Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bots on Our Side (Part 1)

I have posted here about computer vs computer Jerome Gambit games, and about human vs computer Jerome Gambit games (see "Ionman vs the Bots").

The other day I ran into some games in The Database where a computer  - GriffySr at FICS - was playing White.


I suddenly had visions of Steffen Jakob's Crafty clone Brause and his own creation Hossa - both set up to play the Halloween Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5!?).

How cool would it be to have an engine playing the Jerome Gambit!?

It turns out, GriffySr is not that engine, but it was fun to look at its games, anyway!

GriffySr - asmsk
standard, FICS, 2002

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Na5

Okay, if you play the Jerome Gambit, someday you will face this move. The "objectively" best response is 4.Nxe5, but that shouldn't be your first choice - and it is not GriffySr's choice, either.

4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke8 6.Qh5+ g6 7.Nxg6 hxg6 8.Qxg6+ Ke7 9.d4 Bh6 10.Bxh6 Rxh6 11.Qg5+ Nf6 12.Qg7+ Ke8 13.Qxh6 c6 14.Nd2 d5 15.e5 Ne4 16.Nxe4 dxe4 17.Qg6+ Kf8 18.e6 Qxd4 19.Qf7 checkmate

Here's another line.

GriffySr - ccie
standard, FICS, 2008

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6

Again, if you are looking for a Giuoco Piano to transform into a Jerome Gambit, the Semi-Italian defense is designed to side-step that. White can temporize with 4.0-0 or 4.Nc3 and hope Black will then play 4...Bc5 - or he can advance in the center.


After 4.Nc3 Black added a second bad idea, and was crushed: 4...Na5 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Ke8 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Qxg6+ Ke7 9.Nd5 checkmate, GriffySr -mackadee, FICS, 2002.


The alternatives are poor, but sometimes played:

4...Nxd4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Ke8 (6...Kf6 7.Qxd4 Black resigned, GriffySr - ankoay, FICS, 2009) 7.Qh5+ Ke7 8.Ng6+ Kf6 9.Qh4+ Kxg6 10.Qxd8 Be7 11.Qxc7 Black resigned, GriffyJr - ManOOwar, FICS, 2003.

4...d6 5.dxe5 Nxe5 6.Nxe5 dxe5 7.Bxf7+ Ke7 (7...Kxf7 8.Qxd8  Black resigned, GriffySr - JayadiHendro, FICS, 2009) 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 c6 (9...Bb4 10.Bd2 Bxc3 11.Bxc3 Ke7 12.Bxg8 Rxg8 13.Bxe5 c6 14.O-O-O Be6 15.b3 g6 16.Bd6+ Ke8 17.Rhe1 Rg7 18.Kb2 Rd7 19.Bc5 Black forfeited by disconnection, GriffySr - JayadiHendro, FICS, 2009) 10.Be3 Nf6 11.O-O-O+ Kc7 12.f3 Bd7 13.a3 (13.Na4 b6 14.c4 Rd8 15.c5 b5 16.Nc3 Be7 17.Kb1 Rhf8 18.Bb3 a6 19.Rhe1 g5 20.h4 Rg8 21.Bxg8 gxh4 22.Bf7 h5 23.Bg5 Rf8 24.Bxf6 Rxf7 25.Bxe5+ Kc8 26.Kc2 Be6 27.Bd6 Bg5 28.Rd3 Rg7 29.Be5 Rg8 30.Rd6 Bd7 31.b4 Be7 32.Rd2 Bg5 33.f4 Be7 34.f5 Bg5 35.Rf2 Re8 36.Bd6 Bf6 37.e5 Kd8 38.exf6 Rxe1 39.f7 Black resigned, GriffySr - Sirpooba, FICS, 2009) 13...Rd8 14.Kb1 Bd6 15.Bxa7 b6 16.Bxb6+ Kxb6 17.Rxd6 Kc7 18.Rdd1 Be8 19.Rxd8 Kxd8 20.Rd1+ Ke7 21.Bb3 Bf7 22.Bxf7 Kxf7 23.Rd6 Rc8 24.a4 Ke7 25.Rd3 Nh5 26.a5 Nf4 27.Rd2 Ne6 28.Kc1 Nc7 29.Kd1 Rd8 30.Rxd8 Kxd8 31.Ke2 Kd7 32.Ke3 g5 33.Kd3 Kd6 34.Na4 Na6 35.Nb6 Kc7 36.Nc4 Nc5+ 37.Ke3 Nd7 38.a6 Kb8 39.h4 Ka7 40.hxg5 hxg5 41.Nd6 Kxa6 42.Nf7 Kb5 43.Nxg5 Kc4 44.Ne6 Nc5 45.b3+ Kc3 46.Nxc5 Kxc2 47.g4 Kc3 48.Kf2 Kd4 49.Ne6+ Kc3 50.g5 Kxb3 51.g6 Kb4 52.g7 c5 53.Ke2 c4 54.g8=Q c3 55.Qb8+ Kc4 56.Qb1 Black resigned, GriffyJr - ManchesterUtd, FICS, 2009

