Saturday, September 3, 2016

No Jerome Gambit? All Is Not Lost

From a recent letter from chessfriend Roger
Our opponents won't always play the Giuoco Piano and very often play the Two Knights defense. I also find it difficult to steer the game to the good Jerome gambit lines from the Two Knights. However, there's a good way to load up on the f7 pawn using the Perreux variation (aka The Morphy Win'Mill). Here's a good example:

Internet, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 

4.d4 exd4 5.Ng5 Ne5 6.Bb3 Bb4+ 

7.c3 dxc3 8.bxc3 Bc5 9.f4 Neg4 10.Bxf7+ Kf8 11.Ne6+ Black resigned 

Neat finish! Black did not make it to a dozen moves.

Many thanks for sharing, Roger!

I have struggled with the Two Knights, as indicated in a number of blog posts, including"Jerome Gambit vs Two Knights Defense" Part 1, 2, 3 & 4.

Probably the best coverage of the Perreux Variation appears in Michael Goeller's analysis pages (with a measured further personal assessment) at his The Kenilworthian site. For fast and fun games, the Perreux can be the ticket.

It is also enjoyable to read Michel's essay on "Chess Amateurism".

There is a lot to be uncovered by searching the internet, but I wanted to mention a selection of relevant games at

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Chaos Rules

I enjoy playhing over the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) games of ZahariSokolov playing at FICS. He shows an understanding of the opening, and brings a creativity that expands its impact.

In the following very difficult, complicated game, however, his opponent presents an odd, rarely-played defense, and the game quickly leaves recommended play. Still, it takes oversights on both sides before the winner is finally decided.

ZahariSokolov - mmamaju
standard, FICS, 2015

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke7

Here we have the "Jerome Gambit, Paulsen Variation", otherwise known as "An Odd Line in an Odd Line". It is more of a psychological ploy than a solid defense - but, in this game at least, it is successful.


Electing to retain his Knight. In similar situations (see below) it can be exchanged to double Black's pawns.

6.Qh5 is the strongest response, although there are not many examples in The Database: 6...Qf8 (6...d6 7.Qf7# stivb_99 - spymaster,, 2008) 7.Nxc6+ (7.0–0 d6 8.Ng6+ hxg6 9.Qxh8 Nd4 10.Na3 Ne2+ 11.Kh1 Be6 12.d4 Bxd4 13.f4 Qf6 14.Nb5 Bb6 15.Bd2 a6 16.Nc3 Nxc3 17.Bxc3 Bd4 18.e5 dxe5 19.fxe5 Qxe5 20.Bxd4 Qxd4 21.c3 Qe5 22.Rae1 Qd5 23.Qxg7+ Kd6 24.Rd1 Qxd1 25.Rxd1+ Kc6 26.Qxg6 Black resigned, guest1200 – satmonger, Internet ChessClub, 2001) 7...dxc6 8.Qxc5+ Ke8 9.Qxf8+ Kxf8 10.c3 Nf6 11.d3 Kf7 12.0–0 Rf8 13.f4 Kg8 14.f5 Bd7 15.h3 Rae8 16.g4 h6 17.Bf4 Rc8 18.Nd2 c5 19.Nf3 c6 20.Nh4 Rf7 21.c4 Rd8 22.Ng6 Be8 23.Rf3 Rfd7 24.Ne5 Re7 25.Rd1 Nd7 26.Nxd7 Rexd7 27.Kf2 Bf7 28.Ke3 Kf8 29.h4 Ke7 30.g5 hxg5 31.hxg5 Ke8 32.g6 Bg8 33.Rh3 Kf8 34.Rh8 b5 35.b3 a5 36.Rdh1 Rxd3+ 37.Ke2 R3d7 38.Bg5 Re8 39.Ke3 bxc4 40.bxc4 Rd4 41.R8h4 Rxc4 42.Rb1 Rb4 43.Rxb4 cxb4 44.Kd3 Rc8 45.e5 Rd8+ 46.Kc2 Rc8 47.f6 c5 48.f7 Bxf7 49.gxf7 Kxf7 50.Rc4 Ke6 51.Bf4 Kd5 52.Kb3 a4+ 53.Kxa4 Kxc4 54.e6 Re8 55.Ka5 Rxe6 56.Bc7 Kc3 57.Bb6 c4 58.Bc5 Re5 59.Kb5 b3 60.axb3 cxb3 61.Kc6 Rxc5+ 62.Kxc5 b2 63.Kd5 b1Q 64.Ke6 Qb5 65.Kf7 Kd4 66.Kxg7 Qc6 67.Kf7 Ke5 68.Kf8 Qd7 69.Kg8 Kf6 70.Kh8 Qg7 checkmate, UNPREDICTABLE - aladu, FICS, 2009.

