Friday, March 11, 2016

Never Bring A Knife To A Gunfight

In the following game Black plays well, until he becomes caught up in tactics on the Queenside. What starts out as a leveling return of a piece for a couple of pawns turns into a conflict where the second player is out-gunned, move after move. 

Wall, Bill - Anonymous, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ 

The Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit.

5...Kxf7 6.Qe2

The Database has almost two dozen examples of Bill playing this line. He plays it patiently, with an eye open to tactical possibilities.

6...d6 7.Na4 Bb6 8.h3 Rf8 9.O-O Kg8 

10.c3 d5 11.d3 dxe4 12.dxe4 Qe7 13.b4 

Black has castled-by-hand and kept up with his development - an excellent way to deal with the Jerome Gambit.


Here he plans on returning the sacrificed piece for a couple of pawns, putting himself a pawn ahead in a comfortable position.

Instead, Bill recommends 13...Nd8, 13...Bd7 or 13...Rd8.


A surprise. Probably Black was expecting 14.cxb4 Qxb4 15.Nxb6 axb6 16.Re1 Ra4.


Stumbling. Bill suggests 14...Qe8 (threatening 15...Qxa4) 15.Qc4+ Be6 16. Qxb4 Qh5 still with an edge.

15.cxb4 Bxb4

Slipping again. Instead, 15...Bb6 would keep things in balance. It was okay to back away from the tangle of pieces. Perhaps he was expecting 16.Bxb4?.

16.Qc4+ Be6 17.Qxb4


The fatal fall.

18.Nxc5 b6 19.Nxe6 Qxe6 20.Ng5 Qc6 21.Qb3+ Kh8 22.Bxf8 Rxf8 

After a tactical flurry, White is a Rook up, but he has one more shot.


Winning a further exchange, as 23...Kg8 would lose the Black Queen with 24.Nxe5+ Kh8 25.Nxc6

23...Rxf7 24.Qxf7 Qa8 25.Rfc1 Black resigned

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