Saturday, August 22, 2015

There Are Some Risks We Should Not Take.

Let's face it, some players succeed with the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) - even the more difficult lines - because they are strong, and they would succeed against their opponents whatever opening they used.

Then, there is the rest of us. Staying away from really bad lines (relatively speaking: remember, we are talking about the Jerome Gambit here) is essential. Never mind that our heroes have played them and escaped to triumph. There are some risks we should not take.

Galamon - GimpBishop

blitz, FICS, 2015

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ g6 7.Qxe5 Qe7 

Whistler's Defense. Stronger, much less known, and more dangerous for White than Blackburne's Defense (7...d6).

Do yourself a favor as a Jerome Gambiteer: don't take the Rook.

8.Qxh8 Qxe4+ 9.Kf1

Yes, I know that Bill Wall once played the equally painful 9.Kd1 and managed a draw in Wall,B - Mathieubuntu, blitz 10 0, FICS, 2011 (1/2-1/2, 14). Better to remember the lessons of Jerome,A - Whistler,G, correspondence, 1876 (0-1, 15)


Yes, I know that against 9...Nf6 ZahariSokolov at FICS won his game last year (ZahariSokolov - Dragonianlee, FICS, 2014 [1-0, 20]) and Alonzo Wheeler Jerome achieved a draw, a long time ago, in a correspondence game (Jerome,A - Norton,D, correspondence, 1876 [½-½, 20]) but both were fortunate; and while the text is okay, 9...Qh4!? is stronger than either it or 9...Nf6.

10.Qxh7+ Kf8

If you have access to The Database you might want to point out to me that after 10...Kf6 White won in markinchrist - Gurucool, blitz, FICS, 2013 (1-0, 20) - but that was only because Black forfeited by disconnection when he had a forced checkmate in 9 moves.


A blunder.

Yes, chessmanjeff of FICS both won and lost games with 11.Nc3 (chessmanjeff - CHESSWILL, blitz, FICS, 2013 [1-0, 38]  and chessmanjeff - throwback, blitz, FICS, 2014 [0-1, 16]) - that's scoring 50%, right? - but "objectively" Black's game was still better.

11...Qd1 checkmate

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Let's Have A Serious Discussion of the Jerome Gambit (not)

A couple of weeks ago someone ("MrMiniatures") at suggested a "Serious Discussion of the Jerome Gambit" although, after a good start, it kind of ran down faster than a $5 watch...

Sure, there was some initial heat, like
It's completely unsound.  Grandmasters and other strong players have proved it time and time again.
(Citations! Citations! Citations, if you please. Help me with my research. - Rick)

Then, there was some shared inquiry, and an assessment,
I had to look it up. Someone even wrote a wiki article on it:,_Jerome_Gambit 
Not much to analyze, really. White is just lost.
And, finally, some solid information,
Idk if this is still kept up to date but there's quite a bit in it if you're actually interested in this line:
(We're still here and posting every-other-day.- Rick)

Then things wandered off into a discussion of 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 Nxe4...

Of course, I added my two cents' worth. We'll see if there is any kind of response.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Even Veterans Meet Something New

White has over 600 games in The Database. He has seen a lot in the Jerome Gambit world. In the following game, he encounters something new. I've added a few games and ideas, for when he meets it again.

yorgos - gruzanin
blitz, FICS, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4

The Blackburne Shilling Gambit.


The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke6 6.c3 

The standard counter to Black's threat to the White Knight - threaten the Black Knight. After the "exchange" of Knights now with 6...Kxe5 7.cxd4+ there are 233 examples in The Database, and White scores 61%,


A creative idea.

