Friday, October 26, 2012

I am thrilled!

Yuri Bukayev has a very funny sense of humor. He recently sent me this email:

I found super news for you! Thus, I found on WGM Olympic Champion 2012 N. Pogonina's site (section "Press", publication "Natalia Pogonina Interviewed by Chess Rex", 30.07.2012) the following piece:

Chess Rex: If in chess… all pawns became bishops… then what would be the problem in playing the game? Or who will get the advantage…White or Black? If you are playing such game as white, then what would be your first move and why?

Natalia: This “game” is a mate in 4: 1.Bxf7+ Kxf7 2.Bc4+ (or 2.Bh5+) Ke8 3.Qh5+ Bg6 4.Qxg6# There are a few sub-variations (exercise: find them), but it’s still a mate in 4.

Thus, dear Rick, the Jerome Attack is theoretically the strongest opening, a winning opening, if... 

Are you glad?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Rocket Surgery 2.0

The last time that I played MrMef (see "Rocket Surgery") we developed a game that was truly a mess... This time I seriously wanted to get it right.

perrypawnpusher - MrMef
blitz, FICS, 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 h6 5.0-0 Bc5 6.Bxf7+ 

The Semi-Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit.

6...Kxf7 7.Nxe5+ Nxe5 8.d4 Bxd4 9.Qxd4 Nc6

Attack the Queen is Black's notion. My response was based on the naive notion (although it has proven successful in past games) that Black might want to continue to harass Her Majesty with the erronious 10...Nb4.


Probably better was 10.Qc4+


Chasing the Queen to a better spot.

11.Qg3 d6 12.f4 Nc6 13.Bd2 Qe8 

Black is taking steps against the threatened e4-e5 by White, but I think that his Rook needed to be doing this. That would also be preparation for castling-by-hand.

14.Rae1 Bg4 

 Black has made a series of small mistakes, and before this puzzling move the cost has been, at most, allowing White to claim (because of his development) a nearly equal game. Now the first player gets his attack on.

15.e5 dxe5 16.fxe5 Nxe5 

I am not sure if this is an oversight or a miscalculation. Did my opponent not see that my Queen strikes at e5, or was he, perhaps, expecting to see 17.Qxe5 Qxe5 18.Rxe5 Rhe8 with an even game?


Of course.

17...Qd8 18.Rd5 

I avoided the better 18.Qxg4 because of 18...Qxd2, but after the game Houdini pointed out that 19.Qe6+ Kg6 20.Rd5 would trap the Black Queen, i.e. 20...Rad8 (20...Qxc2 21.Rxf6+ gxf6 22.Qg4+ Kf7 23.Rd7+ Kf8 24.Qg7+ Ke8 25.Qf7#) 21.Rxd2 Rxd2. 

18...Qe7 19.Re5 


It may look at first that Black would have done better by withdrawing his Bishop to shield the Queen, but after the game Houdini found that that led to a mate in 25: 19...Be6 20.Nd5 Qc5+ 21.Be3 Qd6 22.Nxf6 gxf6 23.Bc5 Qd7 24.Qf3 f5 25.Rd1 Qc8 26.Rde1 h5 27.c4 Rh6 28.Rxe6 Qxe6 29.Rxe6 Rxe6 30.Qxh5+ Kg7 31.Qg5+ Kf7 32.Qxf5+ Rf6 33.Qh7+ Ke6 34.Qe7+ Kf5 35.g4+ Kg6 36.Bd4 Raf8 37.h4 a6 38.h5+ Kg5 39.Bxf6+ Rxf6 40.h6 Kf4 41.Qxf6+ Ke3 42.h7 Kd2 43.Qf5 Kd1 44.h8Q c5 45.Qf1+ Kd2 46.Qc3#

Totally ridiculous, but it does show that White's attack is powerful. 

20.Ne4 Qd4+ 21.Be3 


Instead, 21...Qd7 would have provided a modicum of defense, although White's attack would cost Black significant material.

22.Nxf6 gxf6 23.Qf4

I was pretty sure that the Rook sac at f6 worked, but I couldn't figure it all out in my head until after the game: 23.Rxf6+ Kxf6 24.Qf4+ Kg6 25.Qxg4+ Kf6 26.Qf5+ Kg7 27.Re7+ Kg8 28.Qf7# 

Pity. Bill Wall would not have missed that.


