Friday, January 3, 2014

Playing Cat and Mouse

It is always a good idea to keep track of who is the predator, and who is the prey. Witness the following game.

Wall, Bill - Guest249301, 2013

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 7.Qxc5

Passing on playing his usual 7.Qd5+, the "nudge". 

7...d6 8.Qd5+ Be6 9.Qxb7 Ne5

With 8...Be6, Black showed his skepticism about White's Queen moves, investing a pawn to back up his belief that the first player shouldn't be wasting time moving Her Majesty. Now he plans to play cat-and-mouse with his Knight, as the text move is the start of a plan to evict White's Queen from Black's position. I am reminded for the umpteenth time of the comment, Don't try to out-think me, just play the refutation.

Better was 9...Nh4, as in Wall, Bill - CheckMe,, 2010 (1-0, 23).


10.d4 was also playable, e.g. 10...Ng6 11.f4 with a balanced game. 

10...Nd7 11.O-O Nc5 12.Qb4

Bill notes that 12.Qc6? Bc4 13.Rf3 Ne7 would trap the Queen.

12...a5 13.Qd4 Nf6 14.f5

Or 14.e5 dxe5 15.Qxc5.

14...Bd7 15.e5 Nfe4 16.e6+

Instead, 16.d3 traps the knight.

16...Ke8 17. exd7+ Qxd7 18.d3 Nf6

White has won his piece back, and has a couple extra pawns - plus lines of attack to Black's King.

19.Nc3 Kd8 20.Bg5 Kc8 21.Rae1 Re8 22.Bxf6 gxf6 23.Rxe8+ Qxe8 24.Qxf6 

Black's King will get to safety, but the cost in material is too much.

24...Qe3+ 25.Kh1 Kb7 26.Nd5 Qe2 27.Kg1 Qxc2 28.Qe7 Nxd3 29.Qe4

No 29.Qxh7? Qc5+!  and Black will mate! Instead, White has a nice tactic to share with his opponent.

29...Qc5+ 30.Ne3+ Black resigned.

The Knight is lost.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! (A Hysterical/Historical Jerome Gambit, Part 2)

                               [Continued from Christmas.] 

So far, the close look at my recent Jerome Gambit game has progressed a half-dozen moves. See "Merry Christmas! A Hysterical/Historical Jerome Gambit, Part 1".

Again, I have historical information from my never-published article submitted to Stefan Bucker for his magazine Kaissiber (and revised, and revised, and revised, and revised, and reassessed).

blitz, FICS, 2013

perrypawnpusher - spince

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Kf8 6.Nxc6 

This position was reached in his first article with analysis of the Jerome Gambit (Dubuque Chess Journal 4/1874) by Alonzo Wheeler Jerome

As early as July 1874 it was clear that Alonzo Wheeler Jerome had no illusions about his gambit, as the Dubuque Chess Journal noted

It should be understood that Mr. Jerome claims in this New Opening "only a pleasant variation of the Giuoco Piano, which may win or lose according to the skill of the players, but which is capable of affording many new positions and opportunities for heavy blows unexpectedly.
This modesty did not prevent Jerome from debating for months with William Hallock, who produced the American Chess Journal in the years following the demise of the Dubuque Chess Journal. While testing his invention in over-the-board and correspondence play, Jerome claimed
…that the opening has a “reasonable chance of winning,” which is sufficient to constitute a “sound opening.” It is not required that an Opening shall be sure to win. There is no such opening contained in chess; at least none that I know of.
In the exchanges of games and analysis that appeared in the American Chess Journal in 1876 and 1877, Hallock progressed from referring to “Jerome’s Double Opening” to “Jerome’s Gambit” to “Jerome’s Absurdity.”
This light-hearted approach found full form in the May 1877 issue of the Danish chess magazine Nordisk Skaktidende, where Lieutenant Sorensen, analyzed the Jerome Gambit in his “Chess Theory for Beginners” column:
With this answering move of the Bishop [1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5] we have the fundamental position for that good old game which the Italians, hundreds of years ago, when they were masters of the Chessboard, called "Giuoco Piano," even game, but the later age, for generality of explanation, the "Italian game." On this basis the usual continuation is 4.c3, whereby the QP at the next move threatens to advance, and the White middle Pawns to occupy the centre. In the next articles we will make mention of that regular fight for the maintenance or destruction of the center, which is the essential point of the Italian game; in this, on the contrary, we will occupy ourselves with a Bashi-Bazouk attack, over which the learned Italians would have crossed themselves had they known it came under the idea of piano, but which is in reality of very recent date - 1874, and takes it origin from an American, A.W. Jerome. It consists in the sacrifice of a piece by 4.Bxf7+. Naturally we immediately remark that it is unsound, and that Black must obtain the advantage; but the attack is pretty sharp, and Black must take exact care, if he does not wish to go quickly to the dogs. A little analysis of it will, therefore, be highly instructive, not to say necessary, for less practiced players, and will be in its right place in our Theory, especially since it is not found in any handbook. The Americans call the game "Jerome's double opening," an allusion, probably, to the fresh sacrifice of a piece which follows at the next move, but we shall prefer to use the short and sufficiently clear designation, Jerome Gambit.
The August 1877 issue of the British Chess Player’s Chronicle and the December 1877 issue of the Italian Nuova Rivista Degli Scacci, reprinted Sorensen’s article (in English and Italian, respectively), introducing the Jerome Gambit to an even wider audience. Almost every Jerome Gambit analyst since has leaned heavily on Sorensen.

