Saturday, September 6, 2014

Always Good To Remember

parischess - timmisiewicz
blitz, FICS, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Na5

This is not a Jerome Gambit variation, but it will happen often enough in your games that it is worth having an answer to it on hand.


Of course, 4.Nxe5 is just fine, too. The text is the answer, though, if you were planning on playing the Jerome.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke6 6.d4 d6 


This is the right way to proceed.

7...Ke7 8.Bg5+ 

This move looks stronger than it is, however. Best is 8.Qg5+ Nf6 9.Nf3 Nc6 10.e5 dxe5 11.dxe5 Kf7 12.exf6 Qxf6 with a pawn advantage for White. 



White goes ahead with his plan, but there is a bug in it. Best play, instead, leads to an unclear position, and, possibly, a draw by repetition. 

White should try 9.Qf3, getting his Queen out of the line of fire while focusing more attention on the Knight at f6. In turn, Black has 9...dxe5 10.dxe5 Kf7 11.exf6 gxf6 when White has his Jerome-traditional two pawns for a sacrificed piece. It is here that Houdini suggests 12.Nc3!? with wild play after 12...Kg7 (or 12...Rg8 13.Rd1 Bd6 14.Qh5+ Rg6 15.Qxh7+ Rg7 16.Qh5+ Rg6 drawing) 13.Nd5 fxg5 14.O-O-O!?. 

analysis diagram

Houdini and Stockfish see the position as equal, largely because White - two pieces down - can still work out a draw by repetition.

All in all, it might be better to remember 8.Qg5+.

9...gxf6 10.Qh4 

We can see that there is now too much going on for White to be able to take care of all of it.


But Black is still under his opponent's spell! After 10...dxe5 11.dxe5 Bg7) White does not have enough for his two sacrificed pieces. 

11.Qh5+ Ke7 12.Qf7 checkmate

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Complicate, complicate, complicate

The Jerome Gambit player knows that there may be few - maybe one - chances to steer the game out of its "pre-ordained" path to "0-1" and so must be ready for opportunities as they arise. A primary way of creating an opportunity is to complicate play - and hope for the best.

fehim - GibletGrey

blitz, FICS, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

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

Whenever I see this "nudge" I suspect the player is familiar with the Jerome Gambit - and, perhaps, this blog.

7...Ke8 8.Qxc5 Nf6 9.d3 d6 10.Qb4 

10.Qe3 is more often seen, as in perrypawnpusher - tejeshwar, blitz, FICS, 2009 (1-0, 25) and perrypawnpusher - steelrfan44,, 2009 (½-½, 25).

10.Qg5 was seen in fehim - polite, FICS, 2009 (0-1, 29).

10.Qa5 was seen in shugart - luisileon, FICS, 2014 (1-0, 39).

10...c5 11.Qc3 b6 12.0-0 Bb7 


13.b4!? is an interesting suggestion of Houdini, for example 13...d5 (13...cxb4 14.Qxb4) 14.bxc5 dxe4 15.Re1 Rc8 16.Qb3 Rxc5 17.Nc3 Bd5 18.Nxd5 Qxd5 19.dxe4 Qxb3 20.axb3 a5 21.c4 Kf7 when Black still holds the advantage of a piece vs two pawns. 

13...h6 14.Be3 Qd7 15.Nd2 Rf8 16.f4 Qg4 

This looks aggressive, but Black might have done better with the center push 16...d5.


It might be the time for the thematic pawn push 17.f5, leading to a balanced game. White has a different move, and a pawn break, in mind.

17...Qh5 18.Nf3 Nh4 19.Nxh4 Qxh4 20.e5

White hopes to stir things up.

20...Qg3 21.Rf2 Qxe3

Black is happy to exchange pieces, and avoid further complications, but here he had the winning move 21...Nd5 available. Missing that shot, things turn bad. 

22.exf6 Qd4 23.Re1+ Kd7

The King would have been happier at d8, as we will see. 


This move is okay, but more refined would be 24.Re7+ Kc6 25.Qxd4 cxd4 26.fxg7. 


 Now if White simply recaptures the Queen, Black has time for 25...Rf7 and can be happy with his piece vs 2 pawns advantage.


Nice underpromotion.

25...Kc6 26.bxc3 Rxf8 27.d4 Kb5 

Black's active King does not compensate for the lost exchange and White's two extra pawns.

28.a4+ Kc4 29.dxc5 dxc5 30.Re7 Bc6 31.Rxa7 Kxc3 32.a5 bxa5 33.Rxa5 c4 34.Ra6 Be4 35.Rxh6 Bxc2

36.Rc6 Bd3 37.g4 Kb4 38.f5 c3 39.f6 c2 40.g5 Kb3 41.h4 Kb2 42.h5 Kb1 43.g6 c1Q+ 44.Rxc1+ Kxc1

45.g7 Ra8 46.f7 Bh7 47.f8Q Ra1 48.Kh2 Ra3 49.Qxa3+ Black resigned

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Much Ado About... Nothing

It's true.

As I posted before, "The Jerome Gambit Is Going To Drive Me..." (Part 1 and Part 2).

It has been 2 1/2 months and I have heard nothing further from Fat Lady of the online site TimeForChess (also known as RedHotPawn) about the supposed Alekhine Jerome Gambit game...

I will let Readers know if anything ever turns up, but it looks like for now this game will have to join the pile of Jerome Gambit "urban legends", such as the book All or Nothing! The Jerome Gambit by Chaim Schmendrik

By the way, did you hear the one about Grandmaster Larry Christiansen playing the Jerome Gambit at the Internet Chess Club...?

