Sunday, April 30, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Break the Rules

The following game, the latest from chessfriend Vlasta, shows White "getting away with" the kind of behavior that usually dooms the acceptor of gambit material, let alone the donor.

I can well imagine his online opponent yelling at the computer screen "He can't do that! Can he???"

Vlastous - cesarotiz
internet, 2017

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Kf8 6.Nxc6 dxc6 7.d3

The main alternative is 7.0-0, going back to Jerome - Brownson, Iowa, 1875 (1/2-1/2, 29). Another early alternative was 7.c3 in Vazquez - Carrington, 2nd match, Mexico, 1876 (1-0, 43).

7...Qf6 8.O-O Nh6 9.c3 Bg4 10.Qe1 Kf7 11.d4 Bb6 12.f3 Bd7

White has an impressive pawn center, but he is behind in development - dangerous for a gambiteer.

13.a4 a6 14.Qg3 Rhf8 15.a5 Ba7 16.Qxc7 Rae8

Black can hardly believe his luck: his opponent's Queen is pawn-grabbing! So the "defender" develops his last piece and expects to take over the game. After all, he has an "extra" piece he can afford to give back, right?

17.Qxb7 Bb8 18.Qxa6 Kg8 19.Nd2 Qh4

This looks scary for the first player, but the computer already says he is better. Vlasta knows what he is doing.

20.e5 Rf7 21.Ne4 Rf5 22.Qb6

Because the solution to being behind in development is - a passed pawn?! Amazing!

22...Ref8 23.Rf2 Rh5 24.g3 Qe7 25.a6 Bf5 26.a7 Bc7 27.Qxc6

Black resigned

White is the exchange and 5 pawns (4 of them connected and passed!) better.

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