Saturday, February 23, 2013

Split Decision

Today, Philidor1792, two pieces down, could have pushed for a tiny but more, but settles for a draw in "his" variation.

Philidor1792 - NN

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

Again, the Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit.

5...Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.d4 Bd6 8.f4 

And, again, the pawns vs pieces variation.

8...Nc4 9.Qd3 

This is a TN and an improvement upon 9.e5 of Philidor1792 - Guest1895, internet online game, 2013 (1-0, 28).

9...Nb6 10.e5 Bb4 11.0-0 Bxc3 12.bxc3 Nfd5

13.c4 Ne7 14.f5 d5 15.e6+ Kg8 16.f6 Bxe6 17.fxg7 Kxg7 18.Bg5 Qd6 

The "Jerome pawns" have advanced and torn a hole in Black's Kingside position. Despite the fact that Black is two pieces up, he should have looked at 18...Qe8, when White can force a draw as in today's game.


White is willing to split the point today. If he wanted to continue with complications, he could try Rybka 3's recommendation : 19.Bf6+ Kg8 20.c5 Qd7 21.cxb6 Ng6 22.bxc7 Qxc7 23.Rae1 (White's Bishop is, for the moment, more useful living at f6 then being exhanged at h8) Bf7 24.Qd2 Qd6 25.Qh6 Qf8 26.Qh3 Re8 27.Qd7 Rxe1 28.Rxe1 h6 29.Bxh8 Kxh8 30.Qxb7 when White has an edge.

19...Qxe7 20.Qg3+ Kh6 21.Qe3+ Kg7 22.Qg3+ Kh6 23.Qe3+ Drawn

graphic by Jeff Bucchino, The King of Draws

Thursday, February 21, 2013

His Three Pieces

Here we have Philidor1792 demonstrating another example of the opening presented in the previous post. How can White possibly win?

It has been said before: the Jerome Gambit may not be anything to try against a computer, but it continues to provide interesting play against people. 

Philidor1792 - guest2723

Internet online game, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.d4 Bd6 8.f4 Neg4 

Rare, but recently seen in Skirving - PAMpamPAM, standard, FICS, 2012 (0-1, 32)

9.e5 Bb4 10.O-O Bxc3 11.bxc3 d5

Deviating from Philidor1792 - Computer, 2011 (0-1, 43)

12.f5 Nxe5

Black logically returns a piece, missing the fact that his Knight on f6 cannot move away, so it will actually cost him two. He would do better with 12...Re8 13.exf6 Nxf6

13.dxe5 Ne4 14.Qh5+ Kf8 15.f6 g6 16.Qh6+ Ke8

Black's lack of development proves his undoing. Of course, the "Jerome pawns" contribute.

17.Qg7 Rf8 18.Bh6 Rf7 19.Qg8+ Kd7 20.e6+ Kxe6 21.Qxd8 Black resigned

graphic by Jeff Bucchino, The Wizard of Draws

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Three Pawns

Sometimes it seems that if the Jerome Gambit didn't look so bad, it wouldn't turn out so good...

Philidor1792 - guest1895

Internet online game, 2013

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

The Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit.

5...Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.d4 Bd6 8.f4 

This is a line that Philidor1792 has explored a number of times (see the series started with "Where Do Ideas Come From? Part 1").

The central conflict between three White pawns and three Black pieces seems overwhelmingly in the defender's favor, especially since he has two extra pieces. However, veteran Jerome Gambit players know that appearances are often deceiving, and against human players (especially those who become overconfident, and, thus, inattentive) the play can often become favorable for the attacker.


This move seems to have first been played in a couple of games against Rijndael/Ryndael at FICS (see "New Player, Old Line" and "Updated").

9.e5 Bb4 10.0-0 Bxc3 11.bxc3 Ne4 

Now we have another curious pieces vs pawns matchup.

12.d5 Nxc3 13.Qd3 Nb6 14.Qxc3 Nxd5 15.Qb3 

Black's advantage seems to have shrunk (15.Qe4 and 15.Qf5+ were interesting alternatives) and his King looks vulnerable. Can White scare up threats quickly enough?

15...c6 16.Qh3 d6 17.Qh5+ g6 18.Qh6 Qf8 19.Qh4 Bf5 20.Bb2 Rg8 


It was a bit more accurate to precede this with 21.c4 Nc7 22.exd6 Qxd6, but Black's game falls apart any way.

21...Ke8 22.exd6 Kd8 23.c4 Bd3 24.cxd5 Bxf1 25.Qc7+ Ke8 26.Re1+ Be2 27.Rxe2+ Qe7 28.Qxe7 checkmate

graphic by Jeff Bucchino, The Wizard of Draws

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Opening Report: Take a breath...

So far, the recent Opening Report on the Jerome Gambit (see 1, 2 and 3), based on the 27,000+ games contained in TheDatabase, has had few surprises. I'd like to point out a couple of interesting findings, however, before pursuing a deeper look.

The Opening Report highlights a number of games from an interesting 2008 30-game human vs computers match (starting with "Jerome Gambit: Drilling Down (1)"

This post starts an extended series (which may be interrupted from time-to-time for news, games or analysis) wherein the intrepid "RevvedUp" (a good chess player) and his trusted companions Hiarcs 8, Shredder 8, Yace Paderborn, Crafty 19.19 and Fritz 8 explore the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) by taking turns playing the White and Black pieces. 

The human moves first, and takes notice of the defense the computer plays. In the next game, where he moves second, the human plays that defense against a new computer – and sees how it attacks. In the third game, the human plays the recent attack against his new computer foe. Collectively, the players drill deeper and deeper into the Jerome Gambit.

It also shows that Jerome Gambit players sometimes prefer chaos to clarity, as recommended responses to the Jerome Gambit Declined (again, based on the examples in TheDatabase) - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kf8 or 4...Ke7 - are given as 5.Nc3 and 5.Nxe5, respectively.

The straight-forward Bishop retreat 5.Bb3 (as well as its cousin, 5.Bd5) is stronger.

We will use the ChessBase Opening Report to dig deeper into the Jerome Gambit (through the eyes of TheDatabase), but first there are a few new interesting games from Philidor1792 to look at.