Saturday, July 23, 2016

Taking Risks, Finding the Win

Wall, Bill - Guest3603239, 2015

 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 

The Blackburne Shilling Gambit.


The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke8 


The position calls out for 6.Qh5+ - which Bill has also played - but if you believe Stockfish 7, the text move is a little bit better.


6...Ne6 was seen in Wall,B - Toyong,, 2010 (1-0, 22) and  Wall,B - Klevic,, 2014 (1-0, 34). 

7.Nxc6 dxc6 8.Qh5+ Ke7 

A little bit better was 8...g6 in Wall,B - Apple,, 2010 (1-0, 29) 


Keeping the draw in hand for a moment. Previously Bill had played 9.d4 in Wall,B - Verrsili,, 2010 (1-0, 19) 

9...Kd7 10.Qg4+ Ke8 11.Qe2 

Deciding to use the two extra pawns against Black's extra piece.

11...Be6 12.d4 Qe7 13.O-O Kd7 14.c4 Rd8 15.Nc3 Kc8 

Black has castled-by-hand on the Queenside. Now he concentrates on developing his pieces.

16.Be3 Nf6 17.d5 cxd5 18.cxd5 Bg4 19.f3 

The position looks about dynaically equal. Stockfish 7 suggests that the players should pursue that assessment:  19...Nxe4!? 20.fxg4 Nxc3 21.bxc3 Rxd5 22.Rae1 Qxe3+ 23.Qxe3 Bc5 24.Rf7 g6 25.h4 Re5 26.Qxc5 Rxc5 27.g5 Rxc3 28.Ree7 b6 29.Rxh7 Rd8 30.Re6 Rd2 31.Rxg6 Rg3 32.Rc6 Rgxg2+ 33.Kf1 Rgf2+ draw 

19...Bh5 20.Bxa7

Playing with fire, and daring Black to trap the Bishop with ...b7-b6. Black opts to pursue an attack on the enemy King, but the computer suggests that he go for the trap after preparation: 20...Nxd5!? 21.exd5 Qxe2 22.Nxe2 b6, etc. 


After 20...b6 21.Qa6+ Kd7 22.Qa4+ Kc8 23.Bxb6 Black's King's defenses are crumbling.

21.Rac1 Qe5

Again, 21...b6 will fall to 22.Qa6+ Kd7 23.Qa4+ Kc8 23.Bxb6.

22.Nb5 Rxd5

This attacks a piece and takes advantage of the pinned White e-pawn, but it is all too late.

23.Rxc7+ Kd8 24.Rxb7 Nxe4 25.Qxe4 Black resigned

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Toolbox for Black

Image result for image toolbox

Along with White, who has his "toolbox" of moves in the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+), Black has his own set of "tools" - standard moves or ideas to make sense of the opening.

Wall, Bill - Guest6953174, 2016

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bb4+ 

The "tool" stays in the toolbox. The wildest move here is the "pie-in-the-face" 6...Qh4!?. True, Black's Queen loves to come to e7 or f6, but there are times when this move is critical.

The Database has 1,459 games with 6.d4, but only 223 times (15%) is it answered by 6...Qh4. Admittedly, the move makes the same "mistake" as White's early Queen development, so it is probably not on Black's mind.

It takes a search depth of 23 ply for Stockfish 7 to settle on 6...Qh4, so it is not the first thing to come to the computer's "mind" either. 

7.c3 Bd6 

Sometimes Black just leaves the Bishop on b4. See "Further Exploration of An Odd Line".

Bill has seen several responses:

7...Nc4 8.cxb4 Qf6 9.Nc3 c6 10.b3 Qg6 11.Qf3+ Nf6 12.bxc4 Re8 13.O-O Kg8 14.e5 Ng4 15.h3 d6 16.hxg4 Bxg4 17.Qg3 Rf8 18.exd6 Black resigned, Wall,B - Anonymous,, 2016;

