Saturday, June 11, 2016

A Fierce Jerome Gambit Battle

Battle of Kutna Hora by wraithdt

I received another Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) game from chessfriend Vlastamil Fejfar, of the Czech Republic. It appears to be a correspondence game, and is a very difficult battle, ultimately being won by his opponent. It should be of interest to Readers.

Fejfar, Vlasta - Chvojka
correspondence (?) Czech Republic, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.f4 d6

The annoying "Annoying Defense", favorite of computer engines (hence the name, as well, "Silicon Defense"), which drains a lot of the play out of the opening and leaves White grasping at ways to continue his attack.

8.fxe5 dxe5 9.Qh3+ Ke7

For the alternative 9...Kd6 see Fejfar,V - Pressl, corr Czech Republic, 2015 (1/2-1/2, 15) and Fejfar,V - Kyzlink, corr Czech Republic, 2015 (1-0, 22).

10.Qg3 Kf7 11.Qxe5


Instead, 11...Bd4 was seen in Fejfar,V - Goc,P, 2015, (1/2-1/2, 70).

For 11...Qd6 see Wall,B - Qi,H,, 2011 (1-0, 14); for 11...b6 see Wall,B - Redom,T,, 2010, (1/2-1/2, 59). 

12.g3 Qe7 13.Qxe7+ Nxe7

See "Philidor1792 vs The Annoying Defense" Parts 1 and 2.

White has two central pawns for his sacrificed piece, and would probably hold the game in club play or online blitz play. The fact that he can make no progress against his opponent in this game strongly suggests that it was a correspondence match.

14.h3 Be6 15.d3 Rhf8 16.Ke2 Nc6 17.c3 Kg8 18.Be3 Bd6 19.g4 Ne5

20.b3 Ng6 21.Nd2 Nf4+ 22.Bxf4 Bxf4 23.Nc4 a6 24.d4 Rae8 25.e5 b5 26.Ne3 c5

27.Rhf1 b4 28.Nf5 g5 29.Nd6 Re7 30.cxb4 cxd4 31.Kd3 Rb8 32.Ne4 Bf7 White resigned

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Macbeth Attack

I recently discovered a page on the Italian language website Sacchi64 devoted to what it calls "the Macbeth Attack" (after Shakespeare's "Macbeth") 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ which the site also refers to as "the Crazy Attack". It includes a file of 56 computer-vs-computer games in a 2013 thematic tournament.

This line was seen (by transposition) as early as Wright - Hunn, Arkansas, 1874, referred to in the November 1874 issue of the Dubuque Chess Journal as "An unsound variation of Jerome's double opening."

Sacchi64 also has a page on the Jerome Gambit1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ as well as a file of 56 computer-vs-computer games in another thematic tournament (from 2009). I am playing through them, and am pleased to see that a few of the computers appear to  have included the Jerome Gambit in their "books". As I noted in an earlier post
Given that the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) is not likely to be deemed "best" play for White by the analysis of any competent computer, any time the opening is played by a program, it is likely that the Jerome has been included in the opening "book".

I will share relevant games in future posts.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

To Jerome or Not Jerome


Although the Jerome Gambit Declined, 1.e5 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kf8/e7 is rare (2.5 %, about 300 examples in the roughly 12,400 Jerome Gambit games with this move order in The Database), I always respond with the ordinary 5.Bb3, callously abandoning gambit play.

This is in contrast to how I face the Blackburne Shilling Gambit, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4, - by sacrificing with 4.Bxf7+ instead of the perfectly normal options 4.Nxd5, 4.0-0,  4.c3 or 4.d3 - or also chancing 4.Bxf7+ against the nameless 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Na5 when the sedate 4.Nxe5 would do fine.

Similarly, against the Semi-Italian opening, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6, I prefer the waiting moves 4.0-0 or 4.Nc3, giving Black the chance to come to his senses and play 4...Bc5 when I can still gambit the Bishop with 5.Bxf7+.

Yet, in the Semi-Italian opening there is also the not-waiting choice 4.d4 which is the subject of the following game, one played by Darrenshome at that I recently discovered.

