Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Being Helpful Hurts

The following Jerome Gambit game features a couple of "helpful" moves by Black, "encouraging" White to go ahead and make the moves he was already planning on making. White is helped by this, but Black is harmed.

Wall,B - Guest1105387, 2014

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

There are 141 games with this position in The Database. White scores a pleasant 68%.


Bill's idea.

10...Kf7 11.0-0 

Instead, 11.d4 Re8 12.0-0 was seen in Wall,B - Guest3544144,, 2013 (1-0, 35). 

11...Be6 12.Nc3 Rf8 13.f4 Ne7 14.f5 Bd7 15.d4 Kg8

Black has castled-by-hand. White has his broad pawn center.

16.Qd3 Nc6

Bill suggests, instead, the center strike 16...d5

17.Bg5 Qe8

Black slips out of the pin. As an alternative, Bill mentions 17...Kh8

18.Rae1 h6

This move seems to encourage White to make a move he already planned on making. Again, Bill suggests 18...Kh8

After the game, Houdini found 18...Qh5!?, with the wild continuation 19.Bxf6 gxf6 20.Nd5 Rac8 21.Re3 Kh8 22.Rh3 Qf7 23.Rf4 Ne7 24.Rxh7+ Qxh7 25.Nxe7 Qxe7 26.Rh4+ Kg8 27.Qg3+ Qg7 28.Rg4 Qxg4 29.Qxg4+ Kf7 30.e5 dxe5 31.dxe5 fxe5 32.Qg6+ Ke7 33.Qg5+ and a draw by repetition. Typical computer: it sees White as worse off at the start of the line, and therefore the first player should be happy with a draw.

I showed the line to Bill, who said he probably would have simply met 18...Qh5 with 19.Bf4. Very human.

19.Bxf6 Rxf6

Again, this adds momentum to White's play. Better for Black was 19...gxf6 20.Nd5 Rc8. 

20.Nd5 Rf8

Black's game begins to slide downhill.

21.Nxc7 Qc8 22.Nxa8 Qxa8 23.f6 Rxf6 24.Rxf6 gxf6 25.e5 

A clearance sacrifice to allow White's Queen to approach the Black King. Black's best defense, now, 25...Qf8, is still not enough: 26.Qb3+ Kh8 27.Qxb7 Qe7 28.e6 Be8 29.Qxe7 Nxe7 30.c4. The Rook and three extra pawns will overwhelm the defending Knight and Bishop.

25...fxe5 26.Qg6+ Kh8 27.Qxh6+ Kg8 28.Rf1 Qe8 29.Qg5+ Kh8 30.Rf6 Black resigned

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