Second best seems to be 6.d4 Bb4+ (6...Nxe5 7.dxc5 d6 8.Bg5+ Nf6 9.f4 Nc6 10.O-O h6 11.cxd6+ Qxd6 12.e5 Qxd1 13.Rxd1 hxg5 14.exf6+ Kxf6 15.fxg5+ Kxg5 16.Nc3 Bf5 17.Rd2 g6 18.Nd5 Rad8 19.Rad1 Bg4 20.Re1 Nb4 21.Re5+ Bf5 22.Rf2 Rxd5 23.h4+ Kxh4 24.g3+ Kg5 25.Ree2 Nxc2 26.Kg2 Nb4 27.Kf3 Bg4+ 28.Kg2 Bxe2 29.Rxe2 Rhd8 30.Re7 R5d7 31.Re5+ Kf6 32.Rb5 Nxa2 33.Rxb7 c5 34.Rb5 c4 35.Ra5 Nc1 36.g4 Nb3 37.Rb5 Nd4 38.Rb4 Rc7 39.b3 c3 40.Rxd4 Rxd4 41.Kg3 c2 42.b4 c1=Q 43.b5 Rc3+ 44.Kh4 Qh1 checkmate, ainafets - Straineryou, FICS, 2007; 6...Nxd4 7.Bg5+ Nf6 8.O-O d6 9.Ng4 Bxg4 10.Qxg4 Ne6 11.Rd1 Nxg5 12.Qxg5 Kd7 13.Qf5+ Ke7 14.Nc3 Qf8 15.e5 Bxf2+ 16.Qxf2 dxe5 17.Qc5+ Kf7 18.Qxc7+ Kg8 19.Qxe5 Re8 20.Qc7 Ng4 21.Qc4+ Qf7 22.Qxg4 Black resigned, trebbor - saucer, FICS, 20017.c3 d6 8.Bg5+ Nf6 9.Bxf6+ gxf6 10.Nxc6+ bxc6 11.cxb4 c5 12.a3 cxd4 13.O-O Qg8 14.g3 Be6 15.Qxd4 Bc4 16.Re1 Qe6 17.Nd2 f5 18.exf5 Black resigned, Darthnik - Amoxicillin, FICS, 2011.

