Friday, November 18, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Finish Him Off

The following position arose in the recent 1-minute Jerome Gambit game xjjettx-ViswanathanAdam04 at (I still can not wrap my head around the idea of playing the Jerome Gambit in bullet chess.)

It is White to make his 47th move. What is his quickest win? Remember, since it is a 60-second game, so if White has spent a second on each move played so far, he has only 14 seconds left to complete the game, so it is time to think fast.

If you saw 47.Rc8 (or 47.Rc7) followed by 48.Rh8 (or 48.Rh7) checkmate, good for you!

Instead, White played 47.Rf6, which allows the saving 47...R-any
freeing up the c-pawn to advance and Queen.

White was not the only player in time trouble, however, and after 47...Kh4 48.Rxg6 Black surrendered a pawn, allowing White hope to promote, as well.

That proved unnecessary, however, as after 48...Rf1 White checkmated, after all, with 49.Rh6.

So much of bullet chess is rapid assessment - and rapid moving - and in this case it was useful to visualize: 

Black un-blocking his c-pawn with a Rook move that checked White's King, gaining the needed tempo to promote (that is why White had moved his King to the protected square f4 just before we joined the game);

White's King and pawn hemming in Black's King, allowing for his Rook to achieve reaching the 8th rank followed by checkmating on the h-file; 

Later, Black un-blocking his c-pawn by moving his Rook anywhere (checking the enemy King was no longer necessary, as White's Rook had left the c-file); and

White realizing that the position had changed, and changed again, so that Black's King was again hemmed in, and checkmate was available.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Jerome Gambit: One More Mystery Game

While I am still a bit surprised that I overlooked posting one Jerome Gambit loss from my ongoing tournament (see the previous "Jerome Gambit: Very Serious Business") the fact that I also did not share the following game is less of a mystery: I got outplayed in a line that I really don't have a fix for. If an opponent in the tournament wanted to look up the game, that was one thing; but I was not ready to share my gloom and doom (and ideas) on this blog, as a "suggestion" of what to play. (As I have written before, I share a whole lot, but  not everything here.)

perrypawnpusher - Altotemmi
Giuoco Piano Thematic Tournament, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6. Qh5+Ke6 

7.Qf5+ Kd6 8.f4 Qf6 9.fxe5+ Qxe5 10.Qxe5+

I have scored 11 -1 with the alternative 10.Qf3. Alonzo Wheeler Jerome was  3 - 2 with one incomplete game. 


11.b4 Bd4 

11...Bb6 was seen in perrypawnpusher - djdave28, Italian Game Tournament, 2014 (1-0, 22).

12.c3 Bb6 13.d4+ Ke6 

Prudent. The risks of 13...Kxe4 were shown in perrypawnpusher - djdave28, Italian Game tourney,, 2015 (1-0, 32).

White will have to work hard to make something of his position, or he will find himself missing the power of his Queen.

As the game went, I was outplayed by my opponent.

14.O-O Nf6 15.Nd2 d6 16.Bb2 Bd7 17.Rae1 Be8 

18.e5 dxe5 19.Rxe5+ Kd7 20.Rfe1 Rd8 21.Nc4 Bg6 22.Nxb6+ axb6 23.Re7+ Kc8 24.Rxg7 Rd7 25.Ree7 Rxe7 26.Rxe7 Re8 27.Rxe8+ Nxe8 

White has two pawns for his sacrificed piece, and perhaps that might be enough to split the point against a weaker opponent, or in a blitz game; but not in this game.

28.Kf2 Kd7 29.Ke3 Ke6 30.c4 Nd6 31.d5+ Kd7 32.Kd4 Nf5+ 33.Ke5 Ne3 34.Kd4 Nxg2 


Instead, Stockfish 7 after the game recommended 35.Bc1 Bb1 36.a4 Nh4 37.c5 Nf5+ 38.Ke5 bxc5 39.bxc5 Ne7 40.Bg5 Ba2 41.Bxe7 Kxe7 42.a5 Bc4 43.Kd4 Bf1 44.Ke5 Kd7 45.Kd4 Be2 46.Ke3 Bc4 47.Kd4 Bf1 48.Ke5 Ba6 49.Kd4 Ke7 50.Ke5 Be2 and although Black still has the advantage, it does not look like either player is making any progress.

