Saturday, December 29, 2012


I met JoseSoza in the first round of our tournament. I played the Jerome Gambit. He beat me.

I recently met JoseSoza in the second round of our tournament. I played the Jerome Gambit again. He beat me again.

I am waiting to see if I will make it to the third round of our tournament. I already know that JoseSoza will advance. If I meet him again, I will play the Jerome Gambit again.

perrypawnpusher - JoseSoza
"Italian Game" Thematic,, 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Kf8 

The same answer LeeBradbury offered in my other Jerome Gambit game in this round.

7.Qxe5 Qe7 8.Qf4+ Qf6 9.Qg3 d6 

I decided not to play the Queen exchange this time.

After 9...Bd6 I was able to outplay my opponent in  perrypawnpusher - molerat, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 23).


Instead, Bill Wall was successful with 10.c3, in Wall,B - Guest340293,, 2012 (1-0, 41). 

10...Ne7 11.d3 Be6 12.0-0 Qg6 13.Be3 Bxe3 14.Qxe3 a6 

JoseSoza has beaten my Jerome Gambit before, so he is not terribly concerned in this game. Still, he has allowed me to exchange off his dark-squared Bishop, keep my Queen, and prepare for f2-f4. Black's piece-for-two-pawns gives him an advantage, but the game is not unfamiliar to a Jerome Gambit player with white. 

15.f4 Bf7 16.Rae1 Qe6 17.f5 Qd7 18.e5 

The game is effectively over at this point.

That may surprise you.

What happened is that I spent hours and hours with my pocket chess set, looking at 18.f6!? I then studied the position further, and decided that I could play the text move first, as long as I followed it up properly.

So I played the text.

Then I realized that I had not written any of my analysis down, and I could not remember any of it at all! I played the rest of the game like a zombie.

For the record, after the game Rybka suggested that after 18.Rf2 Kg8 19.Ref1 Rf8 20.Qg3 Qe8 21.b3 h6 22.f6 Ng6 23.d4 Rh7 24.Qe3 White would have a tiny edge.

18...dxe5 19.Qxe5 Nc6 20.Qc5+ Qd6 21.Qxd6+ cxd6 

Exchanging Queens was not a good idea. Black now has a slight advantage, and he outplayed me the rest of the game.

22.f6 Re8 23.fxg7+ Kxg7 24.Ne4 Rd8 25.a3 Rhe8 26.Ng5 Rxe1 27.Rxe1 Rd7 28.Nxf7 Kxf7 

29.c3 Re7 30.Kf2 Rxe1 31.Kxe1 Ke6 32.Ke2 Ke5 33.Ke3 d5 34.d4+ Kf5 35.a4 Na5 36.b4 Nc4+ 37.Kf3 b6 White resigned

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Propos the Blackburne Shilling Gambit

The opening 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4!? has been named the Blackburne Shilling Gambit, even though examples of Joseph Henry Blackburne playing the line have yet to turn up. Supposedly he would play off-hand games with amateurs for a shilling's stake, and such a trappy line might well speed up the master's collections.

Related to the latter, I enjoy sharing the following, from "The Chess Player" column of Yenowine's News for October 13, 1889. 

Our Milwaukee Chessist Abroad

J. L Garner, who is back from a five months' tour over Continental Europe, has been devoting his spare hours since his return to dealing out bits of precious chess gossip pertaining to his adventures among the chess lions of the Old World. All in all, he managed to win considerably more than half the games. In Paris he played two with Taubenhaus, drawing one. All the big guns were in London during his stay there, and the Milwaukeean met Blackburne, Bird, Mackenzie, Muller, Gossip and a lot of other stars at Simpson's Divan daily. He made even scores with Gossip, winning one, losing one and drawing one. He regards Gossip as below either Elliott or Treichler as a chess player. With Lee, a very strong player ,who beat both Burn and Blackburne, at the Bradford tournament, Garner had a peculiar experience. In one game he mated Lee on the move, and thinking he would not object, offered to let him take the move back. He was fooled in the man, however; he was willing enough to let the game count, and coolly pocketed the shilling which the professionals charge for a "lesson." As a rule, the chess professionals in London and Paris are a dilapidated lot of tramps, with coat sleeves out at elbows, toes projecting from their boots, hats badly caved in and a ghoulish eagerness to fasten upon some wandering amateur, and bleed him at the rate of a shilling a game...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


In doing an online search for the Jerome Gambit, I ran across the Brisbane Courier, whose August 9, 1930, p.20, "Chess" column, has the memorable Blackburne game in which he applies a thrashing to the Jerome, but, according to the Courier, it was J.H.B. who was playing White. (Not so!)

Holiday celebration disclaimer...
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2013, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, gender or sexual preference of the wishee.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tie Breaks?

My opponent and I exchanged wins in the second round of our "Italian Game" Thematic tournament. I'm not sure what tie-break is being used (first in our group is JoseSoza, but I don't know if one or two players will advance) but it should be "most wins with the Jerome Gambit" if you ask me.

perrypawnpusher - LeeBradbury

"Italian Game" Thematic,, 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Kf8 

7.Qxe5 d6 8.Qf4+ Qf6 9.d3 Be6 10.0-0 Qxf4 11.Bxf4 Nf6

I don't think that I have ever played the Queen exchange variation in this line. I was intrigued by Philidor1792's play in past games.

12.Nd2 Ke7 13.c3 Rhf8 14.d4 Bb6 

Trickier, but not necessarily better, was 14...Nxe4 15.Nxe4 Rxf4 16.Rae1 Kd7 17.dxc5 Bc4 18.cxd6 Bxf1 19.Kxf1 cxd6. 

15.Bg3 Ng4 

I am not sure what this is about. Perhaps, like the next move, it is aimed at preventing White's f2-d4.

16.Rae1 g5 17.h3 Nf6 18.e5 dxe5 19.Rxe5 Rae8 20.Rxg5 Bd5

I was happy to grab a third pawn for my sacrificed piece. This move suggests that my opponent was happy to open a line for his Rook to attack along the g-file, cooperating with his light-squared Bishop.

I decided to take advantage of his wish to keep the Bishop on the a8-h1 file.

21.c4 Be4 22.c5 Ba5 23.Nb3 b6 24.Nxa5 bxa5 25.Bxc7 a4 

Too much looking "over there" instead of "over here". Protecting the advanced a-pawn costs the exchange. Better was the consistent 25...Rg8

26.Bd6+ Kf7 27.Bxf8 Rxf8 

White now has a Rook and four pawns against a Knight and Bishop, but there are still technical difficulties to overcome.

28.Rd1 Ke6

After the game Houdini suggested 28...Rb8 29.b3 axb3 30.axb3 Rxb3 31.Ra1 Rb7 32.f3 Bd5 33.Kf2 White still would be better, but Black would have more counter-chances. 

29.Re5+ Kd7 30.d5 Bg6 

Now the pawns are going to cause too much trouble.

31.c6+ Kc7 32.Re7+ Kb8 33.d6 Be8 34.d7 Bxd7 35.cxd7 Rd8 36.Rf7 Black resigned