7...Qe7 8.dxe5 Bc5 9.Qd5+ Ke8 10.O-O c6 11.Qd1 d6 12.b4 Bb6 13.exd6 Qe5 14.Bb2 Nf6 15.Nd2 Be6 16.Nf3 Qf4 17.Bc1 Qg4 18.Re1 Nxe4 19.Be3 Rf8 20.Bxb6 axb6 21.Qd4 Rf4 22.h3 Qg6 23.Ne5 Qf5 24.Nd3 Rh4 25.Qxg7 Qf7 26.Qd4 Rd8 27.Rxe4 Rxe4 28.Qxe4 Rxd6 29.Re1 Kf8 30.Ne5 Qf5 31.Qe3 Bxa2 32.Qxb6 Rd2 33.Qe3 Rd6 34.Qc5 Qe6 35.Re3 Qh6 36.Nd7+ Kg8 37.Qe5 Rd1+ 38.Kh2 Rxd7 39.Qe8+ Qf8 40.Qxd7 Bf7 41.Qxb7 Qd6+ 42.g3 Kf8 43.Rf3 Qe6 44.Qxf7+ Qxf7 45.Rxf7+ Kxf7 46.c4 Ke6 47.b5 Kd7 48.f4 Kd6 49.b6 c5 50.f5 Black resigned, Wall,B - Guest3742987,, 2015;

7...Bxc3+ 8.Nxc3 Ng6 (8...Nc6 9.d5 [9.O-O Qf6 10.e5 Qg6 11.Qf3+ Ke8 12.Nb5 Kd8 13.Qf8+ Qe8 14.Qxe8+ Kxe8 15.Nxc7+ Ke7 16.Nxa8 Nxd4 17.Bg5+ Ke6 18.Nc7+ Kxe5 19.Rae1+ Kd6 20.Bf4+ Kc6 21.Rc1+ Kb6 22.Nd5+ Kb5 23.Rxc8 Ne6 24.a4+ Kxa4 25.Ra1+ Kb3 26.Be5 Black resigned, Wall,B - Caynaboos, FICS, 2011] 9...Ne5 10.f4 Ng6 11.h4 Nxh4 12.Qh5+ g6 13.Qxh4 Qxh4+ 14.Rxh4 Nf6 15.e5 Ne8 16.Be3 c6 17.O-O-O d6 18.e6+ Ke7 19.g4 Nf6 20.f5 gxf5 21.gxf5 cxd5 22.Bg5 a6 23.Nxd5+ Kf8 24.Bxf6 Rg8 25.Rxh7 b5 26.Be7+ Ke8 27.Nf6 checkmate, Wall,B - ChessFlower,, 2012) 9.O-O  Nf6 10.e5 Ne8 11.f4 (11.Qf3+ Kg8 12.Qd5+ Kf8 13.Be3 a6 14.Rae1 c6 15.Qb3 d5 16.f4 Kg8 17.f5 Nh4 18.Qc2 g6 19.f6 Be6 20.Bg5 Qb6 21.Bxh4 Qxd4+ 22.Bf2 Qf4 23.Ne2 Qc4 24.Qd2 Qxa2 25.Nd4 Bf5 26.Nxf5 gxf5 27.Qg5+ Kf7 28.e6+ Kf8 29.Bc5+ Nd6 30.Bxd6+ Ke8 31.f7 checkmate, Wall,B - Boris,, 201211...Rf8 12.f5 Ne7 13.Qb3+ d5 14.exd6+ Black resigned, Wall,B - FJBS, FICS, 2015; and

7...Be7 8. dxe5 Nh6 9. Qf3+ Ke6 10. Bxh6 gxh6 11. Qf5 checkmate, Wall,B - ChrSav, FICS, 2010.

Once again, the "tool" stayed in the toolbox. As an alternative, Black had 7...Qh4!?, which was seen 10 times in The Database, with 10 wins for Black. It is slightly less mysterious: Stockfish 7 takes only 15 ply to find the move. 

8.dxe5 Bxe5

There was reason to admit that move 7 was a mistake, and to try 8...Be7.

9.Qd5+ Kf6 10.f4 Kg6 11.O-O Bf6 

This allows mate.

12.f5+ Kh5 13.Qd1+ Kh4 14.Rf4+ Kg5 15.Rf3+ Black resigned

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Jerome Gambit Hammer

Sometimes defenders will believe that the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) is such a dubious opening that just about any defense will be good enough to defeat it. When that happens, the attacker should double his efforts to finish the game off quickly.

The following Internet game is from chessfriend Vlasta Fejfar of the Czech Republic. He makes fast work of his opponent.

Vlastous - PornobeshKumar
Internet, 2016

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.f4 g5

Quite an odd move. I was surprised to find several examples in The Database, including two games where it was played by the "Boris" computer personality at

8.fxe5 Kxe5

Stockfish 7 suggests 8...Nf6 9.exf6 Qxf6 10.Rf1 Qg6 11.Qe2 Ke7 12.Nc3 Kd8 when White is better.