35...b5 36.Bc1 Nh4 37.Bf4 Nf5+ 38.Ke5 Ne7 39.a3 Bf7 


After the game Stockfish 7 took issue with this, suggesting a line that is not quite so much better for Black: 40.c6+ bxc6 41.dxc6+ Kxc6 42.Ke4 Bg6+ 43.Ke5 Nc8 44.Kd4 Nd6 45.Bg5 Bb1 46.Bd8 Ne4 47.Ke3 Kd7 48.Bh4 Nd6 49.Kd2 Kc6 50.Bd8 Nf7 51.Bh4 Bg6 52.Kc3 Kd5 53.Kb3 Nd6 54.Kc3 Bf7 55.Bd8 c6

40...cxd6+ 41.cxd6 Nd5 42.Bd2 Nb6 43.Bc1 Nc4+ 44.Ke4 Kxd6 45.Kd4 Kc6 46.Ke4 Bg6+ 47.Kd4 Nd6 48.Bf4 Nc4 49.Bc1 h5 50.h4 b6 51.Kc3 Kd5 White resigned

Whew! I am reminded of the silly phrase "trampled to death by a herd of turtles." Nice work by my opponent!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Very Serious Business

In the current Giuoco Piano thematic tournament at I am in first place (although this may change) and my only chance to finish on the top of the field is to win my last Jerome Gambit game - which is in the endgame stage. So far, I have 3 wins, 3 wins on time, and 2 losses with the Jerome.

I was surprised to find that I had not presented on this blog the following game with the Jerome Gambit, from the same tournament. In part this may be due to the fact that my opponent forfeited a significant number of his games - but not before he had won a full point from me. If only I had lost slower!  

perrypawnpusher - ulisimbolon
Giuoco Piano Thematic Tournament, 2016

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Kf8 

The is the defense played, successfully, by Alonzo Wheeler Jerome in two correspondence games against Daniel Jaeger in 1880.

Previously, I had faced 6...Kf8 31 times, winning 22 games, losing 6 games, and drawing 3; scoring 76%.

7.Qxe5 d6 8.Qg3 Nf6 9.d3 h5 

Very aggressive! Black does not worry about the position of his King, he attacks. While the move looks like a novelty, there are actually 3 earlier games in The Database.


Or 10.O-O Kg8 11.Bg5 Qf8 12.c3 Ng4 13.d4 Bb6 14.h4 c5 15.Be3 Bd7 16.Nd2 Re8 17.Rae1 Bb5 18.c4 cxd4 19.Bf4 Bc6 20.Bxd6 Qf7 21.e5 Rh6 22.Ne4 Bxe4 23.Rxe4 Rg6 24.c5 Bd8 25.Qf4 Qxa2 26.Rxd4 Qxb2 27.Rb4 Qe2 28.Rxb7 Qa2 29.f3 Nh6 30.Rf2 Qa1+ 31.Kh2 Qa6 32.Qc4+ Qxc4 White resigned,  MrJoker - PhlebasP, Internet Chess Club, 2011;

or 10.h3 Be6 11.O-O Qe7 12.Nc3 Ke8 13.Bd2 Kd7 14.Rae1 Raf8 15.a3 h4 16.Qg6 Kc8 17.Kh2 Qf7 18.Qxf7 Rxf7 19.f4 g6 20.b4 Bb6 21.Na4 Nh5 22.Nxb6+ axb6 23.Rf3 Rhf8 24.Ref1 Kd7 25.c4 c6 26.Bc1 Ke7 27.R1f2 b5 28.cxb5 cxb5 29.d4 Rc8 30.Bb2 Bc4 31.d5 Nf6 32.Re3 Kd7 33.g3 hxg3+ 34.Kxg3 Nh5+ 35.Kg4 Rcf8 36.Ref3 Nf6+ 37.Bxf6 Rxf6 38.Kg5 Ke7 39.f5 Rg8 40.fxg6 Rgxg6+ 41.Kh4 Rh6+ 42.Kg3 Rxf3+ 43.Rxf3 Be2 44.Rf4 Rg6+ 45.Kf2 Bd3 46.Rh4 Kd7 47.Rh7+ Kc8 48.Rh8+ Kc7 49.Rh7+ Kb6 50.Re7 Rh6 51.Kg3 Rg6+ 52.Kf4 Rg1 53.Rd7 Rf1+ 54.Ke3 Bb1 55.Rxd6+ Kc7 56.Re6 Rh1 57.Kd4 Rxh3 58.Kc5 Bd3 59.d6+ Kc8 60.Re8+ Kd7 61.Re7+ Kc8 62.e5 Bf5 63.Kxb5 Rxa3 64.e6 Bxe6 65.Rxe6 Kd7 66.Re7+ Kxd6 67.Rxb7 Rb3 68.Ka6 Ra3+ 69.Kb6 Rb3 70.b5 Ra3 71.Rb8 Ra1 72.Rd8+ Ke7 73.Rd4 Black resigned, MrJoker - PhlebasP, Internet Chess Club, 2012.


