Friday, October 25, 2013

The Most Important Jerome-ish Win in History

I am always learning something new from Yury V. Bukayev (Букаев Юрий Вячеславович). The other day he emailed me, pointing out that, "based on the importance of the win for tournament places, the importance of the tournament and the fame of both participiants of this game, it maybe, makes this win THE MOST IMPORTANT JEROME-ISH WIN IN HISTORY."

It is quite possible that if either player were alive today, one or the other might punch me in the nose for publishing this encounter on this blog - but, hey, Jerome Gambit players are imaginative and brave, right?

Robert James Fischer - Samuel Reshevsky
US Championship 1958/59 New York USA (6), 12.1958

1.e4 c5 

Okay, okay, it's a Sicilian Defense. Work with me.

2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Be3 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 0-0 

Yes, it's an Accelerated Dragon. Time for a little imagination.


Earlier in the year, at Portoroz, Fischer had continued against Oscar Panno 8.f3 Qb6 9.Bb3 Nxe4 10.Nd5 Qa5+ 11.c3 Nc5 12.Nxc6 dxc6 13.Nxe7+ Kh8 14.Nxc8 Raxc8 15.O-O Rcd8 16.Qc2 Qb5 17.Rfd1 Kg8 18.Rxd8 Rxd8 19.Rd1 Re8 20.Bf2 a5 21.Bxc5 with a draw.


Frank Brady's Profile of a Prodigy states

'When Reshevsky played 8...Na5 the whispers in the tournament room at the Marshall Chess Club grew to a barely suppressed uproar. The move [from Bastrikov,Georgy - Shamkovich, Leonid, Sochi, 1958] had been analyzed just a few weeks earlier in Shakmatny Byulletin and many of the stronger players in the club were thoroughly familiar with it.'

9.e5 Ne8 10.Bxf7+ 

You have to love that Bishop sac!

10...Kxf7 11.Ne6 

What is Black to do? If he captures the Knight with his King, he will get checkmated, starting with 12.Qd5+. If he resigns, he will be humiliated - Fischer was a young teenager at the time, Reshevsky was United States champion several times over.

Instead, the former child prodigy dragged his feet for another 30 moves before resigning.

11...dxe6 12.Qxd8 Nc6 13.Qd2 Bxe5 14.0-0 Nd6 15.Bf4 Nc4 16.Qe2 Bxf4 17.Qxc4 Kg7 18.Ne4 Bc7 19.Nc5 Rf6 20.c3 e5 21.Rad1 Nd8 22.Nd7 Rc6 23.Qh4 Re6 24.Nc5 Rf6 25.Ne4 Rf4 26.Qxe7+ Rf7 27.Qa3 Nc6 28.Nd6 Bxd6 29.Rxd6 Bf5 30.b4 Rff8 31.b5 Nd8 32.Rd5 Nf7 33.Rc5 a6 34.b6 Be4 35.Re1 Bc6 36.Rxc6 bxc6 37.b7 Rab8 38.Qxa6 Nd8 39.Rb1 Rf7 40.h3 Rfxb7 41.Rxb7+ Rxb7 42.Qa8 1-0

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Trust Me - I Know What I'm Doing...

The following game is a Jerome Gambit. It was played at blitz speed. My opponent appeared to be a bit unfamiliar with the line - giving me credit for some "sacrifices" that probably were "blunders".

perrypawnpusher - oopsaqueen
blitz, FICS, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 

The Semi-Italian Opening.

4.0-0 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ 

The Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit.

5...Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.Qh5+ Ng6 

My opponent, oopsaqueen, has a pleasant 5-1 record on FICS defending an "accelerated Jerome Gambit" against the Semi-Italian Opening - 4.Bxf7+, etc. 

However, he does not appear (according to The Database) to have faced the "normal" Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit, and in this game chooses a move (still okay for Black) that is weaker than 7...Ke6, 7...Ke8 or 7...g6

8.Qd5+ Kf8 9.Qxc5+ d6 10.Qe3 Nf6 

Black chose the alternative, 10...N8e7, in perrypawnpusher - pascalwilliams, blitz 3 0, FICS, 2007 (½-½, 32). 


The more sedate 11.f3 was seen in Wall,B - LC,, 2010 (1-0, 20). 