Darrenshome - Gagar1n
4 0 blitz,, 2014

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

The Semi-Italian Opening.


For some background on this move, check out "A Look At the Semi-Italian Opening" Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.


For a look at troubled alternative, 4...d6, see "The Jerome Gambit Treatment - Unbelieveable!" as well as the "Addendum" and "A Bit More".


So far we have been following the blindfold simultaneous game Morphy - Bousserolles, Paris, 1859, according to the ChessBase Big Database 2016, which continued 5...Nge7 6.Qb3 d5 7.exd5 Nb8 8.d6 Qxd6 9.Bxf7+ Kd8 10.cxd4 Nbc6 11.Nc3 Na5 12.Qa4 Nac6 13.O-O Bd7 14.Be3 Qf6 15.Bc4 Kc8 16.Rfe1 Nd8 17.Qb3 a6 18.Ne5 b5 19.Bd5 c6 20.Ne4 Qh4 21.g3 Qh5 22.Nd6+ Kc7 23.Bf3 Qh3 24.Rac1 Kxd6 25.Bf4 Be6 26.Nd3+ Kd7 27.Rxe6 Nxe6 28.Bg4 Qxg4 29.Ne5+ Ke8 30.Nxg4 Nxd4 31.Qe3 Black resigned

5...dxc3 6.Nxc3

Here we have a Scotch Gambit or Goring Gambit-style position where Black's ...h6 puts him further at risk. One example I have found is Levy - Bouaziz, Oerebro, 1966, which continued 6...Bb47.O-O Bxc3 8.bxc3 d6 9.Qb3 Qf6 10.Nd4 Bd7 11.f4 Na5 12.Qb4 Nc6 13.Qb2 Nge7 14.e5 Qg6 15.Qxb7 Rb8 16.Qxc7 Rc8 17.Qxd6 Qxd6 18.exd6 Nxd4 19.cxd4 Rxc4 20.Re1 Be6 21.dxe7 Rxd4 22.Rb1 Kd7 23.Rb7+ Kc6 24.Rxa7 Rd5 25.Be3 Rb8 26.Rc1+ Kd6 27.Rb7 Re8 28.Rcb1 Rd3 29.R1b6+ Kd5 30.Rb5+ Kc6 31.Kf2 Ra3 32.R5b6+ Kd5 33.Rb2 Raa8 34.Rd2+ Kc6 35.Rb6+ Kc7 36.Rc2+ Kd7 37.Rb7+ Kd6 38.Bc5+ Kc6 39.Rbb2 Kd5 40.Bb4 Rac8 41.Rxc8 Bxc8 42.Rd2+ Kc6 43.Rd8 Bd7 Black resigned

Part of what got me interested in presenting Darrenshome's game was the opportunity to look at the alternative, outrageous Jerome-ish move, 6.Bxf7+the subject of posts on in 2010 by metallictaste - see "My own chess opening: rebuking the anti-fried liver!" [The name "anti-fried liver" refers to 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6, what I call here, after Euwe, the Semi-Italian Opening - Rick]

metallictaste's idea can be seen in 6...Kxf7 7.Qd5+ Ke8 (if 7...Ke7 8.e5 d6 9.Ng5 hxg5 10.Bxg5+ Nf6 11.exf6+ gxf6 12.Bxf6+ Kxf6 13.Nxc3) 8.Nxc3 (8.Qh5+ Ke7 9.Ng5 Nf6 [9...Qe8! was suggested by PrawnEatsPrawn at] 10.Qh4 Nf6 11.Nxc3 Kd8 12.O-O Be7 13.Nf3) 10.Qf7+ Kd6 11.Nxc3 Ne5 12.Nb5+ Kc6 13.Be3 Kxb5 14.Qb3+ Kc6 15. Qc3+ Kd6 16.Qc5 checkmate, metallictaste - anon,, 2010.

