Saturday, October 31, 2015

If Chess Were Only This Kind

Some themes repeat themselves regularly in the Jerome Gambit. White's Queen-check that allows gathering in an errant Knight is one example, as Bill Wall shows in the game below. Suprise followed by disappointment and disspirited play on behalf of the defender is another.

Wall, Bill - Guest7492034, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.O-O

We have seen another idea, 4.Bb3 Bc5 5. Bxf7+, in Philidor1792 - bichara22, Online chess, 2013 (1-0, 15). 

4...Bc5 5.Bxf7+ 

5...Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.d4 Re8 

Instead, 7...Bd6 was recently seen in "A Tale of Two Knights".

7...Re8 is reminiscent of Wall,B - Santiago,D,, 2010 (1-0, 28) I've faced it a few times myself,

8.dxc5 Kg8

This was Black's idea, to return a piece and castle-by-hand.

9.f4 Ng6 10.e5 Ne4

Playing "aggressively" against White's obviously erronious aggression. If chess were only this kind.

11.Qd5+ Kh8 12.Qxe4 

12...Qh4 13.g3 Qh3 14.Nc3 Rb8 15.Nb5 b6 16.Nxc7 Bb7 17.Qe2 Rf8 

Black does not have enough compensation for his material deficit. His play shows that he is unsettled.

18.Be3 Rbc8 19.Nb5 bxc5 20.Nd6 Rb8 21.Nxb7 Rxb7 22.Bxc5 Re8 23.b4 d6 24.Bxd6 Black resigned

White's "Jerome pawns" will win the day.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

No Hurry

Wall,B - Guest6602130, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6

The Semi-Italian Opening.

4.Nc3 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ 

The Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit.


A piece is a piece is a piece. Still, Bill has had an opponent decline: 5...Kf8 6.Bb3 Nf6 7.Nxe5 Nxe5 8.d4 Bb4 9.dxe5 Nxe4 10.Qd5 Black resigned, Wall,B - Guest2310139,, 2014.

6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.Qh5+ Ng6

Possibly better was 7...Kf8 8.Qxe5 d6.

8.Qd5+ Ke8

Bill has also seen: 8...Kf8 9.Qxc5+ N8e7 10.f4 d6 11.Qf2 Nc6 12.d4 Qh4 13.g3 Qh3 14.f5 Nge7 15.f6 Nf5 16.exf5 Bxf5 17.fxg7+ Kxg7 18.Nd5 Rhf8 19.Nf4 Rae8+ 20.Be3 Qg4 21.h3 Qg5 22.0-0-0 Nb4 23.Qd2 Qxg3 24.Nh5+ Black resigned, Wall,B - Jllib976,, 2010.

9.Qxc5 Qe7 

Or 9...d6 10.Qa3 N8e7 11.0-0 Nh4 12.d4 Neg6 13.f4 Rf8 14.Be3 Bg4 15.Qb3 Rb8 16.f5 Ne7 17.Bf2 Nexf5 18.exf5 Nxf5 19.Rae1+ Kd7 20.Qe6+ Kc6 21.d5#  checkmate, Wall,Bill - Mbgmx,, 2010.

10.Qxc7 Nf6 11.0-0 Kf7 12.Qc4+ Qe6 13.Qd4 Re8 14.f4 Qb6 15.Qxb6 axb6 16.e5 

With three pawns for his sacrificed piece, White is willing to play against Black's structural weaknesses (doubled isolated b-pawns, restrained d-pawn, blocked in Bishop) in stead of an attack on the King.

Black's slip on his next move makes the task easier.


The safer retreat was 16...Nh7.

17.g4 Nhxf4 18.d4 d6 19.exd6 Bxg4 20.Bxf4 Kg8 

White is comfortably up two passed pawns. He does not have to be in a hurry.

21.Bg3 Bh3 22.Rfe1 Rf8 23.Nd5 Rad8 24.Ne7+ Kh7 25.Nxg6 Kxg6

26.Re3 Rf6 27.Be5 Rfxd6

This combination overlooks something.

