Monday, July 27, 2015

The Jerome Gam'

As far as I know, Dr. Seuss never played the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) but I suspect he would have liked the zaniness of the chess opening. Who knows, he might have decided

Say! I like the Jerome Gam'!
I do! I like it, Sam-I-Am!
And I would play it in a boat.
And I would play it with a goat...
And I would play it in the rain.
And in the dark. And on a train.
And in a car. And in a tree.
It is such fun, such fun, you see!
So I will play it in a box.
And I will play it with a fox.
And I will play it in a house.
And I will play it with a mouse.
And I will play it here and there.
Say! I will play it anywhere!
I do so like the Jerome Gam'!
Thank you! Thank you! Sam-I-Am!

Well, we all know that Bill Wall likes the Jerome Gambit, and here is his latest over-the-board effort, against someone who should have taken the opening a bit more seriously.

Wall,B - O'Toole,S
Abu Dhabi, 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 d6 9.Qe3

The Database has 218 games which reach this position.


And 0 games - except this one - with this move.

It is not easy to figure the idea behind 9...Bg4. Bill suggests the alternative 9...Nf6.

10.0-0 c5 11.f4 Nh6 12.Nc3 Rf8 

If there were time, following this move by castling-by-hand with ...Kf7-g8 might be prudent. Bill suggests withdrawing the errant Bishop with 12...Bd7, but perhaps Black has a different plan for it.

13.f5 Ne5 14.d3 a6 15.h3 Bxf5

Bill suggests, instead, either. 15...Qh4 16.hxg4 Nhxg4 17.Qh3 Qxh3 18.gxh3 Nf6 19.Bg5; or 15...Nxf5 16.exf5 Bxf5 17.Qg3 g6 18.Bh6. In either case, White is for choice.

16.exf5 Rxf517.Rxf5 Nxf5 18.Qe4

Black has returned his extra piece for two pawns; the material is even. After his next move, he can even claim an advantage in development. However, his King is unsafe, and White's Queen will sow disorder. It is time to be very, very serious...


He might have tried 18...Qd7

19.Qxb7 Rd8 20.Ne4

From an email from Bill:
I just put this game in Fritz and it found this amazing drawing line for Black that I would not have found.  On move 20 I played 20.Ne4, but I also thought I could play 20.Qxa6 as well (I said to myself, what's the difference, I will play 21.Qxa6 next).  If I had played 20.Qxa6? first, then 20...Qh4 (threatening 21...Qe1 and a draw) 21.Bd2 (or almost anything else) Nf3+!  22.gxf3 Qg3+ 23.Kf1 Qxf3+ and a draw..  I would have to try 21.Qa4+ and trade queens to avoid this, which may still draw for Black.  In the line I played, 20.Ne4, if 20...Qh4?, then 21.Bg5 can be played as it is supported by the knight in this variation and the knight also prevents ...Qg3+, thus winning for White.  What a difference a tempo or an in-between-move makes.  It's amazing what these computers can find in 1 second that would take me 1 hour to see, if at all. 
20...Qe7 21.Qxa6 Qd7 22.Bg5 Rc8 23.Rf1 h6 24.Rxf5 Qxf5 25.Nxd6+  Black resigned

A nice finish - White forks King, Queen and Rook!

I don't think I have seen that in a Jerome Gambit game before.

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