Wednesday, October 17, 2012


In my post "On the Other Hand..." the other day, I mentioned Abby Marshall's "The Openings Explained" column at ChessCafe, where she recently took on "The Two Knights Defense, Center Fork Trick" (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nxe4 5.Nxe4 d5)

I also alluded to Yury V. Bukayev's analysis as well, which I sent to Abby.

Ms. Marshall had selected and added my email to the bottom of her column as "pertinent response."

Rick Kennedy from the USA – Abby, I never miss your column at ChessCafe, and love the hard work you put into each one. Here's an interesting Fork Trick resource. Please keep up the great work.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Not Worth One's Full Attention



Most players, if they are aware of the Jerome Gambit at all, remember something about J.H. Blackburne destroying it in a wonderful miniature ending with a Queen sac and mate.

We've discussed the topic before: what if you only remember parts of Blackburne's counter-attack?

After all, the Jerome isn't really worth the defender's full attention, especially in a blitz game, is it?

perrypawnpusher -NN
blitz, FICS, 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 




4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ g6 7.Qxe5 Bd6 



Okay, okay, Blackburne actually played 7...d6 here, but perhaps my opponent was thinking of an "improved Blackburne Defense"? 

(Actually, in The Database Black scored 9% in 32 games, so it's not really much of an improvement.)

8.Qxh8 Nf6 

I'm pretty sure that Blackburne trapped White's Queen with this move...

9.Qxd8 Black resigned



Sure, an example of taking advantage of my opponent's distractedness. Still, this is the fifth example of such a Queen "sacrifice" in The Database, so I have to encourage readers: the next time your opponent looks at your opening disdainfully and says "I have half a mind to..." – say Thank you!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

On the Other Hand...


When I wander over to the ChessCafe website, I like to read the monthly column by Abby Marshall (USCF Candidate Master, currently rated 2192) "The Openings Explained". She's a hard worker, she's not afraid of playing gambits (the King's Gambit is her specialty) – and she used to be from my home town.

This week's topic is "The Two Knights Defense, Center Fork Trick" [1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nxe4 5.Nxe4 d5], something that has been discussed on this blog a number of times before (like when you play 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc3 looking for a Jerome, and your opponent plays 3...Nf6; can your 4.Nc3 get him to cough up 4...Bc5, so you can play 5.Bxf7+ ?). For just a sample of posts, try "Jerome Gambit vs Two Knights Defense (Part 3)" and "Further Explorations (Part 1 and Part 2)"

Don't forget to review Yury V. Bukayev's analysis as well, which I will be sending to Abby.