Friday, September 25, 2015

Strike First!

Blitz games tend to be less strategic subtleties and more tactical tricks and turns. If you are planning on checkmating someone, it is best to be sure that he can't do the same to you, sooner.

Wall,B - Mydrik,M, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 

Black would like to take a detour into the Two Knights Defense. One way for White to hold out for a Jerome Gambit is now 4.Nc3, planning on meeting 4...Bc5 with 5.Bxf7+. Bill tries something else.


It is worth taking a minute to go back to the post "Jerome Gambit vs Two Knights Defense (Part 4)"

4...Bc5 5.Bxf7+ 


White has transposed to a "modern" variation of the Jerome Gambit, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.0-0 Nf6. Bill has 11 examples in The Database, all wins. He decides to throw Nxe5+ in, anyhow.

6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.d4 

It is the pawns (White has two extra) vs the pieces (Black, temporarily, has two more), a typical Jerome Gambit imbalance. Bean counters look elsewhere.


Black probably would have done better with 7...Bxd4. 

8.Qh5+ Ng6 9.Qd5+ 

Bill stays true to his Jerome Gambit roots and "nudges" the enemy King to the back row. 

9...Kf8 10.dxc5 Nf6 11.Qd4 d5 12.Nc3

12...c6 13.Bg5 Kf7 14.Rae1 Rf8 15.Re2 Kg8 

Black has castled-by-hand, a practical decision in light of White's lead in development. 

16.Rfe1 Bf5 17.f3 Qd7 18.g4 Nxg4 

Black believes his return of the extra piece is exactly what he needs to press the attack. He is almost right here, but the correct move, leading to a complicated position, was 18...Ne4!.

Now White grabs the initiative.

19.fxg4 Bxg4 20.Re7 

This had to come as a surprise.

20...Nxe7 21.Rxe7 

Best for the defense now is 21...Rf7, when, after 22.Rxd7 Rxd7 White would have the advantage of a Queen and Knight against two Rooks and a pawn, but there would be plenty of play left in the game.

Instead, Black threatens mate - and receives it in turn.

21...Qf5 22.Qxg7 checkmate

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