Friday, September 27, 2013

What A Difference A D(el)ay Makes

I puzzled my way through the following game, even though I didn't need to. It is Bill Wall playing the Jerome Gambit. Of course White wins.

Wall,B - PLKT

FICS, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ g6 

Heading for the Blackburne or Whistler Defenses.

7.Qxe5 Bd6 


I was puzzled by this move, as experience has shown that after this inaccurate move (better 7...d6 or 7...Qe7) the Black Rook can be taken: perrypawnpusher - tuffnut, blitz, FICS, 2007 (1-0, 33); perrypawnpusher - bakker, blitz, FICS, 2008 (1-0, 20); perrypawnpusher - Kapppy, blitz, FICS, 2009 (1-0, 34); perrypawnpusher - Sirenus, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 13); perrypawnpusher - frencheng, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 17); and perrypawnpusher - elyza, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 24);

Furthermore, Bill is always the first to examine the latest version of The Database and mine it for new ideas to inject into his games.

Plus, he has read the almost 1,750 posts here on this blog.

That last fact gave me a thought: with all that information, could a couple of lines of play have been crossed in his mental database? It turns out, that's quite possible.

Looking back at "By the Numbers" (see also "Pulling A Rabbit Out of A Hat" and "I think I have a win, but it will take time...") there is a game similar to today's, coming out of the Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit opening (add 0-0 for White and ...h6 for Black), where the notes indicate that the defender should have played ...Bf8!? instead of that game's ...Bd6, as then the Rook would be poisoned.

Or, maybe this is all just a lot of psychological noodling on my part.

8...Kf8 9.d4 Nf6 

10.Qg5 Be7 11.Qe3 d5 12.e5 Ne4 

White has his standard two pawns for a piece, while both Black's Knight and King could prove misplaced.

13.0-0 Bg5 14.f4 Bh6 15.h3 Qh4 16.Nc3 Nxc3 17.bxc3 Bf5

Black continues his aggressive play. Perhaps he is familiar with Blackburne's destruction of the Jerome Gambit?

18.c4 c6 19.Ba3+ Ke8

It may not be immediately obvious, but getting the King off of the f-file by moving him into the center is not best.

White can now generate enough excitement to even the game up - or to go for more, if his opponent cooperates.


Quite possibly this is just the move Black had been hoping for. While he lines up his two Bishops and Queen to find a Blackburne-like mating attack, his opponent's strong piece abandons her monarch.


Too hopeful. His Queen had to return home, while giving up material - 20...Qd8 21.Qxb7 Rc8 22.Qxa7 dxc4 - with about an equal game.


Bill points out that White has to plunge ahead, as 21.Rxf4? Qxf4 22.Qxb7 Qxd4+ 23.Kh2 Qxe5+ is a terrible alternative.

Now Black has the opportunity to "sacrifice" both of his Rooks, as in the Blackburne game - but without getting the requisite mating attack.


Best, but not saving.


The only move. Certainly not 22.Kh1 Bxh3 23.Qxa8+?? Bc8 checkmate.


It was time for Black to go for the swindle with 22...Bxh3 23.Qxa8+?? Bc8 checkmate!  

Instead, 22...Bxh3 23.gxh3? would have led to a draw by perpetual check 23...Bf4+ 24.Rxf4 Qxf4+ 25.Kg2 Qe4+, etc.

Of course, after 22...Bxh3 23.Qf7+! Kd8 24.gxh3 all is good with White's world.

23.Rxf4 Qxf4+ 24.Kh1 Qh4 25.Qxa8+ Qd8 26.Qxc6+ Kf7 27.cxd5 Black resigned

In the end, even the "Jerome pawns" joined in the attack.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Most Disrespected Opening In Chess

I was wandering through the internet the othe day, and realized that I had missed sharing this humorous comment from Tom's BDG Pages
I try not to be, but maybe I am a little jealous. I'm talking about all those Jerome Gambiteers over at Rick Kennedy's blog. All those quick little knockouts. Sure some of them are Black wins, but still...Worse yet, the BDG [Blackmar Diemer Gambit] looks to be on its way to losing its title as the most disrespected opening in chess. But all we can do is fight on.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Little off Topic

I am working my way through Tim Harding's Four Gambits to Defeat the French, a book that I've been interested in for a long time, but only recently acquired.

Dr. Harding is one of my favorite authors, and his first book, Bishop's Opening, is still a classic. In fact, his current "Kibitzer" column at, "A New Look at an Old Opening" – catch it while you can, as only current columns are free of charge, although older ones can be purchased as low-cost e-books – takes a look at that book, and updates the opening with some interesting games.

In the notes to the game Tim Harding – R. J. Stockwell, Oxfordshire - Surrey county match, 1971, Harding touches upon the line 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nxe4 4 Bxf7+?! which should catch the eye of every Jerome Gambiteer, and be reminiscent of 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nxe4 5.Bxf7+, referred by Tim Sawyer as the Open Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit.

Harding continues the line: 4...Kxf7 5 Nxe4 d5 6 Qf3+ Kg8 and then discusses the possibilites of 7.d4!?. Great fun. Check it out.

By the way, Harding is well into writing his biography of Joseph Henry Blackburne, which will include 1,000 of the "Black Death's" games. The moment he even hints that it is available, I will be ordering my copy!