Saturday, August 20, 2016

Jerome Gambit: The Power of Surprise

I almost always root for the Jerome Gambit player (sometimes I defend against the Jerome) but in the following game I was pleased to see Black's 9th move - the best way to give White difficulties after an inexact defense. It's the first time that I have seen it played.

The game itself - 5 minute blitz - was a tense affair, with a late inexactitude by White costing him the game.

nineteenletterslong - vuurtoren
5 0 blitz,, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ g6 7.Qxe5 Nf6

Not the right idea, but understandable given the quick nature of the game.


There are 61 games with this position in The Database.


Interestingly, the best response, 8...Nxe4, shows up in only 14 of those games - 23%. That's the power of surprise in an opening.


There are 15 games with this move in The Database. 


There were 0 games with this correct move - until this one. The Knight is safe, as a Queen capture will be strongly met by 10...Re8.

10.O-O Bf5 11.d3

More adventurous was 11.g4!?

11...Nf6 12.Nc3 Re8 13.Qf3 c6 14.Bd2 Qa5 15.Rfe1 Qb4 16.b3 Qh4 17.Rxe8 Rxe8 

White has a small advantage - a pawn.

18.g3 Qh3 19.Qg2 Qh5 20.h3  

Better is 20.f3, as the text loses a pawn. 

20...Qxh3 21.Qxh3 Bxh3 22.Bg5 d5 23.Bxf6 Kxf6 24.Kh2 Bc8 25.Kg2 b6 26.f3 Bb7 27.g4 c5 28.Kg3 h5 29.gxh5 gxh5 30.Nd1

Despite his Bishop vs Knight, and outside passed pawn, Black's edge was small until this move. White could have kept things going with 30.Rh1

30...Rg8+ 31.Kh4 Rg1 32.c4 dxc4 33.dxc4 Bxf3 34.Rc1 Rxd1 35.Rxd1 Bxd1 

Black is clearly winning.

36.a3 a6 37.b4 cxb4 38.axb4 Kg6 39.c5 bxc5 40.bxc5 a5 41.c6 a4 42.c7 Bg4 43.Kg3 a3 44.Kf4 a2 45.Ke5 a1=Q+ 46.Kd6 Qd4+ 47.Kc6 h4 48.c8=Q Bxc8 49.Kc7 Qc5+ 50.Kd8 Bb7 51.Ke8 Bc6+ 52.Kd8 Qd6+ 53.Kc8 Qd7+ 54.Kb8 Qb7  checkmate

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