Friday, January 17, 2014

Another Error, Another Win

Some day, maybe, I will get caught.

Oh, wait a minute. I already did get caught.

Some day, maybe, I will learn.

Oh, wait a minute, I once did know.

Well - next time I hope to remember...

In the meantime here's another Jerome Gambit game where I made what I knew was the wrong move, because I couldn't remember why it was wrong.

And I won in a near-miniature, anyhow.

perrypawnpusher - alvarzr

2 12, FICS, 2014

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 7.Qd5+ Kf6

Last year my game against the same opponent continued 7...Ke8 8.Qxc5 Qe7 9.Qe3 Nf6  and I was out-played in a pitched battle, (missing one chance at a saving swindle) in perrypawnpusher - alvarzr, blitz, FICS, 2013, (0-1, 59). Hmmm... Looks like I haven't posted that game yet. My bad.


I played this move even though I knew it was not the best move.

I had forgotten 8.Qxc5 d6 (8...Qe7 9.Qf5# perrypawnpusher - zsilber, blitz, FICS, 2010) 9.Qe3, with an edge for Black in perrypawnpusher - useche, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 22) and perrypawnpusher - wbrandl, blitz, FICS, 2011 (0-1, 28).


Black doubles my error and sends it back to me...

In a game six years ago my opponent back then played the correct 8...Bb4+!?, but after  9.c3 he tried 9...c6 and after 10.Qg5+ I was on my way to sweet victory in perrypawnpusher - whitepandora, blitz, FICS, 2008 (1-0, 41).

A more recent game - the analysis from this blog should still have been clear in my memory - saw 8...h6 9.Qxc5 with Black a bit better, in perrypawnpusher - tjaksi, blitz, FICS, 2013 (1-0, 16).


This is fine, but 9.Bg5 would have been checkmate. (And 10.Bg5 would have been checkmate against whitepandora, too!)

9...Ke6 10.Qxd8 

These kind of positions make me verrrrrrry nervous. Sure, White has a Queen and a pawn for only two pieces, but that's the problem - what if I get overconfident and blunder it all away? (Sure, that would be almost as bad as losing to the Jerome Gambit, right?)

10...N8e7 11.Qxc7 Ne5 12.Qa5 b6 13.Qd2 Bc5 14.Nc3

I briefly looked at 14.b4!? but quickly decided that I didn't need more material, I needed to escape with what I had and to find a settled position. (Thanks, Dan Heisman.)

14...Ba6 15.Nd5!? Rac8 16.Nxe7 Kxe7 17.Qg5+ Ke6 18.Qf5+ Kd6 19.Bf4 Rce8 20.0-0-0+ 

Hold the Xanax. I think I've got things under control now.

20...Kc6 21.Bxe5 Black resigned

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Choice of Checkmates

An enjoyable game, the following contest ends up with White having the choice of three different ways of delivering checkmate, depending which piece he wants to use!

Wall,B - Guest5541035, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.f4 Qf6

A nice change from the "annoying defense" 7...d6. 

The first example that I have of 7...Qf6 in my notes is from NM Eric Schiller's Unorthodox Chess Openings (1998). Calling 6...Ke6 "the real test of the opening" he notes, after 7.f4

White will win back one of the sacrificed pieces. Black should react calmly by developing and protecting the king. It is useful to keep in mind that for an attack to succeed the attacker usually requires greater force than that which defends the king. Here the Black king is surrounded by pieces, and White has only the queen and a pair of pawns. The Black king can retreat to e7, but this would confine the Black queen. Therefore the correct move [7...Qf6] suggests itself.

This seems stronger than Schiller's recommended 8.Nc3.

The Database has 9 game examples with 8.Nc3, with Black (including Wall, once) winning 6 of them (White scores 33%). This is opposed to 52 games with 8.Rf1, with White winning 32 (scoring 62%).

Bill warns against 8.fxe5? Qf2+ 9.Kd1 Qxg2. 


Or 8...Ne7 9.fxe5 Qxe5


Threatening 10.fxe5

Not 9.fxe5? Qxf1+ 10.Kxf1 gxh5 or 9.Qd1? Qh4+ 10.g3 Qxh2 11.fxe5 Qxg3+ 12.Rf2 Qxf2#.


Two alternatives: 

9...Kf7? 10.fxe5 Qxf1+ 11.Kxf1 d6 12.Qc3 Black resigned, Wall,B - Guest1690223, 2012;

9...Ng4 10.Qxg4+ Ke7 11.Nc3 d6? 12.Nd5+ Wall,B - Guest3164644, 2013 (1-0, 20).


Threatening 11.Nd5+ forking King and Queen. White could also grab back a piece with 10.fxe5.