Wall, B - Lisandru,, 2012, continued 8...Qf8 9.Rf1 Qe7 10.Qg4+ Kxe5 11.Qf5+ Black resigned


White played 9.c3 and then 10.d4+ successfully in Black,D - Boris,, 2012 (1-0, 18).

Stockfish 7 argues that White can hit the center immediately: 9.d4+ Bxd4 10.Bxg5 Nf6 11.Bxf6+ Kxf6 and Black's Bishop, Queen, and King remain in danger, e.g. 12.Rf1+ Kg7 13.Rf7+ Kg8 14.Rf3 Bf6 15.Nc3 Kg7 16.Nd5 Rf8 17.Rh3 Rf7 18.e5 - a line worth looking at in detail as an example of building an attack.


Or 9...Be7 10.d4+ Kxd4 11.Be3+ Kxe3 12.Qf3+ Kd4 13.Qc3+ Kxe4 14.Qd3+ Ke5 15.Rf5+ Ke6 16.Qd5 checkmate, Wall,B - Boris,, 2012.

10.d4+ Bxd4 11.Bxg5 Qd7

Black was doomed after 11...Kd6 12.Bxd8 in GuestCRJQ - Despistado, FICS, 2009 (1-0, 26).

12.Bh4+ Kd6 13. Qxd5  checkmate

Sunday, July 17, 2016

If You Can't Bash Them With the Jerome Gambit, Maybe You Can Bore Them to Tears


I don't always get to play the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+), no matter how hard I try. In its place, I sometimes explore the opening line suggested by chessfriend Yury Bukayev. The advantage that White gets is small - so small, in the following game, that I think it lulled my opponent to sleep...

(I suppose that I should be embarassed.)

perrypawnpusher - aquitanus
6 12 blitz, FICS, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 

The Two Knights Defense. That's okay. I always try for a transposition to the Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit after 4.Nc3 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ or the Semi-Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit after 4.Nc3 a6 5.0-0 Bc5 6.Bxf7+.

4.Nc3 Nxe4 

Rats. Going for the "fork trick". For a brief introduction as it relates to the Jerome, see the post "Jerome Gambit vs Two Knights Defense (Part 3)". Follow that up with "Further Explorations" (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5).

5.Nxe4 d5 6.Bd3 dxe4 7.Bxe4 Bd6 8.Bxc6+ bxc6


Instead, Bukayev recommends 9.d4 or 9.d3. Next time I will remember that.

9...Bg4 10.d3 Qf6 11.Re1 O-O-O 12.Re3

A good alternative was 12.Bg5.

12...Bc5 13.Re4 Rd4 14.Be3 Rxe4 15.dxe4 Rd8 16.Qe2 Qd6 17.Bxc5 Qxc5 18.Rd1 Rxd1+ 19.Qxd1 Qc4 

White has what my father used to call "a whole lot of nothing". Black's Bishop vs Knight and better placed Queen balances out his troubled Queenside pawns. Perhaps White's best try for a slight edge is now 20.Nxe5.

20.Qd3 Qxd3 21.cxd3 Bxf3 22.gxf3 Kd7

How does that old "Porgy and Bess" tune go? I've got plenty of nothing, and nothing's plenty for me...

I did have more time on my clock, though, and I figured that I was not risking much by continuing to play. (It is an embarassingly bland position for a Jerome Gambiteer - but not as embarassing as a losing one.)

23.Kf1 Kd6 24.Ke2 g5 25.Ke3 c5 26.Kd2 Kc6 27.Kc3 Kb5 28.Kb3 a5 29.a4+ Kc6 30.Kc4 h6 31.b3 h5 32.Kc3 Kd6 33.Kd2 c6 34.Kc3 Ke6 35.Kc4 Kd6 

Not much going on. Black has a possible slip - if he has become bored with me. (I have a later slip, if I get too excited.)

36.Kc3 Ke6 37.Kd2 Kf6 38.h3 Kg6

An unfortunate slip that tosses away the draw. Of course, 38...Ke6, heading back to the Queenside, was the move.

39.Kc3 Kf6 40.Kc4 h4 41.Kxc5 g4

Giving me a chance to blunder with the rote "capture toward the center" 42.hxg3? h4, giving Black the win.

42.fxg4  Black resigned