Interest in the Jerome Gambit did not remain just among beginning chess players. A couple of years later, Andres Clemente Vazquez included three wins with the Gambit, from his 1876 match against     Carrington, in his Algunas Partidas de Ajedrez Jugadas in Mexico por Andres Clemente Vazquez.

G. H. D. Gossip’s 1879 book, Theory of the Chess Openings, included an analysis of the Jerome Gambit, “substantially the same” as that which appeared in the Chess Player’s Chronicle, as the latter noted in a review of the work. At about the same time, the American daily newspaper, the Cincinnati Commercial Gazette, in its chess column, struck the right tone in its review of Theory, noting gleefully
...the Jerome Gambit, which high-toned players sometimes affect to despise because it is radically unsound, finds a place, and to this it is certainly entitled.
The next year, in 1880, when the 6th edition of the illustrious Handbuch des Schachspiels was published, the Commercial Gazette’s chess columnist was again ready to “complain” about the state of affairs

…that the "Jerome Gambit" should be utterly (even if
deservedly) ignored.

The Cincinnati connection is an important one in the story of the development of the Jerome Gambit. In the 1870 and 1880s, the chess column of the Commercial Gazette, conducted by J. W. Miller, was considered to be one of the best in the United States. It occasionally ran opening analysis presented by S. A. Charles, a member of the local chess club. By January 1881, Charles had switched to sending his analyses to the Pittsburgh Telegraph (later, the Chronicle-Telegraph).

In October 1881, the Jerome Gambit broke onto the international scene again, in Brentano's Chess Monthly, (edited by H.C. Allen & J.N. Babson), with a letter and analysis from S. A. Charles.

The November 2, 1881 chess column in the Pittsburgh Telegraph ran Charles’ corrected and slightly updated version of his analysis from Brentano's Chess Monthly.

The year 1882 brought yet more attention, from respectable sources, to the Jerome Gambit. William Cook, with the assistance of E. Freeborough and C. E. Ranken, brought out the third edition of his Modern Chess Openings-style Cook's Synopsis of the Chess Openings A Tabulated Analysis. 


Like in the "annoying defense" against the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5+ 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.f4 d6 8.fxe5 dxe5, etc.), Black has returned a piece to achieve a static position that limits White's attacking chances.

Here, though, White has the long-term plan of developing and deliberately advancing his "Jerome pawns". If Black is watchful during this process, he can probably return a second piece for two pawns and sue for peace.

Also played (often transposing) has been 7.d3, as in perrypawnpusher -Jore, blitz, FICS, 2011 (0-1, 16); perrypawnpusher - Conspicuous, blitz, FICS, 2011 (1-0, 13); perrypawnpusher - fortytwooz, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 29); perrypawnpusher - Lark, blitz, FICS,  2011 (1-0, 12); perrypawnpusher - pitrisko, blitz, FICS, 2011 (0-1, 30); and Wall,B - WMXW, FICS, 2012 (1-0, 31).

7.Nc3 (followed by 8.d3 and 9.0-0 ) was seen in perrypawnpusher - Ykcir, FICS, 14 0 blitz, 2009 (½-½, 11).

7.c3 was seen in Vazquez,A - Carrington,Wm, Mexico, 2nd match 1876 (1-0, 43).


7...Nf6 was popular in the early games of this line, as in Jerome,A - Brownson,O, Iowa 1875 (½-½, 29); Norton,D - Hallock,A, correspondence, 1877 (0-1,18), Lowe,E - Parker,J, correspondence, 1879,  (0-1, 25);  and Lowe,E - Parker,J, correspondence, 1879 (1-0, 37).

Subsequent analysis has generally followed Jerome - Brownson, Iowa, 1875, with 7.O-O Nf6 8.Qf3 (Sorensen said 8.e5 would be met by 8…Bg4 9.Qe1 Kf7! which was how Norton – Hallock had continued ) Qd4 9.d3 Bg4 10.Qg3. At this point, Brownson played 10…Bb6. Jerome responded with 11.e5, and drew the game, with help from his opponent, in 29 moves. Brownson, in the Dubuque Chess Journal (3/1875), suggested 11.Kh1 and 12.f4 as an improvement for White.

Sorensen, Nordisk Skaktidende, (5/1877) gave the alternative line 10…Bd6, attacking White’s Queen, and followed this up with 11.Bf4 g5 12.Bxd6+ cd 13.h3 Be6 14.Qxg5 Rg8 15.Qh6+ Ke7 16.Nc3 Rg6 17.Qh4 Rag8 with a better game for Black. However, Charles later in the Pittsburg Telegraph (4/27/81) offered 11.c3 as an improvement, suggested to him by Jerome, which they believed reversed the valuation of the line.

