Friday, May 22, 2015

Opening Traps by GM Ferzbery

Chessfriend and Jerome Gambit advocate Philidor1792 quickly came to my rescue concerning the book mentioned in my previous post (see "Italian Party Stunt") - Opening Traps by GM Ferzbery [Boris Vainstein] (1990). Look at his hard work.

Hi, Rick,

read in your blog about Vainstein's book in Russian. Here is a translation of a section about Jerome gambit from this book (not sure about the quality of translation, but it should be better than Google). In an attachment you can find the book itself as well as a Jerome gambit game from Kasparovchess forum:

The book is written in a form of dialog between a chess teacher (Vainstein) and his students: p.32
-          Couldn’t white play “fortissimo” here? – asked Sergej
-          How?
-          Look:  4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ g6 7.Qxe5
-          So what did you get for the piece? – asked Nikolaj
-          Two pawns and three checks – More than enough compensation. And by the way I’m attacking the bishop and rook now! What are you going to do?
-          That’s really a question?  - thought Nikolaj. Did Sergej really invent a new “fortissimo”?
-          This was already refuted by English chess master Joseph Blackburne many years ago:  7. Qxe5 d6  8.Qxh8 Qh4 9.0-0 Nf6 10.c3 Ng4 11.h3 Bxf2+ 12.Kh1 Bf5! 13.Qxa8 Qxh3+! 14.gxh3 Bxe4#. In the final position black has only three light pieces, while white – a queen, two rooks and two pieces.
-          Beautiful - Sergej said, - but you and even Joseph Blackburne did not persuade me. First of all white doesn’t have to take 8.Qxh8, it can play 8.Qd5+ giving one more check and probably take the b7 pawn then.  So for a piece it will get three pawns and four checks.
-          Probably this is not enough too. After 9...Rb8 and 10...Qh4 we will get pretty much the same as in the Blackburne’s game. (Why not 11.Qe2? – Philidor1792).
-          Ok, but what about 10.c3? It looks as if one tried to fry an egg on fire in his house. Generally I must check all this.
-          There’s nothing to check here. – said Nikolaj sharply. One can’t suddenly sacrifice two pieces in the very beginning of the game. Black doesn’t violate any opening principles after all.
-          No, I must examine this myself. Remember, what Capablaca said!
Then I thought - said Sergej Viktorovitch - probably two-piece sacrifice is not good, but it’s also unfair to punish white so sharply – mate in 14 moves! Today I can suggest 9.d4! for white. Black got one pawn and one check back 9...Qxe4+, but what to do after 10.Be3! If black takes another pawn 10...Qxg2, white queen goes free 11.Qh7+ and here white shouldn’t lose. And if Blackburne closes the cage 10...Nf6, white shouldn’t be greedy and take the bishop 11.dc because of 11...Qxg2 12.Rf1 Bh3! 13.Qxa8 Qxf1+ and 14 ...Ne4#
But rather play simply and effectively 11.Nd2 Qxg2 12.0-0-0! and after the bishop retreats - play 13.Bh6 after  which Blackburne won’t survive.
However he could win if he played without too much beauty and instead of 6...g6? simply protected his king by 6...Ng6! 7.Qxc5 d6. And now black has a piece for two pawns and good chances for a win. Though black should be aware of two dangerous white central pawns...
Conclusion is: there weren’t any reasons to sacrifice two pieces but still sometimes it’s worth making a trap for the sake of beauty. Blackburne’s opponent didn’t find a right way to defend. The result was a wonderful combination with two rooks and queen sacrifice.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Italian Party Stunt

With the help of, I recently stumbled over a discussion of the Jerome Gambit, and the game Amateur - Blackburne, London, 1885, at KasparovChess.

Not familiar with the Russian language, I took advantage of Google's offer to translate the internet site's pages, and had several good laughs - starting with the title of the discussion in the forum, "The Italian Party Stunt 4.Sf7+". Indeed!

The site has an English translation, which has to be better than Google's. (I know, I know, "party" means "game", but it's hard not to laugh - there and elsewhere - anyhow.)

Of additional interest in the forum is the comment: 
В той же книге Вайнштейна "Ловушки ферзьбери"было доказано,что в этой позиции Белые играют 10.д4!(а не 10.с3?)и отбивают атаку.

This seems to refer to a book on traps by Weinstein - with an analytical suggestion for the Jerome Gambit / Blackburne game. Can anyone (other than Google) help with the translation of this Russian comment to English? Is any Reader familiar with the referred-to book? Is it an early work by Kasparov?

The suggestion of 10.d4 (!) is interesting in light of the earlier (5 1/2 years ago) discussion in "A Question of Theory and Practice" and "Sources".

Monday, May 18, 2015

I'll Do The Thin'in' Around Here...

As a child I enjoyed watching Saturday morning cartoons, including the comic adventures of Hanna-Barbera's Quick Draw McGraw, the western sheriff who sometimes could get caught up in his own ideas, proclaiming "I'll do the thin'in' [thinking] around here... And don't. you. forget. it."

In the following game, White inadvertently follows Quick Draw, by responding to Black's "psychological" riposte -- You want me to take the Bishop?? So - I won't take the Bishop! -- by dropping his guard, as if to remind his opponent I'll do the attackin' around here... And don't. you. forget. it.

Disaster follows.

bereakatze - pawnstarrr
blitz, FICS, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Bxf7+ 

The Abrahams Jerome Gambit, which we have been looking at on this blog lately.


The Abrahams Jerome Gambit Declined, which "objectively" turns Black's better game into a better game for White - especially after 4.Bc4 or 4.Bb3.

The Database has 432 games with this move,  in which White has scored 64%. That number is surprisingly low, but perhaps that is because White doesn't always play "objective" chess, but insists that Black take the piece by leaving it en prise. (It is interesting to note that The Database shows that against ...Kf8 in the regular Jerome Gambit Declined, White has scored only 58%.) 

4.d3 Qf6 5.Bb3

The Database has a couple of alternative games, one a warning to White and one a caution to Black: 
5.c3 Qxf2 checkmate, clocked - wileyone, FICS, 2009; and 

5.Qf3 Qxf7 6.Qxf7+ Kxf7 7.Nf3 Nf6 8.Nxe5+ Ke7 9.0-0 d6 10.Nc4 Nbd7 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bh4 g5 13.Bg3 b6 14.Kh1 Bb7 15.f4 gxf4 16.Bxf4 h5 17.Nbd2 Rag8 18.Nf3 c6 19.Nh4 d5 20.Ne5 Nxe5 21.Bxe5 Rf8 22.Ng6+ Kf7 23.Nxh8+ Black ran out of time, greatbigdave - lucluc, FICS, 2001

5...Qxf2 checkmate