Saturday, July 27, 2013


It is said that "variety is the spice of life." 

While a defender may know that Bill Wall is going to play the Jerome Gambit, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+, he certainly will not know what variation Bill is going to spring upon him.

Wall,B - Guest2360621, 2013

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6

7.Qd5+ Ke8 8.Qxc5 d6 9.Qa3

This is the 6th different Queen move that Bill has played in this position. As he notes, " I try to make a new move every time when I can, to see what happens.  The Queen can probably go anywhere as long as it is not taken or trapped."


9.Qe3 - Wall,B - Parsom,, 2010 (1-0, 25); Wall,B - HeHe,, 2010 (1-0, 19); Wall,B - Reza,A,, 2011 (1-0, 43); Wall,B - G3LC,, 2011 (1-0, 22); Wall,B - Guest3312852,, 2012 (1-0, 26);

9.Qh5 - Wall,B - Guest1475978, Sofia, 2013 (1-0, 28);

9.Qb5+ - Wall,B - Zhu,Y,, 2011 (1-0, 19); Wall,B - Guest327668,, 2012 (1-0, 22);

9.Qc4  - Wall,B - Royercordova,, 2010 (1-0,18);

9.Qc3  - Wall,B - NFTM, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 22); Wall,B - Jaar,J,, 2010 (1-0, 19).

For the record, Houdini 3, given 10 minutes "thought" for "infinite analysis", prefers 9.Qe3 (-.92), followed by 9.Qc3 (-1.17) and 9.Qb5+ (-1.29).


The current game is the only one in The Database with this line. Bill suggests as an alternative 9...Qh4.

10.0-0 Be6

Not 10...Nxe4? because of 11.Qa4+.

11.f4 Bf7 12.f5 Ne5 13.d4 Nc6 14.d5

Bill suggests as well the alternative 14.Qd3


15.Re1 Qd7 16.Bf4 Nc4 17.Qc3 b5 18.b3 Nb6 19.e5 dxe5 20.Bxe5 

Threatening 21.Bxf6+, winning the knight. Now Black could keep things in balance with 20...Nxd5, but the threatened discovered check is too uncomfortable.

20...Kd8 21.Bxf6+ Kc8 22.Bxg7

A little stronger might be Bill's suggestion 22.Re7

22...Rg8 23.f6 

Threatening Re7 

23...Nxd5 24.Qd4 Qd6 25.c4 bxc4 26.bxc4 Nb6 

A bit better was 26...Nb4, threatening ...Nc2, winning the Rook, although White is still better after 27.Qxd6 cxd6 28.Nc3. 

27.Qxd6 cxd6 28.Re7 

28...Bxc4 29.f7 Bxf7 30.Rxf7 Nd7

The advanced "Jerome pawn" has cost Black a piece.

31.a4 Kc7 32.a5 Kc6 33.Na3 Nc5 34.Nc2 Rab8 35.Nd4+ Kd5 

Black threatens 36...Rxg7 37.Rxg7 Kxd4 

36.Nf5 Ne4 37.Rxa7 

Threatening Ne7+, forking King and Rook, but Black had enough here and resigned.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


The fourth and final round of the Italian Game thematic tournament has started, and there are four competitors: JoseSoza of Chile, vz721 of Russia, MarkHundleby1 of Canada, and yours truly, perrypawnpusher of the USA.

This presented as many as three more opportunities to defend the "honor" of the Jerome Gambit 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+, depending on how my opponents wished to defend.

So far, JoseSoza has declined the Jerome with 3...Be7, choosing the Hungarian Defense. This is his second "pass" after scoring two wins against my Gambit in rounds one and two.

On the other hand, vz721 has allowed it with 3...Bc5, and I was quick to sacrifice the Bishop! Let us hope this is not another example of Act in haste, Repent at leisure.

I have Black against MarkHundleby1 right now (defending against the Evans Gambit; alas, not the Evans Jerome Gambit), so the chance for a Jerome Gambit has to wait - unless he plays it against me!

The results, as for previous rounds, come what may, will be reported. 

graphic by Jeff Bucchino, the Wizard of Draws

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Jerome Gambit - Over the Board??

In a comment to the previous post on this blog, Quckturtle asked if I played the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) in over-the-board games.

I responded in the negative, mostly because I rarely play face-to-face games these days; instead, I play blitz and turn-based games on the internet.

Indeed, Eric Schiller, in his 2002 Gambit Chess Openings, referred to the Jerome Gambit as a "cyberspace gambit".

Yet, I wonder along with Quickturtle: who plays the Jerome Gambit in over-the-board play these days?

I have known for years that Jerome Gambit Gemeinde member Pete Banks ("blackburne") from Great Britain used to play it regularly - but, who else?

If you know someone, or if you play the Jerome otb yourself, please drop me a quick note ( or add a comment to this post, and let us know.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tossed Back And Forth

Here is the second kind of Jerome Gambit game that I encounter, where my opponent and I toss the game back and forth, and there are plenty of chances for me to take the advantage and run.

