Friday, August 30, 2013

Oh, My!

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.
Sometimes a diagram is worth the same.

White to move.

fianchettosstorm - UGAFootball, blitz, FICS, 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Again the Nightmare

In light of the earlier "The Pawns! The Pawns!", alternate titles for this post easily came to mind, such as "Nothing Succeeds Like Excess" or "Too Much is Not Enough" - but whatever you call it, today we see more bad dreams for Black, thanks to the "Jerome pawns."

Wall, Bill - Atacan, 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 


Also seen is 9... N8e7, from perrypawnpusher - rsiemon, blitz, FICS, 2011 (1-0,23).


Or 10.O-O, as in Wall,B - Parsom,, 2010, (1-0, 25).

10... Bd7

The Bishop can  also go the other way, 10... Bf7, as in perrypawnpusher - Kingsmeal, blitz, FICS, 2010 (0-1, 25) and perrypawnpusher - GabrielChime, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 33).

A more spirited reply is 10... Qh4+, as in perrypawnpusher - udofink, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 29). 

11.O-O N8e7 12.d4

Or 12.f5 as in perrypawnpusher - nmuffjgp, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 23).


Black looks like he wants to join in the pawn fun, but he soon is out-played.

13.c4 h4 14.b4 h3 15.g3 Bg4 16.f5 Nf8 17.d5

The "Jerome pawns" in all their (initial) glory.

A humorous alternative, pointed out by Bill, is 17.Rf4 Bh5 18.Rh4 winning Black's advanced pawn.

17...c6 18.a4 cxd5 19.exd5 Qc7 20.Rf4 Bd1

Humorous, but Black cannot really afford this levity.

21.Nc3 Bc2 22.f6 gxf6 23.Nb5 Qb6 24.c5 dxc5 25.bxc5 Qa5

Now comes the finish, and the "Jerome pawns" do their part.

26.Rxf6 Qd8 27.Nd6+ Kd7 28.Nxb7 Qe8 29.c6+ Kc7 30.d6+ Kxc6 31.Qc5+ Kxb7 32.Qc7+ Ka6 33.d7+ Black resigned

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fight Back!

In the following game my opponent was not intimidated by the Jerome Gambit - in fact, he fought back ferociously. The game was a bit of a street brawl for a while, but, in the end, the "Jerome pawns" saved the day for me.

perrypawnpusher  - truxtrux

blitz, FICS, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6

The Semi-Italian Opening.

4.0-0 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bc5

The Semi-Italian Four Knights Game.


The Semi-Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit.

6...Kxf7 7.Nxe5+ Nxe5 8.d4 Nf3+ 


When I played my move, I kept thinking that I ought to be able to play 9.Qxf3, but I wasn't sure why. Later, I looked the move up, and, sure enough, it had done well for me (if 9...Bxd4 then 10.Nb5) in AlonzoJerome - HenryV, blitz, ICC, 2011 (1-0, 33) and perrypawnpusher - TijsH, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 37).


A bit stronger is 9...Bb4, althought I did okay against it in perrypawnpusher - AirmanLeonidas, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 18).


After the game Houdini preferred 10.e5 Nh7 11.d5 Re8 12.f4 Kg8, with Black a bit better (King has castled-by-hand, has a piece for two pawns).

10...d5 11.e5 Bh3 

There is no question what is on Black's mind.


After the game, Houdini showed a preference for 12.exf6 Bxf1 13.fxg7 Rg8 14.Qh5+ (I had not thought of this in my calculations; it prevents ...Qh4) Kxg7 15.Kxf1 Bxd4, still with an edge for Black. 

12...Ng4 13.Qf3 Qh4 14.Be3

A bit better is 14.Qxd5+ first. For this reason, Black should play ...c6.

14...Nxe3 15.fxe3 g5 

Too brash, but very understandable: Black intends to wipe my King off of the board.


Taking the pawn (with discovered check) was stronger, but I was shaking in my boots and wanted the position as closed as possible.

16...g4 17.Qf4 

Instead, 17.Qxd5+ Kf8 18.Qe4 likely would give White the slightly better game, due to the imposing "Jerome pawns". 

17...Rhg8 18.e6+ Kf6  

This gives White too much help. After 18...Kf8 19.Nxd5 I would have had only a small advantage.

19.Qe5+ Kg5 20.Qf4+ 

Nerves, and an eye on the clock. Instead, 20.Nxd5 Raf8 21.f6+ Kg6 22.e7 Rxf6 23.e8Q+ Rxe8 24.Qxe8+ and White benefits from the curious situation of Black's King and Queen, e.g. 25...Kg7 26.Qe7+ Kg6 27.Nf4+ as Houdini later pointed out.

20...Kh5 21.Ne2 g3 22.Nxg3+ Rxg3+ 23.hxg3 Qxf4 24.gxf4 Rg8+ 

Black has two Bishops (and the initiative) for for a Rook and 3 pawns, but probably 24...Bxf5 was the way to go.


Wrong way, this only draws. Instead, 25.Kf2 Bxf5 26.e7 Re8 27.Rg1 Be4 28.Rg7 looks like the way to advantage for White.

Both of us were looking at our clocks now, however.


This gave me the time to infiltrate my Rook into Black's position, and the game shifted permanently. 

After 25...Bxf5 26.Rg1 Re8 27.Rg3 Rxe6 28.Rh1 Be4 29.Rhg1 Bf5 30.Kg2 Be4+ 31.Kf2 Kh4 32.Rg4+ Kh5 33.R4g3 Houdini could not find a way for White to make progress. 

26.Rg1 Rxg1 27.Rxg1 Bxf5 28.e7 Bd7 29.Rg8

29...c6 30.e8Q Bxe8 31.Rxe8 

White is up only the exchange and a pawn, but Black has too many weaknesses, and the rest of the game, albeit, played short of time, is not hard to understand.

31...c5 32.c3 cxd4 33.cxd4 Bc7 34.Re7 Bd6 35.Rxb7 h5 36.Rxa7 Kg4 37.Rd7 Bb8 38.Rxd5 h4 39.a4 h3 40.a5 Kf3 41.Kxh3 Kxe3 42.a6 Kxf4 43.Ra5 Ke4 44.a7 Bxa7 45.Rxa7 Kxd4

46.Rb7 Kc5 47.Kg3 Kc6 48.Rb3 Kc5 49.Rf3 Kc4 50.Kf2 Kd4 51.Ke2 Ke4 52.Rh3 Kd4 53.Kd2 Kc4 54.b3+ Kb4 55.Kc2 Ka5 56.Rh4 Kb5 57.Kc3 Kc5 58.b4+ Kb5 59.Rh5+ Ka4 60.Kc4 

Yes, 60.Ra5 would have been checkmate.

60...Ka3 61.b5 Ka4 62.b6 Ka3 63.b7 Kb2 64.b8Q+ Kc1 65.Rh2

At this point my opponent had more than 3 minutes on his clock, but he elected to forfeits on time.

Hats off to truxtrux for a fighting game!