24.Rxf5+ Bxf5 25.Qxf5+ Ke8 26.Qe6+ Kd8 27.Rd1+ Black resigned

Monday, October 22, 2012


I have faced a number of defenders who fought back against the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 4.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) by putting their light-squared Bishop on b7 and putting one or two Rooks on the g-file. My success made me lazy in the following game, and the result was not hard to predict.

perrypawnpusher - xxfred
blitz, FICS, 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ 

The Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit.

5...Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.d4 Neg4 

The nice thing about being two pieces ahead is that you have many choices on how to give one back.

8.dxc5 d6 

Black has played a number of alternatives, the first shown here being a bit too exotic:

8...Nxf2 9.Kxf2 Rf8 10.Rf1 Kg8 11.Kg1 d6 12.Bg5 dxc5 13.e5 h6 14.Qxd8 Rxd8 15.exf6 hxg5 16.fxg7 Kxg7 17.Ne4 Bf5 18.Nxc5 Bxc2 19.Ne6+ Kg6 20.Nxd8 Rxd8 21.Rac1 Rd2 22.Rf2 Rxf2 23.Kxf2 Be4 24.Rxc7 a5 25.Rc4 Bd5 26.Ra4 b6 27.b4 axb4 28.Rxb4 Bxa2 29.Rxb6+ Kh5 30.h3 Bd5 31.Rb5 Bc4 32.Rc5 Be6 33.Re5 Bc4 34.Re4 Bd5 35.Rd4 Bc6 36.g3 Be8 37.h4 gxh4 38.Rxh4+ Kg5 39.Kf3 Bc6+ 40.Kf2 Bd5 41.Rd4 Bc6 42.Rc4 Bd7 43.Kf3 Bc6+ 44.Ke3 Bb5 45.Rf4 Bc6 46.Kd4 Bg2 47.Kc5 Ba8 48.Kd6 Bb7 49.Ke5 Bc6 50.Rb4 Bf3 51.Rf4 Bd1 52.Rf5+ Kg4 53.Rf1 Bf3 54.Rg1 Bd1 55.Kd4 Bf3 56.Ke3 Bc6 57.Kf2 Bd5 58.Rd1 Bc6 59.Rd4+ Kg5 60.Ke3 Bb7 61.Rb4 Bc6 62.Rb6 Bd7 63.Rd6 Bb5 64.Rd5+ Kg4 65.Rxb5 Kxg3 66.Rb4 Kg2 67.Kd2 Kf3 68.Ke1 Ke3 69.Rb5 Kd4 70.Rb4+ Black forfeited on time, yorgos - mikheilmikeladze, FICS, 2009;

8...Qe8 9.Bf4 Nxe4 10.Qd5+ Kf8 11.Qxe4 Qxe4+ 12.Nxe4 d5 13.cxd6 cxd6 14.Nxd6 Be6 15.f3 Nf6 16.0-0-0 Ke7 17.Nxb7 Bxa2 18.Rhe1+ Kf7 19.b3 Rac8 20.Nd6+ Black resigned, Wall,B - Kaiser,, 2010; and

8...Qe7 9.0-0 Qe5 10.b4 Qxh2 checkmate, stretto - HunterCuinn, FICS, 2008

9.cxd6 cxd6 10.0-0 Re8 11.Bg5 Kg8 12.h3 Ne5 13.Qd4 Rf8 

Missing a chance for the tactical pawn grab: 13...Bxh3 (if 14.gxh3 Nf3+).

14.Rad1 Nf7 15.Bxf6 Qxf6 16.Qxf6 gxf6 17.Nb5 Rb8 18.Nxd6 Nxd6 19.Rxd6 Kh8 

White has three pawns for his sacrificed piece, and the game looks about even.

20.Rfd1 Rg8 21.Kh2 f5 22.e5 b6 23.Rf6 Rb7 24.f4 

A complete misunderstanding of the needs of the position. White's g-pawn is going to take a lot of heat. Black, too, can attack in the Jerome Gambit!

24...Rbg7 25.Rd2

Better 25.Rg1

25...Bb7 26.Rxf5


26...Rxg2+ 27.Rxg2 Rxg2+ 28.Kh1 Rg5+ White resigned