7.Qxc2 Kxe5 8.d4+


8.O-O Ke6 9.d3 (9.Qb3+ Ke7 10.d4 d6 11.Bg5+ Nf6 12.e5 d5 13.Nd2 h6 14.exf6+ gxf6 15.Rfe1+ Kf7 16.Bh4 c6 17.Nf3 b6 18.Ne5+ Kg7 19.Qd1 Qd6 20.Ng4 Be7 21.Rxe7+ Qxe7 22.Bxf6+ Qxf6 23.Nxf6 Kxf6 24.Qf3+ Kg6 25.Qf4 Re8 26.h4 Re4 27.h5+ Kxh5 28.Qf7+ Kg5 29.f3 Re6 30.Kf2 Rg6 31.Rh1 Be6 32.f4+ Black resigned, Coaque - Nikilady, FICS, 2012 9...Kf7 10.Be3 d6 11.Nd2 Nf6 12.Qb3+ Ke8 13.Rfe1 Be7 14.Bd4 Rf8 15.e5 Ng4 16.e6 c6 17.Qd1 Nf6 18.Qa4 Qc7 19.c4 d5 20.g3 Kd8 21.c5 g6 22.Be5 Qxe5 23.Rxe5 Bxc5 24.e7+ Bxe7 25.Rxe7 Kxe7 26.Re1+ Kf7 27.Nf3 Bf5 28.Qb4 Rfe8 29.Qxb7+ Kg8 30.Rxe8+ Rxe8 31.Qxc6 Kg7 32.Qc7+ Kh6 33.Ne5 Rc8 34.Qxa7 Bh3 35.Nf7+ Kh5 36.Qe3 Black resigned, Coaque - Nikilady, FICS, 2012.

Tricky, suggested by Stockfish 6, is 8. f4+!? Kf6 (8...Kxf4? 9.d4+ Kg4 10.Qe2+ Kh4 11.g3+ Kh3 12.Qf1+ Kg4 13.Qf5#) 9.d4 equal.


Black's King is wise to head toward home.

White's center pawns balance Black's extra piece.


Again, not the only idea:

9.Qb3+ d5 10.exd5+ (10.O-O c6 11.exd5+ Qxd5 12.c4 Qxd4 13.Re1+ Kf7 14.Be3 Qf6 15.Nc3 Bd6 16.Ne4 Qe7 17.c5+ Be6 18.Nxd6+ Kf8 19.Qb4 Rb8 20.Bf4 b5 21.Nf5 Qf6 22.Bd6+ Kf7 23.Nxg7 Qxg7 24.Bxb8 Nf6 25.Be5 Rg8 26.g3 Bd5 27.Qf4 h5 28.Bd6 Kg6 29.Re7 Qh8 30.h4 Qh6 31.Qd4 Ng4 32.Rae1 Rf8 33.Qd3+ Rf5 34.Bf4 Qf8 35.f3 Bxf3 36.R1e6+ Nf6 37.Qxf3 Rd5 38.Qe4+ Rf5 39.g4 hxg4 40.h5+ Kxh5 41.Qxf5+ Kh4 42.Qg5+ Kh3 43.Re3+ g3 44.Qxg3 checkmate, graniglia - Knightslider, FICS, 200010...Qxd5 11.Qc2 Qxg2 12.Qe2+ Kd7 13.Rf1 Kd8 14.Nd2 Qxh2 15.Nf3 Qd6 16.Bg5+ Be7 17.Bxe7+ Qxe7 18.Ne5 Be6 19.O-O-O c6 20.f4 Kc7 21.Rde1 Nh6 22.Nc4 Rhe8 Black won by adjudication, ralte - Nikilady, FICS, 2012

Stockfish 6 suggests the reasonable 9.O-O

9...Kf7 10.f4

Continuing with the "central pawn" theme, but Black has a counter that begins to sway things in his favor.

Two other ideas:

10.O-O Nf6 11.f4 (11.e5 Nxd5 12.c4 Nb4 13.Qf5+ Kg8 14.a3 g6 15.Qe4 Nc6 16.Rd1 Bg7 17.f4 Qe7 18.Nc3 Qc5+ 19.Kh1 d5 20.exd6 cxd6 21.Qe8+ Bf8 22.Nd5 Rb8 23.f5 Bxf5 24.Qe2 Bg7 25.b4 Nxb4 26.Ne7+ Kf7 27.Nxf5 gxf5 28.axb4 Qxb4 29.Ba3 Rbe8 30.Qh5+, Black resigned, Darrenshome - tomcatx, FICS, 2010) 11...Bc5+ 12.Kh1 Ng4 13.b4 Bb6 14.c4 Bd4 15.Bb2 Ne3 16.Qe2 Bxb2 17.Qxb2 Nxf1 18.Nd2 Nxd2 19.Qxd2 d6 White resigned, jesusramon - ninofaca, FICS, 2014;

10.e5 Ne7 11.Bg5 Kg8 12.d6 cxd6 13.exd6 h6 14.dxe7 Bxe7 15.Bxe7 Qxe7+ 16.Kd1 d5 17.Re1 Qf7 18.Qa4 Kh7 19.Nd2 Qxf2 20.Kc2 Bf5+ 21.Kc1 Qxe1+ 22.Qd1 Rhe8 23. Qxe1 Rxe1 checkmate, HomogenousMass - jantonacci, FICS, 2009

10...Qh4+ 11.g3 Qh3 12.Qf2 d6 13.Nd2 Bg4 14.Nc4 b5 15.Ne3 Nf6 16.Nxg4 Qxg4 

White has dealt with threats on the Kingside, but that has taken time. As a result, his King is not yet castled - something that puts his center "Jerome pawns" (and their advance) at risk. The little things add up.

