Saturday, September 21, 2013

What does it mean...?

What does it mean when a columnist at The New York Times' website starts off his analysis of Syria, the US, and Russia, with a quote from the foremost modern practitioner of the Jerome Gambit, the self-proclaimed "worst chess opening in the world"?

In all fairness, Bill Wall is also the author of thirty books on chess (as well as many more articles) and has a massive, interesting and entertaining web page.

Nowadays, our politicians can use all the help they can get.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Not So Fast There!

In blitz chess, the moves come fast, but the thoughts come faster.

Much better that way, than the other way around.

perrypawnpusher - vastatorjf
blitz, FICS, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7

 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.Qf5+ Kd6 8.f4 Qh4+ 

This put me on my guard: Danger Ahead!

9.g3 Qg4

There's something wrong with this followup, however, even if it is a TN.

10.fxe5+ Black resigned

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Annoying "Annoying Defense"

I am pretty sure that a grandmaster, if ever confronted by the Jerome Gambit, would not bother with any of the fancier "refutations" such as Blackburne's Defense, but would simply return a piece with the so-called "annoying defense" (see, for example 1, 2, 3) and then grind down the attacker from there.

It is not easy to beat Bill Wall in the Jerome Gambit, in the following game he is annoyed to death.

Wall,B - Guest3551214, 01.09.2013

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.f4 d6

8.fxe5 dxe5 9.Qh3+ Ke7 10.Qg3 Kf7 11.Qxe5 

White has two pawns for his piece, but he has a hard time whipping up an attack.

11...Qh4+ 12.g3 Qe7 13.Qh5+ 

Another indication of the difficult time that Bill is having is that this move is the first one out of "book". Black arrived at the board well-prepared.

13...g6 14.Qe2 Kg7 15.c3 15...Bb6 16.d4 c5 

17.d5 Bh3 18.e5 Re8 19.Bf4 Bc7 20.e6 Bxf4 21.gxf4 Qh4+ 22.Qf2 Qh5 23.c4 

23...Bxe6 24.dxe6 Rxe6+ 25.Kd2 Nf6 26.Kc1 Re2 27.Qf1 Rxh2 28.Rxh2 Qxh2 

29.Nc3 h5 30.a4 h4 31.Ra3 h3 32.Rb3 Qg2 33.Qxg2 hxg2 34.Ne2 Re8 35.Ng1 Re1+ White resigned

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Restrain, Blockade, Destroy

The watchwords of Aaron Nimzowitsch (1886-1935) "restrain, blockade, destroy" come to mind in playing over the following game, as Black seems to utilize "hypermodern" concepts in has battle against a clearly "neo-romantic" chess opening.

It is one of the stranger Jerome Gambits I have ever seen.

Wall, Bill - Guest4149739, 2013

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 

7.Qd5+ Kf8

More common is 7...Ke8.

8.Qxc5+ d6

There is also 8...Qe7, as in Wall,B - Quack,, 2010 (1-0, 22)


The more-often played 9.Qe3 is as old as Vazquez,A -Carrington,W, Mexico, 2nd match, 1876 (1-0, 34) and as new as Wall,B - Vijay,V, 2010 (1-0, 22) and Wall,B - LC,, 2010 (1-0, 20)

9...Nf6 10.d3 Qe7

A slight improvement over 10...c6 as in Wall,B - Boris,, 2012 (1-0, 32). So far, we have a normal Jerome Gambit-style position.

11.O-O c6 12.f4 Bd7 13.f5 Ne5 14.h3 

Bill later suggested 14.Bf4.

14...c5 15.g4 Bc6 

White has activated his "Jerome pawns" and in response Black has started to restrain them and - with his Knights - blockade them.

An indication of how further "odd" the position can get is in Houdini's recommendation, instead of Black's last move: 15...g5 16.Bxg5 h5 17.h4 hxg4 18.a4 Be8 19.Nd2 Bf7

16.g5 Nfd7 17.b4 h6 18.g6 Qh4 

Black has about had it with all of White's pawn moves (Bill has also created this impatience in his opponents with repeated Queen moves) and decides to become aggressive, here threatening 19...Qg3+

19.Kh2 b6 20.a4

Instead, 20.Bf4 was a possibility. 

20...Nf6 21.Bf4 

Bill shows how things could go horribly wrong for White: 21.bxc5? Nd5 22.exd5 Ng4+ 23.Kg2 Bxd5+ 24. Kg1 Qg3 checkmate


22.Nd2 Nh5 23.Bxe5 Rxe5

Threatening 24.. .Qg3+.


White's King is still at risk: 24.bxc5? Qg3+ 25.Kh1 Rxe4 26.dxe4 (26.Nxe4 Bxe4+ 27.dxe4 Qxc3) 26...Qxc3. 

24...Ke7 25.Rg1

White completes his development (!) and sets an interesting trap for his opponent.


This can lead to a slight advantage for White (better was 25...Kd7), or a whole lot more.

26.Ra1 b5 

Black protects his Bishop and blocks the a-file against the White Rook. Instead, he should have retreated his piece with 26...Bd7 and let the White Rook in, facing a small disadvantage. However, this was far from obvious.


With this move White takes over the game.

27...cxd4 28.Qc7+ Kf6

This leads to checkmate, whereas 28...Ke8 only leads to disaster after 29.Qc6+ 


A bit faster was 29.Rg1

29...Kg5 30.Rg1+  Black resigned

It is ironic that Black, ahead in development for most of the game, should have his King expire with a Bishop offside and a Rook lollygagging at home.