Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Surprising New Defense Against the Jerome Gambit

This blog has been very honest: the Jerome Gambit is a refuted opening. You can find the refutations among the 2,025 posts so far. There are Jerome Gambit wins and Jerome Gambit losses.

Do we really need another refutation?

Apparently the answer is "yes".

ZahariSokolov - emranhamid

standard, FICS, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.Qf5+ Kd6 8.f4 

There are 213 games with this position in The Database. While 8...Qf6 here is routine, and 8...Qh5+ exotic, I looked at one response by Black, 8...Nc4, in the previous post.
Here comes a shocker.


There are only 3 games with this line in The Database.

Can Black's King simply walk away from his Knight like that??

The remainder of the game suggests that he can.

9.Qxe5 Nf6 10.d4 d6 11.d5+ Kb6 12.Qc3 Nxe4

Instead, 12...a5 13.a3 Nxe4 14.Qb3+ Ka6 15.Be3 Qh4+ 16.g3 Nxg3 17.Qd3+ b5 18.a4 Re8 19.Qxb5+ Ka7 20.Qxe8 Ne4+ 21.Kd1 Bg4+ 22.Kc1 Bxe3+ 23.Nd2 White resigned, was seen in VMACforever - Sillycon, FICS, 2013; while

12...Qe8 13.Qb3+ Ka6 14.Nc3 Nxe4 15.Qc4+ b5 16.Qxe4 Qxe4+ 17.Nxe4 Re8 was seen in NN - NN, 2012. )

13.Qb3+ Ka5 14.Bd2+

Worthy of a swindle was 14.Be3, as 14...Bxe3? would allow a draw by repetition starting with 15.Qa3+

14...Nxd2 15.Nxd2 Qh4+ 16.g3 Re8+ 17.Kd1 Qh5+ 18.Kc1 b6 19.a4 Ka6

The King continues his escape.

20.Qc4+ Kb7 21.a5 Qxh2 22.Rxh2 Re1 checkmate

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Ups and Downs

I enjoy playing over ZahariSokolov's games because so many of them go right to critical or interesting positions in the Jerome Gambit, allowing him (and us) to experience the excitement of battle, with all of its ups and downs.

ZahariSokolov - Yrusia

standard, FICS, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.Qf5+ Kd6 8.f4


Bypassing the solid and good 8...Qf6 and the wild and good 8...Qh5+. It is helpful for the Jerome Gambit player to have enough knowledge about the opening to know that Black's move calls for "punishment".

9.Qd5+ Ke7 10.Qxc4 

The text is good enough for an equal position. The other capture, according to The Database, works out better:

10.Qxc5+ Nd6 (10...Kf7 11.Qxc4+ Kf8 12.d4 d6 13.O-O Nf6 14.Nc3 Qe7 15.e5 dxe5 16.fxe5 Be6 17.d5 Bg4 18.Bg5 h6 
19.exf6 Black resigned, Petasluk - Comi, FICS, 2006) 11.e5 Nf6 (11...b6 12. exd6+ cxd6 13.Qe3+ Kf8 14.O-O Bb7 15.g3 Nf6 16.Qe2 Kf7 17.Nc3 Re8 18.Qf2 Ng4 19.Qd4 h5 20.Qxd6 h4 21.d3 hxg3 22.hxg3 Re6 23.Qd4 Rh6 24.f5 Rh1 checkmate, UNPREDICTABLE - ennuitois, blitz, FICS, 2009) 12.O-O Qg8 13.Nc3 g5 14.exf6+ Kxf6 15.fxg5+ Kg7 16.Qe5+ Kg6 17.Qf6+ Kh5 18.Qh6+ Kg4 19.h3+ Kg3 20.Ne2 checkmate, Kennedy - Chess Challenger 7, 2008. 



