Friday, November 7, 2014

Jerome Pawn Fall

The "Jerome pawns" - the one White obtains in exchange for his piece(s) - can be a powerful attacking or positional force. However, if White does not take care of his pawns, they can also become targets and the cause of his downfall, as in the following game.

ulla - abebe
milenrousoulski's mini-tournament,, 2009

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 4.Bxf7+ 

The Blackburne Shilling Jerome gambit.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Kf6 

Four years ago, in "BSG: Later on in the Discussion", I suggested that now, after 6.Nf3, the game would be equal. Shortly afterwards, I faced 5...Kf6 played by RVLY, a specialist in the line (see "Whose Territory Are We Fighting On?"), but after 6.c3 Kxe5 we transposed into more regular 5...Ke6 lines. GOH, a member of the Jerome Gambit Gemeinde playing at FICS, has faced 6.c3 Ne6 and 6.c3 d6. To date, The Database does not include a game with my suggestion 6.c3 Nc2+!?


There are 66 games with this line in The Database, played by the likes of Jerome Gambiteers GOH, HauntedKnight, MyGameUMove, stretto, Wall and yorgos. 

6...Ke7 7.c3 Ne6 

Or 7...Nc6 8.d4 d6 9.d5 Bxg4 10.Qxg4 Qd7 11.Qxd7+ Kxd7 12.dxc6+ Kxc6 13.0-0 Nf6 14.f3 h6 15.Be3 Be7 16.Nd2 b5 17.Nb3 a6 18.Nd4+ Kb7 19.Nf5 Bf8 20.Bd4 Re8 21.Rfd1 Re6 22.a4 g6 23.axb5 gxf5 24.bxa6+ Ka8 25.exf5 Re5 26.Bxe5 dxe5 27.Rd8+ Ka7 28.Ra5 Bc5+ 29.Rxc5 Rxd8 30.Rxc7+ Kb8 31.Rc6 Nd5 32.Rxh6 Nf4 33.g3 Rd1+ 34.Kf2 Nd3+ 35.Ke2 Nxb2 36.Rb6+ Black resigned, Wall,B - GYHZ, FICS, 2010

8.d4 h5

Or 8...Nf6 9.d5 Nc5 10.0-0 Ke8 11.Bg5 Be7 12.Nxf6+ Bxf6 13.Bxf6 Qxf6 14.b4 Na6 15.e5 Qg6 16.Qd4 b6 17.f4 Bb7 18.f5 Qg5 19.Nd2 c5 20.dxc6 Bxc6 21.Ne4 Qg4 22.Nd6+ Kd8 23.Qxg4 Black resigned, Wall,B - Darksquare, 15 0 game,, 2010.

9.Ne5 Qe8 10.d5 

Unsettling the pawn front and ignoring the pawns left behind (e.g. at g2). White should have tried 10.0-0 followed by adding another pawn to the center with f2-f4. 

10...Nc5 11.Bg5+ Nf6 12.Qd4 d6 13.Nc4

White might have done better to try 13.Nd2 dxe5 14.Qxc5+ Kd8 15.Qe3, although Black would still have the advantage. 


Striking back at the pawns.

14.Bxf6+ gxf6 15.g3 Qxe4+ 16.Qxe4+ Nxe4 17.0-0

The g-pawn is safe, but Black will now unravel his position and make use of his extra material. White does not complicate enough to distract him.

17...Kf7 18.Re1 Ng5 19.Nbd2 Bg4 20.Re3 Bh6 21.f4 Nh3+ 22.Kg2 Rhe8 White resigned

There is still play in the game, even after the Rooks are exchanged, but with only a pawn for Black's piece, it would be all uphill for White.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cure Worse Than The Disease

I don't hang around as much as I used to, but it is still a great place to visit and pick up a few Jerome Gambit or Jerome-related games.

The following game shows the typical "Jerome treatment" when Black "simply" tries to exchange his Knight for White's Italian Bishop. Black's "cure" for this approach turns out worse than the "disease" itself.

abinadi1 - mebaku, 2013

1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 e5 3.Bc4 Na5 

Discussed in this blog as early as 2008 in "Offside!" and "The Other Side" and as recently as this year in "Always Good to Remember".

4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke7 6.d4 h5

This is something new, as far as The Database is concerned. Black prevents White from playing either Qc1-h5 or Qd1-g4. However, the idea has several holes in it...

7.Bg5+ Nf6 8.Ng6+ Kf7 9.Nxh8+ Kg8 10.Bxf6 Qxf6 11.Qxh5

White succeeds in getting his Queen to h5 after all, and is the exchange plus three pawns ahead.

11...g5 12.Ng6 Bg7 13.e5 Qb6 14.Ne7+ Kf8 15. Nf5 d6 16.Nxg7 Qxb2 

Black's counterattack will prove insufficient.

17.Qh8+ Kf7 18.O-O Qxa1 19.e6+ Ke7 20.Qe8+ Kf6 21.Qf7 checkmate

Monday, November 3, 2014


One of the nice things about playing the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) is that sometimes your opponent does not know how to respond. He can try this, or that, or something else, but it all turns out bad for him in the end. Bill Wall's latest game is a good example.

Wall, Bill - Arty
blitz 10 0,, 2014

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6

A brave choice! Black wishes to hold on to his two extra pieces.

7.f4 Ng6

Choosing to let go of a piece, after all. Otherwise, the consistent move would be the counter-attacking 7...Qf6.


Improving on 8.f5+ from Wall,B - Guest1157782,, 2013 (1-0, 20). 

8... Qh4+ 

There are variations where this move is strong and leads to favorable complications. Unfortunately, this is not one of them.

Withdrawing the at-risk Knight with 8... N6e7 would lead to an even game. 

9.g3 Qf6

Two alternative retreats appear in The Database: 9... Qg4 from Permanence - jgknight, FICS, 2008 (0-1, 38) and 9... Qe7 from Permanence - Pianisimo, FICS, 2008 (1-0, 17). 

10.f5+ Kf7 11.fxg6+ Qxg6 12.O-O+ Nf6 13.e5 

White has his two sacrificed pieces back, and aims to gather another one in, as interest. Black's defense collapses.

13...d6 14.Qxc7+ Bd7 15.Qxd7+ Black resigned