Saturday, March 5, 2016


A recent internet search brought me to the online site, where I discovered a player from the United Arab Emirates with the handle SA3OD who plays the Jerome Gambit - and who likes to play Bxf7+ in other circumstances as well. The following very exciting game, with another in the notes, gives an example of his style in lightning chess, which is defined by the site as 1 to 4 minutes per game. (Fast!) His opponent, Zmei Gorinich, is from the Russian Federation.

SA3OD - Gorinich, Zmei
lightning,, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d4 

The Italian Gambit, highlighted in The Italian Gambit System (2006) by Jude Acers and George Laven. I love the comment on the move in the November 1874 Dubuque Chess Journal: "Brilliant but not sound."

I am still exploring the InstantChess website, and have found one (I am sure that there are more) of SA3OD's Jerome Gambits (also at lightning time control) against Gorinich: 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.d4 (this move scores 38% in 2,154 games in The Database) Bxd4 6.Nxd4 Nxd4 7.Qh5+ Kf8 8.Qd1 {TN} Nf6 9.c3 Ne6 10.O-O d6 11.Na3 Kf7 12.Bg5 Rf8 13.Nc4 Nxg5 14.Ne3 Kg8 15.Nf5 Bxf5 16.exf5 Qe8 17.h4 Nge4 18.g4 Qc6 19.g5 Nd5 20.f6 Nf4 21.fxg7 Kxg7 22.f3 Ng3 23.Kh2 Nxf1+ 24.Qxf1 Nh5 25.Kh3 Rxf3+ 26.Qxf3 Qxf3+ 27.Kh2 Qg3+ 28.Kh1 Qxh4+ 29.Kg2 Qg3+ 30.Kf1 Rf8+ 31.Ke2 Qf2+ 32.Kd3 Nf4+ 33.Kc4 a6 34.Kb3 b5 35.a4 bxa4+ 36.Rxa4 Rb8+ 37.Ka3 Qc2 38.Rb4 Rxb4 39.cxb4 Nd3 40.g6 Qxb2+ 41.Ka4 Qxb4 checkmate.

4...exd4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ng5+ 

This move is at least as old as Wright - Hunn, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, 1874 (0-1, 18).

6...Kf8 7.Qf3+

Next time he might look (if he hasn't already) at the goofy 7.Qh5 Qf6 8.Nxh7 Rxh7 9.Qxh7.

7...Nf6 8.O-O Ne5 9.Qb3 h6 10.f4

White is thinking: Attack!

10...hxg5 11.fxe5 Qe8

In a lightning tempo game there is not always time to catch subtleties. Here, Black should have first played 11...e3+, putting a road block in front of White's Queen, and then moved his own Queen to e8. After 12.Kh1 Qe8, White could not afford to capture Black's Knight with 13.exf6? - we will see why, shortly. 


White, in turn, misses his opportunity. He needed to play 12.Qg3! when he could then safely capture Black's Knight, e.g. 12...d6 13.exf6. The position would then be unclear, but probably balanced. Stockfish 7 gives the wild continuation: 13...Rh5 14.Bxg5 Qg6 15.h4 d3+ 16.Kh2 dxc2 17.Nc3 Qxg5!? 18.Qxg5 Rxg5 19.hxg5 Be3 20.g6 Be6 21.f7 when Black will eventually regain the exchange for his advanced c-pawn.

12...d3+ 13.Kh1 Rxh2+!

Nice. Forces chekmate. (Or: it should.)

14.Kxh2 Qh5+ 15.Kg3 Qh4+ 16.Kf3 gxf6 

Oh, no! With 16...d5 Black would threaten mate with ...dxe4. Time must have been short. Now White has 17.cxd3! and his defense would hold.

 17.Qxd3 d6

Yikes! White's slip on move 17 gives Black another chance to play...d5. The pawn two-step would help open the d-file, giving the second player strong play against the enemy King: 7...d5 18.Ke2 Bg4+ 19.Kd2 dxe4 20.Qxe4 Rd8+ 21.Kc3 Bd4+ 22.Kb3 Rd6 etc.


