Saturday, May 30, 2015

Even A Mess Can Be Educational

Immediately after blundering on move 11, I thought about resigning; but I decided to hold on for a move... then another... then another. Eventually, I held on for the win.

Blitz games can be very strange, and those featuring the Jerome Gambit even more so. Some of the positions in the following game might make up for the questionable play of both me and my opponent.

perrypawnpusher -Toscolano
blitz, FICS, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 7.Qd5+ Ke8 8.Qxc5 Qh4

Surprisingly a TN according to The Database.

Of note, however, is that after 8...d6 9.Qe3 a successful computer choice was 9...Qh4 in RevvedUp - Yace Paderborn, 2 12 blitz, 2006. In the same competition, 7...Kf8 8.Qxc5+ d6 9.Qe3 Qh4 was seen in RevvedUp - Shredder 8, 2 12 blitz, 2006 and Shredder 8 - RevvedUp, 2 12 blitz, 2006.

9.Nc3 d6

An indication of how weird things were going to get is that after the game Houdini recommended, instead, 9...Qg4 10.Rg1 Kd8


I probably could have taken the pawn with 10.Qxc7, but it looked complicated. After the game, Houdini agreed with me: 10...Qg4 11.Nb5 Qxe4+ 12.Kf1 Qe7 13.b3 Bf5 14.Ba3 Qxc7 15.Nxc7+ Kd7 16.Nxa8 Nf6 17.Nc7 Kxc7 18.d3  and things would be about balanced between White's extra Rook plus 2 pawns vs Black's two extra Knights.

analysis diagram

10...Nf4 11.g3

A mindless move, after which I immediately thought of resigning. Of course, White needed to be brave and castle.

11...Ng2+ 12.Ke2 Bg4+

Strong, but even stronger would be 12...Qh5+

13.f3 Qh3 

Black is still better after playing the text, but it was time for 13...Nxe3 14.gxh4 Nxc2 15.Rb1 Bh5,  when Black would be up a piece for a pawn.

14.Qf2 Bh5

Black appears repelled by the tactical mess too, and continues to play "safe" and "normal" moves instead of doing concrete analysis - understandable in blitz.

After the game Houdini suggested that Black wade in and keep his advantage with 14...Ne7 15.d3 Rf8 16.Bf4 Nxf4+ 17.gxf4 Rxf4 18.Qg3 Rxf3 19.Qxh3 Rxh3+ 20.Kf2 Kd7. 

analysis diagram


This is now good enough for equality, while 15.Rg1 would lead to a White advantage.


This hands over the advantage - not that I was ready to take it! Black could maintain equality with 15...Ne7 16.g4 Bxg4 17.fxg4 Qxg4+ 18.Qf3 Qxf3+ 19.Kxf3 Nh4+.


I was still floundering. Instead of this reasonable move White should have played 16. Rg1 with an small edge (2 pieces vs Rook) after 16...Rf8 17. Qxg2 Qxg2+ 18. Rxg2 Nxe4 19. dxe4 Bxf3+ 20. Kf1 Bxg2+ 21. Kxg2 Kd7.

analysis diagram


Finally letting White off the hook. Instead, Black should have piled on with 16... Ng4, which wins, for example 17.fxg4 Qxg4+ 18.Kf1 (18.Kd2 Qxg5+ 19.Qf4 Nxf4; 18.Qf3 Qxf3+) 18...Rf8 19.Qxf8+ Kxf8 20.Kxg2 Qxg5

17.Bxf6 gxf6 18.Rag1 f5 19.Qxg2 Qxg2+ 20.Rxg2 fxe4 21.dxe4 Rf8 22.Rf2 c6 

The smoke has cleared, and White ("It is better to be lucky than good") is up a couple of pawns.

23.Rd1 Kd7 24.Rd3 Rae8 25.Kd2 

An ending slip.

25...d5 26.exd5 cxd5 27.Rxd5+ Kc6 28.Rxh5 Rd8+ 29.Kc1 Rfe8 30. Rxh6+ Kc7 31.Re2 Rf8 32.Re7+ Kc8 33.Rhh7 Rxf3 34.Rc7+ Kb8 35.Rxb7+ Kc8 36.Rhc7 checkmate

Okay, say it with me, "Nobody ever won a game by resigning." Lesson learned.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

No Fun Against the Pawns

Philidor1792 recently shared the following game, where his quest to play a sort of reversed Jerome Gambit led him to a situation where he faced a piece sacrifice and he had to deal with the onslaught of some very uncomfortable "Jerome-like pawns". It took a while to win this one.

hitorkoal  - Philidor1792, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Bc5 

An old line, going back at least as far as Salvio's analysis in Il Puttino, altramente detto, il Cavaliero Errante, del Salvio, sopra el gioco de Scacchi, (1604), it is currently referred to as the Busch-Gass Gambit ( See "Worth A Second Look" Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3; as well as "Busch-Gass Gambit").

3.Nxe5 Nc6 

Chiodini's Gambit. had a good article by Clyde Nakamura on the line. (Chessville is no longer functioning, but I was able to use the WayBackMachine to recover the article; the link should be good.)


Interestingly, Nakamura in his article on Chiodini's Gambit quotes analysis by Stefano Vezzani, an email friend of his, which gives this move a "??" and refers to it as "a common mistake". 


A light-hearted alternative: 4...Qh4 5.Bc4 Qxf2 checkmate, Nguyen Bao Do - Dich Tai Khuu, VIE-ch, U07, 2014.