Some opening lines - and the Jerome Gambit is a perfect example - continue to be invented and re-invented, so it is fun to delve into The Database and discover:

7.Nxc3 Ke8 8.O-O Bb4 9.Nd5 Nge7 10.Qd4 Nxd5 11.Qxg7 Rf8 12.exd5 Ne7 13.Bxh6 Nf5 14.Qxf8+ Bxf8 15.Bxf8 Kxf8 16.Rfe1 d6 17.Re2 b6 18.Rae1 Ng7 19.Nd4 Ba6 20.Nc6 Qh4 21.Re7 Nf5 22.Rxc7 Nd4 23.Ree7 Nxc6 24.Rf7+ Kg8 25.Rh7 Qc4 26.Rhg7+ Kf8 27.Rgf7+ Ke8 28.Rxc6 Qf1 checkmate, Darrenshome - raykou, FICS, 2007;

7.Nxc3 Bc5 8.Qd5+ Kg6 9.Qxc5 Nf6 10.e5 Ne4 11.Qe3 d5 12.Nxc3 Nxc3 13.Qxc3 Be6 14.Nd2 Rf8 15.f4 Kh7 16.f5 Bxf5 17.Nf3 Qe7 18.Bxh6 gxh6 19.Nh4 Be6 20.Qd3+ Kg7 21.Qg6+ Kh8 22.Qxh6+ Qh7 23.Ng6+ Kg8 24.Qxh7+ Kxh7 25.Nxf8+ Kg8 26.Nxe6 Nxe5 27.Nxc7 Rc8 28.Ne6 Re8 29.Nd4 Nd3 30.Nb5 a6 31.Nd6 Re6 32.Nf5 Nxb2 33.Rab1 Rb6 34.Rf2 Nc4 35.Rxb6 Nxb6 36.Nd6 d4 37.Nxb7 d3 38.Rd2 a5 39.Nc5 Nc4 40.Rxd3 Nb2 41.Rd8+ Kf7 42.Ra8 Nc4 43.Ne4 Ke6 44.Nc5+ Kd5 45.Nb7 a4 46.Rxa4 Kc6 47.Rxc4+ White ran out of time and Black had no material to mate, draw, Darrenshome - arkascha, FICS, 2007; and

7.O-O Nf6 8.e5 Ne4 9.Qd5+ Ke7 10.Qxe4 d6 11.Nxc3 Be6 12.Qh4+ g5 13.Bxg5+ hxg5 14.Qxh8 Kd7 15.exd6 Kxd6 16.Rad1+ Ke7 17.Rxd8 Rxd8 18.Nxg5 Nd4 19.Nxe6 Nxe6 20.Re1 Kd6 21.Rd1+ Ke7 22.Rxd8 Nxd8 23.Nd5+ Kd6 24.Qd4 Ne6 25.Qb4+ Nc5 26.Qf4+ Kxd5 27.Qxf8 c6 28.h4 Kc4 29.h5 Na4 30. 3+ Kc3 31.bxa4 Black resigned, Darrenshome - arkascha, FICS, 2007.

6...Bc5 7.Bxf7+ 

The Jerome-like tactical response to Black's last move.

7...Kxf7 8.Qd5+ Ke8 9.Qh5+ 

Varying from his earlier 9.Qxc5 d6 10.Qh5+ Kf8 11.O-O Nf6 12.Qb5 a6 13.Qe2 Bg4 14.Nd5 Nxd5 15.exd5 Ne5 16.Be3 Nxf3+ 17.gxf3 Bh3 18.Rfe1 Qe8 19.Bf4 Qg6+ 20.Bg3 Kg8 21.Qe7 Kh7 22.Qxc7 Rhe8 23.Rxe8 Rxe8 24.Qxb7 Qc2 25.Bxd6 Qd2 26.Bg3 Re1+ 27. Rxe1 Qxe1 checkmate, Darrenshome - soacgyngo, FICS, 2007

9...Kf8 10.Qxc5+ d6 11.Qe3 Nf6 

White has a comfortable edge after less than a dozen moves, a pleasant outcome in either the Jerome Gambit or the Scotch/Goring Gambit.