Sometimes, like in the following game, I do so.

perrypawnpusher  - charlyeliot

blitz, FICS, 2013

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 7.Qd5+ Ke8 8.Qxc5 d6 9.Qe3 Nf6 

A familiar position - I've been here over 40 times, scoring over 80%.

10.0-0 Bd7 11.f4

Standard pawn play for me, but perhaps 11.d4 was a bit better.


Or 11...Qe7 as in perrypawnpusher - peroneal, blitz, FICS, 2009 (½-½, 56).

12.d3 Ng4 13.Qg3 Nf6 

The Knight returns home. From a different perspective, 13...Qh4, looking to exchange Queens, was playable. (Curiously, an almost identical position after 13...Qh4 occurred in Wall, B. - Guest3312852,, 2012 [1-0, 26], only Black';s Bishop was on c4 and White's Knight was on c3.)

14.Nc3 Qd7

I occasionally use Houdini 3 to help me understand what is going on. Using "blunder check" set at 5 minutes per move, the program boiled the game down to the basics: 14...Bc6 15.f5 Nf8 16.d4 h5 17.Re1 Kf7 18.Bg5 Kg8 19.e5 dxe5 20.dxe5 h4 21.Qf4 Nd5 22.Qd2 Qd7 23.e6 Qd6 24.Nxd5 Qxd5 25.Qxd5 Bxd5 26.e7 Bc6 27.exf8Q+ Rxf8 28.Re5 Rh5 29.f6 gxf6 30.Bxf6 where White has a small, but perhaps not decisive edge.

Who knew?


This move is okay, but I missed 15.e5 dxe5 16.fxe5 Nd5 17.e6!? which sets up the tactical shot 17...Qc6 18.Nxd5 Qxd5 19.c4 winning a piece.

15...Ne5 16.d4

This exchange sacrifice is not good.


Trying to complicate things, when 16...Bxf1 17.dxe5 dxe5 18.Qxe5+ Kf7 19.Kxf1 Rhe8 20.Qf4 Qe7 would leave Black with an edge. 

17.Qg5 Bxf1 18.Qxh5+

This allows Black's other Knight to escape directly, whereas Houdini 3's choice was: 18.dxe5 g6 19.e6 Qg7 20.Kxf1 c6 21.Kg1 h6 22.Qg4 Nf6 23.Qf3 Rg8 24.h3 Rd8 25.Ne2 gxf5 26.exf5 Ke7 27.g4 Nd5 28.c4 Nb4 with advantage to White. 

18...Nf7 19.Kxf1 Qc6 

The smoke is clearing, and White has two pawns for the exchange.

20.Be3 Qa6+ 21.Kg1 Qc6 22.e5 dxe5 23.dxe5 g6 24.fxg6

Stronger was 24.Qh3 gxf5 25.Rf1.

24...Qxg6 25.Qxg6

Exchanging favors. Black should have captured on g6 with the pawn, and White had a much better choice in 25.Qe2!?

25...hxg6 26.Bd4 Rh6 27.Nd5 

There is still a fight going on. Black should now protect his c-pawn with his Rook, as his choice of moves allows another tactical shot (which I missed).

27...Kd7 28.Rd1 

Instead, 28.e6+!? wins material.

28...Kc6 29.Nb4+ Kb5 30.Nd3 a6 

More slipping and sliding.


Missing a chance to show some cooperation among my pieces, winning material: 31.a4+ Kxa4 (31...Kc6 32.e6 Kd5 33.Nf4+ Ke4 34.exf7 Kxf4 35.Bc3 Rh7 36.Rf1+ Ke4 37.f8Q Rxf8 38.Rxf8 ) 32.b3+ Kb5 33.c4+ Kc6 34.e6 Nd8 35.Nb4+ Kd6 36.Bg7+ Kxe6 37.Bxh6.

31...Rd8 32.h3 

And the game is about even.

32...Kc4 33.Bc3 Re8 

Exchanging Rooks was the right idea. Now Black gives back the exchange, and White starts pushing things.

34.Ng4 Rh5 35.Nf6 Rd8 36.Rxd8 Nxd8 37.Nxh5 gxh5

38.Kf2 Ne6 39.Kg3 b5 40.Bd2 Kd5 41.Bf4 Nxf4 42.Kxf4 c5 43.g4 hxg4 44.hxg4 c4 45.g5 b4 46.g6 c3 47.b3 Ke6 48.g7 Kf7 49.Kf5 Kxg7 

50.Ke6 Kf8 51.Kd7 a5 52.e6 Kg7 53.e7 Kf7 54.e8Q+ Kg7 55.Ke7 Kh7 56.Qf8 Kg6 57.Qf6+ Kh7 58.Qg5 Kh8 59.Kf7 a4 60.Qh6 checkmate