As an historical aside, later sources, relying on - read: copying - Sorensen’s analysis, miss 11.c3; those that follow - read: copy - Charles’ work, based on his Brentano article or on the American Supplement, include it.


Better than my goofball 8.Qf3+ from perrypawnpusher - CorH, blitz, FICS, 2009 (0-1, 74). 

8...Qf6 9.Nc3 Ne7 10.Be3 Bd6

[To Be Continued on my birthday January 13, 2014.] 
[Comments and Emails are Welcomed and Encouraged.]

Monday, December 30, 2013

Jerome Gambit-Inspired Play (Part 7)

Turn-around is fair play, they say, and the following game is a fun example. Philidor 1792 is off to a solid 3-minute game, when, suddenly... 

Philidor 1792 - guest1416
3 0 blitz,, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.a3

Here we have Gunsberg's Variation of the Four Knights Game, explored (among other places), along with other double e-pawn openings, in Hugh Myers' 1977 Reversed King Pawns, Mengarini's Opening.

White prepares to take the "black" side of the positions that

develop, hoping to be helped by his "extra" pawn move. Black prepares to play...


...a reversed Italian game, and, after...

5.Bc4 Bxf2+ 

...he uncorks a Reversed Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit!

The only "reversed" Jerome Gambit that I can find in The Database at this point are lixuanxuan - Polone, blitz, FICS, 2012 (0-1, 27), which began 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Bc4 Bxf2+ ; and Diophantos - khangaza, blitz, FICS, 2007 (0-1, 34), which began 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.d3 Bxf2+.

Of course, that is not to overlook games like Krejcik, Josef - Baumgartner, Troppau, 1914 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Bc5 3.Nxe5 Bxf2+ 4.Kxf2 Qh4+ 5.g3 Qxe4 6.Qe2 Qxh1 7.Bg2 Black resigns. For a discussion of the Busch - Gass Gambit, see "Worth A Second Look" Parts 1, 2 and 3.

6.Kxf2 Nxe4+ 7.Nxe4 d5 8.d4

Following along the lines of ideas for Black in the regular Jerome Gambit, White could play 8.Bd3 dxe4 9.Bxe4 or 8.Bxd5 Qxd5 9.d3, but, instead he plays the blow-it-up variation - see perrypawnpusher - Marcym, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 20) and perrypawnpusher - NimbusReign, blitz, FICS, 2010 (0-0, 26).  Why not, he's ahead a couple of pieces, right?


A better idea, according to Houdini, was 8...dxe4 9.Nxe5 Qf6+ 10.Ke1 Be6 11.Bxe6 Qxe6 12.Nxc6 Qxc6, although, despite White's King's central residence, the first player's extra piece still outweigh's Black's extra pawn.


Solid, but missing 9.Bg5!? when 9...f6 allows a brutal attack 10.Nxf6+ gxf6 11.Re1+ Kf8 12.Bh6+ Kg8 13.Bxd5+ Qxd5 14.Re8+ Kf7 15.Rxh8, according to the computer. That would be a lot for a person to see in a 3-minute game.

9...dxc4 10.Re1+ Be6 11.Kg1 0-0

White has castled-by-hand and might actually believe that his extra piece is worth more than Black's extra three "Jerome pawns". The psychological reversal might have been difficult, with the Jerome-player facing the Jerome.

12.Ng5 Bd5 13.Nf5 Qf6 14.Qg4 Ne5

Instead, 14...Rad8 or 14...Rae8 would have probably kept the game even.


White presses his counter-attack against the (reversed) Jerome. In a slower game, he might have risked 15.Rxe5!? Qxe5 16.Bf4 h5 (16...Qf6 17.Nxh7 Kxh7 18.Bg5 Qe6 19.Qh5+ Kg8 {19...Qh6 20.Bxh6 g6 21.Qh4 gxf5 22.Bg5+ Kg7 23.Qh6+ Kg8 24.Bf6 Bc6 25.Qg7#} 20.Ne7+ Qxe7) 17.Bxe5 hxg4 18.Ne7+ Kh8 19.Nxd5 with advantage. 

15...h6 16.Ne4 Qe6 17.Kh1 

Safety first - and an even game. Again, with time to burn, Philidor 1792 would certainly have found 17.Bxh6!? Ng6 (17...gxh6 18.Nxh6+ Kg7 19.Nf5+ Kg8 20.Ng5) 18.Neg3, etc. 

17...Ng6 18.Nxd4 Qxh3 19.gxh3 Rae8

Black is now clearly better.

20.Kg1 Rxe4 21.Rxe4 Bxe4 22.Nb5 c6 23.Nd6 Bxc2 24.Nxc4 Rd8 25.Be3 b6 White lost on time

Another Jerome victory!

(Another Random Note: May, 2011, had been the month, so far, with the most page views for this blog since it started in June, 2008 . However, last month November, 2013, overtook it, becoming the month with the most views - until December 2013, which has surpassed both to become Number 1! My "Welcome!" and "Thank You! to everyone stopping by. - Rick)