Saturday, July 13, 2013

Endgames Revisited

After "Jeromezzzzzzzzzz... Gambit" I decided to review earlier blog posts and pull together a number of Jerome Gambit endgames, for those who want to practice (or laugh).

The endgame? "It's Just Really That Important". Even if you're convinced that "Nothing Happened".

There's a fun contest that contains both the "Bishops of Opposite Colors" and the "Wrong Bishop + Rook Pawn": "All's Not Well That Ends Not Well."

There are a couple of games aptly titled "With The Pawns, Against the Bishop" (although the second game is titled "Really? Really.")

There's a "down the exchange but up the pawns" game in "More Than Seen At First Glance (Part 1)" and a regular Opposite Colored Bishops contest in "More Than Seen At First Glance (Part 2)".

I'll finish with an escape into an Opposite Colored Bishops endgame in "Win, Lose, Draw".

graphic by Jeff Bucchino, the King of Draws

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Opening Encyclopedia 2013 (followup)

My hopes concerning the recent release of Opening Encyclopedia 2013 were raised by Albert Silver's review at, where he wrote

you will also find a wealth of material on offbeat lines... 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.

Even coverage of the Jerome Gambit?

Today's email brings the answer
Dear Rick,

Do not even get to your pocket! ChessBase's Opening Encyclopaedia 2013 has no entry on the Jerome GambitI have reviewed and it does not have anything on our gambitA hug!

-- Julio Alberto González

NotiChess EdicionesWeb: 

Oh, well... 

graphic by Jeff Bucchino, the Wizard of Draws

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Monumental Effort

The following game is a titanic struggle and monumental effort by both parties. White's early Queen moves prompt his opponent to try to punish them. Before a couple of dozen moves are past, an unbalanced (but balanced) endgame presents itself, and the game is not yet half over.

Bill Wall's endgame play is worth studying by any Jerome Gambiteer who suspects that he might not win all his games by first round knockout.

Wall,B (2000) - Seven11, 2008

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 

7.Qxc5 d6 8.Qd5+

A different way to "put the question to the Bishop." Does Black want to play 8...Be6 and allow 9.Qxb7, ?

In three previous games, Bill's opponents have answered no, no, and yes with 8...Ke7 (Wall - Guest 4395, Microsoft Internet Gaming Zone, 2001 [1-0, 18]), 8...Kf8 (Wall - Chung,, 2010 [1-0, 25]) and 8...Be6 (Wall - CheckMe,, 2010 [1-0, 23]). - Rick


9.d3 c6 10.Qb3 Nf6 11.0-0 Qe7 12.Nc3 Be6 13.Qa4 b5 14.Qa6 Qc7 15.Be3 Ke7 16.f4 Bc8 17.Qa3 c5 

Black's play against White's Queen has been quite aggressive (13...b5!?, 15...Ke7!?, 16...Bc8!?) and although White may "objectively" have a whisper of an advantage in the diagrammed position (at least if it is Houdini 3 doing the whispering) the game is tense and complicated.


The natural move that White wants to make, and that Black wants him to make.

The un-natural (read: computer) move is 18.e5!? when 18...b4 19.exf6+ Kf7 20.Qb3+ Be6 21.Nd5 Qb7 22.c4 Bxd5 23.cxd5 gxf6 would be a mess, but, perhaps, a White-tinged mess.

18...Qc6 19.Nxa7 Qb7 20.Nxc8+ Rhxc8 

White now has four pawns for his sacrificed piece, but Black's pressure on the Queenside is substantial.

Black's goal is to recover some material. Whit'es goal is to move into an endgame where he has the prospects of converting a pawn.

21.Qc3 Qb4 22.f5 Qxc3 23.bxc3 Ne5 

24.Bf4 Kd7 25.Bxe5 dxe5 26.a4 Ra5 27.Rfb1 Rc7 28.Rb5 Rca7

Houdini 3 says that 28...Rxb5 29.axb5 c4 30.Ra3 Kd6 31.Ra6+ Kc5 32.Re6 cxd3 33.cxd3 Kxb5 34.Rxe5+ Ka4 would also be equal, 

analysis diagram

but wouldn't you rather have White?


Bill suggests 29.Rxa5 Rxa5 30.h3 as an alternative.


Likewise, Bill points out that 29...Rxa4 30.Rxa4 Rxa4 31.Rb7+ Ke8 32.Rxg7 Ra1+ 33.Kf2 Rc1 34.Kf3 Rxc2 would get rid of the annoying a-pawn and keep Black's remaining Rook active.

30.Rxa5 Rxa5 31.Kf2 Nh5?! 

Getting active on the Kingside, and thus keeping White's King there. Bill prefers that Black shift his King over that way.

32.g4 Nf6 33.g5 Nh5

Not 33...Ng4+? 34.Kf3 Nxh2+ 35.Kg3 and the greedy Knight is trapped; while if 33...Nd7 then 34.h4

34.Ke3 Nf4 

White still has all of his pawns.


