Saturday, November 29, 2014

Caught Out

Despite the fact that I devote a lot of time to this blog, I am always worried that I won't remember enough of its information, and that I will be caught out in my next game. Luckily, as the following game shows, even when I forget particular lines, my sense of "what is going on" is sometimes enough for me to prevail over my opponent.

perrypawnpusher - michon
blitz, FICS,2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 

The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit. Accepted.

My opponent and I contested a couple of Declineds, 4...Ke7 (see "Jedi Mind Tricks"), last year: perrypawnpusher - michon, blitz, FICS, 2013 (1-0, 8) and perrypawnpusher - michon, blitz, FICS, 2013 (1-0, 41).

5.Nxe5+ Ke6

Or the related 5...Ke7 as in perrypawnpusher - michon, blitz, FICS, 2013 (1-0, 18).

6.c3 Kxe5 7.cxd4+ Kxd4

A dangerous meal. Safer is heading for home with 7...Ke6.


Equally playable are 8.Nc3 and 8.Qb3.


Instead, 8...Ke5 is the safest way to go, although White still keeps the pressure on with 9.Qh5+ as in perrypawnpusher - PunisherABD, blitz, FICS, 2009 (1-0, 27).

Alternately, 8...Bb4+ was seen in perrypawnpusher - AdamRou, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 28); and 8...Nf6 was seen in perrypawnpusher - RVLY, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 26). 

9.Be3+ Ke5


The proper continuation was 10.Qh5+! as in an earlier game 10...Ke6 (better 10...g5 11.Bxg5 Nf6 12.f4+ Ke6 13.f5+ Kd7 14.Qf7+ Qe7 15.Qxf6) 11.Qf5+ Ke7 (better 11...Kd6 12.Qxd5+ Ke7 13.Bc5+ Ke8 14.Qxd8+ Kxd8 15.Bxf8) 12.Bg5+? (Losing the thread. Correct: 12.Bc5+! Ke8 13.Qxf8+ Kd7 14.Qxg7+ Ne7 15.Bxe7) 12...Nf6 13.Qe5+ Be6 14.exd5 Qxd5 15.Qxc7+ Ke8 16.Bxf6 gxf6 17.0-0 Qxd3 18.Re1 Qd7 19.Qc4 Kf7 20.Qh4 Rd8 21.Nc3 Bb4 22.Qxb4 Qd6 23.Qxb7+ Rd7 24.Qe4 f5 25.Qh4 Qd2 26.Rad1 Qxd1 27.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 28.Nxd1 Bxa2 29.Ne3 Be6 White forfeited on time, ghosty - smenke, FICS, 2004


Concentrating on development (11.Nc3 or 11.0-0) looks better in retrospect. I had to figure out a plan at this point, and decided to go with the "Jerome pawns"


12.Qc2+ Kd7 13.Nc3 c6 14.0-0 Kc7 15.f4 Ne7 16.f5 Bxf5 17.Rxf5 Nxf5 18.Qxf5

Black has the extra exchange, but White's lead in development gives him chances.


A slip we both overlooked.


After the game Houdini pointed out that 19.Nb5+!? cxb5 20.Rc1+ Kd8 21.e6 with threats against the King and Queen was crushing. 


Nerves. Better was 19...Bb4. 

20.Nxd5+ Kd8 21.dxc5 Rc8 22.Rd1 Qa4

Black is in trouble, and this does not help. 


Winning Black's Queen, and Black resigned.

After the game Houdini recommended a direct attack on the Black King instead: 23.Bg5+ Be7 24.Bxe7+ Ke8 25.e6!? Qxd1+ 26.Qxd1 Rc6 27.Qh5+ g6 28.Qe5 Rxe6 29.Qxe6 Rf8 30.Bh4 checkmate. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Bringing the Heat

Philidor 1792 returns with a topical Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit game, in which White keeps the heat on the enemy King - until the enemy Queen falls!

Philidor1792 - u_prolazu 3 d/move, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Bxf7+ Kxf7 4.Nf3 h6 5.O-O 

Also: 5.Qe2 Nf6 6.c3 d6 7.d4 exd4 8.cxd4 Bg4 9.Qc4+ Ke7 10.Nc3 Na5 11.Qa4 b6 12.Be3 Bd7 13.Qc2 Nc4 14.O-O-O Nxe3 15.fxe3 g5 16.e5 Ng4 17.Nd5+ Kf7 18.Rhf1 Kg7 19.h3 c6 20.Nf6 Nxf6 21.exf6+ Kxf6 22.Ne5+ Ke7 23.Qg6 Be8 24.Qf6 checkmate, Philidor 1792 - guest278, 2014.

5... Bc5 

Starting off with a Bishop's Opening, the game has transposed to a Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit!

