Saturday, June 15, 2013

Accelerated Jerome Gambit Declined

While waiting to start the last round of the Italian Game thematic tournament - and its possible last three chances to play the so-far rather successful Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) - I logged on to FICS to try my hand at a number of blitz games.

It seemed like everyone wanted to play me when I had the Black pieces, but when I had the White pieces - well, take a look at the following "Accelerated Jerome Gambit Declined".

perrypawnpusher - NN
blitz, FICS, 2013

1.e4 Black resigned.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Same, Different, Same


Looking for precedents in the play of Wall - Guest2507113,, 2013 (see "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"), I found the game Sir Osis of the Liver - Piratepaul, Jerome Gambit Thematic Tournament, ChessWorld, 2009, in The Database.

The play began 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.d3 d6 6.O-O h6 7.h3 Nf6 8.Be3 Bb6 9.c4 Rf8 10.Nc3 Kg8 reaching an identical position to Wall - Guest 2507113.

This is not surprising: Bill is always the first to get the updated versions of The Database, and he likes to mine the nearly 29,000 games for inspiration for future play.


As play continued, however, Sir Osis (love that name!) had greater difficulties in the game, fell behind, and found himself in dire straits, as can be seen in the following position, where he is down a piece and a couple of passed pawns.

Play continued


When, instead of exchanging Rooks, Black pressed his attack with


White quickly noted the difference, and offered the swap himself with 


Not wanting to drop  a piece with 31...gxf6 and slide into what would most likely be a drawn ending, Black now played



Allowing the enjoyable win

32.Rxh6 checkmate 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

I recently received an email from Bill Wall, noting "I looked at your last two articles on 'not Nxe5' and since you had one of my c3 games, that now left d3 and O-O to try.  So I tried them both in one game..."

Wall,B - Guest2507113, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.0-0 d6 6.d3 h6 7.h3 Nf6 

Some contemporary Jerome Gambit players, perhaps aided by computer evaluations, have opted not to make the second sacrifice, 5.Nxe5, in what was once called "Jerome's Double Gambit." 

These "modern" Jerome Gambit variations leave White "objectively" better off than do the "classical" lines, but, to my mind (Rick) their lack of utter chaos makes playing the attack more challenging. Black says "hit me with your best shot."

As if that ever stopped Bill Wall.

8.c4 Rf8 9.Nc3 Kg8 10.Be3 Bb6 11.Rc1 Bd7

12.Nd5 Bxe3 13.fxe3 Be6 14.Qb3 Rb8 15.Rf2 Qd7 16.Nh4 Kh7 17.Qa4 a6 18.Qc2 Ne7 

White's pieces have been probing the enemy position. Now he sees a chance to weaken the Kingside a bit.

19.Nxf6+ Rxf6 20.Rxf6 gxf6 21.Rf1 

Threatening 22.Rxf6


Better 21...Ng6 22.Nxg6 Kxg6

22.exf5 Nxf5 23.d4 

The Knight is now pinned and White threatens Nxf5


Black keeps playing reasonable moves, and they keep not working out. Bill recommends 23...Qf7 24.dxe5 dxe5 25.Qe4 Rf8 26.g4 while Houdini 3 suggests giving up the piece directly with 23...Kh8 24.Nxf5 In either case, White would still be better.

24.d5 Bf7 25.Rxf5

Threatening 26.Rxf7+, winning the Queen 


Threatening 26...Bg6, pinning Rook and Queen. If 27. Nxg6, then 27...Qxf5 and Black is winning.

26.Qf2 Qe7? 27.Rf3

Threatening 28. Nf5+, forking Queen and King 

27...Qg5 28.Rg3 Black resigned

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mysterious Ending

In the following key game, between the tournament's second place finisher and the champion, Black's slip allowed White to equalize in a 5.c3 Jerome Gambit - only to see the favor returned at the end. 

CheckmateKingTwo - Daves111
ChessWorld, Jerome Gambit Thematic Tournament, 2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.c3 d5 6.d4 

This is a more energetic reply to 5...d5.

6...exd4 7.cxd4 Bb4+ 8.Nc3 dxe4 

Black stays active, not bothered by his King's supposedly exposed position.

9.Ng5+ Kf8 10.Be3 Bf5 11.d5 

A bit better might be 11.0-0.

11...Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 

Black is doing very well, but for some reason he now decides to return a piece, pretty much leveling the game.

12...Nf6 13.dxc6 bxc6 14.f3 Qxd1+ 15.Rxd1 exf3 

In this tricky position, if White now castles (pinning the Black f-pawn), he keeps things in balance.

16.Nxf3 Re8 

This is the problem with White's 16th move.

17.Kd2 Ne4+ 18.Kc1 Nxc3 19.Bc5+ Kf7 Black won on time, in a somewhat better position (if he can make something out of his two isolated, passed c-pawns).