Instead, 11.d4 led to another adventure:  11...Be6 12.Qd3 Bb6 13.f5 Bf7 14.c3 Kd7 15.Nd2 Qh4+ 16.g3 Qg4 17.Qf3 Qxf3 18.Nxf3 Nf6 19.Nd2 Rae8 20.O-O Nxe4 21.Nxe4 Rxe4 22.Bf4 Rhe8 23.Rf2 Re2 24.Rb1 Rxf2 25.Kxf2 Bc4 26.Be3 c5 27.b3 Bd3 28.Rd1 Bxf5 29.dxc5 Bc7 30.cxd6 Bxd6 31.Bxa7 Kc6 32.Be3 Bc5 33.Bxc5 Kxc5 34.Rd2 Rf8 35.Ke3 Bg6 36.c4 Re8+ 37.Kf4 Kc6 38.Kf3 Re6 39.Kf2 Rd6 40.Rb2 Rd3 41.b4 b5 42.c5 Bf7 43.Ke2 Ra3 44.Kf2 Rxa2 45.Rxa2 Bxa2 46.Ke3 Kd5 47.Kd3 g6 48.Kc3 Bc4 49.Kd2 g5 50.Ke3 Ke5 51.h3 Be6 52.h4 gxh4 53.gxh4 Kf5 54.Kd4 Kg4 55.Ke5 Bf5 56.c6 Black forfeited on time, UNPREDICTABLE - LucioF, FICS 2010 

11...Nf6 12.d3

A center pawn push is probably premature, although it leads to interesting play, something like Houdini vs Nimzovich:  12.e5!? Re8! 13.d4 (13.exf6+?! Kf8+ 14.Kd1 Qxf6 advantage to Black; or 13.e6 b5!? 14.Qe2 [14.Qxb5 g6!? 15.c3 gxf5 16.d4 Bb6 17.Qxf5 Bxe6 18.Qd3 advantage to Black] 14... g6!? advantage to Black) 13...b5!? 14.Qc3 Kf8 15.O-O Bb6 16.e6!? (16.exf6 Qxf6 advantage to Black) 16...Bb7 17.a4 bxa4 18.Rxa4 c5 19.d5 c4+ 20.Kh1 Rc8 21.Bg5 Bxd5 22.Qd2 Bc6 23.Ra3 Kg8 24.Qe2 d5 25.Nd2 Bc5 26.Rh3 Rb8 27.Qe5 Qe7 advantage to Black

12...Bd7 13.Nc3

Again, 13.e5!? Re8 14.d4 Kf8 15.e6 b5!? edge to Black


Black has the extra piece and better development, although with an exposed King. White has the "Jerome pawn" wall, maintains rough equality.


Forcing the issue, while 14.d4!? would keep things equal.

From here on out, inaccuracies control the outcome of the game.


Instead, 14...Bxd5 15.exd5 Re8! planning to castle-by-hand and attack, was the way to go.


Probably 15.Nf4 intending 16.Ne6 was better. Of course, that is easier to see from the sidelines.


Planning a Kingside attack, but overlooking something. 

16.Qe6 checkmate

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Brutal Day in the Life of the Jerome Gambit

I have used the "Day in the Life of" blog posts to present Jerome Gambit games that are not "perfect" (or "perfectly awful") to show the eb and flow of the game, how the attacker must adjust and continue to move forward, how the defender must shift and slide in order to stay in the game. 

The following ZahariSokolov game is quite an adventure. Both sides have chances in an all-out brawl.

ZahariSokolov - Dragonianlee
standard, FICS, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ g6 7.Qxe5 Qe7

This is Whistler's Defense, even stronger than Blackburne's Defense (7...d6).


ZahariSokolov has over 90 games in The Database, but none show him facing Whistler's Defense before this game. Does he take the Rook unaware of the dangers, or does he plunge right into complications trusting that he will find a way out??

8...Qxe4+ 9.Kf1 

White's other alternative is also dreary: 9.Kd1 Qxg2 
a) 9...Qg4+ 10.f3 Qxg2 11.Qxh7+ Kf8 12.Re1 d5 13.Qh4 Qxf3+ 14.Re2 Bg4 15.Nc3 Bf2 White resigned, Jerome,A - Whistler,G, correspondence, 1876; or 
b) 9...d5 10.Re1 Bg4+  11.f3 Bxf3+ 12.gxf3 Qxf3+ 13.Re2 Re8 14.Qxh7+ Kf8 15.Nc3 Qf1+ 16.Re1 Qxe1 checkmate,  franciskov - danielhidrobo, FICS, 2013.  

10.Re1 Qf3+? 11.Re2 Qh1+ 12.Re1 Qf3+ 13.Re2 Qh1+ 14.Re1 Qf3+ Draw, Wall,B - Mathieubuntu, 40 0, FICS, 2011. A bad case of "nerves". (On the other hand, many players would jump at a chance to draw against Bill Wall!)