12.O-O Bg4 13.Nd4 Nxd4 14.Qxd4 Qe7

Black has a defensive plan: exchange pieces and utilize the Bishops-of-opposite-colors endgame to draw. However, a moment of distraction while dealing with the advancing "Jerome pawns" leads to disaster.

15.Be3 Qe5 16.Qb4 b6 17.f4 Qe6 18.e5 Nd5 19.Nxd5 Qxd5 20.f5 Qxe5 21.Qxg4 Qxe3+ 22.Kh1

Black's extra pawn is offset by his King's uneasy placement. White should be able to push and hold the draw. Instead, Black, feeling the danger along the f-file, slips.

22...Ke7 23.Rae1 Black resigned

His Queen is pinned and lost.

Sunday, June 5, 2016


I was looking at some recent games played at, and recognized the name Darrenshome. I should - he has over 400 games in The Database, played at FICS, starting in 2005.

It turns out that Darrenshome has also played almost 6,000 games, total, at I don't have a way to easily check his work there for Jerome Gambit and related games, but I wanted to share the following.

Darrenshome - sanuch111
3 2 blitz,, 2016

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nd4

The Blackburne Shilling Gambit.


The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke8 6.c3 Qg5 7.cxd4

The right idea against Black's thematic threat.

He fought valliantly after the slip 7.Qf3, but it was all for naught:  7...Nxf3+ 8.Nxf3 Qxg2 9.Rg1 Qxf3 10.d3 Qxd3 11.Rg3 Qd6 12.Be3 Be7 13.Nd2 Bh4 14.Rxg7 Qf6 15.Rg1 d6 16.Bd4 Bxf2+ 17.Bxf2 Qf4 18.Bd4 Nf6 19.O-O-O Rf8 20.e5 Ne4 21.exd6 cxd6 22.Rge1 Bg4 23.Rxe4+ Qxe4 24.Nxe4 Bxd1 25.Kxd1 Kd7 26.Nf6+ Ke6 27.Nxh7 Rf1+ 28.Ke2 Rh1 29.Ng5+ Kd5 30.Nf3 Re8+ 31.Kd3 b6 32.Be3 Rd1+ 33.Nd2 Rh8 34.c4+ Kc6 35.Bf4 Rh3+ 36.Bg3 Rh5 37.Kc2 Rg1 38.Nf3 Rg2+ 39.Kc3 d5 40.Ne5+ Kc5 41.Nd3+ Kc6 42.Ne5+ Kb7 43.Nd3 dxc4 44.Nf4 Rxg3+ 45.hxg3 Rg5 46.Kxc4 Rxg3 47.Nd3 a6 48.a3 b5+ 49.Kd4 Kb6 50.Ne5 Rg2 51.Nd3 a5 52.Kd5 Rd2 53.Kd4 Kc6 54.Kc3 Rh2 55.Kd4 a4 56.Ke5 Rh4 57.Nf2 Kc5 58.Ne4+ Kc4 59.Nd6+ Kb3 60.Kd5 Rh5+ 61.Kc6 Kxb2 62.Nxb5 Rxb5 63.Kxb5 Kxa3 64.Kc4 Kb2 65.Kd4 a3 66.Ke3 a2 White resigned, Darrenshome - AndyMell, FICS, 2005

7...Qxg2 8.Qf3 Qxf3 9.Nxf3 d6

Or 9...Nf6 10.Nc3 Bb4 11.e5 Bxc3 12.dxc3 Nd5 13.c4 Nb6 14.a4 Nxc4 15.b3 Nb6 16.Rg1 g6 17.Bh6 d6 18.Bg7 Rg8 19.Bf6 dxe5 20.dxe5 Be6 21.Rb1 Nd5 22.Ng5 Nxf6 23.Nxe6 Ke7 24.Nxc7 Rac8 25.exf6+ Kxf6 26.Nd5+ Ke6 27.Ne3 Rge8 28.Nc4 a6 29.Nb6 Rc6 30.Nc4 b5 31.axb5 axb5 32.Ne3 Kf7 33.Rg5 b4 34.Kf1 Rb6 35.Rd1 Kf6 36.Rgd5 Rbe6 37.R5d4 Kg7 38.Rxb4 Rf8 39.Rb7+ Kh6 40.Rd3 Rf3 41.Ng4+ Kg5 42.Rxf3 Kxg4 43.Rff7 h5 44.Rb4+ Kh3 45.Rf3+ Kxh2 46.Rh4 checkmate, Darrenshome - Steftcho, FICS, 2009; or