5.Nxd4 Bc5 6.Nxc6 

Or 6.Bxf7+ Kxf7 (6...Ke7 7.Nxc6+ bxc6 8.Bc4 Qf8 9.Be3 Bxe3 10.fxe3 Nf6 11.e5 Ng4 12.Qxg4 d6 13.exd6+ cxd6 14.Qe4+ Kd7 15.Rf1 Qe7 16.Rf7 Black resigned, GriffySr - sanssouci, FICS, 2006) 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Qxc5 Nxd4 9.Qxd4 Nf6 10.e5 Re8 11.O-O c5 12.Qc4+ d5 13.exd6+ Be6 14.Qxc5 Qd7 15.Nc3 Rac8 16.Qxa7 Ra8 17.Qd4 Rad8 18.Rd1 Bf5 19.Bxh6 Bxc2 20.Rd2 Qe6 21.f3 Rxd6 22.Qxd6, Black resigned, GriffySr - Mpalfi, FICS, 2006.

6...bxc6 7.Bxf7+ Kf8 8.Qf3 Ke7 9.Bf4 Nf6 10.Bg6 Ba6 11.e5 Nd5 12.Bg5+ Nf6 13.Bxf6+ Ke6 14.Qg4+ Kd5 15.Nc3 checkmate

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Brighter Lights

Speaking of "brighter lights" in the world of the Jerome Gambit (see previous post), here is Bill Wall's latest game. The ending should be rated "PG" for either "Parental Guidance advised" or simply "Plain Gory". The King hunt is brutal

Wall, Bill - Anonymous, 2016
(analysis by Bill Wall)

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Qh4 

7.O-O Ng4

One of a number of moves that keeps Black's advantage.

8.h3 Bd6

Aggressive, but 8...Bb6 was probably better. It was the choice of several computers ( Deep Shredder 10, Deep Sjeng 1.5,  Hiarcs 11.1, Shredder Paderborn) in computer vs computer tournaments in 2002, 2003 and 2008, for example. It also appeared in Sir Osis of the Liver - perrypawnpusher, JG3 thematic,, 2008 (0-1, 38) and Wall,B - Rajiv,, 2010 (1-0, 33).

9.e5 Nxe5

Giving the piece back is "scientific" but it leads to an equal game, according to Stockfish 7.

With 9...Bxe5 Black returned a Bishop, instead, in Sorensen,S - X, Denmark, 1888 (1-0, 27).

Another piece return was the wild 9...Nxf2 in Darthballz - Leftang, FICS, 2011(1-0, 25).

Bill points out 9...Be7 10.hxg4 d6

10.dxe5 Bxe5 11.Qd5+ Kf6 12.Re1 d6

Bill points out the tricky 12...Bd4 13.Nc3 Bxf2+ 14.Kh1 Bxe1 15.Bg5+, when Black will lose his Queen to either White's Bishop or Knight (when it comes to e4 with check).

13.Rxe5 dxe5 14.Qd8+ Ne7 15.Qxh8 Qe4

Abandoning his King to chaos.

Instead, Black had the prudent 15...Kf7, both protecting his pawn at g7 and the square at f8. If he wanted an exciting draw, he could try 15...Bxh3!? 16.Qxa8 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 Qg4+ and  he could repeat the position with Queen checks.

16.Qf8+ Ke6

The bad news begins. The alternative: 16...Kg6 17.Qe8+ Kf6 (17...Kf5 18.Qf7#) 18.Nc3 Qxc2 19.Qf8+ Kg6 20.Qxe7.

17.Bg5 Qb4

Several other options, from Bill: 17...Ng6 18.Qg8+ Kd6 19.Qd8+ Kc6 20.Nc3 Qxc2 21.Qd5+ Kb6 22.Qb5# ; or 17...Qxc2 18.Qxe7+ Kf5 19.Qxg7; or 17...Nc6 18.Nc3 Qxc2 19.Qg8+ Kf5 20.Qxg7 Qxb2 21.Qf6# 


Instead, 18.Nc3 Qxb2 leads to checkmate. 


The White b-pawn is still poisonous, and 18...Qxb2 would again lead to checkmate.

Best is probably 18...Nf5, but it still leads to misery, e.g. 19.Qg8+ Kd7 20.Nc3 Nd6 21.Rd1 Qd4 22.Rxd4 exd4 23.Qxh7+ Kc6 24.Ne2 Nf5 25.Bd8 as Bill notes. 

19.Qf6+ Kd5 20.Nc3+ Kc4 

Or 20...Kd4 21.Be3+ Kc4 22.Qf7+ Be6 23.Qxe6+ Nd5 24.Qxd5#; or 20...Kc5 21.Qxe7+ Kc4 22.b3+ Kxc3 23.Qxe5+ Qd4 24.Bd2+ Kxd2 25.Qxd4+ Kxc2 26.Rd1 Rd8 27.Qd2#. Black's King is not coming back from this journey.

21.b3+ Kxc3 

Or 21...Kd4 22.Rd1+ Kc5 23.Be3+ Qd4 24.Rxd4 exd4 25.Qxd4+ Kc6 26.Qc5#; or 21...Kc5 22.Qxe7+ Kb6 23.Qxb4+ Ka6 24.Qa3+ Kb6 25.Be3+ c5 26.Nd5+ Kc6 27.Qxc5#. 