Zeitnot. White's King could, instead, play 18.Ke2 as in the previous note, and survive because of the closed d-file

18...Qg4 checkmate


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Brave Play

Using the opening explorer at mentioned in "New Resource" in the previous post, I came across the following very exciting game. The Jerome Gambit player may well be familiar with this opening, in which case I feel I owe him some attention, some support, some encouragement and some assistance for his brave play. The games in the notes are well worth playing over, as they contain relevant themes of attack and defense.

killer23111953 - slava55
10 0 blitz,, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 

The Semi-Italian Game.

4.Nc3 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ 

The Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit.

5...Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.Qh5+ Ke6 8.Qf5+ Kd6

Here we have a very unbalanced position. White has sacrificed 2 (!) pieces to drag the enemy King into the middle of the board.

The Database has 9 games with this position, with White scoring 56% (5 wins, 4 losses). It is useful to share some of these games and some related analysis.


About equal in strength to the text is Stockfish 7's suggestion 9.b4, i.e. 9...Bd4 10.Nb5+ Ke7 11.Nxd4 d6 12.Qf4 Nf6 13.O-O when White also recovers one of his sacrificed pieces.

Aggressive, but not enough is 9.d4, i.e. 9...Bxd4 10.Bf4 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 Qf6 12.O-O-O+ Kc5 13.Rd5+ Kc6 14.Rxe5 Qxf5 15.exf5 d6 16.Re8 b6 17.Rd1 Bb7 18.Re4 Kd7 19.Re3 Nf6 20.Rg3 Rhg8 21.Rg6 Ne4 22.Re1 Rge8 23.Rxg7+ Kc6 24.c4 Nxf2 25.Rge7 Rxe7 26.Rxe7 Ba6 27.Bxh6 Bxc4 28.f6 Ng4 29.Bg7 Ne5 30.h3 Bxa2 31.g4 a5 32.g5 Ng6 33.Re2 Nf4 34.Rh2 a4 35.h4 Nh5 36.Kb2 Bd5 37.Rd2 a3+ 38.Ka1 a2 39.Rxd5 Kxd5 40.f7 Nxg7 41.g6 Ke6 42.h5 Nxh5 43.f8=Q Rxf8 44.Kxa2 Kf6 White resigned, swamishashi - wdiedrich, 8 0 blitz,, 2015.


Not 9...Ke7 10.Qxe5+ Kf8 11.Qxc5+ d6 12.Qxc7 Black resigned, morphyavatar - noobtwokey, FICS, 2013


Again 10.d4 is insufficient, if messy: 10...Kxb5 11.Qxe5 d6 (11... Qe7 12. a4+ Ka6 13.Qxc7 Qxe4+ 14. Be3 Qc6 15. Qxc6+ dxc6 16. dxc5 Nf6 17. O-O-O Nd5 18. c4 Nxe3 19. fxe3 Ka5 20. Kc2 Kb4 21. Ra1 Kxc4 22. Rhd1 Kxc5 23. a5 Bf5+ 24. Kc3 Rad8
25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. Ra4 Rd3+ 27. Kc2 Ra3+ White resigned, coder3 - more,, 2004) 12. Qd5 (12. Qxg7 Qf6 13. a4+ Kc6 14. d5+ Kb6 15. a5+ Ka6 16. Qg3 b5 17. axb6+ Kb7 18. bxc7 Kxc7 19. O-O Bd7 20. Be3 Ne7 21. Bxc5 Rhg8 22. Bxd6+ Qxd6 23. Qc3+ Kd8 24. f4 Qg6 25. g3 Qxe4 26. Qa5+ Ke8 27. Rae1 Qd4+ 28. Rf2 h5 29. Qa3 Rg7 30. d6 h4 31. Kg2 hxg3 32.
hxg3 Qd5+ 33. Kg1 Rh7 34. Rf3 Qd4+ 35. Rfe3 Black forfeited on time, MIG - Tshark, FICS, 200312...Ne7 (allows mate) 13. a4+ Ka6 14. Qc4+ b5 15. Qxb5 checkmate, Manishsprasad - TimJonez, FICS, 2010. 


