Friday, July 31, 2015


While it is not from the longest or strangest Jerome Gambit game in The Database (see "The Longest (and Strangest?) Game in The Database") - for other numerical recreations, see "King in Peril: Comment & Reply" - 
the following end position shows the logical outcome of Black being happy with his extra piece, from 4...Kxf7 through 114...Kxa7, but not doing a whole lot with it in the 100-plus moves in the interim.

Mannixcannon - Ellema, FICS, 2014
Drawn after 114...Kxa7

[July 2015 was the third most-visited month in this blog's history. Thank you, Readers, for your attentions. Please visit regularly.]

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Jerome Gam' Again

Another player who likes the excitement of the Jerome Gambit is Louis Morin (MrJoker), whose earliest game in The Database dates from 2000.

He recently played the Jerome in the Canadian Open - and wishes others would answer with 3...Bc5 instead of 3...Nf6 or 3...Be7 so he could bring out the Jerome Gambit in over-the-board play more often. He gets most of his opportunites online at the Internet Chess Club.

Morin,L - Occillien,J 
Quebec Open, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 7.Qd5+ Kf8 8.Qxc5+ d6 9.Qe3 Nf6

10.d4 Kf7 11.0-0

This looks like a slight improvement over 11.f4 Re8 12.e5 Nd5 13.Qb3 Be6 14.f5 Qh4+ 15.g3 Qe4+ 16.Kf2 Qxf5+ 17.Bf4 Ndxf4 18.Qxb7 Bd5 19.Qxc7+ Re7 20.Qxd6 Nh3+ 21.Ke1 Bxh1 22.Nc3 Qf2+ 23.Kd1 Qf1+ 24.Kd2 Qxa1 25.Nd5 Bxd5 26.Qxd5+ Kf8 27.Qxa8+ Re8 28.Qxa7 Qxb2 29.Qc5+ Kg8 30.a4 Nf2 31.Qc6 Rf8 32.e6 Qxd4+ 33.Kc1 Ne7 34.Qb7 Ne4 35.Qxe7 Qa1 checkmate,  MrJoker - bwhited, ICC, 2011


Black presents a small improvement over 11...Re8 12.f3 Kg8 13.c4 Be6 14.b3 Qd7 15.Bb2 c6 16.Nd2 h6 17.f4 Bf5 18.e5 Nh7 19.Qg3 dxe5 20.fxe5 Qe6 21.Nf3 Be4 22.Rae1 Bxf3 23.Rxf3 Rf8 24.Rxf8+ Rxf8 25.d5 cxd5 26.cxd5 Qb6+ 27.Qe3 Qxe3+ 28.Rxe3 Nf4 29.d6 Ne6 30.Rf3 Nhg5 31.Rc3 Ne4 32.Rc4 Nd2 33.Rc1 Kf7 34.Ba3 Kg6 35.Re1 Rc8 36.Re2 Nxb3 37.axb3 Kf5 38.h3 Rd8 39.Kf2 Nd4 40.g4+ Ke6 41.Rd2 Nxb3 42.Rb2 Na5 43.Rb5 Nc6 44.Rxb7 Nxe5 45.Rxa7 Rd7 46.Rxd7 Kxd7 47.Kg3 Nc4 48.Bc5 Nxd6 49.Kf4 g6 50.Ke5 Nf7+ 51.Kf6 Ng5 52.Kxg6 Nxh3 53.Kxh6 Ke6 54.Be3 Kf7 55.Kh5 Kf6 56.Kh4 Black resigned, MrJoker- HarryP, ICC, 2011.

12.f4 Kg8 13.c4

White builds his "Jerome pawn" center before putting it in motion. Previously he tried a small variation with 13.f5 Ne7 14.c4 b6 15.h3 Bb7 16.Nc3 Nc6 17.g4 Qe7 18.Nd5 Nxd5 19.cxd5 Nd8 20.Bd2 Re8 21.Rae1 Qh4 22.Qf3 Ba6 23.Rf2 Nf7 24.Kh2 Ng5 25.Bxg5 Qxg5 26.e5 Rad8 27.e6 Bb7 28.Rc2 Re7 29.Rec1 Rc8 30.Kg3 Qf6 31.Qe4 g6 32.Kh2 gxf5 33.gxf5 Rg7 34.Rg1 Rxg1 35.Kxg1 Qg5+ 36.Kh2 Kh8 37.e7 Qg8 38.f6 Qf7 39.Rxc7 Rxc7 40.e8Q+ Black resigned, MrJoker - Zoli, ICC, 2011.



14.Qg3 Qh4 15.Qxh4 Nxh4

White's center and two extra pawns pretty much balance out Black's extra piece. How does the first player get more than equality?