The text is the best move. Results from other moves, as seen in The Database, show that the complexity of the position gives White chances:

9...Qxc2 10.Qxh7+ Kf8 (10...Kf6 11.Qh4+ Kg7 12.Nc3 Qd3+ 13.Kg1 d6 14.g3 Bd7 15.b4 Bd4 16.Bb2 Bc6 17.Na4 Bxb2 18.Nxb2 Qf3 19.Qd4+ Nf6 20.Kf1 Qxh1+ Black forfeits by disconnection, markinchrist - Gurucool, FICS, 2013) 11.Na3 (11.Nc3 Qd3+ 12.Ne2 (12.Kg1 d6 13.Qh4 Bf5 14.h3 Re8 15.Kh2 d5 16.f4 d4 17.Na4 Bd6 18.b3 Be7 19.Qf2 Bf6 20.Nb2 Qe4 21.d3 Qd5 22.Re1 Rxe1 23.Qxe1 Qd6 24.Bd2 Nh6 25.Nc4 g5 26.Nxd6 cxd6 27.Bb4 g4 28.Bxd6+ Kf7 29.Kg3 gxh3 30.gxh3 Bxd3 31.Qb4 Nf5+ 32.Kf2 Bh4+ 33.Kg1 Be4 34.Rc1 Ng3 35.Rc7+ Kg6 36.Kh2 Nf1+ 37.Kg1 Nd2 38.Qxd2 Black resigned, chessmanjeff - CHESSWILL, FICS, 2013) 12...b6 13.h4 Ba6 14.Rh3 Qxe2+ 15.Kg1 Qxf2+ 16.Kh1 Qg1, checkmate, chessmanjeff - throwback, FICS, 2014) 11...Qf5 12.d4 Bxd4 13.Qh4 c5 14.Bh6+ Kf7 15.Bd2 Nf6 16.Re1 g5 17.Qg3 d5 18.b4 Be6 19.Qc7+ Kg6 20.Qd6 Ne4 21.Rxe4 dxe4 22.bxc5 Qxf2 checkmate, shugart - roentgenium, FICS, 2014; or

9...Qc4+ 10.d3 Qxc2 11.Qxh7+ Kf8 12.Bh6+ Nxh6 13.Qxh6+ Kf7 14.Qf4+ (14.Qd2 Qa4 15.Nc3 d6 16.Nxa4 Black resigned, Abijud - Jeru, blitz, FICS, 2005) 14...Ke8 15.Nd2 Qxd3+ 16.Kg1 Bd6 17.Re1+ Kd8 Black resigned, IagainstI - kingphilippineda, FICS, 2013. 


Or 10.Nc3 Qe5 11.d3 b6 12.Bh6 Qf5 13.Qg7+ Ke6 14.Re1+ Kd6 15.Qf8+ Kc6 16.Qf7 Qxf2, checkmate, shugart - bakugan, FICS, 2014


Possibly 10...Qd4 is best, or Black could try 10...Qh4.


White is up a pawn and the exchange, and despite the precarious position of his King and his poor development, Houdini sees the game as about even now.

11...Bf8 12.Nc3 d5 


As a historical note, 13.h4!? Qd7 14.h5 Bg7 15.hxg6+ Kxg6 16.Rh6+ Bxh6 17.Bxh6 b6 18.Ne2 Qf7 19.Qf8 Qxf8 20.Bxf8 Draw was Jerome,A - Norton,D, correspondence, 1876.

13...b6 14.Nb5

White would do better to continue his development with 14.Re1. Yet, White has some attacking ideas associated with his move.


Black is distracted - perhaps that was part of White's plan. The second player is clearly better after the prudent 14...Qd7


Getting ahead of himself! First White should play 15.Bh6! when Black's position will collapse, for example 15...Ba6 (or 15...Bb7) 16.Bxf8 Rxf8 17.Nd6+ Ke6 18.Qxf8.

15...Bxd6 16.Bh6 


Here Black misses his chance to grab the advantage again with 16...Qxf3+! 17.gxf3 Bh3+ 18.Ke2 Rxh8. Amazing.

Now White crashes through.

17.Qg7+ Ke6 18.Re1+ Be5 19.Qxb7 Ng4 20.Qxc6+ 

Black forfeited by disconnection. You can sense his great disappointment.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

We're Number 22,761,099! We're Number 22,761,099!

Image result for free clipart calculator

I bumped into URL Metrics the other day, and discovered, with some sense of surprise - because I had no idea beforehand - that is ranked #8,368,471 in visits in the United States.

Its worldwide rank is #22,761,099.

Not that it means anything, but now you know.