Monday, November 14, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Very Serious Business

In the current Giuoco Piano thematic tournament at I am in first place (although this may change) and my only chance to finish on the top of the field is to win my last Jerome Gambit game - which is in the endgame stage. So far, I have 3 wins, 3 wins on time, and 2 losses with the Jerome.

I was surprised to find that I had not presented on this blog the following game with the Jerome Gambit, from the same tournament. In part this may be due to the fact that my opponent forfeited a significant number of his games - but not before he had won a full point from me. If only I had lost slower!  

perrypawnpusher - ulisimbolon
Giuoco Piano Thematic Tournament, 2016

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Kf8 

The is the defense played, successfully, by Alonzo Wheeler Jerome in two correspondence games against Daniel Jaeger in 1880.

Previously, I had faced 6...Kf8 31 times, winning 22 games, losing 6 games, and drawing 3; scoring 76%.

7.Qxe5 d6 8.Qg3 Nf6 9.d3 h5 

Very aggressive! Black does not worry about the position of his King, he attacks. While the move looks like a novelty, there are actually 3 earlier games in The Database.


Or 10.O-O Kg8 11.Bg5 Qf8 12.c3 Ng4 13.d4 Bb6 14.h4 c5 15.Be3 Bd7 16.Nd2 Re8 17.Rae1 Bb5 18.c4 cxd4 19.Bf4 Bc6 20.Bxd6 Qf7 21.e5 Rh6 22.Ne4 Bxe4 23.Rxe4 Rg6 24.c5 Bd8 25.Qf4 Qxa2 26.Rxd4 Qxb2 27.Rb4 Qe2 28.Rxb7 Qa2 29.f3 Nh6 30.Rf2 Qa1+ 31.Kh2 Qa6 32.Qc4+ Qxc4 White resigned,  MrJoker - PhlebasP, Internet Chess Club, 2011;

or 10.h3 Be6 11.O-O Qe7 12.Nc3 Ke8 13.Bd2 Kd7 14.Rae1 Raf8 15.a3 h4 16.Qg6 Kc8 17.Kh2 Qf7 18.Qxf7 Rxf7 19.f4 g6 20.b4 Bb6 21.Na4 Nh5 22.Nxb6+ axb6 23.Rf3 Rhf8 24.Ref1 Kd7 25.c4 c6 26.Bc1 Ke7 27.R1f2 b5 28.cxb5 cxb5 29.d4 Rc8 30.Bb2 Bc4 31.d5 Nf6 32.Re3 Kd7 33.g3 hxg3+ 34.Kxg3 Nh5+ 35.Kg4 Rcf8 36.Ref3 Nf6+ 37.Bxf6 Rxf6 38.Kg5 Ke7 39.f5 Rg8 40.fxg6 Rgxg6+ 41.Kh4 Rh6+ 42.Kg3 Rxf3+ 43.Rxf3 Be2 44.Rf4 Rg6+ 45.Kf2 Bd3 46.Rh4 Kd7 47.Rh7+ Kc8 48.Rh8+ Kc7 49.Rh7+ Kb6 50.Re7 Rh6 51.Kg3 Rg6+ 52.Kf4 Rg1 53.Rd7 Rf1+ 54.Ke3 Bb1 55.Rxd6+ Kc7 56.Re6 Rh1 57.Kd4 Rxh3 58.Kc5 Bd3 59.d6+ Kc8 60.Re8+ Kd7 61.Re7+ Kc8 62.e5 Bf5 63.Kxb5 Rxa3 64.e6 Bxe6 65.Rxe6 Kd7 66.Re7+ Kxd6 67.Rxb7 Rb3 68.Ka6 Ra3+ 69.Kb6 Rb3 70.b5 Ra3 71.Rb8 Ra1 72.Rd8+ Ke7 73.Rd4 Black resigned, MrJoker - PhlebasP, Internet Chess Club, 2012.


Or 10...h4 11.Qf4 Qe7 12.Nc3 Bd4 13.Nd5 Qf7 14.c3 Be5 15.Qd2 Nxd5 16.exd5 Bf5 17.d4 Bf6 18.Bxf6 Qxf6 19.O-O Re8 20.Rfe1 Kf7 21.Re3 Rxe3 22.fxe3 Qg5 23.Rf1 Kg6 24.Qf2 Re8 25.Qxf5+ Qxf5 26.Rxf5 Kxf5 27.Kf2 g5 28.h3 Ke4 29.Ke2 Rf8 30.c4 c6 31.dxc6 bxc6 32.b4 a6 33.a4 Rb8 34.b5 cxb5 35.axb5 axb5 36.cxb5 Rxb5 37.Kf2 Rb3 38.g3 hxg3+ 39.Kxg3 Rxe3+ 40.Kg4 Kxd4 41.Kxg5 Rxh3 42.Kf5 Re3 43.Kf4 Re8 44.Kf5 Kc4 45.Kf4 d5 White resigned, Petasluk - fluigi, FICS, 2009.

11.Nc3 b5 12.O-O 

Deciding that the Kingside would be safer for my monarch than the Queenside.

12...Qd7 13.Kh1 Bd4 14.f4 Ng4 15.Ne2

After the game Stockfish 7 recommended a line that shows how complicated the game is, but which would lead to only an edge for Black: 15.h3 b4 16.Nd1 Qf7 17.a3 bxa3 18.Rxa3 Bd7 19.Qe1 Re8 20.c4 Nf6 21.Bh4 Kg8 22.Bf2 Bb6 23.b4 c5 24.bxc5 dxc5 25.Bh4 Bc6 26.Nc3 Qd7 27.Qe3 a5 28.e5 a4 This kind of play is above my head.

15...Bxb2 16.Rab1 Bf6 17.d4

After the game Stockfish 7 was critical of this move, but its suggested play - giving up a pawn (eventually the exchange), allowing a passed pawn on the Queenside, opening up the h-file for Black's Rook against my King - looks like a fever dream (although it claims Black is only 3/4 of a pawn ahead at the end): 17.h3 Bxa2 18.Rbe1 Bb2 19.hxg4 hxg4+ 20.Kg1 a5 21.f5 a4 22.Qxg4 a3 23.Qf3 Re8 24.Be3 b4 25.Nf4 Kg8 26.g4 Bc3 27.Re2 Bf7 28.g5 a2 29.g6 a1=Q 30.Rxa1 Bxa1 31.gxf7+ Qxf7 32.Ng6 Rh7. Whew!

17...Bxa2 18.Rbe1 Bc4 19.e5 Bxg5 20.fxg5+ Kg8 21.Qf3 

I wish I could say that I had seen Stockfish 7's recommendation, and merely rejected it, but I had no idea: 21.h3 a5 22.Kg1 dxe5 23.hxg4 hxg4 24.dxe5 a4 25.Rf4 a3 26.Nd4 a2 27 Ra1 Qe8 28.e6 Bxe6 29.Nxe6 Qxe6 30.Qb3 Qxb3 31.cxb3 g3 32.Rf3 Kh7 33.Rxg3 Rhe8 34.Kf2 Kg6 35.Rc3 Re7 36.Rc6+ Kxg5. The computer sees Black as up 2 3/4 pawns. 

21...Re8 22.g6 dxe5 White resigned

I had been looking at 23.Qf7+ here, "winning" a Rook, when I suddenly realized that the f7 square was protected by Black's light-squared Bishop. Discouraged, and down a piece and a  pawn, I gave the game up. 

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