There is also the reasonable-looking 6.Nxc6+ bxc6 (6...dxc6 7.d3 Nf6 8.Bg5 Be6 9.O-O Kd7 10.e5 h6 11.Bh4 g5 12.Bg3 Ng4 13.h3 Ne3 14.fxe3 Bxe3+ 15.Bf2 Bxf2+ 16.Rxf2 Ke7 17.c3 c5 18.d4 Qd5 19.Qf3 Raf8 20.Qxd5 Bxd5 21.Nd2 Rxf2 22.Kxf2 b5 23.Nf3 Rf8 24.a3 h5 25.Kg3 Rg8 26.Rf1 g4 27.hxg4 Rxg4+ 28.Kf2 Rf4 29.Ke3 Re4+ 30.Kd2 Rg4 31.Rf2 Black forfeited on time, perrypawnpusher - salla, blitz, FICS, 2010) 7.d4 Bb6 (7...Bb4+ 8.c3 Bd6 9.Bg5+ Nf6 10.e5 Bxe5 11.dxe5 Kf8 12.O-O h6 13.exf6 gxf6 14.Be3 d5 15.Bc5+ Kg8 16.Nd2 h5 17.Nf3 Bg4 18.Qd3 Bxf3 19.Qg6 checkmate, CoachCrupp - zzzozzzo, FICS, 2008) 8.Bg5+ Nf6 9.e5 Ba6 10.exf6+ gxf6 11.Be3 Qg8 12.Rg1 Re8 13.a4 c5 14.a5 cxd4 15.axb6 dxe3 16.Rxa6 axb6 17.fxe3 Qg5 18.Qf3 Kf7 19.Kd2 Re7 20.Nc3 Rhe8 21.Nd5 Re4 22.Nf4 Qc5 23.Ra3 Qe5 24.Rd3 Qa5+ 25.c3 Qb5 26.Qh5+ Qxh5 27.Rxd7+ Black resigned, jankrb - Red House,, 2013;


Black's best response is 6...d5, which would be a TN, keeping his advantage.


White should simply take the Knight on e5 and be better. With the text, he returns the advantage to his adversary.

One wonders if one of Alekhine's cats jumped on White's keyboard. 

7...Nxc4 8.dxc4 h6 9.Nc3 c6 10.Qg4 Qf8 11.O-O Kd8 12.Be3 Be7 13.e5 d6 14.Qh5 

14...Kc7 15.exd6+ Bxd6 16.Ne4

A slip. Better was 16.c5 Be7 17.Qd5+. 

16...Nf6 17.Qf3 Bg4 18.Qf4

Perhaps Stockfish 7's suggestion held out more hope: 18.Bf4 Bxf3 19.Bxd6+ Qxd6 20.Nxd6 Kxd6 21.gxf3

18...Bxf4 19.Bxf4+ Kc8 20.Nd6+ Kd7 21.Nxb7 Be2 22.Rfe1 Bxc4 23.Rad1+ Bd5 24.c4 Kc8 25.Nd6+ Kd7 26.cxd5 Nxd5 27.Bg3 

White has been fighting back fiercely since losing his Queen, and he is helped by Black's next move, which actually gives the attacker the advantage in the game. Perhaps time problems?

27...Re8 28.Ne4

A missed opportunity for White, as he had 28.Rxe8 Qxe8 29.Nxe8 Rxe8 with a small advantage.

Black is now able to move on to victory. 

28...Re6 29.f3 h5 30.Rc1 Rg6 31.Nc5+ Kc8 32.Ne6 Qb4 33.Rb1 Qb6+ 34.Bf2 Qa6 35.a3 Re8 36.Nc5 Rxe1+ 37.Rxe1 Qc4 38.Ne4 Qb3 39.Nc3 Nxc3 40.bxc3 Qxc3 41.Re8+ Kd7 42.Re1 Qxa3 43.Bh4 Qb4 44.Kh1 Qxh4 White resigned

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Heavy Traffic on a Byway

The following blitz game is a miniature, but the notes fill the post up. There is a lot to look at in the line - or, you can simply enjoy ATL_ROOKS' effort.

ATL_ROOKS - tavista
5 0 blitz,, 2016

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

The website calls this the "anti-fried liver attack". I prefer " the "semi-Italian game" after Euwe and Meiden, in their Chess Master vs Chess Amateur (1974).

 4.O-O Bc5 5.Bxf7+ 

The semi-Italian Jerome Gambit.

5...Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.Qh5+

For 7.d4 see a handful of Bill Wall games:

Wall,B - Foman,, 2010 (1-0, 16)
Wall,B - Merdiyev,F,, 2010 (1-0, 17)
Wall,B - Ratebabb, Chess.comm 2010 (1-0, 28)
Wall,B  -Guest2474397,, 2014 (1-0, 24) 
Wall,B - Dad88,, 2014, (1-0, 34)


Or 7...Ng6 as in Wall,B - Castro,S,, 2010 (1-0, 23).

