Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Jerome Addiction

Bill Wall sent me his first Jerome Gambit of 2015 with the following note.

I just can't help myself.  As soon as I see 3...Bc5 I just have to play 4.Bxf7.  I told myself not to play it and work on other Italian variations.  But oh no.  I see 3...Bc5, I have to play 4...Bxf7+.  It must be a Jerome addiction.

Anyway, I played a nice Jerome on FICS, my first Jerome of the year.  He got his knight trapped, forgetting to make an exit for himself, and I later mated him.  He had a good game up to 16...c6, blocking a pawn I might have taken, but overlooking his knight can't move anywhere safe after 17.h3.

Wall,B - CMSK
FICS, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Kf8 7.Qxe5 Qe7 

The Jerome Gambit, Jerome variation, first outlined in the Dubuque Chess Journal, July 1874.

Three of Bill's games continued 7...d6Wall,B -GoldCoinCollector, 2010 (1-0, 17); Wall,B - GuestZCLK, FICS, 2011 (1-0, 15); and Wall,B - Schichua,S, FICS, 2013 (1-0, 22).

8.Qf4+ Nf6 

Instead, Black continued with 8...Qf6 in Wall,B - Guest340293,, 2012(1-0, 41),  Wall,B - Josti,, 2013, (1-0, 26),  and Wall,B - Guest4644930,, 2014 (1-0, 26).

9.d3 d6 10.Nc3 Be6 11.0-0 h6

12.Be3 g5

Black is feeling aggressive!

13.Qf3 Kg7 14.e5 

Bill notes better may be 14.Bxc5 dxc5 15.e5 Nd7 16.Qxb7

14...Ng4 15.Bxc5 

Not 15.Qxb7? Nxe3

15...dxc5 16.Rae1

 Still, Bill cautions,16.Qxb7?! Rab8 17.Qxa7 Rxb2.


As Bill mentioned in the note above, this strands the Black Knight. Better: 16...Rhf8 17.Qe2 (17.Qxb7 Rab8 18.Qxa7 Rxb2) 17...h5; 
16...h5 17.Qxb7 Rab8 18.Qxa7 Rxb2 19.Re2. 

17.h3 Raf8 18.Qg3

Or 18.Qd1 Nxf2 19.Rxf2 Rxf2 20.Kxf2 Rf8+ 21.Kg1. 


If 18...Nxf2 19.Rxf2 Rxf2 20.Qxf2 Rf8 21.Qe3. 

19.hxg4 h4 

Black's attack looks dangerous, but it will become clear that White is in control.

20.Qh3 Qd7 21.Ne4 Bxg4 22.Qe3 Rh5 

Admitting his Kingside pawn structure needs reinforcing, but this allows a fork.

23.Nf6 Rxf6 24.exf6+ Kxf6 25.Qxc5

25...h3 26.Qf8+ Kg6 27.Re7 hxg2 28.Qf7+ Kh6 29.Qg7 checkmate

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Jerome Gambit Database

Scouring the internet with Google the other day, I ran across A Jerome Gambit Database set up by an anonymous creator who appears to have knowledge of Bill Wall's games, Rev. Tim Sawyer's blog, and this site as well. Feel free to check it out. If you have any more information about the site or author, please let me know.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

This Is Your Last Chance

After the previous post on the Jerome Gambit Declined, here is a fun example (or three: also see my two games against walkinthespirit: #1 and #2).

HauntedKnight - bozidaranas
blitz, FICS, 2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.O-O Nf6 5.Bxf7+ Kf8 6.Bb3

Transposing to the main Declined line, 4.Bxf7+ Kf8 5.Bb3 Nf6 6.0-0. Black, given one, only, and his last chance to accept one or two pieces, shows that he wants no part of White's goofy attack - and strikes back

6...d5 7.exd5 Nxd5 8.Nxe5

White responds with the "fork trick".

8...Nxe5 9.d4 Be7 10.dxe5 Nb4

It is too late to quibble that 10...c6 was stronger.

11.Qf3+ Ke8 12.Qf7+ Kd7 13.Rd1+ Black resigned

Sunday, January 4, 2015

All or Nothing! notebook (1)

Working on my book, All or Nothing!, The Jerome Gambit, has forced me to take a better look at variations that I have generally dismissed.

The first line to get more attention is one that I have thought little about, the Jerome Gambit Declined.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kf8 

In the broader sense of things, it seems odd that Black would give up an "objectively" won game (White has sacrficed one piece and may sacrifice a second) to be down material, all at move 4.

In fact, the line is rarely played: of 10,670 games in The Database that have White's first four moves, above, only 245 - roughly 2% - contain 4...Kf8. Less than 1/2 % contain 4...Ke7.

Yet, Black may have his reasons, if only based in psychology. For starters, he does not give White the wild play he is looking for - in fact, Black becomes the gambiteer, offering a pawn and position for slightly better development. White must take further risks if he want's to challenge that situation.

White's best move in response to Black declining the Bishop is to play 5.Bb3 (or the similarly-motivated 5.Bc4 or 5.Bd5) settling for a solid pawn plus and eventual play against Black's displaced King. Also good for White is 5.Bxg8, exchanging rather than retreating the Bishop.

It is quite possible that Black declines the Jerome Gambit in hopes that White will continue to offer the piece with 5.Nxe5!? or 5.0-0!? with the plan to transpose into the Jerome Gambit accepted, where Black eventually takes the Bishop, having taken two moves to do so, instead of the usual one. This is convoluted thinking, that White, having been spared a losing game, will want to persist in seeking his attack/disadvantage, rather than settle for an advantageous non-Jerome Gambit position...

The Jerome Gambit: it has its own logic!