Less tricky, but perhaps a bit more prudent, is 10...c6 as seen in Wall,B - XCCY, FICS, 2011 (1-0, 21)] 

11.Nd5+ Kf7 

Better is 11...Kd8, as long as Black doesn't slip like 12.Qg3 Qe6 13.fxe5 dxe5 14.d4 Ne7? as in Wall, B - Aburasian,, 2010 (1-0, 33).

Of course not 11...Ke8? when 12.Nxf6+ gains Black's Queen with check.

12.Qb3 Qh4+ 

It was time to give some material back. Not 12...Qe6? 13.fxe5+ Kg7 14.Nxc7; but maybe 12...Nf3+ 13.Rxf3 Qh4+ or even 12...Nd3+!?.


Simplest. As Bill notes, if 13.Kd1? Bg4+; and there is no need to protect the h-pawn with 13.Qg3 Qxg3+ 14.hxg3 Nc6 when Black retains his two extra pieces.


Maybe Black now saw that 13...Qxh2 would be well-answered by 14.fxe5+. If so, it is a shame that he didn't press further to find 13...Nf3+!? 14.Qxf3 Qxh2 (about even) or 14...Qh5!?

Now White takes over. 

14.fxe5+ Kg7

Retreating elsewhere brings disaster. 


Taking care of business, first. Instead, 15.Nxc7?? is a horror show after 15...Qxe4+.


Instead, 15...c6? can boomarang, for example: 16.Qc3 cxd5 17.e6+ Nf6 18.Qxf6+ Kg8 19.Qf7# 


Bill shows that the alternative, 16.Qc3, looks pretty trappy and good for White after 16...Bd4 17.Qxc7+ Bd7 18.Rf5!? gxf5 19.Qxd7+ Kg6 20.c3. 

But if Black answers solidly, instead, with 16...Bd6, then White has only 17.Nxc7, when 17...Nf6!? might come as quite a shock. Houdini says then that after 18.Nxa8 Qh5 19.h4 Bh3 20.Rf2 Rxa8 Black's two pieces will balance out White's Rook and two pawns.

Tricky play!

But, now Black blunders.


17.Ne8 checkmate.

Or 17.Qf7 checkmate.

Or 17.Rf7 checkmate

Monday, January 13, 2014

Happy Birthday! (the Completion of a Hysterical/Historical Jerome Gambit, Part 3)

                               [Continued from New Year's Day.] 

perrypawnpusher - spince
blitz, FICS, 2013

11.f4 Qf7 12.f5 Bd7 13.Bg5 

Putting pressure on f6 was a good idea, but this was better achieved by 13.Bd4!?, e.g. 13...Kg8 (it is too late for 13...c5 because of 14.f6, anyway) 14.f6 gxf6 15.Rxf6 Bc5 16.Rxf7 Bxd4+ 17.Kh1 Kxf7 when White would have a Queen and two pawns for a Rook and two Bishops - but Black's less stable King might give White an edge. 


An alternative was 13...h6 14.Bxe7+ Bxe7 15.e5 Be8 when White's advancing "Jerome pawns" balance things out. 


Thematic, but too soon.

I did not realize how "too soon" it was until after the game, when I asked Houdini's opinion, and it suggested a patient line somewhat more exciting that watching paint dry - but which might lead to a slight edge for White: 14.d4 h6 15.Bh4 g5 16.Bf2 Rf8 17.Qe2 Bb4 18.Nd1 Kd8 19.Ne3 Bd6 20.Nc4 Qe8 21.Ne5 Kc8 22.c4 Ng8 23.Nxd7 Qxd7 24.Be3 b6 25.e5 Be7 26.Qf3 Kb7 27.Rad1 Rae8.

analysis diagram


This gives up the exchange, but Black did not want to pursue 14...gxf6 15.Rxf6.

15.fxg7 Qxg7 16.Bf6 Qf8 17.Bxh8 Qxh8 18.Qf3

Also possible was 18.d4.

White has a Rook and two pawns against Black's two Bishops.

Unfortunately, the next handful of moves is spoiled by mutual Amaurosis scacchistica - chess blindness. 

18...Kd8 19.Rf2? Kc8? 20.h3? b6 21.Raf1? Kb7 22.Qf7? Rd8 

Black has worked hard to safeguard his King, missing opportunities to win the exchange with ...Bc5, and, later, to launch a strong attack with ...Qe5.

Now he misses his last chance, although he still may maintain a small edge.

Speaking of "small", alas, that begins to refer to the amount of time that Black has remaining on his clock.

23.Qf6 Be5 24.Qxh8 Bxh8 25.Rf7 Be6 26.Rxh7 Bxa2

An unfortunate time slip.

27.Nxa2 Bd4+ 28.Kh1 Nh4 29.c3 Black forfeited on time