Friday, July 5, 2013

Opening Encyclopedia 2013

Chess Base has come out with a new Opening Encyclopedia for 2013.

Albert Silver, in his review, was quite impressed, noting "It quite literally comes with more material than you could view in a lifetime, or several lifetimes..." and reassuring readers "it has material to answer your questions in every chess opening there is."

He continues
Don’t think this is only about mainline theory either. Although you will assuredly find every nook and cranny of the Najdorf, Gruenfeld and QGD being scrutinized, you will also find a wealth of material on offbeat lines such as the Fajarowicz Gambit (two articles), the From Gambit, the Evans, the Snake Benoni, the Keres Defense, the Latvian Gambit, the Elephant Gambit (eight articles) and every oddball line that may tickle your fancy. Someone played a gambit or line at your club or online and you had no idea what to do? Rest assured, there is an article here to enlighten you.

I wrote ChessBase immediately
I was impressed by Albert Silber's review of Opening Encyclopedia 2013. Tell me that it covers the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ and I'll reach for my wallet.
We shall see... 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Jeromezzzzzzzzzz... Gambit

Somehow, the following game escaped being posted here shortly after being played, three years ago. Perhaps I tried to put it up, but kept falling asleep.

It is another example of the Jerome Countergambit, and it shows that leaving White a pawn up is not a guaranteed win for the first player, or loss for the second.

perrypawnpusher - superlopez

blitz, FICS, 2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Kf8 7.Qxe5 Bxf2+ 

The Jerome Countergambit.

Black reasons that if there is anything useful in the Bishop sacrifice, he would like to have a bit of it as well. Also, he gets to exchange Queens and blunt White's attack.

8.Kxf2 Qh4+ 9.g3 Qf6+ 10.Qxf6+ Nxf6 

What I remember from my first chess book, Chess the Easy Way, by Fine, is that all White has to do now is exchange down to the K + P vs K endgame and collect the point. Of course, it has been about 50 years since I read the book, so maybe I am simplifying it in my mind...

11.Nc3 d6 12.d3 Kf7 13.Bg5 Rf8 14.Bxf6 Kxf6 15.Ke3 Ke7 16.Nd5+ Kd8 

17.Rhf1 Rxf1 18.Rxf1 c6 19.Rf8+ Kd7 20.Nc3 Ke7 21.Rh8 h6 22.Ne2 b6 23.Nf4 

Here I missed a chance to grab another pawn with 23.Nd4 Bb7 24.Nf5+ Kf6 25.Rxa8 Bxa8 26.Nxd6. 

23...Bb7 24.Rxa8 Bxa8 25.d4 Kf6 26.h4 c5 27.dxc5 dxc5 28.c4 g5 29.hxg5+ hxg5 30.Nd5+ Ke5 

White has a pawn advantage, but Black's active King and Bishop vs Knight give the second player significant drawing chances (especially in blitz).

31.Nc3 a6 32.a4 

Still thinking in a static manner, whereas 32.Nd5 b5 33.Nc7 Bxe4 34.cxb5 axb5 35.Nxb5 would have won a useful second pawn.

32...Bc6 33.b3 Bb7 34.Nd5 


Actually, Black has established a very strong blockade of White's pawns and pieces, and he probably could have held the game after 34...Bc6! for example 35.Nxb6 a5 36.Nd5 Bb7 37.Kf3 Bc8 38.Nc3 Bd7 39.Nd5 Bc8 40.Nc7 Kd4 41.Nb5+ Ke5 42.Ke3 Bg4 and it is hard seeing White make any headway.

35.axb5 axb5 36.Nc3 

More plodding play, when 36.cxb5 was the right move, as 36...Bxd5 37.exd5 Kxd5 is answered by 38.Kf3 and success on the Kingside.

36...bxc4 37.bxc4 Ba6 

Again, 37...Bc6 contained the drawing idea. 

38.Nb5 Bc8 39.Nc3 Bh3 40.Na4 Bf1 41.Nxc5 Bxc4 42.Nd3+ Ke6 43.Nc5+ Ke5 

44.Nd7+ Ke6 45.Nc5+ Ke5 46.Nd7+ Kd6 

Black does not want the draw by repetition of position. He should have been happy with 46...Ke6.

