Saturday, September 6, 2014

Always Good To Remember

parischess - timmisiewicz
blitz, FICS, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Na5

This is not a Jerome Gambit variation, but it will happen often enough in your games that it is worth having an answer to it on hand.


Of course, 4.Nxe5 is just fine, too. The text is the answer, though, if you were planning on playing the Jerome.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke6 6.d4 d6 


This is the right way to proceed.

7...Ke7 8.Bg5+ 

This move looks stronger than it is, however. Best is 8.Qg5+ Nf6 9.Nf3 Nc6 10.e5 dxe5 11.dxe5 Kf7 12.exf6 Qxf6 with a pawn advantage for White. 



White goes ahead with his plan, but there is a bug in it. Best play, instead, leads to an unclear position, and, possibly, a draw by repetition. 

White should try 9.Qf3, getting his Queen out of the line of fire while focusing more attention on the Knight at f6. In turn, Black has 9...dxe5 10.dxe5 Kf7 11.exf6 gxf6 when White has his Jerome-traditional two pawns for a sacrificed piece. It is here that Houdini suggests 12.Nc3!? with wild play after 12...Kg7 (or 12...Rg8 13.Rd1 Bd6 14.Qh5+ Rg6 15.Qxh7+ Rg7 16.Qh5+ Rg6 drawing) 13.Nd5 fxg5 14.O-O-O!?. 

analysis diagram

Houdini and Stockfish see the position as equal, largely because White - two pieces down - can still work out a draw by repetition.

All in all, it might be better to remember 8.Qg5+.

9...gxf6 10.Qh4 

We can see that there is now too much going on for White to be able to take care of all of it.


But Black is still under his opponent's spell! After 10...dxe5 11.dxe5 Bg7) White does not have enough for his two sacrificed pieces. 

11.Qh5+ Ke7 12.Qf7 checkmate

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