Black avoids the tempting capture, 10...Kxb5: 11.a4+ Kb6 (better is 11...Ka6 12.Qxc5) 12.a5+ (12.d4 d6 13.dxc5+ dxc5 14.Qxg7 [14. a5+ Ka6 15.Qxc5 b6 16. axb6+ Kb7 17. bxa7 Qd6 18. Qb5+ Qb6 19. Qd5+ Qc6 20. Qb3+ Qb6 21.Qf7 Qb4+ 22. c3 Qxe4+ 23. Be3 Be6 24. Qxg7 Ne7 25. Qxe7 Rhe8 26. Qc5 Qxg2 27.Qb5+ Kc8 28. Qxe8+ Kb7 29. Qb5+ Kc8 30. Qa6+ Kd8 31. O-O-O+ Black resigned, MIG - jirikb, FICS, 2000] 14... Ne7 15. Be3 Rg8 16.Qxh6+ c6 17. a5+ Kc7 18. Bxc5 Rxg2 19. Qf4+ Kd7 20. Rd1+ Black resigned, avgur - rajpal, FICS, 2009) 12... Kb5 13. c4+ Kxc4 14. Qc3+ Kb5 15. Qd3+ Kc6 16. Qd5+ Kb5 17. Qd3+ Kc6 18. Qd5+ Kb5 19. d4 c6 20. Qxc5+ Ka6 21. b4 Nf6 22. b5+ cxb5 23. Qd6+ b6 24. axb6+ Kb7 25.bxa7 Rxa7 26. Rxa7+ Kxa7 27. O-O Qb6 28. Be3 Qxd6 29. e5 Qa3 30. d5+ Kb7 31.exf6 gxf6 32. d6 Qxd6 33. Ra1 Kc7 34. g3 b4 35. Bf4 Qxf4 36. gxf4 Bb7 37. Ra7 b3 38. Ra1 Be4 39. Kf1 b2 40. Ra7+ Kb6 41. Rxd7 b1=Q+ White resigned,  Sanrink - wojowhiskey, FICS, 2012.

A couple of alternatives that transpose into each other are: 10...d6 11.Nd4+ Bxd4 12.Qxd4 Nf6 and 10...Nf6 11.Nd4+ Bxd4 12.Qxd4 d6. 


Continuing to force the issue, but missing 11.Qxc7+!? Kxb5 12.a4+ Ka6 (other moves allow mate) 13.Qxc5 b6 14.Qa3 Qe7 15.Qd3+ Kb7 16.Qd5+ Kc7 17.d3 Bb7 18.Bf4+ d6 19.Qc4+ Kd7 when Black's King has escaped to relative safety, but it is likely that White's three extra pawns outweigh Black's extra piece.

This is a 10-minute game, and the advantages can go back and forth. 

11...Kxb5 12.O-O

Instead, Stockfish 7 suggests that with 12.a4+ Kb6 13.a5+ Ka6 14.Qxc5 Qc6 15.Qd4 Qxc2 16.d3 Ne7 17.O-O d6 18.Be3 Nc6 the game would be equal. Of course, that's easy for a computer to say. It looks like a big mess to me. 

12...Ne7 13.a4+ 

After Black's last, inaccurate move, White's attack gives him slightly better chances.

13...Kb6 14.Qb3+

Going after the King. Stronger was 14.a5+ Ka6 15.Qxc5, going after the piece. 

14...Kc6 15.Qb5+ Kd6

Black's King remains uneasy, but the defender pulls his position together.

16.c3 c6 17.Qd3+ Kc7 18.b4 Bxb4 19.Bb2 Ba5 

20.e5 Qxe5 21.Rae1 Qg5 22.Re3 Nd5 23.Rg3 Nf4 24.Qe4 Qf6 25.Rf3 g5 26.Kh1 d5 

27.Qe1 Qd6 28.Kg1 Bd7 29.Qa1 Rhe8 30.Ba3 Qe6 

White continues to fight, but with Black's improved development and time a factor, the Hunter has become the Hunted.