47.Nf8 Bf1

The Bishop needed to go to g8 to help continue the blockade. Now White makes progress.

48.Nh7 g4 49.Nf6 Bh3 50.Kf4 Ke6 51.e5

Playable was 51.Nxg4

51...Kf7 52.Ne4 Ke6 53.Nf2 Kd5 54.Kf5 Kd4 55.e6 Bf1 56.e7 Bb5 57.Nxg4 

57...Kd5 58.Nf6+ Kd6 59.e8Q Bxe8 60.Nxe8+ Ke7 61.Nf6 Kf7 62.g4 Kg7 

63.g5 Kf7 64.Nh5 Kg8 65.Kf6 Kf8 66.g6 Kg8 67.g7 Kh7 68.Kf7 Kh6 69.Nf6 Kg5 70.g8Q+ Kh6 71.Qg6 checkmate

After this game and the one in the last post, I got to thinking that it might be time to go through some standard Jerome Gambit endgames. Of course, Bill Wall sent one right away.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Jerome Countergambit

The following game could just as easily be called "Buttons, buttons, who's got the buttons?" because White wins in the end simply because he has more buttons - er, pawns.

An interesting question of Jerome Gambit nomenclature comes up, however, hence the title of today's post (and the graphic of the counter-puncher).

Wall, Bill - Guest545050, 2013

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Kf8 7.Qxe5 Bxf2+ 

Bill Wall suggests that this variation be called the Jerome Countergambit. I think that name is appropriate, as, in the Jerome Gambit, Black executes the same Bishop sacrifice that White played earlier. However, I would like to expand the name to the whole strategy of Black's counter-sacrifice.

Interestingly, in The Database I found only 8 other examples of 7...Bxf2+ as in the current game.

After a different defensive line, however, that of 6...g6 (instead of 6...Kf8) 7.Qxe5 Bxf2+, I found 84 examples.

While readers may not be surprised that after 6.d3 (instead of 6.Qh5+ as in the game) I found only 1 example of the countergambit 6...Bxf2+, it might be shocking to discover that in the "modern" Jerome Gambit line 5.d3 (instead of 5.Nxe5+) there are 842 examples of 5...Bxf2+.

Over the years there have been a number of comments about the ideas behind the Jerome Countergambit, from the thoughts of Brian Wall to today's game by Bill Wall. As for me, I've written a memo: More to explore!


Wouldn't you know, one Jerome Gambiteer, the venerable DREWBEAR 63, tried the counter-psych, 8.Ke2!?, and won in 43 moves, in DREWBEAR 63 - Crusader Rabbit, Jerome Gambit Tourney 4, ChessWorld 2009.


The alternative, 8... Qh4+, in true Jerome Gambit style, showed up in perrypawnpusher - superlopez, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 71), which apparently, somehow, was never posted here. (I'll remedy that in a few days.)

9.Qxf6+ Nxf6 

As I've mentioned elsewhere, recently, in a similar situation, "Black has an even game. However, given that he had a won game at move 4, this is not actually progress". Actually, things are worse in this particular case, as Black's exchange of Queens has left him a pawn down.

10.Nc3 g6 

Or 10... d6, as in perrypawnpusher - Lindal, blitz, FICS, 2007, (1-0, 45) 

11.d4 d6 12.Bg5 Kg7 

Moving too quickly. (For a recent, similar example, see "By the Numbers".)

As I've said before: as "bad" as the Jerome Gambit is, it still demands the defender's full attention.

13.Bxf6+ Kxf6 14.Nd5+ Kg7 15.Nxc7 Rb8 16.Nb5 Rf8+ 17.Ke2 Bg4+ 18.Ke3 Rbd8 19.Nxa7 Rde8 

20.Nb5 d5 21.e5 Bf5 22.Nd6 Ra8 23. Nxf5+ Rxf5 24.g4 Rf7 25.h4 Raf8 

26.Rh3 Rf4 27.g5 b5 28.a4 bxa4 29.Rxa4 Rf2 30.Ra7+ Kg8 31.Rc7 Black resigned
Black has nothing against the Queenside buttons.