I have encountered 7...g6 a number of times:

perrypawnpusher - islanderchess, blitz, FICS, 2008 (1-0, 46)
perrypawnpusher - wadada, blitz, FICS, 2009 (1-0, 19)
perrypawnpusher - JohnBr, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 8)
perrypawnpusher - apinheiro, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 35)
perrypawnpusher - alekbb, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 47)
perrypawnpusher - PravinMamania, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 50)
perrypawnpusher - AcesFullofKings, blitz, FICS, 2011 (1-0, 8)
perrypawnpusher - eaadahl,, 2013 (1-0, 37)
perrypawnpusher - Entangle, blitz, FICS, 2014 (1-0, 24) 
perrypawnpusher - Duwasi, blitz, FICS, 2016 (1-0, 57)


A couple of interesting suggestions from Stockfish 7 are 8.Qh3+!?and 8.b4!?. 

8...Kd6 9.d4 

The Database has one game example each of three different move alternatives (be sure to be careful playing the games over):

9.Nc3!? Qf6 10.Nb5+ Kc6 11.Qxf6+ Nxf6 12.a4 Nxe4 13.d4 a6 14.Nxc7 Kxc7 15.dxe5 d6 16.exd6+ Kxd6 17.Bf4+ Kc6 18.c3 Bg4 19.b4 Ba7 20.b5+ Kd7 21.c4 Be2 22.Rfe1 Bxf2+ 23.Kh1 Bxe1 24.Rxe1 Bd3 25.Rd1 Nf2+ 26.Kg1 Nxd1 27.bxa6 Rxa6 28.Be5 Rf8 White resigned, chessup - HybrideS, FICS, 2013 ;

9.Rd1!? Ne7 10.Qh5 g6 11.Qh3 Bd4 12.Qa3+ Bc5 13.b4 Bd4 14.c3 Bxf2+ 15.Kxf2 Rf8+ 16.Ke3 White resigned, prettyhip1 - cubs0_0,, 2007;

9.Na3!? Qf6 10.Nc4+ Nxc4 11.Qd5+ Ke7 12.Qxc5+ Qd6 13.Qxc4 b6 14.d4 Bb7 15.f3 Re8 16.Bd2 Kd8 17.a4 a5 18.b4 Qc6 19.Qd3 axb4 20.a5 bxa5 21.Rxa5 d6 22.Rb1 Kd7 23.Rxb4 Ra8 24.d5 Qb6+ 25.Rxb6 cxb6 26.Rxa8 Bxa8 27.Qb5+ Ke7 28.Qxb6 Nf6 29.Qc7+ Nd7 30.Bf4 Rd8 31.Qxd6+ Kf7 32.Qe6+ Black resigned, Philidor1792 - u_prolazu,, 2014


Or 9...Ne7 10.Qxe5+ Kc6 11.Qxc5 checkmate, perrypawnpusher - StockholmMoskva, blitz, FICS, 2010.

Or 9...Qf6 10.dxe5+ Qxe5 11.Bf4 Black resigned, perrypawnpusher - joejox, blitz, FICS, 2009 or 11.Rd1+ Bd4 12.Qf8+ Ke6 13.Qe8+ Kf6 14.Qf8+ Ke6 15.Qe8+ Kf6 drawn, perrypawnpusher - Joyus, blitz, FICS, 2007

