Friday, September 13, 2013

If A Tree Falls...

The rhetorical question, "If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?" came to mind the other day, as I was looking at the May 1874 issue of the Maryland Chess Review (Vol 1, No. 5).

Jerome Gambit aficionados know that the April 1874 issue of the Dubuque Chess Journal contained the article "A New Chess Opening" wherein Alonzo Wheeler Jerome presented his first analysis of his gambit, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+.

How did the chess world react to this momentous event?

As the Maryland Chess Review noted
The Dubuque Chess Journal for April is a considerable improvement on the March number. The cover contains a cut of friend Brownson and his wife, engaged in a game of chess. Its contents are, a photograph and biography of F. H. Curtiss, a number of his games and problems; victory and defeat, an article by Chas. Jacobus; regular games, regular problems, etc. Vol. VII commences with the May number, which would be a good time to subscribe.

I suppose that the Jerome Gambit material was included in the Review's "etc." reference. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Jerome Gambit to the Rescue!

With one game left in the Italian Game Tournament at (see "Swan Song") I relied on my trusty Jerome Gambit, and it did not fail me. Thus, I am likely to finish 3rd (out of 19 players) with a score of 13-6-5 (5-3-0 with the Jerome Gambit).

perrypawnpusher - MarkHundleby1
Italian Game Tournament,, 2013

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

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

I was comfortable entering this line, as I have played it over 100 times, scoring 81%.

7.Qd5+ Ke8 8.Qxc5 d6 9.Qe3 Nf6

I have been here, too, in 44 games, also scoring 81%

10.O-O Qe7 11.Nc3 b6 12.f4 Bb7 

13.f5 Ne5 14.d4 Ned7

A bit of an improvement over 14... Neg4, from perrypawnpusher - Navarrra, blitz, FICS, 2011 (1-0, 24) - which I still have to post here, one of these days.

15. Re1 Kd8 16. e5 dxe5 17. dxe5 Nd5

Bill Wall pointed out after the game that this was an error - one both my opponent and I overlooked. He suggested, instead, 17... Ng4!?


Instead, 18.Nxd5 Bxd5 19.Rd1, followed by e6, as pointed out by Bill, would give White the advantage.

18...h6 19.Be3 

Again: 19.Nxd5 Bxd5 20.Rd1

19...Nxe3 20.Rxe3 Qg5 21.Qxg5+ 

Bill preferred keeping the Queens on the board with 21.Qf2

21... hxg5 22.Rd1 Ke8 

I remember analyzing this position, and then seeing my opponent's move, thinking I didn't think he could play that move...  After 22...Kc8, instead, I agree with Bill that Black is a little bit cramped but still ok.


I remember thinking that after having played 19.Be3 and 21.Qxg5+, that the text would look like another "just making moves" kind of piece-shifting. I could imagine my opponent thinking: Now we just exchange c-pawns with 23...Ke7 24.Nxc7 25.Rac8 Nb5 26.Rxc2 and then Black has deadly pressure on g2...


Better 23...Rc8 24.Nxa7 Rd8 25.Nb5 Nc5 26.Nxc7+ Ke7 with an even game. 

24.Nxc7 Rac8  


The "Jerome pawns," instead, mix things up. They blow up the center, and suddenly Black's King is in great danger.

25...gxf6 26.exf6+ Kf8 27.Rxd7 Black resigned

Monday, September 9, 2013

Final Nail in the Coffin

Here we finish up burying the 3...h6 and 4...Na5 defense to the Jerome Gambit by taking a look at 4.Nc3  - instead of 4.0-0 ("Too Much of A Bad Thing") or 4.c3 ("Still A Mess").

freerunner - gGgeorgGg

blitz, FICS, 2013

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

The Semi-Italian Opening.

4.Nc3 Na5 

While the Semi-Italian Opening is playable for Black, and the Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit (4...Bc5 5.Bxf7+) has its risks, the introduction of ...Na5 pushes the whole defense over the cliff.

5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Ke8 

6...Ke6 would get the same response. 

7.Qh5+ Ke7 

Or 7...g6 8.Qxg6+ Ke7 9.Nd5#, GriffySr - mackadee, standard, FICS, 2002. 

8.Ng6+ Kd6 

Let's face it, Black's King is already toast:

8...Kf7 9.Nxh8+ Ke6 (9...Ke7 10.Qxa5 Nf6 11.Qe5# shipwrecked - LScope, blitz, FICS 2011) 10.Qf7+ Kd6 11.Qd5+ Ke7 12.Qe5#; or

8...Ke8 9.Nxh8+ g6 10.Qxg6+ Ke7 11.Nd5#; or

8...Ke6 9.Qf5+ Kd6 10.Qd5#; or

8...Kf6 9.Qf5# moskvabr - amama, blitz, FICS, 2005. 


This wins, as does 9.Qd5#, JakartaGuy - Kiloz, blitz, FICS, 2007 and (to use White's Knight) 9.Nb5+ Kc6 10.Nd4+ Kb6 11.Qb5#.


Or 9...Qe7 10.Ng6 Qe6 11.Nxf8 Black resigned, xerthil - Tiur, blitz, FICS, 2005. 


Picking up material while deleting a defender. Houdini gives a fun line using White's Queen Knight: 10.Nb5+ Kc6 11.Nd4+ Kd6 12.Nf7+ Ke7 13.Nf5+ Ke6 14.Nxd8+ Ke5 15.d4+ Kxe4 16.Qf3 checkmate 



Again, a line that shows the advantage of White's Knight being in play is 11.Nb5+ Ke6 12.Nd4+ Kd6 13.Nf5+ winning Black's Queen. 

11...Qxe5+ 12.Qxe5+ Kxe5 13.Ng6+ Ke6 14.Nxf8+ Kf7 15.Nxd7 Bxd7 

White has deftly exchanged a handful of pieces, leaving him simply a Rook and two pawns up. The rest of the game does not change this.

16.0-0 Re8 17.d3 g5 18.Be3 Bc6 19.Bxa7 h5 20.Bd4 Ng4 21.f3 Ne3 22.Bxe3 Rxe3 23.Rae1 Rxe1 24.Rxe1 b5 25.Ne4 Kg6 26.g3 Bd7 27.Nc5 Bc8 28.Re5 c6 29.b3 g4 30.f4 b4 31.Re4 Bf5 32.Rxb4 h4 33.Ne4 h3 34.Rb6 Bd7 35.Nc5

Fighting to the end, Black forfeited on time