11...Kg8 12.f5 Ne5 13.d4 Nf7 14.e5 

Thematic, but premature in this situation. White would have done better to complete his development with 14.Nc3 Qe7 15.Bd2 Bd7 16.Rae1 Re8. 

14...dxe5 15.dxe5 Nd5 

Here 15...Ng4 16.Qe4 Ngxe5 would have punished my rashness. 


Simply dropping a pawn, instead of the necessary 16.Qe2.

16...c6 17.Nc3 

Here 17.e6 would have saved the e-pawn. Luckily for me, my opponent figured that I knew what I was doing.  

17...Kh7 18.Nxd5 Qxd5 19.Qxd5 cxd5 20.e6 Ne5 

By dint of good fortune, I have just about evened the game.

21.Bf4 Nc6 22.Rad1 Re8 23.Rxd5 Bxe6 24.fxe6 Rxe6

In another example of "Scientific Progress Goes Boink" (see "After the Refutation: Play On!"), my opponent has returned his extra piece for a couple of pawns, leaving him with a much freer game, but a pawn down.

25.c3 Rae8 26.Rfd1 a6 27.Rd7 Re1+ 28.Rxe1 Rxe1+ 29.Kf2 Ra1

30.Rxb7 Rxa2 31.Rb6 Ne7 32.c4 a5 33.Bd2 a4 34.Bc3 a3

35.Kf3 axb2 36.Bxb2 Nf5 37.Rb7 Ra5 

Stopping the advance of White's c-pawn, but missing the threat.

38.g4 Nd6 39.Rxg7+ Kh8 Black resigned

White will win a Rook with 40.Ra7+.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Move Along, Move Along, There's Nothing Here To Look At...

It's been a while - well over a year - since I've played a Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit, and I knew that I was a bit rusty (and a lot forgetful), but I had no idea I had such a horrible game in me - until I played the following. To be fair, my opponent wasn't on his best game, either.

You would do just as well to check out the first six moves, then move along. 

perrypawnpusher - michon
blitz, FICS, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 

The Blackburne Shilling Gambit. Black is just dying for White to play 4.Nxe5, so he can counter-attack with 4...Qg5!?


The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit. Of course, White can also play 4.Nxd4, 4.0-0, 4.d3 or 4.c3.


The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit, Declined; more of a psychological ploy than a move sustained by analysis. I have likened it to a "Jedi Mind Trick".

There are 451 games in The Database with this move, and, not surprisingly, White wins 70%. 


5.Bc4 was seen in perrypawnpusher - PlatinumKnight, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 9); perrypawnpusher - zadox, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 14); and perrypawnpusher - vlas, blitz, FICS, 2010, (1-0, 84).

5.Bb3 was seen in perrypawnpusher - Roetman, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 12). 


Or 5...Nxf3+ as in perrypawnpusher - zadox, blitz, FICS, 2011 (1-0, 49); and perrypawnpusher - zimmernazl, blitz, FICS, 2012 (1-0, 30).

Or 5...Ke8 as in perrypawnpusher - zadox, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 29). 


And, seriously, folks, the following moves are for historical (not hysterical) purposes only. Feel free to ignore them. (You can find them in The Database.)

6...Kd6 c5 8.Nxd4 cxd4 9.Qh5 h6 10.Qd5+ Kc7 11.Qxg8 Qe7 12.Qc4+ Kd8 13.Qxd4 d6 14.Nc3 g5 15.Nd5 Qe8 16.Qf6+ Be7 17.Qxe7+ Qxe7 18.Nxe7 Kxe7 19.d4 Bg4 20.f3 Bh5 21.Be3 Re8 22.0-0 Kd7 23.c4 Kc7 24.c5 g4 25.cxd6+ Kxd6 26.Bf4+ Kd7 27.Rac1 gxf3 28.Rc7+ Kd8 29.gxf3 Bf7 30.Bxh6 Bxa2 31.Rxb7 Bc4 32.Rb8+ Kd7 33.Rxe8 Kxe8 34.Rc1 Be2 35.Kf2 Kf7 36.Rc7+ Kg6 37.Be3 Bb5 38.Rxa7 Kh5 39.Ra5 Kh4 40.Rxb5 Kh3 41.Rh5 checkmate