Thursday, April 2, 2015

Ups and Downs

I enjoy playing over ZahariSokolov's games because so many of them go right to critical or interesting positions in the Jerome Gambit, allowing him (and us) to experience the excitement of battle, with all of its ups and downs.

ZahariSokolov - Yrusia

standard, FICS, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.Qf5+ Kd6 8.f4


Bypassing the solid and good 8...Qf6 and the wild and good 8...Qh5+. It is helpful for the Jerome Gambit player to have enough knowledge about the opening to know that Black's move calls for "punishment".

9.Qd5+ Ke7 10.Qxc4 

The text is good enough for an equal position. The other capture, according to The Database, works out better:

10.Qxc5+ Nd6 (10...Kf7 11.Qxc4+ Kf8 12.d4 d6 13.O-O Nf6 14.Nc3 Qe7 15.e5 dxe5 16.fxe5 Be6 17.d5 Bg4 18.Bg5 h6 
19.exf6 Black resigned, Petasluk - Comi, FICS, 2006) 11.e5 Nf6 (11...b6 12. exd6+ cxd6 13.Qe3+ Kf8 14.O-O Bb7 15.g3 Nf6 16.Qe2 Kf7 17.Nc3 Re8 18.Qf2 Ng4 19.Qd4 h5 20.Qxd6 h4 21.d3 hxg3 22.hxg3 Re6 23.Qd4 Rh6 24.f5 Rh1 checkmate, UNPREDICTABLE - ennuitois, blitz, FICS, 2009) 12.O-O Qg8 13.Nc3 g5 14.exf6+ Kxf6 15.fxg5+ Kg7 16.Qe5+ Kg6 17.Qf6+ Kh5 18.Qh6+ Kg4 19.h3+ Kg3 20.Ne2 checkmate, Kennedy - Chess Challenger 7, 2008. 



Instead, 11.d4 led to another adventure:  11...Be6 12.Qd3 Bb6 13.f5 Bf7 14.c3 Kd7 15.Nd2 Qh4+ 16.g3 Qg4 17.Qf3 Qxf3 18.Nxf3 Nf6 19.Nd2 Rae8 20.O-O Nxe4 21.Nxe4 Rxe4 22.Bf4 Rhe8 23.Rf2 Re2 24.Rb1 Rxf2 25.Kxf2 Bc4 26.Be3 c5 27.b3 Bd3 28.Rd1 Bxf5 29.dxc5 Bc7 30.cxd6 Bxd6 31.Bxa7 Kc6 32.Be3 Bc5 33.Bxc5 Kxc5 34.Rd2 Rf8 35.Ke3 Bg6 36.c4 Re8+ 37.Kf4 Kc6 38.Kf3 Re6 39.Kf2 Rd6 40.Rb2 Rd3 41.b4 b5 42.c5 Bf7 43.Ke2 Ra3 44.Kf2 Rxa2 45.Rxa2 Bxa2 46.Ke3 Kd5 47.Kd3 g6 48.Kc3 Bc4 49.Kd2 g5 50.Ke3 Ke5 51.h3 Be6 52.h4 gxh4 53.gxh4 Kf5 54.Kd4 Kg4 55.Ke5 Bf5 56.c6 Black forfeited on time, UNPREDICTABLE - LucioF, FICS 2010 

11...Nf6 12.d3

A center pawn push is probably premature, although it leads to interesting play, something like Houdini vs Nimzovich:  12.e5!? Re8! 13.d4 (13.exf6+?! Kf8+ 14.Kd1 Qxf6 advantage to Black; or 13.e6 b5!? 14.Qe2 [14.Qxb5 g6!? 15.c3 gxf5 16.d4 Bb6 17.Qxf5 Bxe6 18.Qd3 advantage to Black] 14... g6!? advantage to Black) 13...b5!? 14.Qc3 Kf8 15.O-O Bb6 16.e6!? (16.exf6 Qxf6 advantage to Black) 16...Bb7 17.a4 bxa4 18.Rxa4 c5 19.d5 c4+ 20.Kh1 Rc8 21.Bg5 Bxd5 22.Qd2 Bc6 23.Ra3 Kg8 24.Qe2 d5 25.Nd2 Bc5 26.Rh3 Rb8 27.Qe5 Qe7 advantage to Black

12...Bd7 13.Nc3

Again, 13.e5!? Re8 14.d4 Kf8 15.e6 b5!? edge to Black


Black has the extra piece and better development, although with an exposed King. White has the "Jerome pawn" wall, maintains rough equality.


Forcing the issue, while 14.d4!? would keep things equal.

From here on out, inaccuracies control the outcome of the game.


Instead, 14...Bxd5 15.exd5 Re8! planning to castle-by-hand and attack, was the way to go.


Probably 15.Nf4 intending 16.Ne6 was better. Of course, that is easier to see from the sidelines.


Planning a Kingside attack, but overlooking something. 

16.Qe6 checkmate

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