Thursday, April 14, 2016

But Blackburne Made It Look So Easy!

The most famous Jerome Gambit game is the one by Blackburne, where he sacrificed material as Black to build a counter attack that led to a Queen sacrifice and checkmate.

Never mind that subsequent analysis and play has shown that, "objectively", the best Black should be able to hope for is a draw.

The fact is, the Blackburne Defense leads to sharp and complicated play, and it is important to have a concrete knowledge of the line - if either Black or White wishes to survive. As we have seen, and will see in the game below, "half a defense is worse than no defense at all..." Better to "Commit It To Memory".

fehim - KramMan
blitz, FICS, 2015

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

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

Here we go! To capture the excitement of the play ahead, it is fun to return to Geoff Chandler's comparison of the Blackburne Defense with "Mars Attacks!"

8.Qxh8 Qh4 9.O-O Qxe4

Wait a minute... Sure, Black flashes out his Queen to h4, all big and bad and scary. But - then what? Certainly not to pawn-grab. What did he miss? What did he miss??

Hint: 9...Nf6! Black wants to trap White's Queen and make threats against her (as well as the King), eventually offering his other Rook as well.


This is not going to go well for Black.

10.d3 worked in AlgozBR - khuizen, FICS, 2009 (1-0, 17)

10...Kf8 11.Nc3

Or 11.d3 Qe2 (or 11...Qf5 in obviously - dmyze,, 2004 [1-0, 20]; or 11...Qe6 in ubluk - bfcace,, 2012 [1-0, 18]) 12.Bh6+ Nxh6 13.Qxh6+ Kf7 14.Qh7+ Kf6 15.Qxc7 Bf5 16.Nc3 Qxc2 17.Nd5+ Kg5 18.Qe7+ Kh6 19.h4 Rh8 20.Qg5+ Kg7 21.Rae1 Rf8 22.h5 Bxd3 23.h6+ Kg8 24.Nf6+ Kf7 25.Nh7 Kg8 26.Nxf8 Bxf1 27.Rxf1 Bxf2+ 28.Rxf2 Qc1+ 29.Qxc1 Black resigned, ZahariSokolov - pedroregistro, FICS, 2015


Or 11...Qxc2 12.Qh4 Black resigned, perrypawnpusher - LtPoultry, blitz, FICS, 2010; or 12.d3 Qxd3 13.Bh6+ Ke8 14.Rfe1+ Kd8 15.Qxg8+ Kd7 16.Qe8 checkmate, DREWBEAR 63 - blackburne, JGTourney4, ChessWorld, 2009.

12.d3 Nf6 13.Qh4

This move is okay, as White is up the exchange plus a couple of pawns, so he can consolidate. He could continue his attack, however, with 13.Bh6+ Ke8 14.Rae1+ Be6 15.Qg7.

13...Kg7 14.Be3 Be6 15. Bxc5 dxc5 16. Ne4 Nxe4 17. Qxe4 Qf6

The next few moves bring some excitement, but the game is pretty much over. Black's slip at move 23 just ends things

18.c3 Rh8 19.f4 c6 20.c4 Qh4 21.Qxe6 Qxh2+ 22.Kf2 Qxf4+ 23.Ke2 Qg4+ 24.Qxg4 Black resigned

No comments: