Saturday, May 3, 2014

Annoying Enough?

The Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) has a lot of "annoying" about it. It is annoying for the defender to have to deal with a "new" 4th move. It is annoying for him to have to figure out a defense to the annoying attack. It is particularly annoying to lose to the Jerome Gambit.

So, I was a bit disappointed in the ending of the following game, as White had a final chance to be extra annoying: Black had abandoned his extra piece because he was sure that his "faster" passed pawn would win for him. Yet, the resulting position became drawn.

ramoasis - Irzo

blitz, FICS, 2013

After fifty-eight moves, Black is up a Queen for a pawn, but the special nature of the advanced f-pawn makes a draw possible. For Black to win, his King needs to be inside the area delineated by the red line.

59.Kf8 Kg4 60.Kg7 

White threatens to Queen his pawn, while keeping his King on the same side as Black's and covering the critical g6 square.

60...Qd4+ 61.Kg8 Qd5 62.Kg7 Qd7 

Now White can take advantage of the stalemate theme with 63.Kh8, as 63...Qxf7 would cement the draw. Other tries for Black allow White to Queen his pawn, or continue to resist in a similar manner.

63.Kg8 Qe6 

This was a blitz game, and both players slipped.

Black could have taken advantage of White's inaccuracy by advancing his King and forcing mate, 63...Kg5 64.Kh8 Qe7 65.Kg7 Kh5 66.Kg8 Kg6 67.f8=N!?+ Kg5 68.Kh8 Kh6 69.Ng6 Qg7 checkmate. 


Now we are back to drawable territory.

64...Qe7 65.Kg8 Qe6 66.Kg7 Qe7 67.Kg8 Qg5+ 

Black avoids the draw by threefold repetition and tries something different.


Instead 68.Kh8! would allow the draw. 

68...Kf5 69.Ke8 

Black's King is now inside the critical area, and can get to a square where he can help with checkmate.

69...Qg6 70.Ke7 Qg7 71.Ke8 Qg6 72.Ke7 Qe6+ 73.Kf8 Kf6 74.Kg8 Qxf7+ 75.Kh8 Qg7 checkmate

So - White had a possible draw, but missed it. That's annoying!

(Assistance in this column was provided by Houdini 3 and Fundamental Chess Endings by Müller and Lamprecht.)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Another Coffin, Another Nail

Black can be his own worst enemy when he does not take the Jerome Gambit seriously: one bad move (or idea) and White can do him in. The following game shows how to finish off one such "oops".

zuzveshtok - deadmanwalk

blitz, FICS, 2013

1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 e5 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Nc3

White hesitates before committing to the Jerome Gambit...


...And is immediately rewarded.


As with the line 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 4.Nc3 Na5 in the Semi-Italian Opening, which we last saw in "Final Nail in the Coffin", Black dreams of exchanging off White's "Italian Bishop" with 5.Bb3?! Nxb3, but gets a rude, Jerome Gambit-ish shock.

Although the line is not frequently seen (only 15 games in The Database, White scores 77%), those who play the Jerome Gambit should remember how to deal with it.

Black's defense crumbles quickly.

5...Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Ke8 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Nxg6 Nf6

A bit less painful was 8...hxg6 9.Qxh8.

9.Qe5+ Kf7 10.Nxh8+ Kg7 Black resigned

(April 2014 was the 4th highest visited month in the history of this blog - exactly tied with December 2013. Many, many thanks to readers - and please feel free to continue to visit. - Rick)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Philidor vs the Philidor

In a final Jerome Gambit-inspired blitz game, we see Philidor 1792 taking on  the Philidor Defense. White starts out by gathering material, and then starts to work with his "Jerome pawns", undeterred by a Queen exchange. When White needs an "extra" piece, he simply enlists his King. As ever, there is a whole lot of battle in the game, and quick decisions to make as the clock ticks down.
Philidor 1792 - guest24
3 0 blitz,, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 d6 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.h3 Nf6 6.Qe2 h6 7.c3 Be7 8.Qb5 Rf8 9.Qb3+ Be6 10.Qxb7 Qd7 11.d3 Rab8 12.Qa6 Rb6 13.Qa4 Kg8

14.b4 d5 15.b5 Nd8 16.Nxe5 Qxb5 17.Qxb5 Rxb5 18.Ng6 Re8

19.e5 Nd7 20.Nxe7+ Rxe7 21.f4 Bf5 22.Na3 Rc5 23.Kd2 Ne6 24.g4 Bh7 25.f5 Nf4 26.Nc2 

26...Nxe5 27.Ba3 Nexd3 28.Bxc5 Nxc5 29.Rhe1 Rxe1 30.Nxe1 Ne4+ 31.Ke3 Nxh3 32.Kd4 c6 33.c4 Nf6 34.cxd5 cxd5 35.Rb1 Nxg4 36.Kxd5 Bxf5 

