Friday, March 14, 2014

Not Quite Jerome-Inspired Games (Part 3)

In the following three minute game, Black contrives a maneuver to strengthen his Kingside and drive away the enemy Queen. Much to his surprise, it allows White to sacrifice Her Majesty and deliver checkmate! 

Philidor 1792 - guest681

3-minutes blitz, 20.12.2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Bb3 Bc5 5.Nxe5

White bypasses a possible Delayed Jerome Gambit (5.Bxf7+) and sacrifices his Knight without sacrificing the Bishop.

5...Nxe5 6.d4 Qe7

Houdini suggests that after 6...Nxe4 7.0-0 0-0 8.dxe5 Qe7 the game would be even.

7.0-0 Bxd4 8.Qxd4 h6 9.Nc3 d6 10.f4 Nc6 11.Qd3 0-0 

12.Bd2 Bg4 13.Rae1 Bh5 14.e5 dxe5 15.fxe5 Nh7 16.Nd5 Qh4

17.Re3 Bg6 18.Qxg6 fxg6 19.Ne7+ Kh8 20.Nxg6 checkmate

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Not Quite Jerome-Inspired Games (Part 2)

Here we have another manic three-minute game showing the three secrets to winning blitz chess: attack, attack, attack.

Philidor 1792 - guest2151
3-minutes blitz, 24.12.2013

1.e4 Nf6 2.Bc4 e5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Bb3 a5

After offering an Alekhine Defense, but showing no interest in participating in the Krejcik Gambit, Black finds an interesting way to avoid a Delayed Jerome Gambit.

White goes for a Chicago or Halloween Gambit, sacrificing a Knight on e5 (without having sacrificed the Bishop on f7). Of course, 5.Nc3 would have been just fine for White.

5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.d4 Nc6 7.d5 Ne5 8.f4 Ng6 9.e5 Ng8

10.h4 Nxh4 11.d6 cxd6 12.Qh5 

12...Nxg2+ 13.Kf2 g6 14.Qh3 dxe5 15.Qxg2 exf4

16.Qd5 Qb6+ 17.Kf3 d6 18.Qxf7+ Kd8 19.Qxf8+ Kc7 20.Qg7+ Black resigned

Monday, March 10, 2014

Not Quite Jerome-Inspired Games (Part 1)

Our chessfriend Philidor 1792 is on such a tactical roll, it seems a shame to not present three smashing games of his, just because they don't fit the Jerome Gambit template.

Here is the first. It contains a reminder (again) that even in 3-minute games, endgame skill is essential. 

Philidor 1792 - guest3658
3 0 blitz,, 27.12.2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Bb3 Be7 5.Nxe5

White, unable to reach a Delayed Jerome Gambit (i.e. 4...Bc5, 5.Bxf7+) switches to an opening reminiscent of the Chicago or Halloween Gambit.

5...Nxe5 6.d4 Nxe4 

This looks a bit like I know you want me to play 6... Nc6, so I'll play something else... The problem - for Black - is that 6...Nc6 is the correct move, whereas the text leads to an equal game.

As in the Jerome Gambit, returning the sacrificed material for an even game is often the price a defender is willing to pay.

7.dxe5 O-O 8.Qd4 Nc5 9.Nc3 Nxb3 10.axb3 c6 11.Bf4 Bg5 12.O-O-O Bxf4+ 13.Qxf4 

White would like to make something out of Black's backward d-pawn, or White's strong point at d6.

13...f5 14.Rd3 g5 15.Qc4+ Kh8 16.g4 

Sharper was 16.h4.

16...Qe7 17.Re1 fxg4 18.Re2 Rf4 19.Rd4 Qf7 20.Qxf7 Rxf7

White's lead in development clearly compensates for Black's extra, doubled pawn. In turn, Black decides to give two pawns to activate his pieces.

21.Ne4 d5 22.exd6 Bf5 23.Nxg5 Rg7 24.Ne6 Bxe6 25.Rxe6 Rd8

White's advantage lives at d6.

26.Re7 Kg8 27.Rxg7+ Kxg7 28.Rxg4+ Kf6 29.Rh4 Rd7 30.c4 c5 31. b4 b6 32. bxc5 bxc5 33.b4 

33...Rxd6 34. Rh6+ Ke5 35.Rxd6 Kxd6 36.b5 Ke5 37.Kc2 Kd4

Black's King has taken up a strong position, and now only one move keeps the advantage for White. Which one?


White needed to find 38.Kb3! when Black's King cannot safely choose either side of the board to play on. White's King clearly wants to advance and capture Black's pawn on a7, followed by promoting his b-pawn. Black cannot stop that, and White's f-pawn at the same time.

Houdini gives as best play (30 ply) 38...Ke4 39.Ka4 Ke5 40.b6 axb6 41.Kb5 Kd4 42.f4 h5 43.f5 Ke5 44.Kxb6 Kxf5 45.Kxc5 and White's King will lead his passed pawn to the Queening square.


Black misses his opportunity, as 38...Ke4 would now win, as the tempos now favor him.

Now the game is even.

39.f5 Kd5 40.Kd3 Ke5 41.Kc4 Kxf5 42.Kxc5


The wrong kind of activity. Instead, 42...Ke5 would hold the draw.

43.Kc6 h4 44.Kb7 h3 45.Kxa7 Kf4 46.b6 Kf3 47.b7 Kg2 48.b8=Q Black resigned