Saturday, May 4, 2013

Fighting Chess

If you play the Jerome Gambit, some day you will be faced with one of its many refutations. The only thing you can do is gather up your resources, look at the defense or counter-attack, and start "Staring It Down"...

Yopsoe turns in a great game of fighting chess.

Yopsoe (2047) - lucylucy (1736)

standard, FICS, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Qh4 

Black's sharpest response, which I have referred to as "a pie-in-the-face variation".

7.0-0 Ng4

Black is going for the kill, but this is probably not his strongest move.

8.h3 Bb6 

Instead, 8...Bd6 was seen in Sorensen,S - X, Denmark, 1888 (1-0, 27), the earliest example of 6...Qh4 in The Database. 


Not 9.Qf3+ as in Sir Osis of the Liver - perrypawnpusher, Jerome Gambit thematic, ChessWorld, 2008 (0-1, 38)

9...d6 10.f3 h5 

Sheer aggression. 

Development with 10...Be6 was seen in Wall,B - Rajiv, 2010 (1-0, 33).

11.g5 Ne7 12.Be3 Rf8 13.Nc3 Kg8 

With the h-file closed to Black's Rook, he decides to castle-by-hand. Houdini gives Black a slight edge, but it must be annoying to the second player to have his counter-attack blunted.

14.Ne2 c5 15.c3 cxd4 16.cxd4 Bd8 17.Qc1 

Black would like to target the White pawn on g5, while White wants to move the action to another part of the board.

17...Ng6 18.Qc4+ Rf7 19.Rac1 a5 20.Qd5 Nf8 21.Rf2 Be6 22.Qxd6 Be7 

The game remains sharp, and Houdini gives White a slight edge, despite Black's active pieces.

23.Qb6 Bd8 24.Qb5 Bc8 

A puzzling defensive idea: to kick out White's Queen, Black un-develops.

25.g3 Qh3 26.g6 Nxg6 27.Rh2 Qe6 28.Qxh5 

Now White has the initiative, and his advantage grows, even as Black defends by exchanging pieces.

29.Rxc7 Bxc7 30.Nf4 Nxf4 31.gxf4 Bd6 32.d5 Qe7

The "Jerome pawns" are going to show their worth.

33.e5 Bc5 34.Bxc5 Qxc5+ 35.Kg2 Bd7 36.Qh8+ Kf7 37.e6+ Bxe6 38.dxe6+ Kxe6 39.Qxg7 

Taking Black's Rook at move 37 or 39 would have allowed a perpetual starting with ...Qc2+.

39...Qe7 40.Rh6+ Kd7 41.Qd4+ Kc8 42.Rh8+ Black forfeited on time

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Finally, The Database has been sent out to those who have requested it. Ask, and you shall receive.

The Database is a free PGN database of  nearly 29,000 Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+), Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 4.Bxf7+), and Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 4.0-0/4.Nc3/4.d3 Bc5 5.Bxf7+) games; as well as games following the so-far-unnamed order 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Na5 4.Bxf7+

A good number of the games in The Database are either Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambits (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bc5 5.Bxf7+) or Semi-Italian Four Knight Jerome Gambits (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 4.0-0/4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Nc3 / 5.0-0 Bc5 6.Bxf7+)

Included are 1575 games in the "Impatient Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit Line" 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 4.Bxf7+ for those who like to get saccing early.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Chess is not always a simple game

Strong players make it all look simple, but, at least for the rest of us, chess is anything but simple.

Wall,B - Guest344942, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bxd4 7.Qxd4 d6

8.Qd5+ Kf8 9.0-0 Nf6 10.Qd4 Nc6 11.Qd3 Qe7 12.Nc3 h6 13.Bf4

Chess is not always a simple game. Black, with a piece for a pawn, must be better, but he still has to complete his development and get his King to safety, while White has already connected his Rooks.

Black's plan for castling-by-hand will give his opponent a target.

13...g5 14.Be3 Kg7 15.f4 Ng4 

Black figures that he has time to trade off White's Bishop. For some reason he abandons that notion a couple of moves later, to his detriment.

16.Nd5 Qd8 17.Bd4+ Kh7

An unnecessary flinch. Necessary was 17...Nxd4 18.Qxd4+ Kh7 19.fxg5 (threatening 20.Rf7+) when White has nearly equalized, e.g. 19...Ne5 20.gxh6 Qg5 21.h4 (bumping the Queen off the g-file) Qxh6 22.Nxc7 Rb8 23.Nb5.

Now the roof falls in.

18.e5+ Kg8

The only escape from mate was 18...Kg7, although then there is 19.e6+ Nxd4 20.Qxd4+ Kg8 21.e7 Qe8 and 22.fxg5, threatening 23.Rf8+.

19.Qg6+ Kf8 20.fxg5+ Black resigned

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Study the Classics (Again)

As suggested earlier, players involved in Jerome Gambits would benefit from studying the "classic" game examples of that opening.

In the game below, MrJoker's opponent turns over his King at the loss of a Rook, just when things were becoming interesting. He should be sentenced to play over Amateur - Blackburne, London, 1885 - but, then again, "Nobody expects the Jerome Gambit!"  

MrJoker - gredow

blitz, 2 12 ICC, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ g6 7.Qxe5 d6 8.Qxh8 

Black disconnected and forfeited