Friday, September 26, 2014


Not long ago, in "Complicate, complicate, complicate" I pointed out the truism
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.
In the following game, an opportunity comes before a dozen moves have been played, and White gets to finish off a miniature.

Disquis  - Koryakin
standard, FICS, 2012

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

The Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit, so-called because it can be reached after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nc3 Nf6.

4...Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.d4 d6 

Suggested not long ago in "Okay With the Delay".


This pawns vs pieces setup was discussed in "Overrun". While my heart is with the "Jerome pawns", I would wager on behalf of the pieces.

8...Bg4 9.Qd2 Bb4 10.fxe5 Nxe4 

In a better (many would say "winning") position, Black becomes greedy, when the simple 10...dxe5 would suffice.

11.0-0+ Ke8 12.Qf4 Nxc3


13.Qf7 checkmate

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Playable, if Black figures out the proper continuation...

Creativity in chess has its place, even in the following game, as long as it doesn't overstep its boundaries.

Fandral - LuigiBot
standard, FICS, 2013

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bb4+ 7.c3 Bd6

The computer software LuigiBot (rated in the 1500s at FICS) comes up with an interesting maneuver that has also been seen in the past by Jerome Gambiteers Darrenshome, jfhumphrey, stretto, Sir Osis of the Liver, and HauntedKnight. It is playable, if Black figures out the proper continuation.

8.dxe5 Bxe5 

Missing the proper 8...Be7.

9.Qd5+ Kf6 10.f4 Qe7 

Black should bite the bullet, instead, and play 10...Bxc3+ 11.Nxc3 Ne7, when material would be even, and White would be a bit better due to more central control by the "Jerome pawns" and a safer King.

11.fxe5+ Kg6 12.0-0 Nh6 13.Rf3 Rf8 

Hoping to hold off the attack, but allowing mate.

14.Rg3+ Kh5 15.Qd1+ Rf3 16.Qxf3+ Kh4 17.Rh3 checkmate

Monday, September 22, 2014

Don't, Here, Either

As a parallel to the previous post, I thought I would take another look at the Jerome Gambit Declined, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ and now 4...Kf8 or 4...Ke7. It seems overly generous for Black to decline a piece (and a possible offer of a second one), but sometimes defenders do not want to play a line - whatever its value - that the attackers want them to.

There are 245 games in The Database where Black declines the Jerome Gambit with 4...Kf8, with White scoring 56%. To break that down,  after the retreat 5.Bb3 (Houdini's choice), White scores 61%. The piece exchange, 5.Bxg8, has White score 57%. The complicating 5.Nxe5 scores 50% for White.

By comparison, there are 40 games in The Database where Black declines the Jerome Gambit with 4...Ke7, with White scoring a more encouraging 71%. Again, breaking that down, after the retreat 5.Bb3 (Houdini prefers the three retreats of 5.Bd5, 5.Bc4 and 5.Bb3), White scores 100%, as he does after the exchange 5.Bxg8. The complicating 5.Nxe5 scores 0%.

In summary, if Black does not take the Bishop in the Jerome Gambit, both computer analysis and game play suggest that White should either retreat it or exchange it, with good-to-very-good prospects.