10.Rd1 Ne7 

Popular has been 10...c5

perrypawnpusher - Lakritzl, blitz, FICS, 2009 (1-0, 20)
perrypawnpusher - Repunante, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 17)
perrypawnpusher - Jantra, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 26)
perrypawnpusher - tuffmom, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 17)
perrypawnpusher - tuffmom, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 26)
perrypawnpusher - Xasquete, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 46)
perrypawnpusher - pblond, blitz, FICS, 2011 (0-1, 14)
perrypawnpusher - pblond, blitz, FICS, 2011 (0-1, 23)
perrypawnpusher - lkytmr, blitz, FICS, 2012 (1-0, 12) 

Also seen: 10...Ke7 as in perrypawnpusher - richardachatz, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1/2-1/2, 71) and Wall,B  - Guest473534, 2011 (1-0, 21) 

And: 10...Qf6 11.Rxd4+ Ke7 12.Qxf6+ Nxf6 13.Bf4 d6 14.Nc3 c5 15.Rd2 Be6 16.b3 Rad8 17.Rad1 g5 18.Bg3 Nh5 19.f3 Nxg3 20.hxg3 Rhf8 21.Nb5 a6 22.Nxd6 b5 23.f4 Bg4 24.Nf5+ Bxf5 25.exf5 Rxd2 26.Rxd2 Nd7 27.fxg5 hxg5 28.g4 Rf6 29.Kf2 Rc6 30.c4 bxc4 31.bxc4 Ne5 32.Re2 Kf6 33.Re4 Rb6 34.Ke3 Rb2 White resigned, freudslipped - gallyboy,, 2009

11.Rxd4+ Kc5 

Black tried 11...Kc6 in darumsdad - CrisChessITA, FICS, 201612.Qxe5 d6 13.Qxg7 b6 14.Qg3 Kb7 15.e5 Nf5 16.Qf3+ Kb8 17.Rd1 Rf8 18.Qc3 d5 19.Na3 Bb7 20.Qh3 Qd7 21.Bxh6 Rh8 22.e6 Qxe6 23.Re1 Qg6 24.Re5 Nxh6 25.Rae1 Bc6 26.Re6 Bd7 27.Rxg6 Bxh3 28.gxh3 Kb7 29.Nb5 a6 30.Nd6+ Ka7 31.Re7 Kb8 32.Ree6 Rg8 33.Rxg8+ Nxg8 34.Re8+ Ka7 35.Rxa8+ Kxa8 36.Nf5 Nf6 37.Ne3 Kb7 38.b3 c6 39.c4 d4 40.c5 dxe3 41.fxe3 bxc5 42.h4 Kc7 43.Kf2 Kd7 44.Kf3 Ke7 45.Kf4 Kf7 46.Kf5 Kg7 47.e4 Nd7 48.e5 a5 49.e6 Nf6 50.h5 Nd5 51.Ke5 Ne7 52.h3 Nc8 53.a4 Ne7 54.Kd6 Nf5+ 55.Ke5 Ne7 56.Kd6 Kf8 57.h6 Ke8 58.h4 Nf5+ 59.Ke5 Nxh6 60.Kd6 Nf5+ 61.Ke5 Nxh4 White forfeited on time

12.Qxe5+ Kb6 13.Rb4+ Kc6 14.Rc4+ Kb6 15.Be3+ Ka6 16.Ra4 checkmate

Sunday, August 28, 2016

An Unexpected Success

Image result for picture surprised face

After being schooled in our Jerome Gambit game in a "Italian Game thematic tournament" I expected my opponent would march through the rest of his play without a loss, and score 7.5 / 8.0 to take top honors a point ahead of me.

Much to my surprise, I recently learned that he had some complications in his non-chess life, and had to forfeit several of his uncompleted games.

This allowed me to finish in first place, with 6.5 / 8.0.

That was 2.5 / 3.0 with the Jerome Gambit, too, which was not as unexpected.

(Let's see: 4 / 5 = 80% for non- Jerome games; 2.5 / 3 = 83% for Jerome Gambit games. Not bad.)

[August 2016 is setting a new record for readership of this blog, climbing past the "new" record just set in July 2016. I am very excited, and am glad to welcome new Readers! - Rick]