Friday, March 29, 2013

Do Not Get Caught With This

There is an interesting discussion on the Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 4.Bxf7+) at Caissa's Web, starting off with the suggestion Do not get caught with this...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Slimmest of Margins

In the following Jerome Gambit game, my client responded with a defense that is usually handled well by White (68% across 75 games in The Database; 86% for me in 7 games), although the attacker has the slimmest of margins to play with.

I took up the challenge and ground my opponent down, although the game ended in severe time trouble for both of us.

perrypawnpusher - Dubnobase
blitz, FICS, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ g6 

7.Qxe5 Bxf2+ 8.Kxf2 Qf6+ 9.Qxf6+ Nxf6 

In a bit of psychological judo, Black has returned the sacrificed material, with interest. True, he no longer has a "won game," but he puts forth to White the proposition: win with the extra pawn, not a bashi-bazouk attack.

Fair enough.

10.Nc3 Rf8 11.Rf1 Kg7 12.Kg1 d6 13.d3 Bd7

14.Bg5 Ng4 15.h3 Ne5 16.Rxf8 Rxf8 17.Rf1 a5

Black takes it too easy, and drops the exchange.

18.Bh6+ Kxh6 19.Rxf8 Nc6 20.Nb5 Nb4 21.Nxc7 Nxc2 22.Nd5 Ne1 23.d4 Nc2 24.e5 dxe5 25.dxe5 Be6 

26.Nf6 Bxa2 27.Rh8 Nd4 28.Rxh7+ Kg5 29.Rxb7 Nc6 30.Ng4 a4 31.Kf2 Bb3 

Absent the clock, the position is promising for White.

32.Ke3 Kf5 33.Rb5 Ke6 34.g3 Ne7 35.h4 Nf5+ 36.Kf4 Nd4 37.Rb6+ Kf7 38.Ke4 Ne6 

39.Ne3 Nc5+ 40.Kd4 Ne6+ 41.Kd3 Nc5+ 42.Ke2 Ne4 43.Kf3 Nc5 44.g4 Nd3 45.e6+ Ke7 

Both my opponent and I missed the fact that the e-pawn could be captured. We did not have much time to move, less time to think. I concentrated on avoiding blunders.

46.h5 gxh5 47.gxh5 Nxb2 48.Kf4 Nd3+ 49.Kg5 Black forfeited on time

With enough time, Black could play 49...Bxe6, but after 50.h6 the Rook pawn will not be stopped: a) 50...Bg8 51.Rb7+ Ke8 52.Rg7 chasing the Bishop away and allowing the pawn to Queen; b) 50...Ne5 51.Nf5+ Kd7 52.h7 Nf7+ 53.Kf6 and Black's Knight can not hold up the pawn for long; or c) 50...Ne5 51.Nf5+ Bxf5 52.Kxf5 Nf7 53.h7 and again the pawn will get through. 

Monday, March 25, 2013


In the third round of the Italian Game Thematic tournament I was only able to play one Jerome Gambit. It turned out to be a complicated affair, but I was able to bring home the point.

perrypawnpusher - wuolong
Italian Game Thematic, 2013

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 Bxd4 

My opponent was not going to let me use anything that I had learned from watching Philidor1792 explore the 7...Bd6 line.

8.Qxd4 d6 9.Bg5 h6 

An earlier game of mine had continued 9...Nc6 10.Qd3 Re8 11.0-0 Kg8, perrypawnpusher - Philidork, blitz, FICS,2010 (1-0,17).

I planned to castle Queenside this time, an idea that I got from  Wall, Bill - Stayshot,, 2010, which somehow has not made its way onto this blog until now (although it is in The Database): 9...Rf8 10.0-0-0 c6 11.f4 Ng6 12.e5 h6 13.exf6 hxg5 14.fxg5 gxf6 15.Ne4 fxg5 16.Rhf1+ Kg8 17.Nf6+ Kh8 18.Ne8+ Kg8 19.Qg7 checkmate

It turns out that Alonzo Wheeler Jerome played 0-0-0 in various Jerome Gambit lines, the first being Jerome - Brownson, Iowa, 1875 (1-0, 43). It does not look like that game has made it to this blog, either: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.Qf5+ Kd6 8.f4 Qf6 9.fxe5+ Qxe5 10.Qf3 Nf6 11.d3 Ke7 12.Nc3 d6 13.Bf4 Qe6 14.0-0-0 Qg4 15.Qf1 g5 16.Bg3 Be3+ 17.Kb1 Bf4 18.Bf2 c5 19.h3 Qh5 20.h4 Be6 21.hxg5 Qxg5 22.Bh4 Qg4 23.Nd5+ Bxd5 24.exd5 Rae8 25.d4 Bg5 26.Bxg5 Qxg5 27.dxc5 dxc5 28.Qb5 b6 29.d6+ Kf7 30.Rhf1 Kg7 31.Qc6 Rhf8 32.a3 Rd8 33.g4 Nxg4 34.Qc7+ Kg8 35.Rxf8+ Rxf8 36.Qxa7 Qd8 37.Qa4 Ne5 38.Qe4 Ng6 39.Qe6+ Rf7 40.d7 Nf8 41.Qe8 Qxd7 42.Rxd7 Rxd7 43.Qb8 Black resigned

10.Bh4 Be6 11.O-O-O Qe7 12.f4 Nc6 13.Qe3 Qf8 

Black takes his Queen off of the d8-h4 diagonal, while keeping it on the a3-f8 diagonal. It is not a bad move, but it got me thinking that it was time to advance in the center.

White has three choices: f4-f5; Bxf6 followed by f4-f5; or e4-e5.

14.e5 Ng4

I expected this Knight challenge, as neither my opponent nor I thought that 14...dxe5 was playable. It turns out that Black can respond either 15.Qb4 or 15.Ng4 with a slight edge.

Still, I had prepared a surprise for my opponent.

15.Qe4 dxe5 

Perhaps expecting 16.fxe5, which is well-met by 16...Qb4, when White will simply be worse after the exchange of Queens, or will not have enough of an attack after 17.Rf1+ Kg8.


Now, two of Black's pieces are hanging, and White will be better.

Black resigned, which may have been in response to his surprise, or frustration with his failed plan. 

Yet, after the necessary 16...Kg8, and the reasonable 17.fxe6, he could have tried 17...Qf4+, 18.Kb1 Qxe4 19.Nxe4 Re8 as White's advanced passed pawn on e6 will not prove very strong. In fact, it might be best for White to trade it off directly with 20.Rc7 Rxe6 21.Rxc7, when Black will have his own passed pawn on e5, even if he subsequently loses another pawn (say, the one at b7). White might have an edge, but not a large one...