16.h3 Nf6 17.Nc3 Ng6 18.Bd2 b6

After the game Louis said that at the time he did not fully appreciate the idea behind Black's Queenside actions.

19.e5 Nh5 20.Ne2 dxe5 21.fxe5 Rxf1+ 22.Rxf1 Ba6 23.b3 b5

I think I have seen something like this in Andras Adorjan's Black Is Ok!, but, of course, it was not in the context of the Jerome Gambit!

24.g4 bxc4 25.gxh5 cxb3 26.Re1

White also had something like 26.hxg6 Bxe2 27.Ra1 b2 28.Rb1 Rb8 29.Bc3 hxg6 30.Rxb2 Rxb2 31.Bxb2 but that seems to peter out into a drawn Bishops-of-opposite-colors endgame. 

26...Nh4 27.Kf2 Rf8+ 28.Nf4 bxa2 29.Ra1 Bc4 30.Ke3 Rb8 

The sacrificed piece has been regained.

From here on, Black, with the extra, advanced pawn, has what winning chances there are, but he cannot find them.

White plays confidently, outplays his opponent, and splits the point.

31.d5 Rb1 32.Bc3 g5 33.hxg6 hxg6 34.Kd4 Bb3 35.Kc5 Nf5 36.Nxg6 Ne3 37.d6 cxd6+ 38.exd6 Rxa1 39.Bxa1 Be6 40.h4 Nc2 41.Bc3 a1Q 42.Bxa1 Nxa1 43.Kb5 Drawn

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Jerome Gam'

As far as I know, Dr. Seuss never played the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) but I suspect he would have liked the zaniness of the chess opening. Who knows, he might have decided

Say! I like the Jerome Gam'!
I do! I like it, Sam-I-Am!
And I would play it in a boat.
And I would play it with a goat...
And I would play it in the rain.
And in the dark. And on a train.
And in a car. And in a tree.
It is such fun, such fun, you see!
So I will play it in a box.
And I will play it with a fox.
And I will play it in a house.
And I will play it with a mouse.
And I will play it here and there.
Say! I will play it anywhere!
I do so like the Jerome Gam'!
Thank you! Thank you! Sam-I-Am!

Well, we all know that Bill Wall likes the Jerome Gambit, and here is his latest over-the-board effort, against someone who should have taken the opening a bit more seriously.

Wall,B - O'Toole,S
Abu Dhabi, 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 d6 9.Qe3

The Database has 218 games which reach this position.


And 0 games - except this one - with this move.

It is not easy to figure the idea behind 9...Bg4. Bill suggests the alternative 9...Nf6.

10.0-0 c5 11.f4 Nh6 12.Nc3 Rf8 

If there were time, following this move by castling-by-hand with ...Kf7-g8 might be prudent. Bill suggests withdrawing the errant Bishop with 12...Bd7, but perhaps Black has a different plan for it.

13.f5 Ne5 14.d3 a6 15.h3 Bxf5

Bill suggests, instead, either. 15...Qh4 16.hxg4 Nhxg4 17.Qh3 Qxh3 18.gxh3 Nf6 19.Bg5; or 15...Nxf5 16.exf5 Bxf5 17.Qg3 g6 18.Bh6. In either case, White is for choice.

16.exf5 Rxf517.Rxf5 Nxf5 18.Qe4

Black has returned his extra piece for two pawns; the material is even. After his next move, he can even claim an advantage in development. However, his King is unsafe, and White's Queen will sow disorder. It is time to be very, very serious...


He might have tried 18...Qd7

19.Qxb7 Rd8 20.Ne4

From an email from Bill:
I just put this game in Fritz and it found this amazing drawing line for Black that I would not have found.  On move 20 I played 20.Ne4, but I also thought I could play 20.Qxa6 as well (I said to myself, what's the difference, I will play 21.Qxa6 next).  If I had played 20.Qxa6? first, then 20...Qh4 (threatening 21...Qe1 and a draw) 21.Bd2 (or almost anything else) Nf3+!  22.gxf3 Qg3+ 23.Kf1 Qxf3+ and a draw..  I would have to try 21.Qa4+ and trade queens to avoid this, which may still draw for Black.  In the line I played, 20.Ne4, if 20...Qh4?, then 21.Bg5 can be played as it is supported by the knight in this variation and the knight also prevents ...Qg3+, thus winning for White.  What a difference a tempo or an in-between-move makes.  It's amazing what these computers can find in 1 second that would take me 1 hour to see, if at all. 
20...Qe7 21.Qxa6 Qd7 22.Bg5 Rc8 23.Rf1 h6 24.Rxf5 Qxf5 25.Nxd6+  Black resigned

A nice finish - White forks King, Queen and Rook!

I don't think I have seen that in a Jerome Gambit game before.