Sunday, November 9, 2014

BSJG: Move-by-Move

The following game - another recent one from - allows a closer look at an interesting, more-positional variation of an otherwise wild, attacking opening.

mr_kill - syiedan86
Team match,, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4

The Blackburne Shilling Gambit.

There are a number of ways to safely meet the BSG, including 4.Nxd4, 4.0-0, 4.d3 and 4.c3. Black wants to see 4.Nxe5?!, so he can respond with the thematic 4...Qg5!?


The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit. As a Jerome Gambit fan, I like the move. Also, it has been good to me - I have scored 91% in 41 games. (The Database* contains 4,452 BSJG games;White scores 56%.)

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke8 6.c3

This move shows up 398 times in The Database, scoring 55% for White. The major alternative is 6.Qh5+, which appears in 1,376 games, and with which White scores 61%.

Houdini 3 shows a slight preference for the text move, which doesn't surprise me, as 100% of my games contain the alternative.


This move appears in 157 games, while the alternate retreat, 6...Nc6, appears 92 times. The challenging 6...Qg5 appears in 95 games. All score the same, plus or minus a percentage point or two.


Here Houdini shows a slight preference for 7.Qh5+, leading to an even game.

7...d6 8.Nd3 Nf6 

This is a balanced position. (It must be remembered that Black cannot castle, as he has moved his King.)

A couple of ideas for White now include 9.Nd2, seen in the game GmCooper - Mazetov, lightning, FICS, 2001 (1-0, 28); and 9.d5 Nc5 10.Nxc5 dxc5 11.O-O, which is the choice of chess engines Houdini, Rybka and Stockfish.

9.e5 dxe5 10.Nxe5 Bd6 11.Qe2

Stronger might be 11.f4


In this tense position, White inexplicably dropped a piece, and the game was over.

12.Bg5 Nxg5 White resigned

[*A word about statistics. In any database devoted to a particular opening, the success of the line will be inflated, as partisans and publishers tend to show off successes, not abject failures. I have corrected for this somewhat, in that about 90% of the games in The Database are drawn from play at FICS, over a 12-year period - all the wins, losses and draws in each particular opening. Statistics in The Database, thus, largely reflect the results of "average" club players in an "average" online game environment.] 

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