Friday, December 16, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Today, Hard Work

Chess games have been compared to a work of art created collaboratively by two people. That can especially be said about Jerome Gambit games where, with a little bit of "help" by Black, something spectacular can be created.

On the other hand, without that kind of "cooperation" White can find himself in for some hard work - like in the game below, from chessfriend Vlastimil Fejfar.

Readers are encouraged to play through the game, and see if they can build on Vlasta's efforts. 

Vlastous - irinat, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.f4 d6

Ah, man, the "annoying defense" again. By returning the piece Black takes a lot of excitment out of the game - kind of like an over-boiled piece of meat. Computers love the line, as it gives Black an advantage; and computers are less likely to make the kind of "human" mistakes that work toward creating an exciting work of art. In this game, Black does a good job impersonating a computer.

8.fxe5 dxe5 9.Qh3+ Ke7 10.Qg3 Kf7 11.Qxe5 Qh4+ 12.g3 Qe7 13.Qxe7+ Nxe7

White has two pawns for his sacrificed piece, but the "Jerome pawns" are a long way from becoming a dynamic, attacking force.


Previously Vlasta played another difficult game with the interesting 14.h3Fejfar,V - Chvojka, corr, Czech Republic, 2016(0-1, 32). 

14...Bh3 15.d4 Bb6 16.Nd2 c5 17.Nf3 h6 18.Be3 cxd4 19.Bxd4 Nc6 20.O-O-O

20...Bg2 21.Rhg1 Bxf3 22.Rgf1 Nxd4 23.cxd4 Rhc8+ 24.Kb1 Kg6 25.Rxf3 Rc4 26.b3 Rxd4 27.Rxd4 Bxd4

The occupants of d4 and e4 suggest the rest of the story.

28.Kc2 Rc8+ 29.Kd2 Bf6 30.Rf2 Rd8+ 31.Ke2 Kf7 32.Rf5 Rc8 33.Kd2 Ke6 34.Kd1 Bg5 35.h4 Rc1+ 36.Ke2 Bf6 37.Rb5 b6 38.a4 Rc3 White resigned

A valiant effort by White, but now his pawns are under too much pressure, and soon some will fall.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Jerome Gambit: Miles to Go Before I Sleep

Although SeinfeldFan91 topped the recent Jerome Gambit thematic tournament at without losing (or drawing) a game, it wasn't always easy. The following game shows that, at least once, he had miles to go before he could sleep...

SeinfeldFan91- kristjan
Giuoco Piano Jerome Gambit Tournament 2016

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

4...Kxf7 5.O-O 

White starts off with a "modern" Jerome Gambit line (i.e. lacking 5.Nxe5+) but quickly transposes.

5...Nf6 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.d4 Bxd4 8.Qxd4 d6

9.Nc3 Be6 10.f4 Nc6 11.Qa4

According to The Database this is a novelty. More often seen are 11.Qd3 and 11.Qe3.

11...Re8 12.f5 Bd7 13.Qc4+ Kf8 14.Bg5 Qe7 15.Bxf6 Qxf6 16.Rad1 Rac8

White has only a pawn for his sacrificed piece, so he needs to be alert to his opportunities, and keep things complicated.

17.Rf4 Ne5 18.Qd4 Kg8

Completing castling-by-hand.


A risky snack, but White's situation, in general, is risky.

19...b6 20.Nd5 Qg5 21.f6 Kh8 22.fxg7+ Kxg7 23.Rdf1 Kh8

Equality comes closer. On little cat feet.

24.Kh1 Nc6 25.Qb7

Risky, but providing a distraction.

25...Na5 26.Qa6 Bc6

27.Rf5 Qh4

Just the break that White was looking for. Much more to the point was 27...Qd2, keeping the game even.

Now White's Knight and Rook target Black's weak h7.

28.Nf6 Bxe4 29.Rh5 Bxg2+ 30.Kxg2 Rg8+ 31.Kh1 Black resigned

Black will have to give up his Queen to avoid mate.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Up-To-Date Blackburne Shilling Gambit

Concerning the Blackburne Shilling Gambit (see the previous post), 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4, it is clear that there are several good responses, including 4.0-0, 4.Nxd4, 4.c3 and 4.d3. Of course, if you are a Jerome Gambit fan, or if you want to try something that might be a surprise to the defender, there is always 4.Bxf7+...

The following game - another 3-minute blitz - is an up-to-date example. 

marciprevi - nchak
3 0 blitz, FICS, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 Nd4 4.Bxf7+ 

The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke6 6.c3 Kxe5 7.cxd4+ Ke6


Possibly White's best response to Black's prudent King retreat. (7...Kxe4 is unnecessarily risky for the defender.)


It could be that 8...Kf7 is a tiny bit better. 

9.d4 d6 10.Bg5+ Nf6 11.e5 h6 

Black should probably have simply allowed the return of the piece with 11...dxe5 12.dxe5 Kf7 13.exf6 

12.exf6+ gxf6 13.Bh4 Bg7 

14.Qe2+ Kf8 15.O-O Bf5 16.Nc3 a6 17.Qf3 Bg6 


The trip to e2 and then f4 for the Knight, hitting the Bishop at g6 and eying the square e6, looked a bit better.

18...Kf7 19.Rae1 Re8 20.Ng3 Qd7 21.Rxe8 Rxe8 22.Ne2 Be4

23.Qh5+ Bg6 24.Qf3 Be4 25.Qh5+ Bg6 26.Qf3 Be4 27.Qb3

Wanting more than the draw.

27...Bxg2 28.Re1 

A slip. 28.Kxg2 Rxe2 29.Qxb7 was the way to keep the game in balance.


Returning the favor. Remember: this was a 3-minute blitz game.

29.Qxf3 Kg8 30.Kh1 f5 31.Rg1 Re4 32.Nf4 Qf7 33.Ne6 Rg4 34.Rxg4 fxg4 35.Qxg4 Kh7

36.f3 Bxd4 37.Qe4+ Kg8 38.Qxd4 Qxf3+ 39.Kg1 Black resigned