Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A New Day in the Life of the Jerome Gambit

It is always nice to come across a Jerome Gambit game with a player who is new to me, and who appears to be new to the gambit.

In the following game White achieves a significant advantage, and then follows a sedate course to the full point. While it may be fun to point out some slam-bang checkmates along the way (it is worth playing them all out), it is always important to remember that "a win is a win". The end is inexorable, either way.

filipokpok - djernigan
blitz, FICS, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 7.Qd5+

The "nudge", usually a sign that the player is at least a little bit familiar with Jerome Gambit theory.

7...Kf8 8.Qxc5+ d6 9.Qe3 Ne5 

This move is not so much "bad" as it is provocative. It is perhaps telling that there is only one other game in The Database with this move.

10.O-O Nf6 11.d4

An improvement over 11.f4 as in perrypawnpusher - mconst, blitz, FICS, 2010 (0-1, 25).


"When in doubt, neglect your development and attack the enemy Queen."

12.Qe2 Qe8 13.Nc3 c6 14.f4 Bd7 

Here we have a typical Jerome Gambit dynamic: Black has a somewhat restricted development (especially on the Queenside) while White has a menacing pawn center. Both need plans. Perhaps Black could threaten to undermine the "Jerome pawns" with 14...b5!? instead. 

15. f5 Nh6

Falling in with White's plans. Perhaps, analagous to the previous note, Black could look at 15...c5!?

16.Bxh6 gxh6 17.e5 dxe5 18.dxe5 Nd5 19.e6 Nxc3 20.bxc3 Bc8

If you are a tactical maniac, then the game is already over.

If you would like a quiet, step-by-step game that leads to "1-0", you can find that here, too.

Let's continue.


Solid. When the "Jerome pawns" advance, they will sweep everything before them.

Alternately, there is 21.Qe5 h5 22.Qxh8+ Ke7 23.Qg7+ Kd8
24.Rad1+ Bd7 25.Rxd7+ Kc8 26.Rc7+ Kd8 27.Rd1+ Qd7 28.Qxd7 checkmate. Check it out, the thematic moves are instructive.


Black's strongest defense is 21...Rg8, but then comes 22.e7+ Kf7 23.Qh5+ Kf6 24.Qxh6+ Kf7 25.Re6 Bxe6 26.Qxe6+ Kg7 27.f6+ Kh6 28.f7+ Rg6 29.Qe3+ Kg7 30.Qe5+ Kh6 31.Rf5 Rxg2+ 32.Kxg2 Qg8+ 33.Kh3 c5 34.Qe6+ Qg6 35.f8=Q+ Rxf8 36.exf8=Q checkmate. Of course, the defender would probably turn over his King before the 36th move.


Well, that certainly would be enough for me to quail on defense.

Black does not take the hint, so perhaps it is okay to mention 22.Qe5 Rg8 23.f6 Qxe6 24.Qc5+ Kf7 25.Rxe6 Bxe6 26.Qe7+ Kg6 27.Qxe6 Rgf8 28.Qf5+ Kf7 29.Qxh7+ Ke6 30.Qe7+ Kd5 31.Rf5+ Kc4 32.Rc5 checkmate 

22...Qc5+ 23.Kh1 Qd5 


Black's Queen has escaped from under the footsteps of White's pawns, and White will have none of that: it is time to get his sacrificed material back, followed by a solid Rook and pawn endgame.

Alternately, there was 24.e7+ Ke8 25.f7+ Qxf7 26.Rxf7 Kxf7 27.Rf1+ Ke8 28.Qe5 Bh3 29.gxh3 Kd7 30.e8=Q+ Rhxe8 31.Rf7+ Re7 32.Rxe7+ Kd8 33.Qc7 checkmate. Remember, you attack your way and I'll attack my way...

24...Qxe6 25.Qxe6

It is silly to even mention the alternative: 25.Qd2 Kf7 26.Qxh6 Ke8 27.f7+ Kd8 28.Rxe6 Bxe6 29.Qxe6 Rf8 30.c5 h6 31.Rd1+ Kc7 32.Rd7+ Kc8 33.Qe8+ Rxe8 34.fxe8=Q checkmate

25...Bxe6 26.Rxe6 Kf7 

As filipokpok planned.

27.Re7+ Kg6 28.Rxb7

The text is enough. Congratulations if you also saw 28.Rg7+ Kh5 29.g3 c5 30.Rf5 checkmate 

28...Rhf8 29.f7 

White has this all figured out. (He could have been distracted by 29.Rg7+ Kh5 30.Rf3 c5 31.Rh3 checkmate.) 

29...a5 30.Rc7 Ra6 31.c5 a4 32.Rd7 Ra5 33.Rd6+ Kg7 34.Rxc6 Rxf7 35.Rxf7+ Kxf7 

Often in blitz "simpler is better" and so White has been willing to give up his advanced f-pawn to swap Rooks. There are more passed pawns available!

36.Rxh6 Kg7 37.Rc6 Rb5 38.Kg1 Rb2 39.Ra6 Rxc2 40.Rxa4 Rxc5 41.g4 Kg6 42.h4 Black resigned


[This is post #2,100 for the blog. August 2015 was also the 4th most visited month for jeromegambit.blogspot.com. Many thanks for the support and encouragement of Readers everywhere - Rick]

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