Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Jerome Gambit: "Somewhat Problematic For Black"

I recently enjoyed watching the short YouTube video by chessthisout on "italian game for black less popular lines" which covers 7 less popular lines in the Giuoco Piano ("for players of ratings up to 1600 in FICS") - including the Jerome Gambit (unnamed in the video), "which can be somewhat problematic for Black if he doesn't play it properly".

The two main Jerome lines covered are 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.0-0 and 5.d4, but not 5.Nxe5+, which means the move might come as quite a surprise for the unprepared defender. For that matter, 5...Bxd4 is the recommended response to 5.d4; the more challenging 5...Qh4 is not mentioned, which means the move might come as quite a surprise for the unprepared attacker.

I was shocked to see that chessthisout covered the alternative 4.Nxe5, and I told myself that certainly there wouldn't be any game examples of that move in The Database. I was wrong, there are 22 games - almost all of them transposing to the main line Jerome Gambit after 4...Nxe5 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7?! (better is 5...Nxf7). Whew!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Jerome Gambit - Lost and Found

Image result for taming wild chess openings

Last year, when John Watson and Eric Schiller's Taming Wild Chess Openings came out (New In Chess, 2015), I expressed disappointment on this blog that the Jerome Gambit did not appear to the authors to fit their sorting of A) Good B) Bad and C) Ugly chess openings and defenses. (Especially the "Bad" and the "Ugly".)

I am a bit behind in reading Dennis Monokroussos' "The Chess Mind" blog, and I just discovered - in Dennis' past review of Taming Wild Chess Openings, that the Jerome Gambit actually does appear.

My mistake. I had looked in the book's "Contents" without success. I had checked out the "Index of Moves and Variation Names" without discovering either the Italian Game, the Giuoco Piano - or the Jerome Gambit. Ditto the "Opening Index".

Ah, but Dennis pointed out - the Jerome is covered in the "Evans Gambit: Lasker Defense (C52)" chapter!

4.Bxf7+? Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ is the Jerome Gambit, which, however, is refuted by 5...Nxe5 6.Qh5+ (6.d4 Qh4! 7.0-0 Nf6 8.dxc5 Qxe4) 6...Kf8, or here 6...g6 7.Qxe5 Qe7, winning.
Regular readers are no doubt familiar with the "pie-in-the-face" (6...Qh4), Jerome (6...Kf8) and Whistler (7...Qe7) defenses.

My apologies to John and Eric, and my thanks to Dennis.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Jerome Gambit Pawns: Inaction, In Action

In the Jerome Gambit, White's "extra" pawns can be part of the attack, or part of a fortress of protection. In the following game, they take both roles, as part of the first player's success.

Queenpunisher - parviz1340
12 8,, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3  Bc5 4.Bc4 h6 5.Bxf7+

Transposing to the Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit.


The same position would be reached after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 4.Nc3 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7.

6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.Qh5+ Ng6 8.Qxc5 d6 9.Qh5 Nf6 10.Qf3 Bg4 

Black has the right idea: his team of minor pieces should harass the White Queen, even if his own King is not yet castled-by-hand. Perhaps Queenpunisher's Queen should have been harassed by 10...Nh4!? instead.


The text is a little bit better than 11.Qe3 Re8 12.d3 d5 13.f3 d4 14.Qf2 Bxf3 15.Qxf3 dxc3 16.bxc3 c6 17.O-O Kg8 18.Be3 Qd6 19.Rab1 b6 20.Bd4 Qd7 21.Bxf6 Rf8 22.Qg3 gxf6 23.Qxg6+ Qg7 24.Qf5 Qg5 25.Qe6+ Kh8 26.Qxc6 Rac8 27.Qd6 Rcd8 28.Qf4 Qxf4 29.Rxf4 Rg8 Black resigned, MIG - leshiy, FICS, 2001.

11...Re8 12.d3

Or 12.f3 Bd7 13.d4 Nh5 14.Qf2 Kg8 15.Be3 b6 16.f4 Rf8 17.f5 Ne7 18.g4 Nf6 19.g5 Nxe4 20.Nxe4 Bc6 21.f6 Ng6 22.Qf5 Qe8 23.d5 Bd7 24.Qf3 hxg5 25.Bxg5 Qe5 26.O-O-O Qe8 27.Rde1 Ne5 28.Qg3 Qg6 29.fxg7 Kxg7 30.Rhg1 Qf5 31.Bh6+ Black resigned, youjoin - molesto,, 2007

12...Qd7 13.f3 Be6 14.O-O Nh5 15.Qf2 Kg8

For now the "Jerome pawns" provide a shield for White, but that will soon change!

16.Ne2 Rf8 17.b3 Rf7 18.f4 Bg4 

This second visit to g4 is ill-advised and will cost a piece. Better 18...Raf8

19.f5 Bxe2 20.Qxe2 Ne5 21Qxh5 Raf8 22.Bb2 Qc6

White now has attacking prospects.

23.Rf2 Kh7 24.Raf1 Qb6 25.Kh1 Nd7 26.Qg6+

He also could have tried the consistent 26.g4

26...Kh8 27.Qxh6+ Kg8 28.Qg5 Ne5 29.Rf4

White attacks successfully. He also could have tried the thematic 29.f6

29...c5 30.Rh4 Rf6 31.Bxe5 dxe5 32.Rg4 Rg6 33.Qxg6 Black resigned

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Jerome Gambit: All's Well That Ends Well

Image result for free clip art all is well
Here are three recent games from the online site, where a lot of exciting chess is played.

They all were played with quick time controls.

They all brought a smile to my lips.

First, White is a piece down, but his "Jerome pawns" assist his Knight in delivering checkmate.

Dragan58 - ericksene,, 2016

Next, it is White who has the material advantage - a couple more pieces, and an extra pawn - but it doesn't matter, as he ran out of time. Ouch.

isergant - manamanah,, 2016

Finally, Black has been better in the following game for a long time (since move 4?) but he relaxed a moment too soon. It is White to move - and it is stalemate.

belih - victor,, 2016