Perhaps a bit precipitate. Bill prefers 35.h4 h5 36.gxh6 gxh6 37.c3.


Better: 35...gxf6 36.gxf6 Kd6 and still a game in balance.


Better, too, to move the King to prepare to advance his h-pawn, 36.Kf3 Ne6 37.Kg4.


Or 36...Ng2+ 37.Kf3 Nf4 38.d4 cxd4 39.cxd4 Nh3 40.dxe5 Nxg5+ 41.Kf4 


There is not much more in 37.Rf1 Ra8 38.a5 Nxg5 39.a6.

37...exd4+ 38.cxd4 cxd4+ 39.Kxd4 Nxg5 

White now has four (!) passed pawns, and the easier game to play, but, to be fair to his opponent, the game is still even.

40.h4 Ne6+

There is no more in 40...Nf3+ 41.Kc3 Nxh4 42.f7 Ra8 43.a5 g5 44.a6 Ng6 45.a7 g4 46.Kc4 g3 47.Ke3 g2 48.Kf2 Ne5.

analysis diagram

41.Kc3 Nc5 

Bill points out that shifting defenders doesn't accomplish much: 41...Re5 42.a5 Rxe4 43.a6 Nc7 44.Rf1.


Nothing more is available from 42.e5 Nd7 43.f7 Rxe5

42...Ra8 43.Rf1

Or 43.e5 Kd7 44.Rf1 Rf8


Black gobbles a poison pawn (with check). Who can blame him? He needed the patience to find 43...Rf8 44.e5 Kd7 45.Kd4 Ne6+ 46.Kd5 Ke7 47.c5 Rd8+ 48.Kc4 Rc8 49.Kb4 Kf8, when White's energy exhausts itself, e.g. 50.a5 Nxc5 51.Kb5 Ne6 52.Rd1 Kxf7 53.Rd7+ Kg8 54.Rd6 Re8 55.Kb6 Nd8 56.a6 Nf7 57.Rd5 Nxe5 58.a7 Re6+ and Black's checks will keep White's last dangerous pawn from Queening. Whew!

44.Kd4 Rf8

Bill gives this move a "?", but after the alternative 44...Ng3 45.f8Q Rxf8 46.Rxf8 Nf5+ 47.Kc3 Nxh4 48.a5 White is more than just the exchange ahead. His a-pawn will cost Black his Knight, and his Rook can feast on the remaining two Black pawns long before they become threats to Queen.

45.Kxe4 Kc5 

46.a5 Kxc4 47.a6 Kb5 48.a7 Kb6 49.Ra1 Ra8 50.Rb1+ Kc6 51.Rb8 Black resigned

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Alonzo Jerome Wheeler's Dream

If Alonzo Wheeler Jerome, the creator of the Jerome Gambit, ever dreamed of an exciting game, it might very well have looked like the following one.

Wall,B - Guest1157782, 2013

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.f4 Ng6

The kind of move - withdrawing a piece from attack - that someone unfamiliar with the Jerome Gambit might make quickly. (Best was 7...Qf6).

My guess is that at this point Bill got out his psychic micrometer, measured the apparent depth of his opponent's experience with (or understanding of) the opening, and chose a line of play that was most efficacious against an unschooled or uneasy opponent. 


Also seen:

8.Qf5+ as in Idealist - pvm, FICS, 2003 (1-0, 42), Petasluk - jackla, FICS, 2008 (1-0, 31), and Petasluk - popasile, FICS 2011 (0-1, 35);

8.Qxc5 as in Permanence - Pianisimo, FICS, 2008 (1-0, 17) and Permanence - jgknight, FICS, 2008 (0-1,38); and

8.Qd5+ as in Siggus - svetma, FICS, 2007 (1-0, 36).

All of these games can be found in The Database.


Or 8...Ke5, which led to a quick win for White in Superpippo - HarryPaul, FICS 2001 (1-0, 15).

9.fxg6 Kc6

Instead, Black had to fight back with 9...Nf6.

10.Qd5+ Kb6 11.Qb3+ Kc6

Surprisingly enough, Black's King can escape with 11...Ka6 - if he keeps his wits about him. Sure, White can then win back a piece with 12.Qc4+ b5 13.Qxc5, but after the counter-attack 13...Qh4+!? Black can get his Queen over to protect His Majesty, e.g. 14.Kf1 Qxe4 (Black could also try 14...Ne7 with the idea of 15...Rf8+)15.d3 Qc6 when 16.Qxc6 dxc6 17.gxh7 gives White a small advantage, according to Houdini 3.

12.Nc3 hxg6 

Now White finishes things off.

13.Qd5+ Kb6 14.Na4+ Ka5 15.b4+ Kxa4 16.Qb3+ Kb5 17.a4+ Kc6 18.Qd5+ Kb6 19.Qxc5+ Ka6 20.Qa5 checkmate