6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.Qh5+ Ke6 8. Qf5+ Kd6 9. Na3

"TN". Houdini sees this as slightly better than the much more popular 9.d4.

Philidor 1792 has investigated Na3 in similar situations - see"An Intriguing Letter" Part 1, 2 and 3; "A Fan of the Jerome Gambit"; "If It's A Good One"; and "It Is Easier to Attack Than Defend."

9...Qf6 10.Nc4+ Nxc4 11.Qd5+ Ke7 12.Qxc5+ Qd6

It is understandable that Black wants to ease his King's stress by exchanging Queens, but a better defense was to be found in 12...Nd6.

13.Qxc4 b6 14.d4 Bb7 15.f3 Re8 16.Bd2 Kd8 

Black castles-by-hand, and White quickly moves to make the enemy unsafe again.

17.a4 a5 18.b4 Qc6 19.Qd3 axb4 20.a5 bxa5 21.Rxa5 d6 22.Rb1 Kd7 

The Black King, uneasy, makes room to allow his Rook to contest the a-file. Little does he realize the danger in this! Better was the developing 22...Ne7.

23.Rxb4 Ra8 24.d5

The Queen is trapped. 

24...Qb6+ 25.Rxb6 cxb6 26.Rxa8 Bxa8 27.Qb5+ Ke7 28.Qxb6 Nf6 29.Qc7+ Nd7 30.
Bf4 Rd8 31.Qxd6+ Kf7 32.Qe6+ Black resigned

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Difference Between "OK" and "KO"

The title of this blog post says it all.

Wall, Bill - Guest2474397, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6

4.O-O Bc5 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.d4

Probably a bit stronger than 7.Qh5+, but Bill has played that, too: Wall,B  -  Guest473534,, 2001, (1-0, 21); Wall,B - Castro,S,, 2010 (1-0, 23); Wall,B - Foman, 2010 (1-0, 16); Wall,B - Merdiyev,F,, 2010 (1-0, 17); Wall,B - Ratebabb,, 2010 (1-0, 28); and Wall,B - Dad88,, 2014, (1-0, 34).

7...Bxd4 8.Qxd4 d6 9.f4 Nc6 10.Qd5+ Be6 11.Qd3 Ke7 12.Bd2 Nf6 13.Nc3

Except for his centralized King, Black is doing OK. Now, however, he is tempted to waste time to harass the White Queen. If he lets White open the position, he risks a KO [knock out]. 

13...Nb4 14.Qg3 Rg8 15.e5 dxe5 16.Rad1 exf4


White's attack is well worth the sacrificed piece.


Houdini suggests returning material while bringing Black's King to safety with 17...Qe8 18.Bxc7 Kf7 19.Qh4 Qc6 20.Bd6 Kg6 21.Qxb4 Rgd8 22.Qf4 Kh7, but I don't think Bill's opponent thought he was in that much trouble.

18.Bxc7 Nfd5

This leads to a bad end. Bill suggests 18...a5, which he would have answered with 19.Nb5.


The text is winning, although Bill points out that both 19.Rxd5!? and 19.Nxd5+!? would lead to checkmate.

19...Kd7 20.Bxb4 Qc6

Of course, if 20...Kc6 21.Qd6#

21.Nxd5 Bxd5 22.Rf7+ 

Punches are raining down on the Black King, and the end is near.

22...Kc8 23.Rxd5 Qxd5 24.Qc7 checkmate

This is the kind of game that Alonzo Wheeler Jerome was thinking of when he invented his gambit!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Echoes of the Jerome Gambit

Even when I can not play the Jerome Gambit, I can sometimes find echoes of it in the play of the game.

perrypawnpusher - TheAlbatros 

5 12 blitz FICS, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nh6 

Wow. That certainly is one way of saying "No. Jerome. Gambit." I mentioned the move on this blog about 5 years ago. Recently, I was astonished to find that the online ChessBase database has 330 games with this position.

The oldest example of the line that I could find, at the online ChessCube site, is Frazer - Taubenhaus, Paris, 1888: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nh6 4.d4 Bd6 5.Bg5 f6 6.Bxh6 gxh6 7.Nxe5 fxe5 8.Qh5+ Kf8 9.Qf7 checkmate. Echoes, here, of Damiano's Defense.

The most recent example I turned up is Heverson Silva Pereira - Erika Figuei Toledo Martins, Juiz de Fora op Juiz de Fora (3), 27.09.20141.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nh6 4.d3 g5 5.Bxg5 f6 6.Be3 b6 7.Qd2 Rg8 8.Bxh6 Bxh6 9.Qxh6 d6 10.Bxg8 Ne7 11.Qxh7 Nxg8 12.Qxg8+ Ke7 13.Qg7+ Ke8 14.Nc3 Bd7 15.Nd5 Rc8 16.Nxf6+ Qxf6 17.Qxf6 Rd8 18.Ng5 b5 19.Qf7 checkmate. Odd.