9...Bb4 10.a3 Ba5 11.b4 Bb6 12.Nc3 Ne7 13.a4 a6 14.a5 Ba7 15.b5 axb5 16.Nxb5 Kd8 17.Ba3 Nc6 18.Ng5 Rf8 19.Bxf8 h6 20.Nxa7 Nxa7 21.Nf3 d6 22.Bxg7 h5 23.Bf6+ Ke8 24.Ng5 Bg4 25.h3 Bd7 26.d5 Bb5 27.Ne6 Kd7 28.Rg1 c6 29.Rg7+ Ke8 30.Nc7+ Black resigned, Darrenshome - Steftcho, FICS, 2009 


Or 10.d3 Bg4 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.f3 Bd7 13.Nc3 h6 14.e5 dxe5 15.Nge4 Nxe4 16.fxe4 Bb4 17.Bd2 exd4 18.Nd5 Bxd2+ 19.Kxd2 Rc8 20.Rac1 Bc6 21.Nf4 Bd7 22.Rhg1 g5 23.Ng6 Rg8 24.Ne5 b6 25.Nxd7 Kxd7 26.Rc4 c5 27.b4 Rgf8 28.Rg2 Rf4 29.a4 Kd6 30.b5 Ke5 31.Ke2 Rg8 32.Rg3 Rf2+ 33.Kxf2 Kf4 34.Rf3+ Kg4 35.Rf7 h5 36.Rxa7 Rf8+ 37.Kg2 Rf3 38.Rb7 Rxd3 39.Rxb6 Rd2+ 40.Kf1 Kf3 41.a5 Rd1 checkmate, Darrenshome - crazymaniac, FICS, 2008 

10...Bg4 11.Ng5

He has also tried the creative 11.Ke2 against a regular BSG fan: 11...Kd7 12.d3 Ne7 13.Rg1 h5 14.h3 Bxh3 15.Ng5 Bg4+ 16.f3 Be6 17.Nxe6 Kxe6 18.d5+ Kd7 19.Bg5 Ng6 20.f4 h4 21.f5 Ne5 22.d4 Nf7 23.Bf4 Re8 24.Kd3 c6 25.Rae1 h3 26.e5 dxe5 27.dxe5 Nxe5+ 28.Bxe5 Bb4 29.dxc6+ bxc6 30.Bh2 Ref8 31.Rxg7+ Kc8 32.Rxa7 Rd8+ 33.Kc4 c5 34.Rc7+ Kb8 35.Rxc5+ Ka8 36.Kxb4 Rb8+ 37.Rb5 Rxb5+ 38.Nxb5 Rh4+ 39.Kb3 Rg4 40.Re8+ Kb7 41.Rh8Black resigned,  Darrenshome - ZekeTheWolf, FICS, 2008

11...h6 12.f3 

Not the best choice. Instead, 12.Rg1 was more what he was looking for. Now it takes a bit more battling to pull ahead.

12...Bd7 13.d3 hxg5 14.Bxg5 Be7 15.Be3 a6 16.f4 Rh3 17.Kd2 Be6 18.f5 Bf7 19.Rag1 Kf8 20.e5 dxe5 21.dxe5 Be8 22.Nd5 Bc6 23.Nxc7 Rc8 24.Ne6+ Kf7

Missing some tactics. Perhaps he was overly focused on the Rook at h1.

25.Rxg7+ Ke8 26.Rxg8+ Kd7 27.Rxc8 Kxc8 28.Rg1 Rxh2+ 29.Kc3 Kb8 30.f6 Bd8 31.Nxd8 Black resigned