22.Qxe5+ Qd4 

If 22...Kxc2 then 23.Rc1+ Kd3 24.Qe3# 

23.Bd2+ Kxd2 

Or 23...Kb2 24.Qxd4+ Kxc2 25.Rc1# ; or 23...Kxc2 24.Qxd4 Rd8 25.Rc1# 

24.Qxd4+ Kxc2 

If 24...Ke2 25.Qe3#


Threatening 26.Qd2 mate

Black Resigned

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Jerome Gambit. "Swindle". But I Repeat Myself.

Image result for free clipart embarrassed face

The following game is my first completed Jerome Gambit from the ongoing "Giuoco Piano Tournament" (3 days/move). I got rattled by early comments by my opponent, veered off into a variation I was unfamiliar with, and was only able to survive because of a "swindle" - which sounds like the standard tale when White wins in this opening, anyhow.

perrypawnpusher - shalloworange
"Giuoco Piano Tournament",, 2016

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

At this point I received a message from my opponent
Hello Rick, I think you just taught me a lesson about how to handle games with weaker opponents (just give them 'material odds' by choosing play accordingly). So thank you for the lesson, let's have fun. (Unless I am completely misreading things, in which case at least you will be having fun about this comment  :-)  )
My response was pretty straight-forward, but I suspected that someone who understood my giving "Jerome Gambit odds" might be prepared for a fight. 
I don't think I know enough chess to teach anyone a lesson. I just finished a tournament with lots of serious chess and I would like to have some fun in this one.
4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.Qf5+Kd6 8.Nc3

I usually play f2-f4 here, but, like I said above, I was a bit spooked, so I decided to play something even further off of the beaten path.

8...c6 9.d4 Bxd4 10.Bf4

Here I have to admit, as I have in the past, that I do not always share everything that I have discovered about the Jerome Gambit.

Some of it is out of respect: go back to earlier blog posts to some of the games played by the top Jerome Gambiteers, and you will see that frequently they are thinly annotated by me. Who am I to publicly judge MrJoker, Philidor 1792, Bill Wall - and a host of other brighter (than me) lights?

Including Geoff Chandler ("greenpawn34"), who once played 10.Be3 here greenpawn34 - Homedepotov,, 2008 (1/2-1/2, 22)

10...Qf6 11.O-O-O Qxf5 12.Rxd4+ Kc5

I again exchanged messages with my opponent.
Er, um... I did not expect you to go after the rook. This will take some thought (auto complete [on my phone] suggested "meds"?!).
His response
Quite openly: I was entertaining also Ke6, and that is probably what I would have played against an equal opponent because I thought that Ke6 would probably be a relatively safe way to keep some material advantage. But hey, you said you wanted to have fun and I am all for having fun, too :-)

I was surprised by my opponent's move because it seemed dangerous for Black to advance his King like that.


Wow! A Queen sac!?

No, no, no, no, no.

Merely a swindle.

Once I found the move, I worked through every move by Black's Queen in response, and eventually was convinced that they would all lead to checkmate.

13...Qe6 14.Rd5+ Kc4 15.Rc5+ Black resigned

It is checkmate the next move.

I am just the kind of guy who looks like he would protect a Rook, overlooking the fact that he should complete the exchange of Queens instead.

Just the kind of guy who would play the Jerome Gambit.

But, let's be fair. If Black had played 13...Kb6 instead of moving Her Majesty, I would have had nothing better to play than 14.exf5, recapturing the Queen, after all.

We would then have been back to debating if the two extra White "Jerome pawns" balanced out the extra Black piece.

But, I appreciate shalloworange's willingness to contribute to a fun game. Well, at least it was fun for me.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

It Still Happens - But It Doesn't Have To

Image result for free clip art refused
Looking through some Jerome Gambit games from 2016, I noticed some "declined" versions.

On one hand, I can understand Black not wanting to give White the kind of game that the attacker wants.

On the other hand, as we have seen many times before, in declining the gambit piece(s) Black is exchanging an "objectively" won game for one where he is worse, if not losing.

In the following game, shugart at FICS, makes quick work of the situation.

shugart - amama
blitz 3 0, FICS, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kf8 5.Bb3

White proceeds to play simple moves and out-play his opponent. He needed to face a greater challenge than that.

5...Qf6 6.O-O d6 7.h3 Nge7 8.Nc3 Be6 9.Nd5 Nxd5 10.exd5 Na5 11.dxe6 Nxb3 12.axb3 Qxe6 

In typical defense-against-the-Jerome-Gambit-style, Black has returned the sacrificed piece - or, he would have, had he accepted a piece in the first place. Instead, unfortunately, he is now just down a Knight.

13.d3 h6 14.Be3 b6 15.Bxc5 bxc5 16.Qd2 Kf7 17.Ra6 Rhf8 18.Rfa1 Kg8 19.Rxa7 Rxa7 20.Rxa7 Rc8 21.Qa5 Qe7 22.Qa6 Kh7

A final slip, possibly in time pressure.


Black resigned