I was not surprised to see that Bill Wall had faced the line before:

4.0-0 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ Nxf7 6.d3 0-0 7.Nc3 Nd4 (7...d6 8.Nd2 Nh6 9.Nb3 Bg4 10.Qd2 Qh4 11.Nxc5 dxc5 12.f3 Be6 13.b3 Qf6 14.Rb1 a5 15.a3 Qg6 16.Rb2 Ra6 17.Qe3 Bh3 18.Rf2 Ne7 19.Kh1 Raf6 20.gxh3 Qh5 21.Qg5 g6 22.Qxh6 Black resigned, Wall,B - Chair, 2010) 8.Na4 Nxf3+ 9.Qxf3 Bd4 10.c3 Bb6 11.Qg3 d5 12.b3 dxe4 13.dxe4 Ba5 14.Ba3 Re8 15.Rad1 Qe7 16.Bxe7 Black resigned, Wall,B - Jag, 2010

4.d3 Bc5 5.Bxh6 gxh6 6.Bxf7+ Kxf7 7.Nc3 Qf6 8.Nd5 Qd6 9.Nh4 b6 10.Qf3+ Ke8 11.Nf5 Qg6 12.Nxc7+ Kd8 13.Nxa8 Bb7 14.Nxb6 Bxb6 15.0-0-0 d5 16.d4 Bxd4 17.exd5 Bxb2+ 18.Kxb2 Nd4 19.Nxd4 exd4 20.Qf4 Qb6+ 21.Ka1 Kd7 22.Rb1 Qa6 23.Qg4+ Kd6 24.Qe6+ Kc5 25.Qe7+ Black resigned, Wall,B - Alexaantic,, 2010.


My one game with the line continued 4...Nxd4 5.Nxe5 Qf6 6.Qxd4 d6 7.Nf3 Qxd4 8.Nxd4 Be6 9.Bxe6 fxe6 10.Nxe6 Kd7 11.Nxf8+ Rhxf8 12.Nc3 c6 13.Be3 Ng4 14.0-0 h5 15.Bg5 b5 16.Rad1 a5 17.f3 Ne5 18.f4 Nc4 19.f5 Nxb2 20.Rd4 b4 21.Nd1 c5 22.Rd5 Nc4 23.Ne3 Nxe3 24.Bxe3 a4 25.Bxc5 Ra6 26.Rfd1 Kc8 27.Rxd6 Rxd6 28.Rxd6 Re8 29.Rd4 h4 30.Bxb4 Rg8 31.Ba3 g6 32.fxg6 Rxg6 33.Rxa4 h3 34.g3 Rc6 35.Ra8+ Kb7 36.Rh8 Ra6 37.Bb4 Rxa2 38.Rxh3 Rxc2 39.e5 Rb2 40.Bd6 Kc6 41.g4 Rb1+ 42.Kg2 Rb2+ 43.Kg3 Rb3+ 44.Kh4 Rb7 45.g5 Rh7+ 46.Kg4 Kd5 47.Rxh7 Black resigned, perrypawnpusher - Xasquete, blitz, FICS, 2009.

Black does not have to take White's d-pawn. For example, 4...Bd6 5.Bg5 f6 6.Bxh6 gxh6 7.Nxe5 fxe5. 8.Qh5+ Kf8 9.Qf7 checkmate, from Wall,B - Kerazag, Internet 1996 (and Frazer - Taubenhaus, Paris, 1888)

5.Nxd4 Bc5 6.Nxc6 bxc6

The two "Italian Bishops" give an echo of the Jerome Gambit - if only that Knight were not on h6...

7.Bxh6 gxh6

Interestingly enough, Black has a better defense in 7...Qh4!? with his own threat of checkmate. White can keep an edge with 8.Bxf7+ Kxf7 9.Qf3+ Kg6 10.Bf4.


This is an improvement over 8.Qh5 of  Patrick Gregoire - Gauthier Lille, Loire-ch op 2005, which continued  Qf6 9.0-0 Bb7 10.Qxc5 Qxb2 11.Nc3 d6 12.Qd4 d5 13.Qxh8+ Ke7 14.Nxd5+ cxd5 15.Qxb2 Bc8 16.Bxd5 Bb7 17.Qxb7 Rd8 18.Qxc7+ Rd7 19.Qe5+ Kd8 20.Rab1 Kc8 21.Rb8 checkmate

8...Kxf7 9.Qh5+ Kg7 10.Qxc5 

Down a pawn, with an exposed King, my opponent resigned a few moves later.