Friday, June 9, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Slicing the Silicon

Here we have another human - computer battle, where the silicon beast can not make sense out of the Jerome Gambit, even as human observers might not be able to make sense out of some of the computer's moves.

Wall, Bill - Computer-level 6, 2017

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Kf8 6.O-O

This move really got me thinking. Bill has played it before, but it is arguably not the "objectively best" move, so I have to wonder what he had in mind. He could have been avoiding "book" lines. He could have been forcing the computer to "think" on its own - and we will see that it doesn't do a masterly job of that.


Instead, 6...Nxe5 was seen in billwall - DeDrijver,, 2012 (1-0, 20) while 6...d6 was seen in Wall,B - Anonymous,, 2016 (1-0, 26) and Wall,B - Guest399227,, 2016 (1-0, 17)

7.Nxc6 Qxc6

Preserving the pawn structure, which did not happen (not that it mattered much) in Wall,B - NN,, 2016: 7...dxc6 8. Nc3 Bd6 9. d4 h6 10. e5 Bxe5 11. dxe5 Qxe5 12. Re1 Qg5 13. Bxg5 Black resigned.

8.d4 Bb6 9.Nc3 d6 10.Bg5

The Bishop often goes here to attack a Knight at f6. But why wait?

10...Qe8 11.f4 Qg6

Here we see an interesting reversal of roles: usually in the Jerome Gambit it is White's Queen that moves repeatedly.


Bill suggests he could have advanced the other Rook pawn as well.

12...Qe8 13.f5 Ba5

14.f6 gxf6

Stockfish 8 suggests 14...Bxc3 first, leading to an even game.

15.Qf3 Qf7 16.Nd5 h5

This does not look like the strongest defense. It is hard to see what it accomplishes.

17.Bxf6 Nxf6 18.Nxf6 Be6 19.Qg3 Ke7 

Escaping the deadly f-file, although material will be lost.

20.Nd5+ Bxd5 21.Rxf7+ Bxf7 22.Qg5+ Kd7 23.Qxa5 b6 

White has a Queen and a pawn for a Rook and a Bishop.

24.Qb5+ c6 25.Qf5+ Be6 26.Qf6 Rh7

Shouldn't a Rook have gone to f8 instead?

27.d5 cxd5 28.exd5 Bg4 29.Re1 Rg8 30.Re3 Rc8 31.a4 Rc7 
32.a5 bxa5 33.Re6 Rc5

Black's pieces cannot coordinate. Note, if 33...Bxe6 then 34.Qxe6+ Kd8 35.Qg8+ and a Rook will fall.

34.Rxd6+ Kc7 35.Rc6+ Rxc6 36.Qxc6+ Kd8 37.d6 a4

A human might resign here.

38.Qa8+ Bc8 39.c4 Rb7 40.c5 Rg7 41.Qf3 Rg6 42.Qf7 Re6 43.c6 Ba6 44.Qd7 checkmate

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