28.Bxd6 Rxd6 29.Rxh3 Rxd4 30.Rb3 Black resigned

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Steady As She Goes

As we have seen in recent posts, the "simple" job for the defender against the Jerome Gambit is to remain steady, play good moves, not panic, pay attention - maintain a "steady as she goes" focus. Wandering from this path, however, can have immediate negative consequences, as the following game demonstrates.

Philidor 1792 - NN

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.O-O Nf6 6.c3 

Another idea for White: 6.Ng5+ Kg8 7.Qe2 d5 8.exd5 Qxd5 9.Nc3 Qd4 10.Nb5 Qh4 11.Nxc7 Rb8 12.Nf3 Qe4 13.Qxe4 Nxe4 14.d3 Nf6 15.Be3 Bxe3 16.fxe3 e4 17.Nd2 exd3 18.cxd3 Ne5 19.d4 Neg4 20.e4 Bd7 21.e5 Rc8 22.Rac1 Ne8 23.Nd5 Rxc1 24.Rxc1 Kf7 25.Rf1+ Kg6 26.h3 Nh6 27.Ne7+ Kh5 28.g4+ Kg5 29.Kg2 Nxg4 30.Ne4+ Kh5 31.hxg4+ Bxg4 32.Rh1+ Bh3+ 33.Rxh3+ Kg4 34.Rf3 Black resigned, Philidor 1792 - guest143, 2014


Instead, 6...Nxe4 was seen in Philidor 1792  -guest826,, 2015 (1-0, 29) and Philidor 1792 - guest826,, 2015 (0-1, 33).

6...Re8 was seen in Philidor1792-Chicken_Monster, 1100 KINGS vs Team Russia - Board 12, 2014 (1-0, 38). 

7.d4 Bb6 8.Nxe5+ 

A little bit better might have been 8.dxe5.

8...Nxe5 9.dxe5 Nxe4

Black's King is a bit drafty, but otherwise he is doing well.

10.Nd2 Nxd2 11.Qxd2 Re8 12.Qf4+ Kg8

Black has castled-by-hand, and his light-squared Bishop can be developed.

13.Be3 Bxe3 14.Qxe3 c6 15.b3 Bf5 16.Rad1 Qb6 17.Rd4 Re6 18.f3 Rae8 19.f4 Rg6 

White remains calm, as well. If Black has an advantage, let him show it.

20.Rf2 Rf8 21.g3 h5 22.h4 Be6 23.Qd3 Rf5 

Black has established blockades at e6 and f5, but it is not clear where he will be going with that.

24.Kh2 Qc7 25.c4 Qf7 26.cxd5 Bxd5 

27.Rd2 Rg4 28.Qe2 Qe7 29.b4 a6 30.a4 Rg6 31.b5 Qa3 

Black keeps improving the position of his pieces.

32.R2d3 Qc5 33.Rd2 Rg4 34.Qd3 g6 35.bxa6 bxa6 36.Re2 Qb6 37.Qc3 

White's patience helps Black envision a reasonable, but flawed idea: to develop his last piece, his King, to e6 to blockade White's passed e-pawn. However, the monarch steps into danger.

37...Kf7 38.Rxd5 cxd5 39.e6+ Ke8

"Best" for Black was to give up his Queen with 39...Qxe6 but after 40.Rxe6 Kxe6 41.Qc6+ Kf7 42.Qxa6 it is clear that White's passed a-pawn will rule the day. 

40.e7 Black resigned

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Recently I stopped by a local chess club for the first time in about 25 years. 

I had a lot of fun, but lost all of my games, which made me feel like the weakest player in the group. This was particularly troubling given that half of the people there were elementary school students!

(I remember many years ago visiting the local university chess club, going 0-13 one evening, playing a different chess opening each game; my opponents could never figure that one out...)

Worst of all, I was not given the opportunity to play the Jerome Gambit. Wait 'til next week!