Friday, November 4, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Why Did He Do That?

While it is frequently a good idea to have a plan to direct a chess game, it is always a good idea to have a questioning attitude - constantly asking yourself about your opponent's move, "Why did he do that?" In the following game, Bill Wall's task becomes a bit lighter when his opponent neglects to ask himself about a totally reasonable move.

Wall, Bill - NN, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3. c4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

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

8.Nc3 Be6 9.b3

This is a reasonable move, and, surprisingly, according to The Database, a novelty.

9...Nf6 10.O-O Rf8 11.f4 Nc6 12.Qd3 Kg8 13.Bb2 Bg4 

Black has done well: he has castled-by-hand and developed his pieces. Although this move appears a bit odd, he remains with the advantage.

14.Rae1 Kh8 15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.exd5 Bf5 

The old temptation, to attack the Queen (and the pawn behind it). Better was to rescue the Knight at c6.

17.Qg3 Qd7 18.dxc6 bxc6 19.Qg5 

Material is even, White's pawn structure is slightly better, and the question Black has to ask himself is about the move of the Queen to g5.


Missed it.

20.Re7 Black resigned

The attack on g7 means that Black will have to give up his Queen.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Heavy, Heavy, Heavy

The following 3-minute game is packed with excitement. White's attack crashes through, and Black's "safe" King is the victim.

I will keep my notes light, but the players keep the mood heavy - a battle to the bitter end.

joniko - Rolandia, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 7.Qd5+

The "nudge", suggesting that White is familiar with the Jerome Gambit, and, perhaps, this blog.

7...Ke8 8.Qxc5 d6 9.Qc4

Jerome - Brownson, Iowa, 1875 (1-0, 28) continued 9.Qc3.

9...Nf6 10.O-O Qe7 11.f4  Nd7 12.d3 Nb6 13.Qb3 Rf8 14.Nc3 Be6 15.Qb4 Kd7 

16.f5 Bxf5

An interesting idea, returning material, but probably 16...Bg8 was better. Black clearly intends to move his King to the Queenside and attack on the Kingside. As this plan develops, White avoids f5-f6, not wanting to open things up against his own King.

17.exf5 Ne5 18.Ne4 Rae8 19.Qd4 Kc8 20.Bg5 Qd7 21.a4 Kb8 22.a5 Na8

 23. a6 b6 24.Qd5 c6 25.Qb3 

25.Qxd6+ was possible, e.g. 25...Nc7 (if 25...Qxd6 then 26.Nxd6 and Black's Rooks are uncomfortable) 26.d4. 

25...Nc7 26.d4 Nf7 27.Nc5

Flashy, but with time disappearing on both clocks, very tempting.

27...dxc5 28.dxc5 b5 

Instead, 28...Qd4+ 29.Kh1 Nxg5 30.cxb6 Qxb6 defends. 

29.Bf4 g5 30.Rad1 Qc8 31.Bd6 Nxd6 32.cxd6 Nd5 

Black's last chance was 32...Rxf5 33.dxc7+ Kxc7 with about an equal game.

33.Rxd5 cxd5 

Now White has a forced checkmate.

34.Qxb5+ Ka8 35.d7 Qb8 36.Qxd5+ Qb7 37.Qxb7 checkmate

Monday, October 31, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Light, Light, Light


I was looking in The Database for something light to share with Readers, and came across the following game. I am not quite sure what to make of it, except it is another example of the error of "if you sacrifice a piece on f7, I will sacrifice one on f2" thinking in the Jerome Gambit.

Technically, the game isn't even a Jerome Gambit... I need to expand upon my musings in the note to move 4.

Wall, Bill - Rube, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Na6 

Already I am not sure what to say. Is Bill's opponent a chess-playing program?

3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

Why not? The "Jerome Solution" is often a fun way to deal with surprises.


With a Knight on c6 (instead of a6) The Database shows White scoring 55% against this declination, which I find very odd, especially in light of the fact that The Database statistic for the Jerome Gambit offered - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ - is White scoring 45%. This suggests that when White moves from offering a piece (or two) for a pawn (or two) to accepting a pawn, he only improves his scoring chances 10%.

5.Bc4 Bxf2+ 

Returning the psychological "shock" - but, here, White takes the piece.

6.Kxf2 c6 7.Nxe5 d6 8.Nf7 Qf6+ 9.Qf3 Qxf3+ 10.gxf3 Nc5 11.Nxh8

Black resigned

'Tis a puzzlement.