Or 10...h4 11.Qf4 Qe7 12.Nc3 Bd4 13.Nd5 Qf7 14.c3 Be5 15.Qd2 Nxd5 16.exd5 Bf5 17.d4 Bf6 18.Bxf6 Qxf6 19.O-O Re8 20.Rfe1 Kf7 21.Re3 Rxe3 22.fxe3 Qg5 23.Rf1 Kg6 24.Qf2 Re8 25.Qxf5+ Qxf5 26.Rxf5 Kxf5 27.Kf2 g5 28.h3 Ke4 29.Ke2 Rf8 30.c4 c6 31.dxc6 bxc6 32.b4 a6 33.a4 Rb8 34.b5 cxb5 35.axb5 axb5 36.cxb5 Rxb5 37.Kf2 Rb3 38.g3 hxg3+ 39.Kxg3 Rxe3+ 40.Kg4 Kxd4 41.Kxg5 Rxh3 42.Kf5 Re3 43.Kf4 Re8 44.Kf5 Kc4 45.Kf4 d5 White resigned, Petasluk - fluigi, FICS, 2009.

11.Nc3 b5 12.O-O 

Deciding that the Kingside would be safer for my monarch than the Queenside.

12...Qd7 13.Kh1 Bd4 14.f4 Ng4 15.Ne2

After the game Stockfish 7 recommended a line that shows how complicated the game is, but which would lead to only an edge for Black: 15.h3 b4 16.Nd1 Qf7 17.a3 bxa3 18.Rxa3 Bd7 19.Qe1 Re8 20.c4 Nf6 21.Bh4 Kg8 22.Bf2 Bb6 23.b4 c5 24.bxc5 dxc5 25.Bh4 Bc6 26.Nc3 Qd7 27.Qe3 a5 28.e5 a4 This kind of play is above my head.

15...Bxb2 16.Rab1 Bf6 17.d4

After the game Stockfish 7 was critical of this move, but its suggested play - giving up a pawn (eventually the exchange), allowing a passed pawn on the Queenside, opening up the h-file for Black's Rook against my King - looks like a fever dream (although it claims Black is only 3/4 of a pawn ahead at the end): 17.h3 Bxa2 18.Rbe1 Bb2 19.hxg4 hxg4+ 20.Kg1 a5 21.f5 a4 22.Qxg4 a3 23.Qf3 Re8 24.Be3 b4 25.Nf4 Kg8 26.g4 Bc3 27.Re2 Bf7 28.g5 a2 29.g6 a1=Q 30.Rxa1 Bxa1 31.gxf7+ Qxf7 32.Ng6 Rh7. Whew!

17...Bxa2 18.Rbe1 Bc4 19.e5 Bxg5 20.fxg5+ Kg8 21.Qf3 

I wish I could say that I had seen Stockfish 7's recommendation, and merely rejected it, but I had no idea: 21.h3 a5 22.Kg1 dxe5 23.hxg4 hxg4 24.dxe5 a4 25.Rf4 a3 26.Nd4 a2 27 Ra1 Qe8 28.e6 Bxe6 29.Nxe6 Qxe6 30.Qb3 Qxb3 31.cxb3 g3 32.Rf3 Kh7 33.Rxg3 Rhe8 34.Kf2 Kg6 35.Rc3 Re7 36.Rc6+ Kxg5. The computer sees Black as up 2 3/4 pawns. 

21...Re8 22.g6 dxe5 White resigned

I had been looking at 23.Qf7+ here, "winning" a Rook, when I suddenly realized that the f7 square was protected by Black's light-squared Bishop. Discouraged, and down a piece and a  pawn, I gave the game up.