Thursday, September 1, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Chaos Rules

I enjoy playhing over the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) games of ZahariSokolov playing at FICS. He shows an understanding of the opening, and brings a creativity that expands its impact.

In the following very difficult, complicated game, however, his opponent presents an odd, rarely-played defense, and the game quickly leaves recommended play. Still, it takes oversights on both sides before the winner is finally decided.

ZahariSokolov - mmamaju
standard, FICS, 2015

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke7

Here we have the "Jerome Gambit, Paulsen Variation", otherwise known as "An Odd Line in an Odd Line". It is more of a psychological ploy than a solid defense - but, in this game at least, it is successful.


Electing to retain his Knight. In similar situations (see below) it can be exchanged to double Black's pawns.

6.Qh5 is the strongest response, although there are not many examples in The Database: 6...Qf8 (6...d6 7.Qf7# stivb_99 - spymaster,, 2008) 7.Nxc6+ (7.0–0 d6 8.Ng6+ hxg6 9.Qxh8 Nd4 10.Na3 Ne2+ 11.Kh1 Be6 12.d4 Bxd4 13.f4 Qf6 14.Nb5 Bb6 15.Bd2 a6 16.Nc3 Nxc3 17.Bxc3 Bd4 18.e5 dxe5 19.fxe5 Qxe5 20.Bxd4 Qxd4 21.c3 Qe5 22.Rae1 Qd5 23.Qxg7+ Kd6 24.Rd1 Qxd1 25.Rxd1+ Kc6 26.Qxg6 Black resigned, guest1200 – satmonger, Internet ChessClub, 2001) 7...dxc6 8.Qxc5+ Ke8 9.Qxf8+ Kxf8 10.c3 Nf6 11.d3 Kf7 12.0–0 Rf8 13.f4 Kg8 14.f5 Bd7 15.h3 Rae8 16.g4 h6 17.Bf4 Rc8 18.Nd2 c5 19.Nf3 c6 20.Nh4 Rf7 21.c4 Rd8 22.Ng6 Be8 23.Rf3 Rfd7 24.Ne5 Re7 25.Rd1 Nd7 26.Nxd7 Rexd7 27.Kf2 Bf7 28.Ke3 Kf8 29.h4 Ke7 30.g5 hxg5 31.hxg5 Ke8 32.g6 Bg8 33.Rh3 Kf8 34.Rh8 b5 35.b3 a5 36.Rdh1 Rxd3+ 37.Ke2 R3d7 38.Bg5 Re8 39.Ke3 bxc4 40.bxc4 Rd4 41.R8h4 Rxc4 42.Rb1 Rb4 43.Rxb4 cxb4 44.Kd3 Rc8 45.e5 Rd8+ 46.Kc2 Rc8 47.f6 c5 48.f7 Bxf7 49.gxf7 Kxf7 50.Rc4 Ke6 51.Bf4 Kd5 52.Kb3 a4+ 53.Kxa4 Kxc4 54.e6 Re8 55.Ka5 Rxe6 56.Bc7 Kc3 57.Bb6 c4 58.Bc5 Re5 59.Kb5 b3 60.axb3 cxb3 61.Kc6 Rxc5+ 62.Kxc5 b2 63.Kd5 b1Q 64.Ke6 Qb5 65.Kf7 Kd4 66.Kxg7 Qc6 67.Kf7 Ke5 68.Kf8 Qd7 69.Kg8 Kf6 70.Kh8 Qg7 checkmate, UNPREDICTABLE - aladu, FICS, 2009.

Second best seems to be 6.d4 Bb4+ (6...Nxe5 7.dxc5 d6 8.Bg5+ Nf6 9.f4 Nc6 10.O-O h6 11.cxd6+ Qxd6 12.e5 Qxd1 13.Rxd1 hxg5 14.exf6+ Kxf6 15.fxg5+ Kxg5 16.Nc3 Bf5 17.Rd2 g6 18.Nd5 Rad8 19.Rad1 Bg4 20.Re1 Nb4 21.Re5+ Bf5 22.Rf2 Rxd5 23.h4+ Kxh4 24.g3+ Kg5 25.Ree2 Nxc2 26.Kg2 Nb4 27.Kf3 Bg4+ 28.Kg2 Bxe2 29.Rxe2 Rhd8 30.Re7 R5d7 31.Re5+ Kf6 32.Rb5 Nxa2 33.Rxb7 c5 34.Rb5 c4 35.Ra5 Nc1 36.g4 Nb3 37.Rb5 Nd4 38.Rb4 Rc7 39.b3 c3 40.Rxd4 Rxd4 41.Kg3 c2 42.b4 c1=Q 43.b5 Rc3+ 44.Kh4 Qh1 checkmate, ainafets - Straineryou, FICS, 2007; 6...Nxd4 7.Bg5+ Nf6 8.O-O d6 9.Ng4 Bxg4 10.Qxg4 Ne6 11.Rd1 Nxg5 12.Qxg5 Kd7 13.Qf5+ Ke7 14.Nc3 Qf8 15.e5 Bxf2+ 16.Qxf2 dxe5 17.Qc5+ Kf7 18.Qxc7+ Kg8 19.Qxe5 Re8 20.Qc7 Ng4 21.Qc4+ Qf7 22.Qxg4 Black resigned, trebbor - saucer, FICS, 20017.c3 d6 8.Bg5+ Nf6 9.Bxf6+ gxf6 10.Nxc6+ bxc6 11.cxb4 c5 12.a3 cxd4 13.O-O Qg8 14.g3 Be6 15.Qxd4 Bc4 16.Re1 Qe6 17.Nd2 f5 18.exf5 Black resigned, Darthnik - Amoxicillin, FICS, 2011.