[August 2014 was the 4th most-visited month in the history of this blog - starting in 2008. All four of those top months are within the last year, too - add May 2014, December 2013, November 2013 - showing increasing interest. To our Readers - many thanks - Rick]

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Longest (and Strangest?) Game in The Database

I really don't know what to make of the following game...

HappySong - ninthknight
standard, FICS, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 4.Bxf7+

Okay, this is a sort of "Accelerated Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit" kind of thing. The Database has 1,739 examples; and White scores 40% - nothing majestic, but about on par for what happens in a large sample of Jerome Gambit games.

4...Kxf7 5.c3 d6 6.Qb3+ Be6 7.c4 Na5 8.Qb5 b6 9.d3 

Now follows some foreshadowing.

9...Bd7 10.Qd5+ Be6 11.Qb5 Ke7 12.0-0 Bd7

Black has the standard extra-piece-for-a-pawn advantage.

One might think White would be comfortable with a draw.

One might be wrong.

Hold on, now.

13.Qd5 Be6 14.Qb5 Bd7 15.Qd5 Be6 16.Qb5 Bd7 17.Qd5 Be6 18.Qb5 Bd7 19.Qd5 Be6 20.Qb5 Bd7 21.Qd5 Be6 22.Qb5 Bd7 23.Qd5 Be6 24.Qb5 Bd7 25.Qd5 Be6 26.Qb5 Bd7 27.Qd5 Be6 28.Qb5 Bd7 29.Qa6 Bc8 30.Qb5 Bd7 31.Qa6 Bc8 32.Qb5 Bd7 33.Qa6 Bc8 34.Qb5 Bd7 35.Qa6 Bc8 36.Qb5 Bd7 37.Qa6 Bc8 38.Qb5 Bd7 39.Qa6 Bc8 40.Qb5 Bd7 41.Qa6 Bc8 42.Qb5 Bd7 43.Qa6 Bc8 44.Qb5 Bd7 45.Qa6 Bc8 46.Qb5 Bd7 47.Qa6 Bc8 48.Qb5 Bd7 49.Qa6 Bc8 50.Qb5 Bd7 51.Qa6 Bc8 52.Qb5 Bd7 53.Qa6 Bc8 54.Qb5 Bd7 55.Qa6 Bc8 56.Qb5 Bd7 57.Qa6 Bc8 58.Qb5 Bd7 59.Qa6 Bc8 60.Qb5 Bd7 61.Qa6 Bc8 62.Qb5 Bd7 63.Qa6 Bc8 64.Qb5 Bd7 65.Qa6 Bc8 66.Qb5 Bd7 67.Qa6 Bc8 68.Qb5 Bd7 69.Qa6 Bc8 70.Qb5 Bd7 71.Qa6 Bc8 72.Qb5 Bd7 73.Qa6 Bc8 74.Qb5 Bd7 75.Qa6 Bc8 76.Qb5 Bd7 77.Qa6 Bc8 78.Qb5 Bd7 79.Qa6 Bc8 80.Qb5 Bd7 81.Qa6 Bc8 82.Qb5 Bd7 83.Qa6 Bc8 84.Qb5 Bd7 85.Qa6 Bc8 86.Qb5 Bd7 87.Qa6 Bc8 88.Qb5 Bd7 89.Qa6 Bc8 90.Qb5 Bd7 91.Qa6 Bc8 92.Qb5 Bd7 93.Qa6 Bc8 94.Qb5 Bd7 95.Qa6 Bc8 96.Qb5 Bd7 97.Qa6 Bc8 98.Qb5 Bd7 99.Qa6 Bc8 100.Qb5 Bd7 101.Qa6 Bc8 102.Qb5 Bd7 103.Qa6 Bc8 104.Qb5 Bd7 105.Qa6 Bc8 106.Qb5 Bd7 107.Qa6 Bc8 108.Qb5 Bd7 109.Qa6 Bc8 110.Qb5 Bd7 111.Qa6 Bc8 112.Qb5 Bd7 113.Qa6 Bc8 114.Qb5 Bd7 115.Qa6 Bc8 116.Qb5 Bd7 117.Qa6 Bc8 118.Qb5 Bd7 119.Qa6 Bc8 120.Qb5 Bd7 

Well over 100 moves have been made, and we're back to the same position. Of course, we have been there so many times, either player could have claimed a draw by repetition. In fact, a draw according to the "50 move rule" could also have been claimed.

Now White varies, claiming his disadvantage and eventually losing.

121.Qb4 Ke8 122.d4 exd4 123.Nxd4 Nc6 124.Nxc6 Bxc6 125.Re1 Nf6 126.e5 dxe5 127.Rxe5+ Kd7 128.Qd2+ Bd6 129.b3 Kc8 130.Re2 Kb7 131.Nc3 Qf8 

132.Nb5 Bxb5 133.cxb5 Re8 134.a3 Rxe2 135.Qxe2 Qf7 136.Qf3+ Kb8 137.Qc6 Re8 138.Bd2 Ng4 139.Rf1 Nxh2 140.Rd1 Qxb3 141.Qxe8+ Kb7 142.Ra1 Qc2 143.Bb4 Ng4 144.Rf1 Bh2+ 145.Kh1 Qc4 146.Qe1 Bf4 147.Bd2 Bxd2 148.Qd1 Bf4 149.Rg1 Nxf2 checkmate