Monday, November 2, 2015

I Don't Know How He Does It

Sometimes I play over the games of the top Jerome Gambit players and shake my head in wonder, admitting I don't know how he does it... So many times Black seems to be better - until he loses. Clearly, the Jerome is not only a study in the psychology of error, it is a school for learning about (successful) chess struggle. 

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Bxf7+

The Abrahams Jerome Gambit.

3...Kxf7 4.Qh5+ Kf8 5.Qxe5 Qe7 6.d4

It is interesting to note a couple of FICS games with a player with a similar name to White's, which give alternative responses:

6.Qxe7+ Nxe7 7.Nf3 d6 8.O-O Bg4 9.Nc3 Bxf3 10.gxf3 c6 11.d4 Bxd4 12.Re1 Be5 13.Bg5 Bxc3 14.b3 h6 15.Rad1 hxg5 16.Re2 d5 17.Re3 d4 18.e5 Nd7 19.Re4 Nd5 20.Rd3 Nf4 21.Rxf4+ gxf4 22.Kg2 Nxe5 23.h3 Nxd3 24.cxd3 g5 25.Kf1 Kf7 26.Kg1 Rhe8 27.a4 Re2 28.b4 Rd2 29.h4 Re8 30.Kh2 gxh4 31.b5 Rxf2+ 32.Kh3 Rxf3+ 33.Kg4 Rxd3 34.Kxf4 Rh8 35.Kg4 Re3 36.Kf5 cxb5 37.Kf4 bxa4 38.Kf5 a3 39.Kf4 Kg7 40.Kf5 Rf8+ 41.Kg4 Re4+ 42.Kh5 Rf5 checkmate, Philidori - cjon, FICS, 2006; and 

6.d3 Qxe5 7.Nf3 Qf6 8.O-O d6 9.Bg5 Qg6 10.Nc3 Bg4 11.Nd5 Na6 12.Nf4 Qe8 13.h3 Bxf3 14.gxf3 h6 White forfeited on time, Philidori - cjon, FICS, 2006.

6...Qxe5 7.dxe5 Nc6 8.Nf3

There are other ways to hold onto the pawn:

8.Bf4 Nd4 9.Kd1 Ne6 10.Bg3 Ne7 11.c3 Ng6 12.Nd2 Ke7 13.Nh3 d5 14.exd5 Nd8 15.b4 Bb6 16.Nf4 Nxf4 17.Bxf4 Rf8 18.Bg5+ Kf7 19.e6+ Kg8 20.Be3 Re8 21.Bxb6 axb6 22.f4 c6 23.c4 b5 24.f5 bxc4 25.Nxc4 cxd5 26.Nb6 Rb8 27.Nxd5 Nc6 28.b5 Nd4 29.Nc7 Re7 30.b6 Nxf5 31.Rf1 Ne3+ 32.Ke1 Nxf1 33.Kxf1 Bxe6 34.Nxe6 Rxe6 35.Rb1 Rc8 White resigned, guire - givemeabreak, FICS, 2014;

8.f4 Nge7 9.Nf3 d6 (9...Ng6 10.Nc3 d6 11.f5 Ngxe5 12.Nxe5 Nxe5 13.Bf4 Bd7 14.Bxe5 dxe5 15.O-O-O Bc6 16.Nd5 Bxd5 17.Rxd5 Bd6 18.c4 b6 19.a3 a5 20.Rhd1 Kf7 21.g4 Rhd8 22.h4 Rd7 23.g5 Rad8 24.h5 Ke7 25.b3 Bxa3+ 26.Kc2 Rxd5 27.cxd5 Bd6 28.Kc3 Bb4+ 29.Kc4 Bd6 30.Kb5 Ra8 31.Rc1 a4 32.bxa4 Ra5+ 33.Kc6 Rxa4 34.Kb7 Rb4 35.Rf1 Kf7 36.f6 gxf6 37.Rxf6+ Kg7 38.h6+ Kg8 39.Kc8 Rxe4 40.Kd7 Rf4 41.Re6 Rf7+ 42.Kc6 Rd7 43.g6 Re7 44.gxh7+ Kxh7 45.Rf6 Black forfeited on time, ripples - Cihan, FICS, 2009) 10.exd6 cxd6 (10...Bxd6 11.Nc3 Bg4 12.e5 Bb4 13.Bd2 Bxf3 14.gxf3 Nd4 15.O-O-O Nxf3 16.Ne4 Bxd2+ 17.Nxd2 Nxd2 18.Rxd2 Kf7 19.Rf1 Rad8 20.f5 Rxd2 21.Kxd2 Rd8+ 22.Ke3 Nd5+ 23.Ke4 Nb4 24.Rf2 Nxa2 25.c3 b5 26.c4 bxc4 27.h4 c5 28.h5 Rd4+ 29.Ke3 Rh4 30.e6+ Ke7 31.b4 cxb3 32.Rb2 c4 33.Kd2 Rxh5 White resigned mfenaux - ikac, FICS, 2008) 11.Nc3 Bg4 12.Ke2 Nd4+ 13.Kf1 Bxf3 14.gxf3 Nxc2 15.Rb1 Nd4 16.Kg2 Ng6 17.f5 Ne5 18.Rd1 Rd8 19.Na4 h6 20.Nxc5 dxc5 21.Bf4 Nec6 22.Rbc1 Ke7 23.Rxc5 b6 24.Rc4 Rd7 25.Kg3 Rhd8 26.Rdc1 Ne2+ 27.Kg4 Nxc1 28.Rxc1 Black forfeited on time, ripples - zsifkovitspeter, FICS, 2009.


