Friday, January 16, 2015

RHP Jerome Gambit Tournament - Again!

Last year I reported on a couple of Jerome Gambit tournaments (#1 and #2) at the web site. They were a mix of players apparently new to the opening with some who had a measurable knowledge of the main lines.

The first round of a new tournament is coming to a close, with names familiar and new. I think it will be fun, again, to share the games and choose a few for individual attention.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sometimes it only takes a little bit...

The following game shows that sometimes it takes only a little bit of wandering off the path for Black's game in the Jerome Gambit to suddenly to bad. Philidor 1792 wraps up quickly thereafter.

Philidor 1792 - Guest388983
3 0 blitz,, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 

7.Qd5+ Kf8 8.Qxc5+ Qe7 9.Qe3 Nf6 10.Nc3 d6 11.0-0 Kf7

12.f4 Re8 13.f5 Ne5 14.d3 Bd7 15.Qg3 Kg8

Black has done well, castling-by-hand and hanging onto his piece for two pawns advantage. Suddenly, his game turns sour.

16.Bg5 Qf7

It is not automatically apparent that this move is wrong, but Black's game suddenly grinds to a halt.

17.Bxf6 Qxf6 18.Nd5 Qd8 19.f6

 Black's King is in danger, and his pieces are curiously ineffective here, as Houdini showed me. Probably he should try 19...g6, and when White threatens to bring his Queen to g7 for mate, he can answer 20.Qh4 with 20...h5. The continuation 21.Qg5 Kh7 follows the same idea, when White can then win the exchange with 22.Ne7 Rxe7 23.fxe7 Qg8 

analysis diagram

White can now put a full cramp in Black's position with 24.Rf4 Qg7 25.Raf1 Be8 26.Rf8 when it will take a lot of work to untangle Black, for example 26..Rb8 27.Qf6 Qxf6 28.R1xf6 Nc6 29.d4 a6 30.d5 Ne5 and White's bind still holds. 

19...Ng6 20.f7+ Black resigned

Black will be down only the exchange and a  pawn (after 21...Kf8 22.fxe8+/Q Kxe8), but his King will be at risk, and White will have the initiative.

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Second Chance to Decline

Here is a recent game played by Philidor 1792, from a cache of games he sent not long ago. His opponent declines the offer of a second piece with an inaccuracy that is worth knowing - and punishing. 

Philidor 1792 - Guest834593
3 0 blitz,, 02.11.2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke8

While declining the second piece is as old as Jerome - Brownson, Iowa, 1875 (1/2-1/2, 29), the safest place for Black's King to retreat to is f8, not e8.


It's possible that 6.Nxc6 is stronger, but who can resist checking the King?

On the other hand, White's Knight capture is tricky, as 6...bxc6? is not the correct response - see perrypawnpusher - rodrigojalpa, blitz, FICS, 2008 (1-0, 25); perrypawnpusher - zsilber, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1/2-1/2, 42); Wall,B - Qwerty, 2010 (1-0, 9); and Wall,B - LFTN, FICS, 2012 (1-0, 20).

Neither is 6...dxc6? the right move - see Wall,B - Gebba, 2010 (1-0, 11).

Although I have suggested the untried 6...Bf2+ in "Don't Drive Like My Brother", the best response for Black, still untried as far as The Database is concerned is 6...Qh4!?, as after 7.d4 Qxe4+ 8.Qe2 Qxe2+ 9.Kxe2 Bb6 10.Nb4 Bxd4 11.Nd5 Kd8 Black has an equal game. (Of course, he turned down a second piece to get there.)


Silly alternatives: 6...Kf8 7.Qf7 checkmate,  perrypawnpusher - platel, blitz, FICS, 2011  and 6...Ke7 7.Qf7+ Kd6 8.Qd5+ Ke7 9.Nxc6+ Kf6 10.Qf5 checkmate, Kennedy - WeakDelphi, 2 12 blitz, 2008.

7.Nxg6 Bxf2+

Instead, 7...Qf6 was no solution in perrypawnpusher - schachix, blitz, FICS, 2013 (1-0, 10).

8.Kxf2 Qf6+

Black goes astray: 8...Nf6  was the way to keep an edge.

9.Nf4+ Kd8 10.d3 Nge7

Or 10...d6 11.Rf1 Qd4+ 12.Be3 Qf6 13.c3 Black resigned, Hultgren,R - Harrow, Campbell, CA 1960. 

11.Nc3 d6 12.Rf1 Ng6 13.Kg1

Usually it is Black who has to castle-by-hand. White is two pawns ahead, with a safer King.

13...Qd4+ 14.Kh1 Nge5 15.Nfd5 Be6 16.Be3 Black resigned

Black's Queen is trapped in the middle of the board!