37.Rb7 a5 38.Ra7 Nf4+ 39.Kc5 Ne6+ 40.Kd6 h5 41.Rxa5 g6 42.Rxf5 gxf5 43.Kxe6 h4 

44.Kxf5 h3 45.Nf3 h2 46.Nxh2 Nxh2 47.a4 Nf3 48.Kf6 Nd4 49.a5 Nc6 50.a6 Kf8 51.Ke6 Ke8 52.Kd6 Na7 53.Kc7 Ke7 54.Kb6 Nc8+ 55.Kb7 Nd6+ 56.Kc7 Nb5+ 57.Kb6 Nd6 58.Kc7 Ke6 59.Kc6 Nc8 60.Kb7 Black lost on time

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Think Fast!

Here we have another collection of blitz games by Philidor 1792, fuelled by ideas from the Jerome Gambit, but launched in some Two Knights Defenses... Beware the attack! And - if you successfully defend - ask not for whom the time clock ticks, it ticks for thee!

Philidor 1792 - guest5
3-minutes blitz, 04.03.2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 

Or 4.Bb3, offering the Delayed Jerome Gambit, but 4...a6 (4...Nxe4 5.Qe2 d5 6.d3 Nf6 (6...Nc5 7.Nxe5 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Re1 Be6 10.Nc3 Nxb3 11.axb3 Nxe5 12.Qxe5 Bd6 13.Qh5 c6 14.Bg5 f6 15.Rxe6 fxg5 16.Rae1 h6 17.Nb1 Qc7 18.Nd2 Bc5 19.Nf3 Qf7 20.Qxf7+ Rxf7 21.d4 Bb6 22.Re7 Raf8 23.c3 g4 24.Rxf7 Rxf7 25.Ne5 Re7 26.f4 h5 27.Kf2 c5 28.dxc5 Bxc5+ 29.Kg3 Kh7 30.Rd1 d4 31.cxd4 Bb6 32.d5 g5 33.d6 Re8 34.d7 Rd8 35.fxg5 Bc7 36.Kf4 Bxe5+ 37.Kxe5 Kg6 38.Ke6 Black resigned, Philidor1792 - Sasha63,, 2014) 7.Nxe5 Nxe5 8.Qxe5+ Qe7 9.Bf4 Qxe5+ 10.Bxe5 c6 11.c4 Be7 12.Nc3 dxc4 13.dxc4 0-0 14.0-0-0 Re8 15.Rhe1 Bg4 16.f3 Bf5 17.Bc2 Bxc2 18.Kxc2 Rad8 19.Bc7 Rxd1 20.Rxd1 Kf8 21.g4 h6 22.a3 Bc5 23.Bd6+ Bxd6 24.Rxd6 Ke7 25.c5 Rd8 26.Rxd8 Kxd8 27.Kd3 Ke7 28.Kd4 Ke6 29.b4 a6 30.h4 g6 31.g5 hxg5 32.hxg5 Ne8 33.Ke4 f5+ 34.Kd4 Ng7 35.Na4 Nh5 36.Nb6 Nf4 37.Nc4 Nh3 38.Nd6 Nxg5 39.f4 Nh3 40.Ke3 Kd5 41.Nxb7 g5 42.Nd6 gxf4+ 43.Kf3 Ke6 44.Nc4 Kd5 45.Nd6 Ke5 46.Nf7+ Kf6 47.Nd6 Ke6 48.Nc4 Kd5 49.Nd6 Ke5 50.Nf7+ Ke6 51.Nd6 Kf6 52.a4 Kg5 53.Nf7+ Kg6 54.Ne5+ Kg5 55.Nxc6 Ng1+ 56.Kg2 Ne2 57.Nb8 Nd4 58.c6 Kg4 59.c7 f3+ 60.Kf2 Ne6 61.c8Q Ng5 62.Qg8 Kf4 63.Qxg5+ Kxg5 64.Nxa6 Kf6 65.Nc5 Ke5 66.Kxf3 Kd6 67.Kf4 Kc6 68.Kxf5 Kb6 69.Ke5 Kc6 70.Kd4 Kb6 71.Kd5 Ka7 72.b5 Kb6 73.Nb3 Ka7 74.Kc6 Kb8 75.a5 Ka7 76.a6 Kb8 77.b6 Ka8 78.Na5 1-0 Philidor1792 - vlad2201,, 2014) 5.Nxe5 Going Halloween Gambit, after all, Nxe5 6.d4 Nc6 7.d5 Ne5 8.f4 Ng6 9.e5 Ng8 10.Nc3 Bc5 11.Ne4 Bb6 12.h4 Nxh4 13.Qg4 Ng6 14.f5 h5 15.fxg6 hxg4 16.Rxh8 Kf8 17.d6 cxd6 18.gxf7 Qc7 19.fxg8Q+ Ke7 20.Qxg7 checkmate, Philidor 1792 - guest1223,, 2014.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Ng6

