Saturday, October 19, 2013

And Another (Evans-Jerome Gambit)

Three minutes is equal to 180 seconds, which means in a 3-minute game of 36 moves, each player has an average of 5 seconds to decide on a move. Facing the Evans-Jerome Gambit, that can be a lot of pressure.

Philidor 1792 - guest23

blitz 3 0,, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 

The Evans Gambit.

4...Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.Bxf7+ 

The Evans-Jerome Gambit.

6...Kxf7 7.Nxe5+ Nxe5 8.Qh5+ Ng6 9.Qd5+ Ke8 10.Qxa5 

The similarity with the Jerome Gambit is clear (even the "nudge" on move 9), although it looks like the Queen, in capturing Black's Bishop, has slid to the edge of the board.

10...Qe7 11.d3 d6 12.0-0 Ne5 

It looks like Black is asking for trouble, but he is only bringing his Knight back to the Queenside to deal with the enemy Queen.

13.f4 Nc6 14.Qb5 Nf6 15.f5 a6 16.Qb3 Ne5 17.c4 Rf8 18.Bg5 Rb8 19.Nd2 Bd7 

20.Nf3 b5 21.a4 Kf7 

Running to safety.

22.axb5 axb5 23.cxb5+ Ke8 24.Nd4 c5 25.Ne6 Bxe6 26.fxe6 Qb7 27.Rfb1 Nc6 

Coming back again to "rescue" the Queenside. 

28.Bxf6 Rxf6 29.Qd5 

Instead, 29.bxc6!? was the move White was looking for.

29...Nd4 30.Qxd6 Nxb5 31.Qxc5 Rxe6 

32.d4 Rxe4 33.Ra5 Re2 34.d5 Qe7 35.Qxe7+ Kxe7

36.Raxb5 Rxb5 37.Rxb5 Rd2 

The endgame is now drawn, despite White's extra pawn.

38.Rb7+ Kf6 39.Rb5 Ke5 40.Rb7 Kf6 41.Rb5 g6 42.h3 h5 43.Kh2 h4 44.Rb4 g5 45.Rb5 Kg6 46.Rb6+ Kf5 47.d6 Ke6 48.Rb5 Kf6 49.Rb6 Ke6 50.d7+ Kxd7 51.Rg6 Rd5 52.g3 hxg3+ 53.Kxg3 Ke7 54.Kg4 Kf7 55.Rxg5 Rxg5+ 56.Kxg5 Kg7 57.h4 Kh7 58.h5 Kg7 59.h6+ Kh7 60.Kh5 Kh8 61.Kg6 Kg8 62.h7+ Kh8 63.Kh6 Draw

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Another Evans-Jerome Gambit

Here comes some more Evans Gambit plus Jerome Gambit aggression, faster than a speeding bullet...

Philidor 1792 - guest1209
blitz 3 0,, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 

The Evans Gambit.

4...Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.Bxf7+ 

The Evans-Jerome Gambit, a Philidor 1792 specialty.

6...Kxf7 7.Nxe5+ Nxe5 8.Qh5+ Kf8 9.Qxe5 Bb6 

10.d4 Qe7 11.Qf4+ Nf6 12.Ba3 d6 13.Nd2 Bd7 14.0-0 Re8

Black's last move is probably not best.

15.e5 g5 16.exf6 gxf4 17.fxe7+ Rxe7 18.Rfe1 Ba5 19.Rxe7 Kxe7 20.Re1+ Kf6 

The good news for White is that he has equalized. The good news for Black is that he has not been over-run by an attack.

21.Bb2 Re8 22.Rxe8 Bxe8 23.Nc4 Bb6 24.Nxb6 axb6 25.Bc1 Kf5 26.Kf1 Bb5+ 27.Ke1 Bc4 28.a3 

Most of the excitement has gone out of the game, and here the players agreed to a Draw. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Caffeine Deficiency Disorder

There are a lot of explanations for the following game. It was a Jerome Gambit. It was blitz. It was played by a couple of club players. In the end, I think the most salient factor was that it was played in the early morning, and my opponent and I each could have used some coffee.

perrypawnpusher - hklett
blitz, FICS, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bc5 5.Bxf7+

The Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit.

5...Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.d4 Re8

Instead, 7...Bxd4 was seen in perrypawnpusher - hklett, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 18) and perrypawnpusher - hklett, blitz, FICS, 2010 (0-1, 20).

8.dxc5 Kg8 

This is an improvement over 8...Nc6 of perrypawnpusher - hudders, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 13) and 8...Nc4 of the tragic perrypawnpusher - TrentonTheSecond, blitz, FICS, 2010 (0-1, 9),

9.O-O d6 10.cxd6 Qxd6 11.Qe2

After the game Houdini recommended the dull 11.Qxd6 cxd6 12.Rd1 with pressure against Black's d-pawn, although Black is still better.

Neither White's Queen nor his e-pawn are going to be comfortable with Black's Rook on e8, and a timely f2-f3 (despite f2-f4 being thematic in the Jerome Gambit) will soon be helpful. 

11...Be6 12.b3

Protecting against a possible ...Bc4, skewering White's Queen and Rook, but this is one-dimensional. A more complete response would have been 12.Rd1 Qe7 13.f3, which safeguards White's major pieces, chases Black's Queen off of the dangerous b8-h2 diagonal, and reinforces the pawn at e4.


