Saturday, February 20, 2016

Don't Worry, I've Got This

There are so many ways to defeat the Jerome Gambit, it's not surprising to see Black, in the following game, attempt several of them. I suppose that any one of them could work - on a different day, in a different game, against a different player...

Wall, Bill - Guest3967134, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bxd4 7.Qxd4 Qf6

Black has given back one of the sacrificed pieces, and then developed his Queen to where it protects his King, controls the center and threatens an exchange. Surely, this is enough?


A couple of notable alternatives:

8.Qe3 as in Wall,B - Tsyalex,, 2015 (1-0, 20); and 
8.Qd1 as seen in an unfinished correspondence game Jerome,A - Norton, D.P., 1876, and the later Jerome,A - Jaeger,D, correspondence, 1879, (1-0, 35).

Don't overlook "Why Did He Play That Move?"

8...Qd6 9.Qc3

The positional 9.Qxd6!? was seen in Wall,B - berserkergang, FICS, 2011: 9...cxd6 10. O-O Nf6 11. Nc3 a6 12. Rd1 Ke7 13. b3 b5 14. Ba3 Nf7 15. e5 Ne8 16. exd6+ Nexd6 17. Ne4 Bb7 18. Nxd6 Nxd6 19. Rxd6 Kd8 20. Rad1 Bc6 21.Rxc6 Black resigned

9...Nf6 10.Bf4 Nxe4

Giving back the other sacrificed piece. Surely, this at least draws? 

11.Qxe5 Qxe5 12.Bxe5 d6 

13.f3 Re8 14.fxe4 Rxe5 15.Nc3 c6

Black has play against White's isolated e-pawn - plus a Bishop for a Knight. Winning in the endgame is no shame.

16.Rf1+ Kg8 17.O-O-O d5 18.exd5 Bd7 19.dxc6 Bxc6

Black has sacrificed a pawn for dynamic piece play. Look at that Bishop!

20.g3 Rae8 21.Rd4 h6 22.Kd2 a6 23.a3 Bb5 24.Nxb5 axb5 25.Rf2 b6

Okay, maybe things are going a bit awry for Black...

26.Rd6 Kh7 27.Rxb6 Rd5+ 28.Kc3 Re3+ 29.Kb4 Re4+ 30.Kb3 Re3+ 31.c3 Rde5 32.Rb7 Re7 33.Rxb5 Re2 34.Rxe2 Rxe2 35.a4

 35...Rxh2 36.a5 Rg2 37.a6 Rxg3 38.a7 Black resigned

Thursday, February 18, 2016

New Jerome Gambit Tournament

I will be following the progress of the upcoming (to start this month) Jerome Gambit Tournament at RedHotPawn.

The list of players signed up so far includes SeinfeldFan91, who won last year's Jerome Gambit tournament. Playing as well will be rigidwithfear, who played in one RedHotPawn Jerome thematic in 2014 as well as last year's; and ZorroTheFox, deriver69, and BigD00, who played in another RedHotPawn Jerome thematic in 2014.

The tournament is open to subscribers, not just RedHotPawn members, so I will not be joining in the fun.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Nice Jerome Gambit

I just noticed that chessfriend Guido de Bouver of Flanders, Belgium, has a post on his Blackmar Diemer Gambit website (1.d4 d5 2.e4!? dxe4 3.Nc3; I have a link to it from this blog) which is titled "A Nice Jerome Gambit".

In the past we have exchanged ideas on the Jerome Gambit, although Guido's first love is the BDG, about which he has written a fine book, Attack With the Blackmar Diemer (see my review here).

About the following game, Guido notes "Friday evening, as a surprise act, I played a nice little Jerome gambit in our local chess club. My opponent, who had prepared himself for a fierce Blackmar Diemer, could not believe his eyes."

De Bouver, Guido - Verstappen
Mechelen, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 7.Qd5+ Ke8 8.Qxc5 d6 9.Qe3 Nf6 

10.O-O Rf8 11.d4 b6 

We are already in unexplored territory, according to The Database.


"Jerome pawns on the move!" Guido remarks.

12...Bb7 13.Nc3 Qe7 

14.f5 Nh8 15.e5 dxe5 16.dxe5 Nd5 17.Nxd5 Bxd5 18.b3 Nf7 19.Bb2

Guido's assessment: "A very complicated position - white has two strong pawns for the piece and has the safer king. If black however can exchange a few pieces, black should have the better endgame."

Sunday, February 14, 2016

An Ordinary Day in the Life of the Jerome Gambit

The following Jerome Gambit game seems so ordinary, it is almost possible to forget that is comes from a "refuted" opening that grants the defender a "winning advantage" at move four. Bill Wall makes it look ordinary.

Wall, Bill - Borut, O, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bxd4 7.Qxd4 Ng6

A normal move, but one that is rare in The Database, with fewer than 10 examples.


Bill played 8.Nc3 successfully in couple of games: 8...Nf6 9.Bg5 b6 (9...Ng4 10.Bxd8 Rxd8 11.Nb5 c6 12.Nc7 Rb8 13.Qxa7 White forfeited by disconnection in a won position, Wall,B - Socolata, FICS, 201310.Bxf6 Qxf6 11.Qd5+ Qe6 12.Qxa8 Black resigned, Wall,B - Socolate, FICS, 2013

8...d6 9.Nc3 Nf6 10.Bg5

Putting pressure on the Knight at f6, a typical Jerome Gambit theme.

10...Rf8 11.f4 Kg8

Black castles-by-hand.

12.Nd5 Bd7 13.Rad1 Bc6 14.Qc4 Kh8 

Black has safeguarded his King, and developed his often problematic light-squared Bishop.

15.e5 Bxd5 16.Rxd5 


Unpinning the Knight, but missing the best, if tricky line: 16...Nxd5 17.Bxd8 Ne3 18.Qb3 Nxf1 19.Bxc7 Nxf4 20.Kxf1 Nd5+ 21.Kg1 Nxc7 22.Qxb7 Ne6 23.exd6 when Black's advantage in material - two Rooks and a Knight for a Queen - likely outweighs White's "Jerome pawns".

17.exf6 gxf6 18.Bh6 Rfe8

White has recovered his sacrificed piece, but will continue to put pressure on f6.

19.Qc3 Qf7 20.Rf5 Re6 21.Rb5 


Black doesn't quite have the answer to White's next move, so this move is insufficient, compared to 21...Rg8

22.f5 Re5 23.fxg6 Qxg6 24.Rxe5

With a Black Rook on g8 (see above note), this move would not have been possible because of the threat to g2 (and further back rank threats).

24...fxe5 25.Bf8 Black resigned

White's Bishop is not as vulnerable as it appears at first look, and it makes threats to Black's pawns while possibly working with White's Queen for checkmate. The more you look, the more ordinary the position seems.