There is also the reasonable-looking 6.Nxc6+ bxc6 (6...dxc6 7.d3 Nf6 8.Bg5 Be6 9.O-O Kd7 10.e5 h6 11.Bh4 g5 12.Bg3 Ng4 13.h3 Ne3 14.fxe3 Bxe3+ 15.Bf2 Bxf2+ 16.Rxf2 Ke7 17.c3 c5 18.d4 Qd5 19.Qf3 Raf8 20.Qxd5 Bxd5 21.Nd2 Rxf2 22.Kxf2 b5 23.Nf3 Rf8 24.a3 h5 25.Kg3 Rg8 26.Rf1 g4 27.hxg4 Rxg4+ 28.Kf2 Rf4 29.Ke3 Re4+ 30.Kd2 Rg4 31.Rf2 Black forfeited on time, perrypawnpusher - salla, blitz, FICS, 2010) 7.d4 Bb6 (7...Bb4+ 8.c3 Bd6 9.Bg5+ Nf6 10.e5 Bxe5 11.dxe5 Kf8 12.O-O h6 13.exf6 gxf6 14.Be3 d5 15.Bc5+ Kg8 16.Nd2 h5 17.Nf3 Bg4 18.Qd3 Bxf3 19.Qg6 checkmate, CoachCrupp - zzzozzzo, FICS, 2008) 8.Bg5+ Nf6 9.e5 Ba6 10.exf6+ gxf6 11.Be3 Qg8 12.Rg1 Re8 13.a4 c5 14.a5 cxd4 15.axb6 dxe3 16.Rxa6 axb6 17.fxe3 Qg5 18.Qf3 Kf7 19.Kd2 Re7 20.Nc3 Rhe8 21.Nd5 Re4 22.Nf4 Qc5 23.Ra3 Qe5 24.Rd3 Qa5+ 25.c3 Qb5 26.Qh5+ Qxh5 27.Rxd7+ Black resigned, jankrb - Red House,, 2013;


Black's best response is 6...d5, which would be a TN, keeping his advantage.


White should simply take the Knight on e5 and be better. With the text, he returns the advantage to his adversary.

One wonders if one of Alekhine's cats jumped on White's keyboard. 

7...Nxc4 8.dxc4 h6 9.Nc3 c6 10.Qg4 Qf8 11.O-O Kd8 12.Be3 Be7 13.e5 d6 14.Qh5 

14...Kc7 15.exd6+ Bxd6 16.Ne4

A slip. Better was 16.c5 Be7 17.Qd5+. 

16...Nf6 17.Qf3 Bg4 18.Qf4

Perhaps Stockfish 7's suggestion held out more hope: 18.Bf4 Bxf3 19.Bxd6+ Qxd6 20.Nxd6 Kxd6 21.gxf3

18...Bxf4 19.Bxf4+ Kc8 20.Nd6+ Kd7 21.Nxb7 Be2 22.Rfe1 Bxc4 23.Rad1+ Bd5 24.c4 Kc8 25.Nd6+ Kd7 26.cxd5 Nxd5 27.Bg3 

White has been fighting back fiercely since losing his Queen, and he is helped by Black's next move, which actually gives the attacker the advantage in the game. Perhaps time problems?

27...Re8 28.Ne4

A missed opportunity for White, as he had 28.Rxe8 Qxe8 29.Nxe8 Rxe8 with a small advantage.

Black is now able to move on to victory. 

28...Re6 29.f3 h5 30.Rc1 Rg6 31.Nc5+ Kc8 32.Ne6 Qb4 33.Rb1 Qb6+ 34.Bf2 Qa6 35.a3 Re8 36.Nc5 Rxe1+ 37.Rxe1 Qc4 38.Ne4 Qb3 39.Nc3 Nxc3 40.bxc3 Qxc3 41.Re8+ Kd7 42.Re1 Qxa3 43.Bh4 Qb4 44.Kh1 Qxh4 White resigned

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