Maybe the Bishop move was all that my opponent was threatening, but, instead of the text, he could have loosened up my Kingside a bit with 12...Neg4 13.g3 Ne5 14.f3.

Alas, most of these subtle opportunities were wasted on us. 


Instead, 13.Bf4 would have kept Black's Knight in place at e5. 


14.h3 Nc6 15.e5 

If only chess were this easy.


Cooperating. (I told you it was early in the morning.) More scrappy was 15...Nd4!? when things don't look so good for the first player after 16.Qe3 Nxc2 17.Qe2 Nxa1 18.exf6 Qc5

16.Qxe5 Bxh3 

Trying to catch me napping.

17.Qg3 Bc8 

The game is about equal, and White might now get a small edge after 18.Qxc7.

18.Qh4 Rd6 19.Rad1 Rxd1 20.Rxd1 Bf5 21.Bxf6 Qxf6 22.Qxf6 gxf6 23.Rd2 Kf7 

The game is about even, with Black's somewhat weaker pawns offsetting his B vs N advantage. Lucky for me, while I was playing the game I believed in the offbeat notion that, from a practical perspective, When White has equalized in the Jerome Gambit, he actually has the advantage.

24.Kf1 Kg6 25.Nd1 Kg5 26.Ne3 Bg6 27.c4 Bb1 

My opponent probably was dreaming of the two of us cooperatively erasing all 6 of the Queenside pawns, when a draw would be an overdue conclusion. Alas, it is necessary to call attention to the sleepy word dreaming.

28.Rd7 Bxa2 

Instead, the defensive 28...Rc8 probably gave enough for Black to hang on. My opponent has missed something.

29.Rxc7 Bxb3 30.Rxb7 Bxc4+ 

After the game, Houdini's best play for both sides showed that by giving up a couple of pawns with 30...Ba4 31.Rxa7 Bc6 32.Rxh7 Black could have still hung on, with a complicated game and drawing chances for Black. Certainly I couldn't have pushed through to the full point with White in the time that I had left.

31.Nxc4 Black resigned

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Although I reached a decent position out of the opening in the following game, it felt like I was suddenly trampled by my opponent. Only later, after I was able to examine the game in more detail, did I see how I let various opportunities (some easy to see, some not) slip by - giving Black the signal to run me over.

perrypawnpusher - avgur

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 10.0-0 Kf7 11.f4 Rf8

Alternately, 11...Re8 was seen in perrypawnpusher - whitepandora, blitz, FICS, 2011 (1-0, 64).

12.f5 Ne5 13.d4 Neg4

The more sedate 13...Nc6 was probably better. Black's choice in the game allows White to even things up, or even get a small edge. It is hard for Black's Knights to avoid the temptation of harassing the White Queen, however.


An improvement over 14.Qf4 from perrypawnpusher - Jore, FICS, 2010 (1-0,32). 



Stronger, according to Houdini, who advised me after the game, is 15.h3 Nh6 16.Bxh6 gxh6.

15...Ne4 16.h3

Already looking several moves ahead - but wrongly so.

In retrospect, Houdini preferred 16.Qh3 Nh6 17.Bxh6 gxh6 18.e6+ Kg8 19.Nc3 Nxc3 20.bxc3 Qg5 21.Rae1 

analysis diagram

when White's "Jerome pawns" are poised to create trouble (and might encourage Black to return a piece with ...Bxe6).

16...Ngf2 17.Rxf2

Too hurried. Instead, 17.Be3 seems to force 17...Nxh3+, when 18.gxh3 Ng3 19.Rf3 Nxf5 20.Nc3 Be6 would be an equal game.

Where did my move come from? Well, with Black's Rook on e8 instead of f8, the position is the same as in the above game, perrypawnpusher - whitepandora, blitz, FICS, 2011, where I won two Knights for my Rook. Humorously, when I posted that game on this blog, I rejected 17.Be3 because of 17...Nh1!?, when 18.Kxh1 Ng3+ would have led to the same two-pieces-for-one-Rook swap.

It turns out that things are not that "simple". After the current game Houdini suggested that White meet 17.Be3 Nh1 with 18.Nc3!? when 18...Nxc3 19.bxc3 Ng3 20.Rf3 Nxf5 21.g4 Kg8 22.Raf1 g6 (not 22...Nh6? 23.Qxd5+!) 23.gxf5 Rxf5 24.c4!? 

analysis diagram

gives White a chance for a small edge.

17...Nxf2 18.Kxf2 

I was, quite frankly, pleased to have remembered my earlier play in a similar position. It did not hit me for a few moves that I had gotten myself into trouble.


Obvious, but look at 18...Qh4+!? This allows Black to snipe the White d-pawn first, e.g. 19.Kf1 Qxd4 20.Nc3 Bxf5 21.Qxd5+ Qxd5 22.Nxd5 Bxc2 and White has nothing for the lost exchange except a weak e-pawn.


I needed to try something like 19.Kg3!?


If, instead, 19...Qh4, it looks like I could hold things together with 20.Qxd5+ Be6 21.Qf3+ Kg8 22.Qe3 - but not after 22...Rf5!? followed by 23...Raf8.

20.Nd2 Qh4 21.Nf3 Qg3 


White needed to try 22.B/Nd2 - and pray. 

22...Bxh3 23.gxh3 Rxf3 24.Qxd5+ Kh8 25.Bf4 Rxf4 26.Qg2 Qxg2+ 27.Kxg2 Raf8 White resigned

Excellent break-through and wrap-up by my opponent.