Saturday, July 9, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Overcoming Annoying

Once again, Vlastamil Fejfar, of the Czech Republic, plays the Jerome Gambit in a correspondence game, faces the "annoying" or "silicon" defense - and wins.

Fejfar, Vlastamil - Svoboda
corr Czech Cup, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

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

This "annoying defense" has been the choice of several of Vlasta's opponents in the past. See: Fejfar, V. - Chvojkacorr Czech Republic, 2016 (0-1, 32); Fejfar,V - Pressl, corr Czech Republic, 2015 (1/2-1/2, 15); Fejfar,V - Kyzlink, corr Czech Republic, 2015 (1-0, 22) and  Fejfar,V - Goc,P, 2015, (1/2-1/2, 70).

8.fxe5 dxe5 9.Qh3+ Kd6 

I pointed out before that at 25 ply, Stockfish 6 showed the tiniest preference for 9...Ke7 over 9...Kd6, but liked 9...Kf7 best of all.

To update this, I checked with Stockfish 7 at 30 ply, and found its preferences to be, in order, 9...Ke7, 9...Kd6 and 9...Kf7, but the spread was less than 1/10th of a pawn in evaluation.

For a more "human" insight, I checked The Database.

I found 47 games with 9...Ke7. Black scored 47%.

I found 20 games with 9...Kd6. Black scored 27%.
I found 75 games with 9...Kf7. Black scored 27%.

For practical purposes, and with the support of Stockfish, Black might prefer 9...Ke7.


10.Qg3 was Fejfar, V - Goc, Pavel, 2015 (1/2-1/2, 70)

10...Ke7 11.Qg3 Kf7 12.Qxe5 Bd7 

This is an odd move. (Could it have been a typo for the more reasonable 12...Bd6?) It hands back a piece, giving White a two pawn advantage with little compensation.

Instead, ...Bd4 was seen in Fejfar,V - Goc,P, 2015, (1/2-1/2, 70), by a slightly different move order. 

13.Qh5+ g6 14.Qxc5 Qh4+ 15.Qf2+ Qxf2+ 16.Kxf2 Nf6 17.d3 Rhf8 18.Nc3 Kg7 

White needs to complete his development, but, otherwise, he has no problem - his King is relatively safe, his pawn structure is sound.

19.Ke2 Bg4+ 20.Ke3 Be6 21.h3 Nh5 22.Ne2 Rae8 23.b3 Nf6 24.Ba3 Rf7 25.c4 Rd8 26.Raf1 Rfd7 27.Nf4 Bg8 28.Bb2 Rf8 

29.e5 Re7 30.Kd2 Ne8 31.e6+ Black resigned

Black's pieces trip over each other, and he is bound to lose a piece, i.e. 31...Kh6 32.Nd5!? Rxf1 33.Rxf1 Rxe6 34.Rf8 c6 (the Rook has nowhere to go) 35.Nf4 Re7 36.Rxg8

Nicely done.

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