Friday, April 10, 2015

Appearance and Reality

Image result for free clip art magic

In the following game, Black leaps upon what he considers an error by White, only to find that he has attacked thin air, while, on the other side of the board, he allows a deadly attack!

Wall,B - Guest1468045, 02.04.2015

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 7.Qxc5 d6 8.Qc3

A similar position including the "nudge", after 7.Qd5+ Kf8 8.Qxc5+ d6 9.Qc3 was seen in Wall,B - Boris,, 2012 (1-0, 32),  Wall,B -Guest4149739,, 2013 (1-0, 30) and Wall,B - Guest428245,, 2014 (1-0, 20). 

The alternative, 8.Qd5+, looking for mischief, was seen in Wall,B-Guest4395, Microsoft Internet Gaming Zone, 2001 (1-0, 18);  Wall,B - Seven11,, 2008 (1-0, 51); Wall,B - Chung,J,, 2010 (1-0, 25);  Wall, Bill - CheckMe,, 2010 (1-0, 23); and Wall, Bill - Guest249301,, 2013 (1-0, 30).

8...Nf6 9.d3 Re8 

10.0-0 h6 11.f4 Kg8 12.Nd2 c6 

Houdini rates Black about a half point better here; while Stockfish sees Black as maybe nine-tenths of a pawn better. That's plenty for White to work with.


Bill and I have exchanged emails about this move. I like it - a lot. It reminds me both of the comment attributed to Bobby Fischer - "I don't believe in psychology, I believe in strong moves" - and one by Nimzovich - that a particular move was strong, because it appeared weak...

Notice how Black jumps all over the move. Notice how Black loses.

13...Qb6+ 14.Kh1 Ng4 15.Bb2 Re7 

As Bill points out, Black pauses for some defense: not 15...Nf2+? 16.Rxf2 Qxf2?? 17.Qxg7#


Likewise, avoiding 16.Qc4+? Be6 17.Qd4 Ne3.


Here we go again: attacking the White b-pawn.


Which White abandons!


Black has the pawn in the bag, and forks two of White's pieces. What's not to like?


Bill was aware of 18.f5? Qxb2 19.Qxg4 Qxd4 20.Qxg6 Qxd2.

18...Qb5 19.f5 

We will come back to this position.


This looks like the beginning of panic. Black's Knights are at risk.

20.Rxf5 N4e5 21.dxe5 Nxe5 22.Raf1 Rae8


23.Bxe5 dxe5 24.Qg6 Qe2 25.Rf7 Rxf7 26.Rxf7 Qe1+ 27.Nf1 Re7 28.Qxg7 checkmate

Going back to the diagram after White's 19th move let's ask: What would have happened if Black had admitted that his "advantage" had evaporated, that his "right to attack" had therefore disappeared, and he had retreated with 19...Nf6?

As I had emailed Bill

Funny how 19...Nf6, admitting Black's mistake, would have mostly set things to rights.. : 20.Qxg6 Qxb4 21.e5 Nd5 22.Nb3 a4 23.f5! Bxf5 24.Rxf5 axb3 25.c3! Nxc3 26.exd6 Re2 27.d7! Nd5 28.Raf1 Re1! 29.axb3 Ne3 30.Bc3! Qxc3 31.Rf7 Rxf1+ 32.Rxf1 Nxf1 (what else?) 33.Qe8+ Rxe8 34.dxe8/Q+ Kh7 35.Qe4+ and it was a draw, after all... But even in this line White has almost all of the fun! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tourneys! We Have Tourneys!

I will be moving through, after all, to the third round of the Italian Game tournament. More chances to play the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) should occur. I will share them, good, bad and ugly...

In the meantime, a 28-player Italian Game tournament has started, also at I am in one of four 7-player groups, and in my first 6 games I have black in 5 of them. Alas, the one game with the white pieces I have been unable to finagle a Jerome Gambit. (I am again exploring the opening line suggested by chessfriend Yury Bukayev.)

For the time being - until at least one game is completed - I will be Jerome-less in this tournament.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Long Grind

Here is another "day in the life of the Jerome Gambit" that turns into a long grind - and a win for White. The "Jerome pawns" prove strong - or at least easier to play.

ZahariSokolov - emranhamid 
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 Nc6 

Another solution for Black to the "Ups and Downs".


For the record, 9.e5+ shouldn't work, but did in Superpippo - MattMeister, FICS, 2002 (1-0, 60) and Ghandybh - ishahir, 2009(1-0, 17).

9...Ke7 10.Qxc5+ d6 11.Qg5+ 

Or 11.Qe3 as in  perrypawnpusher - trombose, blitz, FICS, 20013, (1-0, 31).

11...Kf8 12.Qxd8+ Nxd8 13.f5 Nf6 14.d3 h6 15.Nc3 a6 16.Be3 Nc6 17.O-O-O Kf7 18.h3 Re8 19.g4 Ne5 20.g5 hxg5 21.Bxg5 Nh7 22.h4 Bd7 23.Nd5 c6 

Black has been lulled into passivity - and error.

24.Nc7 Rac8 25.Nxe8 Rxe8 26.Bf4 Kf6 27.Rdg1 Kf7 28.Bxe5 dxe5 29.Rg6 Nf6 30.Rhg1 Rg8 31.Kd2 Nh5 32.R1g5 Nf4 33.Rd6 Ke7 34.Rxd7+ 

It was not necessary to return the exchange at this time.

34...Kxd7 35.f6 g6 36.Rxe5 Rf8 37.Re7+ Kd6 38.e5+ Kd5 39.c4+ Kd4 40.Rd7+ Kxe5 41.f7 Ke6 42.Rxb7 Rxf7 43.Rb6 Rd7 44.Rxc6+ Rd6 45.Rxd6+ Kxd6 46.d4 Kc6 

White has played his advantage into a position where he is worse - but that assessment is based upon Black's ability to show that his Knight is more than equal to three pawns. (The Black Knight should attack and win the h-pawn.)

47.b3 a5 48.a3 Ne6 49.Ke3 Kd6 50.Ke4 Nf8 51.b4 axb4 52.axb4 Nd7 53.b5 Nf6+ 54.Kf4 Ke6 55.Kg5 Kf7 56.b6 Ne4+ 57.Kf4 Nd6 58.c5 Nc8 59.b7 Black resigned