Saturday, November 12, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Eyes Open

The following game was not played recently, it was not a theoretical tussle, and it was not an even match. It's value, in part, is that it illustrates a tactical theme that Jerome Gambiteers need to be familiar with, as they will see it from time to time.

Wall, Bill - Stick, Kela, 2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.h3

Bill experiments. This game is actually one of four in The Database, and White has scored 75%, which means something - but I am not sure what.

5...Nf6 6.Nc3 Rf8 7.Qe2 d6 8.Qc4+ Be6

Okay, has White over-used his Queen, and Black is not blocking its check with a gain of tempo? Or, something else?


Something else. Do remember. Black's game now takes a few tumbles.

9...Kg8 10.Nxe6 Bxf2+  11.Kxf2 Nd5+ 12.Nxf8 Qxf8+ 13.Kg1 Black resigned

White is up a Rook, and soon will add another piece.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Jerome Gambit Ascendant

Image result for large emoji

1. World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen has revealed that if his upcoming match with Sergey Karjakin goes to rapid tie-break games, he will consider playing the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7!?).

2. President Trump

Up until November 8, 2016, I would have expected #1 to be more likely.

Now it looks like the United States is going to get a whole lot of #2.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Battle of Wits

I have received another game from recent Jerome Gambit convert "Cliff Hardy" (see "Jerome Gambit: You Gotta Believe"), playing incognito at InstantChess. Starting with move 2, and escalating with move 5, his opponent engages in a bit of chess psychology which reminds me of the "battle of wits" in the movie "The Princess Bride" - and his efforts are equally unsuccessful.

The notes to the game are by "Cliff". I have added a couple of comments in blue.

gfdgfd - leleos, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Bc5 3.Bc4

3.Nxe5? Bxf2+! 4.Kxf2 would give me a winning advantage theoretically but I lose the valuable psychological advantage! 

3...Nc6 4.Bxf7+! 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke8? 6.Qh5+?

I am astonished! This move looked obvious but it is poor!
The text is thematic, but 6.Nxc6 is += (Stockfish), intending 6...d/bxc6 7.Qh5 and 8.Qxc5.

[Welcome to the bizarre world of the Jerome Gambit, "Cliff"! Black does not want the second piece, and it seems logical to go after him right away with 6.Qh5+, except that 6.Nxc6 is a better move, as you note. Wilder, still, is that Black can answer 6.Nxc6 with 6...Qh4!? and White needs to be prepared for this shock. 7.d4!? seems to be the best response, allowing 7...Qxe4+ 8.Be3 Qxg2 - although it might be better for those with a heart condition to opt for 8.Qe2. Anyhow, the game becomes a wonderful mess after 9.Qh5+ Kf8 10.Ne5!? and Stockfish 7 continues with 10...Bb4+ 11.c3 Qxh1+ 12.Kd2 g6 13.Nxg6+ hxg6 14.Qxh8 g5 15.cxb4 d6 16.Qh5 Bf5 17.Qd1 Qxd1+ 18.Kxd1 Ne7 19.Nc3 and White has an edge. Uh, sure, right... No surprise that I haven't found any game examples with 6...Qh4!? - Rick]

6...g6 7.Nxg6 hxg6

Haha! The best move for black, according to Stockfish, is the Jeromesque 7...Bxf2! 8.Kxf2 Nf6 9.Qh4 Rg8! =+. This game is a good example of the principle: the first to get in the Jerome wins!

8.Qxh8 Kf7

9.Qh7+ Kf8 10.Qxg6 Qe7 11.Nc3 Qf7 12.Qg3 Bd6 13.Qe3 Qf4 14.d4 Nf6 15.Qxf4 Bxf4 16.Bxf4 Nxd4 17.O-O-O Black resigned

[White has handled Black's ploys, has gained material (the exchange and three pawns) and has moved the game into a safe (for himself) Queenless middle game. There is not much for the defender to look forward to. - Rick] 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Jerome Gambit: You Gotta Believe

I recently received an email from someone just starting with the Jerome Gambit. He passed along the following 3-minute FICS blitz game which was eye-opening for me: White never gives up! He uses all the weapons available to him, including the clock, and triumphs in the end.

He has asked me to disguise his identity, as he is considering playing the Jerome Gambit in over-the-board games. I decided on naming him "Cliff Hardy" (look it up). I also sent him a link to some of Pete Banks' OTB Jerome Gambits.

Play through the game. Do not become anxious over White's fate, however dire things look. He will prevail.   

"Cliff Hardy" - NN
3 0 blitz, FICS, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.Qf5+ Kd6


"Cliff" wrote that "Maybe the Tonetti gambit is not the best way to play this..." referring to the game Tonett - Ruggeri, Rome, 1890 (1-0, 23).

8...Bxd4 9.f4 Nh6 10.fxe5+ Bxe5 11.Qf3 Rf8 12.Qa3+ c5 13.Be3 Qh4+ 14.Kd1 b6 15.Nd2 Ng4 16.Kc1 Nxe3 17.Qxe3 Rf2 18.Rd1 Kc7 

19.Nf3 Bf4 20.Nxh4 Bxe3+ 21.Kb1 Bb7 22.Nf5 Bh6 23.Nd6 Rd8 24.a4 

Yes - the Jerome Gambit is all about attack.

24...Bc6 25.a5 Bd2 26.axb6+ Kxd6 27.bxa7 Bxe4 28.Ra4 Ke5 29.g4 Bb4 30.Ka2 Bxc2 31.Rxb4 cxb4 

"With Crafty now assessing the position as -32749.00, it is apparent my position could do with some improvement" wrote "Cliff".

32. Rxd7 Be4 33. Rxd8 Rxh2 34. Re8+ Kf4 35. Rxe4+ Kxe4 36. a8=Q+ Kf4 37. Qb8+ Black resigned