Saturday, May 30, 2015

Even A Mess Can Be Educational

Immediately after blundering on move 11, I thought about resigning; but I decided to hold on for a move... then another... then another. Eventually, I held on for the win.

Blitz games can be very strange, and those featuring the Jerome Gambit even more so. Some of the positions in the following game might make up for the questionable play of both me and my opponent.

perrypawnpusher -Toscolano
blitz, FICS, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 7.Qd5+ Ke8 8.Qxc5 Qh4

Surprisingly a TN according to The Database.

Of note, however, is that after 8...d6 9.Qe3 a successful computer choice was 9...Qh4 in RevvedUp - Yace Paderborn, 2 12 blitz, 2006. In the same competition, 7...Kf8 8.Qxc5+ d6 9.Qe3 Qh4 was seen in RevvedUp - Shredder 8, 2 12 blitz, 2006 and Shredder 8 - RevvedUp, 2 12 blitz, 2006.

9.Nc3 d6

An indication of how weird things were going to get is that after the game Houdini recommended, instead, 9...Qg4 10.Rg1 Kd8


I probably could have taken the pawn with 10.Qxc7, but it looked complicated. After the game, Houdini agreed with me: 10...Qg4 11.Nb5 Qxe4+ 12.Kf1 Qe7 13.b3 Bf5 14.Ba3 Qxc7 15.Nxc7+ Kd7 16.Nxa8 Nf6 17.Nc7 Kxc7 18.d3  and things would be about balanced between White's extra Rook plus 2 pawns vs Black's two extra Knights.

analysis diagram

10...Nf4 11.g3

A mindless move, after which I immediately thought of resigning. Of course, White needed to be brave and castle.

11...Ng2+ 12.Ke2 Bg4+

Strong, but even stronger would be 12...Qh5+

13.f3 Qh3 

Black is still better after playing the text, but it was time for 13...Nxe3 14.gxh4 Nxc2 15.Rb1 Bh5,  when Black would be up a piece for a pawn.

14.Qf2 Bh5

Black appears repelled by the tactical mess too, and continues to play "safe" and "normal" moves instead of doing concrete analysis - understandable in blitz.

After the game Houdini suggested that Black wade in and keep his advantage with 14...Ne7 15.d3 Rf8 16.Bf4 Nxf4+ 17.gxf4 Rxf4 18.Qg3 Rxf3 19.Qxh3 Rxh3+ 20.Kf2 Kd7. 

analysis diagram


This is now good enough for equality, while 15.Rg1 would lead to a White advantage.


This hands over the advantage - not that I was ready to take it! Black could maintain equality with 15...Ne7 16.g4 Bxg4 17.fxg4 Qxg4+ 18.Qf3 Qxf3+ 19.Kxf3 Nh4+.


I was still floundering. Instead of this reasonable move White should have played 16. Rg1 with an small edge (2 pieces vs Rook) after 16...Rf8 17. Qxg2 Qxg2+ 18. Rxg2 Nxe4 19. dxe4 Bxf3+ 20. Kf1 Bxg2+ 21. Kxg2 Kd7.

analysis diagram


Finally letting White off the hook. Instead, Black should have piled on with 16... Ng4, which wins, for example 17.fxg4 Qxg4+ 18.Kf1 (18.Kd2 Qxg5+ 19.Qf4 Nxf4; 18.Qf3 Qxf3+) 18...Rf8 19.Qxf8+ Kxf8 20.Kxg2 Qxg5

17.Bxf6 gxf6 18.Rag1 f5 19.Qxg2 Qxg2+ 20.Rxg2 fxe4 21.dxe4 Rf8 22.Rf2 c6 

The smoke has cleared, and White ("It is better to be lucky than good") is up a couple of pawns.

23.Rd1 Kd7 24.Rd3 Rae8 25.Kd2 

An ending slip.

25...d5 26.exd5 cxd5 27.Rxd5+ Kc6 28.Rxh5 Rd8+ 29.Kc1 Rfe8 30. Rxh6+ Kc7 31.Re2 Rf8 32.Re7+ Kc8 33.Rhh7 Rxf3 34.Rc7+ Kb8 35.Rxb7+ Kc8 36.Rhc7 checkmate

Okay, say it with me, "Nobody ever won a game by resigning." Lesson learned.

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