Friday, June 3, 2016

Good Knight

I have been enjoying the games of the Jerome Gambit tournament (over 80% of the first round games have been completed). I have shared some of the games here, but only the short ones and the ones with unusual (for the Jerome Gambit!) lines - it is clear that players are putting serious effort into opening play, and I don't want to spill anyone's "secrets" in case they want to use them in later rounds.

Still, it is possible to look at a few fun endings, each making use of a Knight or Knights.

For example, here LittleDonkey uses three pieces to achieve a checkmate.

Jean TylerGabriel - LittleDonkey

He didn't need a Queen, you say? He could have used a pawn to do the same job (cover the g2 square)? Here is another checkmate that uses a hearty, helpful pawn -

RODbr - SeinfeldFan91
As a matter of fact, Black's last move was 29...Ra2-g2#. For fun, he also could have played 29...h2# - thanks, in part, to the stalwart Knight.

Here are a couple more Knights at work:

rigidwithfear - procyk
And a single Knight:

RODbr - ZorroTheFox

And a Knight with a lot of helpers:

BigD00 - kristjan

In this last position, Black and White are roughly equal in material, but White has a move that should win the exchange. Black is not willing to give up the material, and so faces a Queen sacrifice and then suffers death by suffication...

rigidwithfear - golddog2

33.Ne5+ Kg8 34.Qe6+ Kh8 35.Nf7+ Kg8 36.Nh6+ Kh8 37.Qg8+ Rxg8 38.Nf7 checkmate

Good Knight!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Bad News

It seems to be the week to re-issue warnings to both attackers and defenders with the Jerome Gambit and its relatives.

The game below comes with the admonition - if you are willing to enter a wild and tricky opening (in this case, the Blackburne Shilling Gambit) where you offer material, you should also be willing to continue in a wild and tricky manner after accepting material. 

nitxcool - dcarballor
10 0,, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 

The Blackburne Shilling Gambit. 


The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit.


There is both "more" and "less" to this move than meets the eye. It gives the appearance of some kind of Jedi mind trick that shouldn't work. (My advice to Black: take the piece.)

5.Bc4 d6 6.d3 Ke8

White is ahead in development, has an extra pawn, and his King faces no danger; while Black's King cannot castle to safety.

It does not take long for the first player to deliver the bad news.

7.Nxd4 exd4 8.Qh5+ g6 9.Qd5 Qf6 10.Bg5 Ne7 11.Qb5+ 

This works, although the straightforward 11.Bxf6 Nxd5 12.Bxd5 was a bit better, as Black's Rook will not excape.

11...c6 12.Qxc6+ 

And even better was 12.Bxf6 cxb5 13.Bxb5+ Bd7 14.Bxd7+ Kxd7 15.Bxh8 

12...bxc6 13.Bxf6 Bh6 14.Bxh8 d5 15.exd5 cxd5 16.Bb5+ Kf7

17.Bxd4 Rb8 18.Ba4 Rxb2

Missing 18...Rb4 but White still would be better. 

19.Bxb2  Black resigned

Monday, May 30, 2016

Another Way to Sacrifice the Knight

Here's a short Jerome Gambit game that again asks the question "What was White's 5th move all about?" It's one of those mysteries that continue to populate chess play...

asewe - paconava1, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Ng5+ 

I would like to attribute this move to a "mouse slip" or a lack of caffeine, but I notice that there are 507 games with 5.Ng5+ in The Database.

Odder, still, White scored 24% in those games.

Perhaps it is just another way to sacrifice White's Knight.  


Not everyone wants the Knight. The Database has 367 games with this capture. However, White's score drops to 17%. 

White resigned

This game brings to mind the comment of a chessfriend who enjoys playing the Jerome Gambit while visiting the local pub. Either way, he said, win or lose, the game is fun - and over quickly. Perhaps I should start referring to 5.Ng5+ as the "Pint Gambit"?