Saturday, May 17, 2014


It seems so unfair. Bill Wall's Queen gets to run abound the board, seemingly without consequence. His opponent's Queen, however, winds up tangled up in enemy pieces.

Here's Bill's latest Jerome Gambit, with some of his ideas and some of mine.

Wall,B - Guest7556673, 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.Qb5+

More frequently seen is 9.Qe3, but Bill likes to be creative.


Instead, 9...Qd7 was seen in Wall,B - Guest327668, 2012 (1-0, 22).

10.Qb3 Qe7

Black also has 10...Nf6 as seen in Wall,B - Zhu,Y,, 2011 (1-0, 19). Bill mentions the alternative 10...Qg5 11.g3

11.d3 Be6 12.c4 Nf6 

Black has an extra piece and is better developed. His biggest challenge is to figure out how to further conduct the game.

13.0-0 Kf7

Bill points out Black's blow-up-the-center strategy: 13...d5 14.exd5 cxd5 15.Nc3


Threatening 15.f5. Not wanting to let his b-pawn hang, Black fully retreats his light-square Bishop.

14...Bc8 15.f5 Ne5 16.c5+

This looks sharper than 16.d4 Ned7.


Bill points out that 16...Ke8 and 16...Kf8 might be a little bit better. 

17.d4 Ned7 18.e5 

Threatening 19.e6. You have to love those "Jerome pawns". 

Black decides to give back the extra piece.

18...Nxe5 19.dxe5 Qxe5 20.Nc3

Bill also mentions the pawn sac 20.Bf4 Qxf5 21.Be3


Bill sees as better: 20...Re8


Or 21.Qa4 a6? (Black should retreat with 21...Ra8 22.Bd2) 22.Bf4.

21...Qd4+ 22.Kh1 Ra8 

So far Black is holding things together, but the stress eventually shows.

23.Bd6 Ne8? 24.Rf4 Qe3

Or 24...Qd3 25.Rd1 Qe3 26.Rf3.

25.Re4 Qd3 26.Rd1 Black resigned.

Black must surrender his Queen, as the one escape - 26...Qa6 - allows White to play 27.Nxd5! when Black's only way of avoiding checkmate is 27...Nxd6, which would allow 28.Nc7+, and White will win the enemy Queen after all.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Public Service Announcement or What Is Black Up To?

When we play the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) we can get so caught up in our own plans that we overlook the fact that Black has ideas of his own. 

The following game is a good example of being caught unawares. (It should be noted that the player of the White pieces is rated a good bit above me at FICS - Rick)

ndrwgn (1594) - codyasmith (1733)
standard, FICS, 27.06.2013

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

The Jerome Gambit.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bxd4 7.Qxd4 Qf6

The Queen move is not the usual play for Black. White must ask, "What is Black up to?"

This has been addressed previously in "Something to Watch Out For", "The Return of Jerome Gambit for Dummies (Part 8)" and "Why Did He Play That Move?" but bears repeating.

8.0-0 Nf3+ 


Black will win White's Queen.


What makes this even more painful is that there are three identical games in The Database played about a month earlier:

ndrwgn (1625) - ssingh (1692), standard, FICS, 17.05.2013;
ndrwgn (1641) - SilentScope (2193), standard, FICS, 20.05.2013; and
ndrwgn (1628) - mikegjr (1709), standard, FICS, 22.05.2013.

It must be noted that ndrwgn has 80 games from 2013 in The Database, scoring 55% (above average). If this kind of thing can happen to him, it can happen to you, too.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

BSJG: Just Take The Piece

Black usually plays the Blackburne Shilling Gambit with the idea of a sharp, short, tactical game in mind. In the following game he succeeds in achieving that, but not exactly in the manner he planned.

PasChat - olegYankee
standard, FICS, 2013

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nc6 3. Nf3 Nd4 

The Blackburne Shilling Gambit.

4. Bxf7+

The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit.


Of the 4,272 BSJG games in The Database (White scoring 56%), only 452 (White scoring 70%) - about 11% of the total - have this move. (Clearly accepting the Bishop, rather than declining it, has worked out better for Black)

5. Nxd4

The more mundane 5.Bxg8 was played in perrypawnpusher - michon, blitz, FICS, 2013 (1-0, 41) and  perrypawnpusher - michon, blitz, FICS, 2013 (1-0, 8)

 5...exd4 6.Bc4 Nf6 

7.e5 Ng8 8.Qh5 Nh6 9.d3 Qe8 10.Qg5 checkmate

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Whatever You Do, Don't Take Me Seriously

Here we have a short Jerome Gambit game whose brevity can be attributed to the defender relying on his sharp 7th move to win the game - when there was still plenty of play left in the position. Black's King went wandering, instead of staying home.

PasChat - charlyeliot

standard, FICS, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Nc3 Bc5 5.Bxf7+

Transposing from the Bishop's Opening to the Italian Four Knights Game to the Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit.

5...Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.d4 d5

There are many ways for White to return some of the sacrificed material. This is one of the sharpest.

8.dxe5 Ne8

Or 8...Ng4 as in perrypawnpusher - NimbusReign, blitz, FICS, 2010 (0-1, 26); or 8...Bxf2+ as in perrypawnpusher - Marcym, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 20)

Possibly best is 8... Nxe4. 

9. Qf3+ Ke6 

After the safer 9...Kg8 and then 10.exd5 White would have three pawns for the piece, and the game would probably be even. 


This is good, but even better is 10.Qf5+ Ke7 11.Nxd5+ Qxd5 12.Bg5+!? winning a lot of material. 

10... Bd7 

Or 10...Kd7 11.e6+ Kd6 and Black will not last long. 

11.Qf5+ Ke7 12.Nxd5 checkmate