17.h3 Qd7 18.e5 dxe5 19.fxe5 Re8 20.Be3 Rxe5 21.O-O Kg8 

After the final center pawn disappears, White's game collapses.

22.Bd4 Rxd5 23.Qe2 Bd6 24.c4 Rxd4 25.Rfd1 Bc5 26.Kh2 Ne4
27.Qe3 Rxd1 White resigned

White has lost material and is near checkmate.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Mate is Mate, Mate

Sometimes it is a good idea to be familiar with a line that leads to checkmate. You never know when it might show up on the board.

doubleabood - forland
blitz. FICS, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 4.Bxf7+ 

The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke6 6.c3 Qg5 

Black continues as if nothing has happened (6...Kxe5 is best), playing the thematic move of the Blackburne Shilling Gambit. As I've pointed out previously, with more and more insistance, (see "Reeling Sequel", "Finishing It Off Smartly", "Still A Bad Idea" and "Calling Black's Bluff"), White should take heart and proceed with his game - Black is headed toward his own checkmate.

Admittedly, not every player of the White pieces has been aware of his or her good fortune. Of the 50 games with this position in The Database, for example, White scored only 59%. 

7.cxd4 Qxg2 

Black strikes! Well, sort of. With 35 games in The Database, White scored 61%.


The key! Checkmate is forced.

White won in 7 of 9 games with this position in The Database (78%) but his two losses were time forfeits in winning positions.

That's better.



8...Ke7 9.Qf7+ Kd6 10.Qd5+ [10.Nc4+ Kc6 11.Qd5 checkmate, jfhumphrey - jordibc, FICS, 2011] 10...Ke7 11.Qf7+ Kd6 12.Nc4+ Black resigned, ScottWeatherill- Hanjh, FICS, 2013;

8...d5 9.exd5+ [9.Qxd5+ Kf6 10.Qf7+ Kg5 11.h4+ Kh6 12.d3+ g5 13.hxg5#Ke7 10.Qf3 Qxf3 11.Nxf3 Nf6 12.Nc3 Bg4 13.Ne5 Re8 14.f3 Bh5 15.Kf2 Kd6 16.d3 Nxd5 17.Nb5+ Ke7 18.Bg5+ Nf6 19.Rhe1 c6 20.Nxc6+ Kf7 21.Rxe8 Nxe8 22.Ncxa7 Bb4 23.a3 Ba5 24.b4 Bb6 25.Rc1 Bxa7 26.Nxa7 Nd6 27.Rc7+ Kg6 28.Bf4 Nf5 29.Rxb7 Rf8 30.Rb6+ Kf7 31.d5 Nd4 32.d6 Kg8 33.d7 Bxf3 34.Rb8 Ne6 35.Rxf8+ Kxf8 36.Kxf3 Ke7 37.Bg3 Kxd7 White forfeited on time, ReallyBadPlayer - skipi, FICS, 2006;

8...Kd6 9.Qd5+ Ke7 10.Qf7+ Kd6 11.Nc4+ Kc6 12.Qd5 checkmate, XprezzChezz - borodin, FICS, 2009. 

9.Qf7+ Kg5 10.d3+ Kh4 11.Nf3+ 

Or 11.Qf4+ Kh3 12.Qg3+ Qxg3 13.hxg3+ Kg2 14.Rf1 Bb4+ 15.Ke2 d6 16.Nf7 Be6 17.Ng5 Bd7 18.Nc3 Nf6 19.Bd2 h6 20.Rh1 Bg4+ 21.Ke3 Nd5+ 22.exd5 Rae8+ 23.Kf4 Rhf8+ 24.Kxg4 h5+ 25.Kxh5 Kxf2 White forfeited on time, MATCHAPULANE - gregchess, FICS, 2012


Or 11...Kg4 12.Qf5 checkmate, DVYate - transalcolico, standard, FICS, 2013 and Oak - sealse, blitz, FICS, 2013.

12.Qh5 checkmate.

This is also how GOH - boggus, blitz, FICS, 2011 ended