Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Gimme

One nice thing about the Jerome Gambit is that your opponent can make what at first quick glance might appear to be a reasonable move - and wind up giving the game to you.

Whether you consider the following game a "gift" or a "grab", it seems to be win number 201 for Bill Wall in The Database.  

Wall,B - Guest876397, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.f4 Nf6

Develop  a third piece, attack the Queen. What's the problem?

8.Qxe5+ Kf7 9.Qxc5 Nxe4?

Making things even worse.


Here Black, about to be down a piece and a pawn, resigned in Wall, B - Meinherr,, 2010

10...Kf8 11.Qxe4 Qh4+

Or 11...d5 as in Wall, B - Dani,,  2010 (1-0, 20).

12.g3 Qg4 

13.b3 c6 14.Ba3+ Kf7

Threatening ...Re8

15.Qe7+ Kg6

Already: 15...Kg8?? 16.Qf8 checkmate

16.Qd6+ Kf7 17.Nc3 Re8+ 18.Kf2 b5 

 19.Rae1 Re6 20.Rxe6 Qxe6 21.Qf8+ Kg6 22.g4 

Threatening 23.f5

22...Qf6  23.Qe8+ Qf7

Or 23...Kh6 24.Qh5 checkmate

24.f5+ Black resigned

Black loses his Queen with 24...Kh6 or 24...Kg5; or falls to 24...Kf6 Ne4 checkmate.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Good Luck Is Better...

The old saying goes "Good luck is better than a license to steal."

As much as I would like to think that my success in this game was due to "superior skill", I have to attribute most of it to Dame Fortune.
perrypawnpusher - deceptionmaster
blitz, FICS, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 

The Semi-Italian Opening.

4.0-0 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ 

The Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit.

5...Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.d4 Ne7 

A reasonable decision by Black: since he is going to lose a piece anyhow, he simply develops another. I was surprised to see only one example in The Database, Jabbaman - HrDoctor,, 2003, (1-0, 16)


Also possible was 8.Qh5+ N5g6 9.Qxc5, but I was planning to use my pawns for a central clamp.

8...Rf8 9.f4 N5c6 10.Nc3 Kg8 11.e5 

After the game Rybka 3 recommended, instead, advancing the f-pawn, i.e., 11.f5 b6 12.f6 Ng6 13.fxg7 Rxf1+ 14.Qxf1 Kxg7 with the idea of exposing Black's King, leaving the defender only slightly better.

I still prefer my move.

11...b6 12.Be3 bxc5 13.Bxc5 Ba6 14.Rf2 Rf5 

Black has been developing well, but I thought that this move was a bit provocative. Set to "blunder check" at 5 minutes a move after the game, Rybka 3 had nothing to say, however.

15.g4 Rf7 16.Qe1 

Probably better was 16.Qd2.

16...Nc8 17.f5 Nb6 18.Qe4 Bb7 


I was almost beginning to like my position. The problem is that my planned e5-e6 is not going to amount to much.

19...Qe8 20.e6 dxe6 21.fxe6 Rxf2 22.Kxf2 Rd8 

White's e-pawn is a weakie (as 22...Nd8 would have shown), but I still had a few ideas about how I could use it - if my opponent let me.

23.Rf1 Rd2+

I had expected this aggressive move, and appreciated the tempo it forced upon me.


This works, but technically 24.Ke1 was better.


I am not sure what - or how much - my opponent overlooked here, but this is an unfortunate blitz error. Perhaps he was returning some material - a Queen for a Rook and a Bishop - and figured the remaining imbalance of 2 Knights, Bishop and Rook would outplay my Queen and Knight; but there is an oversight in that evaluation.

25.Rf8+ Qxf8 26.Bxf8 Kxf8 27.Qf4+ 

Black's Rook is hanging. Now all I had to do was avoid blundering and avoid running out of time.

27...Ke7 28.Qxd2

After the game Rybka 3 harped that I should have played 28.Qf7+ Kd6 29.Ne4+ Ke5 30.Nxd2. Whatever. 

28...Ne5 29.Qe3 Nf3+ 30.Kf2 Nxh2 31.Qc5+ Kxe6 32.Qxc7 Nxg4+ 33.Kg3 Bc8 34.Kxg4 Black resigned

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Think Fast!

If Black has enough time, he can "solve" the Jerome Gambit.

Philidor1792 - guest4181

5+0, 13.02.0028

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Kf8 

First seen in Alonzo Wheeler Jerome's analysis in the Dubuque Chess Journal, April 1874, Vol. VI, No. 50, p. 358-9, "New Chess Opening".

6.Nxc6 dxc6 7.0-0 Be6

Jerome's analysis continued optimistically 7...Nf6 8.Qf3 Qd4 9.d3 Bg4 10.Qe3 Qxe3 11.Bxe3 Bxd3 12.fxe3 Ke7 "and White should draw by the judicious use of his pawns". A year later he varied from his own advice and played 10.Qg3, instead, in Jerome - Brownson, Iowa, 1875 (1/2-1/2, 29).

Black's move in today's game is very reasonable.

8.d3 Qh4 9.Nd2 Bg4 10.Qe1 Nf6 11.Nc4 Kf7 

Preparing to castle by hand.

12.Bf4 Rhf8 13.c3 Kg8 14.d4 Be7 15.Bxc7 Be6 

White has three "Jerome pawns" for his sacrificed piece, and the game is about equal.

16.Nd2 Nh5 17.f4 Rac8 18.Qxh4 Bxh4 19.Be5 Black lost on time

("Objectively," of course, the position was even.)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Another bus

After Philidor1792's game against Guest 128, I found myself thinking "It's a shame that Black didn't play 11...Nxc1."

No problem. Sometimes checkmate in the Jerome Gambit is like a city bus - miss one, not to worry, another one will come along shortly. On the same day Philidor1792 got to play the following game.

Philidor1792 - guest4181
5+0, 2013

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.Qf5+ Kd6 8.d4

8...Bxd4 9.c3 Bb6 10.f4 Nd3+

 11.Kd2 Nxc1 12.Qe5+ Kc6 13.Qd5 checkmate

There you go.