Thursday, September 3, 2015

Don't Try to Out-Think Me Redux

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There is plenty of room in chess, at all levels, for a dash of "psychology", but it should only replace "good moves" in dire (or controlled) circumstances. Otherwise the outcome is likely to be something like the following.

(Here we have another example of the aphorism: in the Jerome Gambit, when White has equalized, he has the advantage.)

Wall,B - Igidius, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Nc3 

This time Bill chooses to develop his Knight over castling in this "modern" Jerome Gambit - for alternatives, see "Winning With the Jerome Gambit: A Game Full of Lessons".


There was nothing wrong with 6...d6.

In other games opponents have tried 6...Ng4 (Wall,B - Richard123,, 2010 [1-0, 10]); and 6...Rf8 (Wall,B - BarAbbas,, 2012 [1-0, 45]).

With the text Black returns the "favor" of a sacrificed piece to create a displaced (and possibly vulnerable) King. Of course, he also moves from an "objectively" won game to an even game, which is generous of him. Such "psychology" appears regularly in Jerome Gambit games, and White can always say "thank you".

As I have cautioned the defender before: Don't try to out-think me, just play the refutation. 

7.Kxf2 Ng4+ 8.Kf1

Black's attack goes nowhere, but it is fun to include a game to show how it might have gone - with a good bit of luck and cooperation - 8.Kg3 d6 9.Ng5+ Kg6 10.h3 h6 11.hxg4 hxg5 12.Rxh8 Qxh8 13.Nd5 Qh4+ 14.Kf3 Bxg4+ 15.Ke3 Bxd1 16.Bd2 Qg3 checkmate, RomanDurdis - varsa, FICS, 2005. 

8...Rf8 9.Bg5 Qe8

Bill suggests, instead, 9...Nf6 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5 Ne7 with a roughly equal game. 

10.h3 h6 11.hxg4 hxg5 12.Qd2 Kg8 

Black gives up a pawn, perhaps thinking that it leaves White only a doubled, isolated pawn ahead; and, in the meantime, he safeguards his King. He puts his faith in his counter-attacking Knight.

13.Qxg5 Nd4

The piece hits the Knight at f3 and the pawn at c2. Surely this is compensation?!

14.Nd5 Nxf3 15.gxf3 Rxf3+ 

See, Black now has his pawn back.

Alas, White now has checkmate.

How did this happen??

16.Kg2 Qf7 17.Ne7+ Black resigned

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