Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Out-Think A Thinker (Not)

Facing Bill Wall and his well-honed Jerome Gambit, the defender has to realize that a) Bill is a pretty good player and b) Bill has a lot of experience with the opening. Trying to out-think him over-the-(key)-board can be a risky proposition.

Wall, Bill - NN
lichess.org, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bd6 

Black adopts a strategy reminiscent of the "fork trick". The move, itself, is okay, but the followup is troublesome. Playing-by-analogy has its risks.

7.dxe5 Bxe5

For example, here Black continues his "fork trick" idea, when he would do best, instead, to play 7...Be7 or the bright 7...Bb4+ 8.c3 Be7.

8.Qd5+ Kf6 

It stands to reason, thinks Black, that I am facing a poor opening, so there must be a hole in it - somewhere. Surely I can't be losing a piece. I will just protect it.

(Actually, White scores about 75% after the Queen check, in games in The Database.)

Bill has some experience with opponents who have abandoned the piece: 8...Kf8 9.Qxe5 d6 (9...Qe7 10.Qf4+ Nf6 11.Nc3 d6 12.O-O Qe5 13.Qxe5 dxe5 14.f4 exf4 15.Bxf4 Ne8 16.Bd6+ Kg8 17.Rf8 checkmate, Wall,B - Guest539122, PlayChess.com, 2015) 10.Qd4 (10.Qb5 Nf6 11.Nc3 c6 12.Qd3 Be6 13.Bg5 h6 14.Bh4 g5 15.Bg3 Ke7 16.O-O-O Ne8 17.f4 g4 18.Bh4+ Nf6 19.e5 dxe5 20.Qg6 Qf8 21.fxe5 Black resigned, Wall,B - NN, lichess.org, 2016) 10...Nf6 11.O-O c5 12.Qd3 Bd7 13.Bf4 a6 14.Bxd6+ Kf7 15.e5 Bb5 16.c4 Black resigned, Wall,B - Guest5856753, PlayChess.com, 2016 

9.f4 Bd6 

The poor Bishop. Troubled, troubled, troubled, At least it will not be lost. 

10.Qg5+ Kf7 11.Qxd8

Perhaps there was something to White's opening choice after all.

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