Friday, January 29, 2016


Is the pawn that White gets in return for his piece in the "annoying defense" variation of the Jerome Gambit enough for equality? "Objective" modern theory would say no, but you could not tell that from the following game by Bill Wall.

Wall,B - Alaric engine
Palm Bay, FL, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

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

The "annoying" or "silicon" defense. It limits White's attack, but it also limits Black's counterplay.

8.fxe5 dxe5 9.Nc3

For variety. The only game in The Database with this move was played by Bill's brother.


Or 9...g6 as in Wall,S - Guest648596,, 2013 (1-0,57). 

10.Qe2 Ke7 11.Na4 Qd4 12.Nxc5 Qxc5 13.d3 Bg4 14.Be3 Qb4+ 15.Qd2 Qxd2+ 16.Kxd2 Rhd8

The "Theory of Infinite Resistance" suggests that if White makes no further concessions, he can hold on.

17.h3 Be6 18.Bc5+ Kd7 19.Ke3 Nh5 20.Rhf1 Nf4 21.Rf2 g5 22.Bb4 Rg8 23.Bc3 Kd6

A plan for Black to convert his advantage appears to be byond the computer's horizon. On the other hand, White has plans for his "Jerome pawn".

24.b4 a6 25.a4 Rg6 26.Bb2 Rag8 27.c4 Bd7 28.d4 exd4+ 29.Bxd4 a5 30.b5 c5 31.Bc3 Ke7 32.Bxa5 b6 33.Bc3 Rd6 34.Rd2 Rxd2 35.Kxd2 Rd8 36.Kc1 Nxg2

The exchange of pawns on opposite wings has given White an opportunity. It appears that the Manhattan Chess Club epigram, mentioned by Irving Chernev in Capablanca's Best Chess Endings - "Black passed pawns travel faster than White" - will not rule the day in this game.

37.a5 bxa5 38.Rxa5 Bxh3 39.Ra7+ Bd7 40.Be5 Rf8 41.b6 Nf4 42.Kd2 Ke6 43.Bc7 Bc6 44.b7 Bxb7 45.Rxb7 h5

Black's passers look dangerous, but Bill has things under control, especially since he has recovered his sacrificed piece.

46.Rb6+ Kd7 47.Bd6 Re8 48.Ke3 Ne6 49.Bh2 h4 50.Rb7+ Kc6 51.Rh7 Kb6 52.Bd6 Ka5 53.Kd3 Kb4 54.Rb7+ Ka4 55.Ra7+ Kb3 56.Rb7+ Ka2 57.Be5 Rd8+ 58.Kc2 

The Black King's travels have resulted in nothing.

58...Ra8 59.Bc3 Nd4+ 60.Bxd4 cxd4 61.Rg7 Ra3 62.Rxg5 h3 63.Rh5 Rc3+ 64.Kd2 Re3 drawn

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