Or 5.d4 Bxd4 6.Be3 Bxe3 7.fxe3 Qxf7 8.Nc3 Nf6 9.Bd3 0-0 10.0-0 d6 11.Nd5 Ne5 12.Qe1 Be6 13.Nxf6+ gxf6 14.Be2 Kh8 15.Qh4 Qg6 16.Rf4 Qg5 17.Qf2 Ng6 18.h4 Qe5 19.Rf3 Bg4 20.Rf4 Bxe2 21.Rf5 Qxe4 22.Rxf6 Bg4 23.Rf1 Kg7 24.h5 Bxh5 White resigned, Ake - Evilonek, ICC, 1998.

5...Qxf7 6.c3 

Here we have reached the end of Vezzani's analysis of the sub-variation, a position he evaluates as a winning advantage for Black ("-+").

Houdini 3 considers it simply advantageous for Black (by about a pawn).

As we will see - and as many have seen while facing "Jerome pawns", things are still not easy.


From a strategic point of view, Houdini suggests retreating the Bishop to the Kingside with 6...Be7

7.d4 Bb6 8.g3 0-0 9.Bg2 d5 10.e5 Ne8 

Instead, Houdini suggests the cold-blooded madness of 10...Nxe5!? 11.dxe5 Ng4 12.f4 Bf2+ 13.Kf1 Bb6 14.Na3 Bf5 but I am not sure how appealing that is to human players. 

11.0-0 Be6 12.f4 g6 13.Nd2 Qd7 14.Nf3 Bg4 15.Qe3 Ng7 16.Ng5 h6 17.Nf3 Bh3 

18.Nh4 Bxg2 19.Kxg2 Nf5 20.Nxf5 Qxf5 21.Bd2 Ne7 22.Rac1 Rac8 23.h3 h5 24.Qf3 c5 

25.g4 hxg4 26.hxg4 Qe4 27.Qxe4 dxe4 28.dxc5 Bxc5 29.Rce1 Rcd8 30.Bc1 e3 31.Bxe3 Bxe3 32.Rxe3 Rd2+ 33.Rf2 Rxf2+ 34.Kxf2 Rxf4+ 35.Kg3 Ra4 

36.a3 Ra5 37.c4 Rc5 38.Re4 Kf7 39.b4 Rc6 40.Kf4 Ke6 41.Ke3 Ra6 42.Kd4 Rxa3 43.Rf4 Nc6+ 44.Ke4 Nxe5 45.g5 Nd7 

With patience, Black has captured a couple of pawns.

46.Kd4 Rg3 47.Re4+ Kd6 48.c5+ Kc7 49.b5 Rxg5 50.c6 bxc6 51.bxc6 Kxc6 52.Re6+ Kc7 53.Ra6 Kb7 54.Ra3 a5 

55.Ke4 Kb6 56.Rb3+ Rb5 57.Ra3 a4 58.Kf4 Ka5 59.Ra1 Nc5 60.Rg1 Rb6 61.Ke5 a3 62.Kd4 a2 63.Kxc5 Rb1 64.Rxg6 Rc1+ 65.Kd4 a1Q+ 66.Kd3 Qb1+ 67.Kd2 Qxg6 68.Kxc1 Qg2 69.Kd1 Kb4 70.Ke1 Kc3 71.Kd1 Qf1 checkmate

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

One More? Why Not? has started a new 12-player "Giuoco Piano" tournament (3 groups of 4 players each) and I thought, "Why Not?" A third ongoing Italian Game tournament for me?

I immediately got to start a couple of Jerome Gambits, so we'll see how they turn out.

The first game is racing along the lines of a refutation that has many blog posts here, all saying that White is lost, White is lost...

The second game is following, step-by-step, a recent loss of mine from a Italian Game tournament.

All of which may have Readers wondering about an earlier post of mine, "Do I Share Everything? No.".

We'll see.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Rybka Plays the Jerome Gambit

Here is the game from the Kasparovchess forum mentioned by Philidor1792 in the previous post, with Rybka matched against a player from the site.

Rybka - Mustitz

10 5 casual game, 2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.f4 d6

I have nicknamed this line "the annoying defense" as Black gives back a piece and drains the position of much of its dynamism.

It is ironic that White, a computer in this game, must face a variation very popular with computer defenders.

8.fxe5 dxe5 9.Qh3+ Kf7 10.Qh5+  Ke6 11.Qh3+ Kf7 12.Qh5+ g6

Rybka would be content with a draw by repetition. Mustitz would not.

13.Qxe5 Qe7 

This move is new to The Database.

14.Qxe7+ Nxe7 15.c3 Nc6 16.d4 Nxd4 

17.cxd4 Bxd4 18.Nc3 Re8 19.Bd2 Bxc3 20.O-O+ Kg8 21.Bxc3 Rxe4 

This is an interesting position for both sides. White can be "happy" it is only a pawn down in a Jerome Gambit, while Black can be pleased to still be a pawn ahead. Certainly the signs of a possible draw via Bishops-of-opposite colors are present.

22.Rae1 Bf5 23.Rxe4 Bxe4 24.Rd1 Bf5 25.h3 Re8 26.Kf2 Be6 27.b3 Kf7 28.g4 c6 29.Kg3 Bd5 30.Rf1+ Ke7 31.Re1+ Kd7 32.Rxe8 Kxe8 

33.Kf4 h5 34.Kg5 hxg4 35.hxg4 Be4 36.Be5 Kd7 37.b4 Ke6 38.Bb8 a6 39.Bc7 Kd5 40.Kf4 Bb1 41.a4 Kc4 42.Bd6 b6 43.a5 bxa5 44.bxa5 Kd4 45.Be5+ Kd3 46.Bd6 Kd4 47.Be5+ Kd5 48.Bc3 c5 49.Be1 Kd4 50.Bf2+ Kc4 51.Ke5 Kd3 52.Bxc5 Kc4 53.Bf2 Drawn