A couple more ideas:

8...Nd4 9.Nxd4 Bxd4 10.f4 Ne7 11.c3 Bc5 12.b4 Bb6 13.a4 a5 14.b5 Bc5 15.Nd2 d6 16.Nb3 b6 17.Nxc5 dxc5 18.O-O Kf7 19.c4 Rf8 20.f5 Kg8 21.Bb2 c6 22.e6 cxb5 23.axb5 Bb7 24.Rf4 Rad8 25.Rg4 g6 26.f6 Nc8 27.e7 Rd2 28.exf8=Q+ Kxf8 29.Bc3 Rc2 30.Be5 Rxc4 31.Bc7 Rxe4 32.Rxe4 Bxe4 33.Re1 Bd3 34.Re3 Bxb5 35.Re6 Bc4 36.Rc6 Kf7 37.Bxb6 Nxb6 38.Rxb6 a4 39.Rc6 a3 40.Rxc5 Be6 41.Ra5 Kxf6 42.Rxa3 Black resigned, mfenaux - BobTheBeginner, FICS, 2009; and

8...Nge7 9.Be3 Bxe3 10.fxe3 Ng6 11.Nc3 Ngxe5 12.Nd5 Nc4 13.O-O Nxb2 14.Nd4+ Kg8 15.Nxc6 bxc6 16.Ne7 checkmate, idiom - lochsa, FICS, 2003.

9.Bf4 9.exd6 Bxd6 10.O-O Bg4 11.Nh4 g5 12.Nf5 Bxf5 13.exf5 Nge7 14.f6 Nd5 15.Bxg5 Rg8 16.Bh4 Rg4 17.Bg3 Bxg3 18.fxg3 Nxf6 19.Rxf6+ Ke7 20.Rf1 Ne5 21.Nc3 Rd8 22.Rae1 Kd6 23.Ne4+ Kc6 24.Nf6 Rg5 25.h4 Rxg3 26.Rxe5 Rdg8 27.Rf2 Kd6 28.Ref5 Ke6 29.Nh5 R8g4 30.Nf4+ Kxf5 31.Nd3+ Kg6 32.Nf4+ Kg7 33.Nh5+ Kh6 34.Nf6 Black forfeited on time, enzop - Matan, FICS, 2004

9...Bg4 10.exd6 cxd6

Or: 10...Bxf3 11.gxf3 Bxd6 12.Bxd6+ cxd6 13.Nc3 Ke7 14.Rg1 g6 15.O-O-O Nf6 16.f4 Nh5 17.f5 gxf5 18.exf5 Rhg8 19.Rge1+ Ne5 20.Nd5+ Kd7 21.f4 Nc6 22.Re6 Rae8 23.Rh6 Ne7 24.Nxe7 Rxe7 25.Rxh5 Rf7 26.Kd2 Rg2+ 27.Kc3 Rf2 28.Rd4 Kc6 29.Rh6 Rxf5 30.Rdxd6+ Kc7 31.Rde6 Rc5+ 32.Kd4 Rfxc2 33.Rxh7+ Kb8 34.Rd6 a6 35.Rb6 Rc7 36.Rh5 Ka7 37.Rb4 Rf7 38.Kd3 Rf2 39.Ke3 Rc2 40.h4 Re7+ 41.Kf3 Rh2 42.Rh6 a5 43.Rb5 Kb8 44.h5 Rd7 45.f5 Rh1 46.a4 Rf7 47.Rxa5 Rf1+ 48.Ke4 Re1+ 49.Kd4 Rd1+ 50.Ke5 Rf1 51.f6 Rg1 52.Rh8+ Kc7 53.Ke6 Rd7 54.Rc5+ Kb6 55.Kxd7 Kxc5 56.f7 Rd1+ 57.Kc7 Black resigned, VATICANO - caciuccoboy, FICS, 2014

11.Nc3 Bxf3 12.gxf3 Nd4 13.O-O-O Nxf3 14.Nb5 Nf6 15.Nxd6 Bxd6 16.Bxd6+ Kf7

Here we have a typical Jerome Gambit endgame, with the "Jerome pawns" vs Black's extra piece. "Objectively" the edge is to the second player, although it is his responsibility to show it. 

17.Rd3 Ng5 18.f3 Rhd8 19.h4 Ne6 20.Rhd1 Ne8 21.Bg3 Rxd3 22.Rxd3 Rd8 23.Kd2 Nf6 24.b3 Nh5 25.Bh2 Ke7 26.Ke3 h6 27.Rxd8 Kxd8 28.Be5 Ke7 29.f4 b5 

30.f5 Nc5 31.Bd4 Kd6 32.b4 Na6 33.a3 Nb8 34.Bxa7 Nc6 35.Bc5+ Ke5

Black's King successfully blockades the central "Jerome pawns", his b-pawn restrains White's Queenside, and even though he has given up a pawn, he seems to have stymied the first player's momentum. Except for one move.


White's game now becomes dyamic on the Queenside.

36...bxc4 37.b5 Nb8 38.b6 Nf6

This slip allows White to clarify things quickly with the win of a piece.

39.Bd4+ Kd6 40.e5+ Black resigned

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