31.Re3 Qg4 32.g3 Rxe3 33.dxe3 Nh5 34.Bb4 Bb6 35.Qe1 Qf3 36.a5 Bh3 37.axb6+ axb6 38.Qd1 Qg2 checkmate

An exciting game in a very sharp variation!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

New Resource!

I recently received an exciting email from Philidor1792
Hello, Rick!I don't know whether you know this or not, but today opened a new service of opening explorer with thousands of Jerome gambit games! Great news for any chess fun!Philidor1792
I went to the site and started exploring. One of the first games that caught my eye was a 10-minute one, which I will present. Note: the game is annotated by the computer, for extra interest! (My additional comments are in red - Rick.)

ninadrsane - anakmedan2555
10 0,, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+? 

C51 Italian Game: Jerome Gambit (0.28 ? -1.59) Mistake. Best move was c3. (4. c3 Nf6 5. d4)

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6?! 

(-1.60 ? -0.81) Inaccuracy. Best move was Kf8. (6...Kf8 7.Qxe5 d6 8.Qg3 Nf6 9.Nc3 Kf7 10.d3 Be6 11.Be3 Bxe3 12.fxe3 Rf8 13.O-O Kg8 14.Rf3 Kh8 15.Raf1 Qd7 16.h3)

Interesting. The computer prefers the solid King retreat of the Jerome Defense to the Jerome Gambit, instead of the more risky (more danger, more possible gain) King advance. 

7.f4 Qf6 8.Rf1 d6

An odd novelty, and not a good one, although the reasoning behind it is clear. More frequently seen is 8...g6.

9.fxe5 Qg6 10.Qe2 Ne7?

(-1.05 ? 0.35) Mistake. Best move was Kd7. (10...Kd7 11.Nc3
Ne7 12.exd6 cxd6 13.d4 Bb4 14.Bf4 Kd8 15.h3 Bd7 16.O-O-O Rc8 17.Rd3 Bxc3 18.Rg3 Qf7 19.bxc3 Rf8 20.Kb1) Messy.

11.d4 Bb4+?

(0.25 ? 1.92) Mistake. Best move was Bb6. (11...Bb6 12.d5+ Kd7 13.e6+ Kd8 14.Nc3 a5 15.e5 Bd4 16.exd6 Bxc3+ 17.bxc3 cxd6 18.c4 b5 19.Be3 Rb8 20.Ba7) Very messy.

12.c3 Ba5 13.Rf3 dxe5 14.Rg3 Qf7 15.Qc4+ Kf6?!

(16.59 ? Mate in 7) Checkmate is now unavoidable. Best move was Kd6.  (15...Kd6 16.Qxf7 Bg4 17.Bg5 Rae8 18.Bxe7+ Kd7 19.Bb4+ Kc8 20.Bxa5 Bd7 21.Rxg7) 

16.dxe5+ Black resigned

A game that Alonzo Wheeler Jerome surely would have smiled at!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Countering A Gambit With A Gambit

In the following game it is likely that White was expecting an exciting, quick blitz game with a dangerous attack; but he probably didn't expect to be on the receiving end of the aggression.

Philidor1792 again shows that lessons from the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) can be applied elsewhere, even on defense.

guest211 - Philidor1792
blitz 3 0,, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb6 5.a4 Nf6 

Varying from 5...f5 in guest443 - Philidor1792, blitz 3 0,, 2016.

6.a5 Bxf2+

Philidor1792 faced this last year: Philidor 1792 - guest234blitz, 3 0,, 2015 (0-1, 19)

7.Kxf2 Nxe4+ 8.Kg1 d5 9.Bb3 Qd6

10.d3 Nf6 11.Bg5 Qxb4 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.Nbd2 Rg8

14.h3 Be6 15.Kh2 Qf4+ 16.Kg1 O-O-O

17.Qe2 f5 18.a6 b6 19.Ba4 Nd4 20.Qxe5 Nxf3+ 21.Nxf3 Qxf3 22.Rh2 f4 23.Kh1 Qf2 24.Bc6 Bxh3 25.gxh3 Qf3+ 26.Rg2 Qxg2 checkmate