Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Bit More on Chiodini's Gambit

In past posts we have looked at reversed Jerome Gambits, currently referred to as the Busch-Gass Gambit (see "Worth A Second Look" Part 1Part 2, and Part 3; as well as "Busch-Gass Gambit"); and a variation called Chiodini's Gambit.

The most recent look at the latter came in "No Fun Against the Pawns".

I wanted to share a SCID (Shane's Chess Information Database) Opening Report I recently ran across, which has games and analysis on Chiodini's. (For an older Report on the Jerome Gambit, start here.)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Another look at the Sarratt Attack

Image result for free clip art sword

A propos the "Sarratt Attack" which I have looked at in a few posts on this blog, I should have mentioned the three-part series of articles at by "mikrohaus2014" which gives excellent historical and analytical coverage: Parts 1, 2, and 3.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Can You "Jerome" everything?

A game I recently saw at got me thinking: can you "Jerome" everything?

Dorion,Francois - Ouellet,Paul-G


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nce7 

An extravagant move that calls out for some kind of response. Of course, 4.Nxe5 comes to mind, first... 

It is not clear what Black's idea is - likely he has been away from the game for a while. Yet, I have uncovered two more games with the move (see below).


Understandable. White would like to end the game quickly.

4.Nc3 c6 5.d3 d5 6.exd5 cxd5 7.Bb3 Nf6 8.Nxe5 Ng6 9.Nxg6 hxg6 10.Bg5 Bb4 11.h3 0-0 12.0-0 Bxc3 13.bxc3 Qa5 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.c4 Be6 16.Qf3 Rad8 17.Qxf6 Qc5 18.Rfe1 d4 19.Re4 Rd6 20.Rh4 Qh5 21.Rxh5 gxh5 22.Qg5+ Kh7 23.Qxh5+ Kg7 24.Qe5+ Black resigned, Boyer,M - Miller,D, Blackpool, 1993

4.0-0 Nh6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.d3 d6 7.Bg5 f6 8.Be3 Bg4 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 g5 11.Rad1 g4 12.hxg4 Nf7 13.g5 fxg5 14.Qh5 (14.Qxf7#) 14...Ne7 15.Nd5 (15.Bxf7+ Kd7 16.Qg4+ Nf5 (16...Kc6 17.Bd5+ Nxd5 18.exd5#) 17.Qxf5+ Kc6 18.Bd5#; 15...Ng6 16.Nb4 Nf4 17.Qxf7 checkmate, Oberhofer,C - Fürst,Lm Österreichische Meisterschaften,  2011

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ 

Very Jerome Gambit-ish. Black would do well to withdraw his King with 5...Ke8 now, but his monarch is never really going to feel comfortable.

5...Ke6 6.Qg4+ 

In for a penny, in for a pound.

White sacrifices another piece to make the position even more terrifying for the enemy King. In the cold light of day, however, and psychology aside, 6.d4 was "objectively" more sound.

6...Kxe5 7.d4+ Kf6 8.Qf4+ Kg6 9.e5 d6 10.Nc3 

10...Nh6 11.h4 Nhf5 12.g4 Kf7 13.gxf5 Bxf5 14.Ne4 dxe5 15.Ng5+ 

Black had defended remarkably well. He only has to think of "castles-by-hand" for his next move, and he should weather the storm.


Tempting fate. The move-to-make was ...Kg8.


Surprisingly, White overlooks 16.h5+ Kf6 (16...Kh6 17.Nf7#) 17.Qxe5 checkmate.


Black could fight on a bit longer with 16...h5, but there would be no joy in it.

17.h5+ Kh6 18.Nf7 checkmate

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Tough Loss

I have to admit that I felt a little bad after discovering the following game. Played in the Under 1400 section of the 2014 Colorado Open, it featured the adventurous play of someone with only a little over a dozen rated gamed under his belt.

That White was willing to trust his play against the Blackburne Shilling Gambit (from the eventual winner of the section) - there certainly are other ways to attack the BSG - to the "Jerome treatment" in an over-the-board event was a reflection of his pluck. That he got lost in a sideline... a reflection of his bad luck.

So, here is a restorative lesson.

Zirin, Jacob - Akhavan, Evan
Colorado Open, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 4.Bxf7+

The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit.

White can also play 4.Nc3, 4.0-0, 4.d3 or (best) 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.c3 without risk. (Just stay away from 4.Nxe5 on principle.)

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke6 6.Qh5 

The Database has 1,329 games with the Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit after 5...Ke6, with White scoring 52%.

The Database has 117 games with White's 6.Qh5, scoring 52%.

Found in 407 games in The Database is 6.c3, which, while complicated, scored 59%.

My recommended line for White here starts with that last move: 6.c3 Kxe5 7.cxd4+ Ke6 and the game is balanced. It is too dangerous for Black to capture either (any) of the center pawns; that gives the first player too many chances to "capture" the enemy King.

Since this is blog post number 2,064, you would have to look through a lot of information to bring yourself up-to-date on this variation. Let me help.

To learn about the line, it is useful to progress through the following blog posts, in order, from oldest to more recent: "Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit 2", "Why, I oughta...", "Clearly Unclear", "Untangling Lines of Play", " 'Even' does not mean 'safe' ", "Whose Territory Are We Fighting On?", "Starting Over", "Not-So-Instant Victory", "More Updating", "A High Level of Danger", "Blackburne Shilling Gambit: Don't Feed the Greed", and "Caught Out".

(Of course, if you are in a hurry, start from the last and read as many as you can, progressing backwards and checking out the references to earlier posts.)

If you are going to play 6.Qh5, here are a few guidelines from past posts: "Read This Blog", "Scared to Death" ,"Greed Is Not Good" and "Is Still Not".

You're welcome. 


Even stronger was 6...Nf6


White goes after Black's Rook, before Black goes after White's Rook. In theory, attacking first may be a good idea, but here the move (a TN) loses a pawn. Better, according to Stockfish, is 7.Ng4 Qg6 (not 7... Nxc2+ 8.Kd1 Qg6 9.Qxg6+ hxg6 10.Kxc2 when White has an edge) 8.Qd5+ Ke7 9.Qxd4 Qxg4 10.O-O and Black would have his one piece vs two pawns advantage.

7...Nxc2+ 8.Kd1 Qxf7 9.Qd5+ Ke7 10.Kxc2 Qxd5 11.exd5

With Queens off of the board, Black's King is relatively safe. White will have a difficult time scaring up an attack against a position with few weaknesses.

11...Kd8 12.d4 Nf6 13.Nc3 d6 14.f3 Bf5+ 15.Kb3 Kd7 16.Bf4 Re8

17.h4 h5 18.Rac1 a6 19.a4 g6 20.Kc4 Bg7 21.Rhg1 Re7 22.Bg5 c6 23.g4 hxg4 24.fxg4 cxd5+ 25.Nxd5 Be6 26.Bxf6 Bxf6 27.g5 Bg7 

Here White resigned, as the upcoming 28...Rc8+ will chase White's King away from protecting the Knight.