Friday, October 21, 2016

The Dynamic Jerome Gambit.

In the following game, Black's defensive ideas are interesting, but don't quite work. Part of the reason is that he is playing against Bill Wall, but part of the reason is that he is facing the dynamic Jerome Gambit.

Wall, Bill - Shillam, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bb6

Black saves his Bishop and gives up his Knight. In 109 games in The Database, White scores 50%.

7.dxe5 Qh4

Bill faced the more conservative 7...Qe7 in Wall, B, - NN,, 2016: 8.Qf3+ Ke8 9.Nc3 Qxe5 10.O-O Nf6 11.Bf4 Qh5 12.Qg3 d6 13.Qxg7 Rf8 14.Nd5 Qf7 15.Bh6 Nxd5 16.Qxf8+ Qxf8 17.Bxf8 Kxf8 18.exd5 Bf5 19.c3 Re8 20.Rfe1 Be4 21.Rad1 Kf7 22.Kf1 Re5 23.f3 Bg6 24.Rxe5 dxe5 25.Ke2 e4 26.b4 exf3+ 27.Kxf3 Bh5+ 28.g4 Bg6 29.c4 a6 30.d6 cxd6 31.Rxd6 Bb1 32.Rxb6 Bxa2 33.Rxb7+ Ke6 34.Rb6+ Kd7 35.c5 Black resigned.

8.Qf3+ Ke8 9.Nc3 Bxf2+

An interesting, if eventually flawed idea: Black returns a piece, leaving White with a couple of possibly weak isolated pawns. It turns out that the second player does not have a draw in hand.

10.Qxf2 Qxf2+ 11.Kxf2 Nh6 12.Nd5 Ng4+ 13.Kg3 Kd8 14.Bg5+ Nf6 15.exf6 h6 16.fxg7+ Ke8 17.gxh8=Q+ Kf7 18.Rhf1+ Kg6 19.Qxh6 checkmate

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Agony - and Ecstacy - of the Jerome Gambit

Image result for graphic facepalm

Grandmaster Jon Speelman's "Agony Column" at the ChessBase news site presents games submitted by average players. Each week he shows one player's "agony" game, where the outcome was not a happy one; and the same player's "ecstacy" game, where the result was more enjoyable.

GM Speelman's analysis is, as always, instructive, enlightening, fair and enjoyable.

This week he takes a look at two of my Jerome Gambit games.

Wow. "And lived to tell the tale", as they say.

Be sure to stop by the site and read the column!

[Hmmmm..... I posted this on October 19, as GM Jon Speelman said that is when it would go up. I have seen the column, with a link provided in an email by Frederic Friedel of ChessBase. But - as of the morning of October 20, it does not seem to be up on the ChessBase News site. As they used to say on TV: PLEASE STAND BY. - Rick]

[Aha! There it is: At last! - Rick] 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Jerome Gambit "opportunities for heavy blows unexpectedly"

As early as July 1874 the Dubuque Chess Journal noted

It should be understood that Mr. Jerome claims in this New Opening "only a pleasant variation of the Giuoco Piano, which may win or lose according to the skill of the players, but which is capable of affording many new positions and opportunities for heavy blows unexpectedly."

The following game serves as a fine example.

Wall, Bill - NN, 2016

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bxd4 7.Qxd4 d6 

8.Nc3 Nf6 9.Bf4

Bill has also played 9.O-O, e.g. in Wall,B - Guest4809124,, 2013 (0-1, 41) and Wall,B - Guest5111265,, 2014 (1-0, 48).

9.Bg5 was seen in two unfinished 1881 correspondence games between gambit inventor Alonzo Wheeler Jerome and chess columnist S. A. Charles.

9...Qe7 10.O-O-O Rf8 11.Rhe1 Bg4 12.f3 

Black is convinced that he has the advantage (he does) and therefore should be able to unleash an unexpected "heavy blow" himself. At first glance his sacrifice looks scary, but it proves to be his own undoing, not White's.

12...Bxf3 13.gxf3 Nxf3 

Black's idea. Now, if, say, 14.Qb4, then 14...Nxe1 15.Rxe1 Rfb8!? looks like the start of a scary attack against White's King.

However, as in the previous blog post, it appears that Black has gone about his business, but has left the water running... He has overlooked something.


The Queen escapes the fork with check.


This move is often the remedy to White's check along the diagonal, but not in this situation. Black should go with 14...Qe6 and after 15.Qxc7+ Kg8 16.Re2 Rf7 17.Qxd6 White will have the advantage - but the game would still be complicated.

Black's game now comes undone.

15.Nxd5 Nxd5 16.Re3 Rae8 17.exd5 Black resigned

Very nice. Black's Knight is hanging, and the discovered check from a possible d5-d6 also looms.