Or, retreating the other way 6...Nc6 7.e5 Ne8 (7...Qe7 8.0-0 Ng8 9.Nc3 Qb4 10.Nd5 Qxd4 11.Qf3+ Nf6 12.exf6 gxf6 13.Qh5+ Kg8 14.Bf4 h6 15.c3 Qc4 16.Nxf6+ Kg7 17.Ne8+ Kh7 18.Qf5+ Kg8 19.Qg6+ Bg7 20.Qxg7 checkmate, Philidor 1792 - guest1334,, 2014; and 7...Ng8 8.0-0 d5 9.Nc3 Be6 10.f4 g6 11.g4 Qd7 12.f5 gxf5 13.gxf5 Bxf5 14.Qh5+ Ke7 15.Rxf5 Nd8 16.Bg5+ Ke6 17.Rxf8 Qg7 18.Qg4 checkmate, You - Stranger,, 2014) 8.Qf3+ Kg6 9.Qe4+ Kf7 10.Qf3+ Kg6 11.Qe4+ Kh5 (11...Kf7 12.Qd5+ Ke7 13.Bg5+ Nf6 14.0-0 Ke8 15.exf6 gxf6 16.Re1+ Be7 17.Bxf6 Rf8 18.Qh5+ Rf7 19.d5 Kf8 20.Qh6+ Kg8 21.Qg5+ Kf8 22.Qh6+ Kg8 23.Qg5+ Kf8 24.Qh6+ draw, Philidor 1792 - guest3018, 2014) 12.g4+ Kh4 13.Qg2 Bb4+ 14.c3 Nxe5 15.Qg3 checkmate, Philidor 1792 - guest345,, 2014; or

charging ahead 6...Nc4 7.e5 Ne4 8.Qf3+ Ke8 9.Qxe4 d5 10.Qe2 Bb4+ 11.c3 Ba5 12.b3 Nb6 13.b4 Nc4 14.bxa5 Nxa5 15.0-0 Bf5 16.g4 Be4 17.f3 Bg6 18.Nd2 Qe7 19.f4 h5 20.f5 Bf7 21.Qb5+ Nc6 22.Qxb7 Rb8 23.Qxc6+ Kd8 24.e6 Rb6 25.Qxd5+ Rd6 26.Qa8 checkmate, You - Stranger,, 2014. 

7.e5 d5 

Two ways to resist the capture: 7...Qe7 8.0-0 Nd5 9.Qf3+ Nf6 10.Bg5 h6 11.exf6 gxf6 12.Bd2 Kg7 13.Nc3 c6 14.Ne4 d5 15.Ng3 Qd7 16.h3 Be7 17.Rfe1 h5 18.Re3 h4 19.Nh5+ Rxh5 20.Qxh5 Qf5 21.Qe2 Bd6 22.Re8 Kf7 23.Re1 Nf4 24.Bxf4 Bxf4 25.Qe7+ Kg6 26.Rg8+ Kh5 27.Qf7+ Kh6 28.Rh8+ Kg5 29.Qh5 checkmate, Philidor 1792 - guest1278,, 2014; and

7...Nd5 8.Qf3+ Ke7 (8...Ngf4 9.Bxf4 Nxf4 10.Qxf4+ Kg8 11.Nc3 Be7 12.0-0 Bg5 13.Qe4 Qe7 14.f4 Bh4 15.g3 Qb4 16.gxh4 Qxb2 17.Nd5 Black resigned, You - Stranger,, 2014) 9.Qxd5 Ke8 10.0-0 c6 11.Qe4 Be7 12.f4 Bb4 13.c3 d5 14.exd6+ Kf8 15.cxb4 Kf7 16.f5 Black resigned, You - Stranger,, 2014

8.0-0 Be7 9.f4 Bg4 10.Qe1 Bf5 11.Qe2 h5 12.exf6 Bxf6

13.c3 Qe7 14.Qb5 c6 15.Qb3 Rae8 16.Nd2 Bd3 17.Rd1 Nxf4 18.Nf3 Be2 19.Bxf4 Bxd1 20.Rxd1 Qd7 

21.Rf1 Rhf8 22.Bg5 Kg8 23.Bxf6 Rxf6 24.Qd1 Qf7 25.Qd3 Qg6 26.Qxg6 Rxg6 

27.Ne5 Rge6 28.Rf5 g6 29.Rg5 Kg7 30.Kf2 Rf6+ 31.Ke2 Ree6 32.Rg3 Rf5 33.Re3 g5 34.b3 b6 35.a4 c5 36.Rh3 Rfxe5+ 37.dxe5 Rxe5+ 38.Kd2 Kg6 39.Rf3 a5 40.Rf8 Rf5 41.Re8 Kf7 42.Rb8 Black lost on time