played 5...Ke7, however, White scored 71%. That should be an indication for Black – although accepting the Bishop with 4...Kxf7 remains the best idea.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tumbling Dice

I was looking for a recent example of the Jerome Gambit Declined, a rather rare beast, when I ran across a game by an upstanding member of the Jerome Gambit Gemeinde, HauntedKnight. 

The following game, however, takes on the look of some tumbling dice, as the fortunes of both players change widely. However, as we have seen recently ("Wonderland"), White's "secret weapon" (i.e. it can take time for Black to figure what is going on in the Jerome, and how to play against it) finally snatches victory from the jaws of defeat. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Congrats, HK, a win is a win.

HauntedKnight  - Merfis
blitz, FICS, 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kf8 5.Bb3 Nf6 6.d3 h6 7.0-0 Na5 8.Nxe5 Nxb3 9.Ng6+ Kf7 10.Nxh8+ Kg8 11.Ng6 Nxa1 12.Be3 Qe8 13.Nf4 Bxe3 14.fxe3 Qe5 15.Nc3 Nxc2 16.Qxc2 c6 17.Ng6 Qe8 18.Nh4 d5 19.Qb3 Kh7 20.Re1 dxe4 21.dxe4 Nxe4 22.Nxe4 Qxe4 23.Nf3 b6 24.Qf7 c5 25.h4 Be6 26.Qc7 Bxa2 27.h5 Qg4 28.Ne5 Qxh5 29.Rf1 Bd5 30.Nd7 Qe2 31.Nf6+ Kh8 32.Nxd5 Qxb2 33.Qb7 Rd8 34.Nf4 Qa3 35.Ne6 Qxe3+ 36.Kh1 Qxe6 37.Qxa7 c4 38.Qc7 Rc8 39.Qg3 c3 40.Re1 Qf6 41.Qg4 Rd8 42.Qh5 c2 43.Re8+ Rxe8 44.Qxe8+ Kh7 45.Qe4+ Qg6 46.Qe3 b5 47.Qc1 Black forfeited on time

Monday, October 8, 2012


Readers know that I have encouraged those interested in new cutting-edge chess opening theory, and chess improvement in general, to visit Bruno's Chess Problem of the Day (see "Bruno's Chess Opening Articles" on my list of links). 

For some educational examples, see: "A New Link", "Improve Your Chess", "Something New in Something Old", "Even in the Most Respectable of Settings" and "Update".

The latest entry concerns 1.e4 e5 2.d3 Bc5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3! known as the Nf3-Bukayev gambit-reflectogen.

Check it out!