Friday, January 18, 2013

All that is necessary...

It has been said that "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing". Relating this to the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+), it can be said that while there are many ways for the opening to fail (it is refuted, after all), the most effective way for White to lose is to play tepidly.

We have looked at the play of RRustyy1 (see "Toss 'Em in The Database" and "Another Puzzler") in the 2nd Jerome Gambit Race at Here is one of his wins, with Black.

DeDrijver - RRustyy1 
2nd Jerome Gambit Race,, 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.d3 d6 6.h3

This passive play may be a psychological ploy to encourage Black to over-reach his counter-play, but it already looks a bit "iffy".

6...Nf6 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bxf6 Qxf6 9.c3 Rf8 10.Nbd2 Ke8

Black has decided to not-castle-by-hand (otherwise 10...Kg8) while White's plan, at least for now, is not to self-inflict further injury (beyond 4.Bxf7+).

11.Qe2 Be6 12.g4 g5 13.Rf1 Kd7


Possibly planning on trapping Black's Bishop, but it does not work out. Watch how this leads to the unraveling of his position.

14...Bxa2 15.b3 Qe6 16.c4 Na5 17.Ra1 Nxb3 18.Nxb3 Bxb3 19.Rb1 Ba4


This attempt to recover one of the two lost pawns goes awry.

20...Bb6 21.Qa2 Bc6 22.Rxb6 axb6 23.Qb3

Allowing more loss.

23...Rxf3 24.Ke2

At this point as I was playing over the game, the wise guy Houdini 2 announced a checkmate in 18 moves. White is down a Rook and a Bishop and would be okay striking his colors.

24...Bxe4 25.Rd1 Rxh3 26.Qb5+ Bc6 27.Qb2 Bf3+ 28.Ke1 Rh1+ 29.Kd2 Rxd1+ 30.Kc3 Qxg4 31.Qb5+ c6 32.Qb3 Qd4+ 33.Kc2 Qxf2+ 34.Kc3 Qd2 checkmate

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Just Like That

Sometimes a Jerome Gambit game unfolds rather simply, as jfhumphrey shows in the game below.

jfhumphrey - chalomaria
blitz, FICS, 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bd6 

I was surprised to see this "reasonable" move appear 64 times in The Database. White scores 67% against it.

7.dxe5 Bxe5 8.Qd5+ Kf6 9.f4 Qe7 10.fxe5+ Qxe5 11.O-O+ Black resigned

Black will lose his Queen and/or be checkmated.

graphic by Jeff Bucchino, The Wizard of Draws

Monday, January 14, 2013


The following game is played at lightning speed, where just about anything can happen. Black's improvised defense to the Jerome Gambit costs a Rook, but there are plenty of moves to play in the game - all of them quickly.

Petasluk, a regular Jerome Gambiteer, has a better feel for the resulting positions, can find his moves faster - and can outlast his opponent.

Petasluk - otllz
lightning, FICS, 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ g6 7.Qxe5 Be7 

We have seen this defense previously (e.g. Mrjoker - parseltongue, blitz, ICC, 2008, [1-0, 15]) and it is not as sturdy as either Blackburne's Defense, 7...d6 or Whistler's Defense, 7...Qe7.

8.Qxh8 Nf6 9.Qxd8 Bxd8 10.d3 d5 

White is up the exchange and a couple of pawns, but that is small potatoes in a lightning game. He has to keep making good moves.

11.e5 Ng4 12.f4 Bh4+ 13.g3 Be7 14.Nc3 c6 15.O-O Bf5 16.Kg2 h5 17.h3 Nh6 18.Bd2 Rg8 

19.Rae1 Be6 20.Ne2 Nf5 21.Rf3 h4 22.g4 Nh6 23.Nd4 Bc8 24.f5 

The "Jerome pawns" put on the pressure.

24...gxf5 25.Nxf5 Nxf5 26. Ref1 Black forfeited on time 

After 26...Ke8 27.Rxf5 Bxf5 28.Rxf5 White will be a couple of protected passed pawns up.