Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Jerome Gambit: A Day in the Life

I have shared many games where White plays the notorious Jerome Gambit, patiently musters his forces, waits for the defender to make a mistake - and then pounces. After all, I like the Jerome Gambit, and it is fun to watch players use it and succeed.

Yet, I have not been shy about sharing the many refutations of the opening, as well. A line of play can be both exciting and dangerous for the user.

So, as a bit of balance, here is a three minute game that shows Black has chances, too. ☺ (He should: he is rated +200 above White.)

Readers should follow the links to see more alternative ideas for White.

Chess-For-All - Sveti14
3 0 blitz, lichess.orgm 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 




4...Kxf7 5. Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Kf8 

The Jerome Variation of the Jerome Gambit, played by Alonzo Wheeler Jerome against David Jaeger in correspondence, 1880.


7.Qxe5 d6 8.Qg3 Nf6 9.Nc3


I was surprised to find only 13 games in The Database with this move, with White scoring only 46%. (Still, that is a bit of a step up from the 42% score for White after his 7th move.)

9...Kf7

Also seen: 9...Nh5 in Wall,B - Ahmadi,S, Chess.com, 2010 (0-1, 59) and 9...Ng4 in perrypawnpusher - klixar, blitz, FICS, 2007  (1-0, 33). 

10.O-O Re8


Black has also done well with 10...Rf8 as in perrypawnpusher - truuf, blitz, FICS, 2011 (0-1, 32) and Wall,B - Guest874250, PlayChess.com, 2014 (0-1, 32). 

11.d3 Kg8


Taking care of business by castling-by-hand.

Also seen: 11...Qe7 as in mrjoker - creeredes, Internet Chess Club,
2008 (0-1, 26) 

12.h3 

Adopting the come-and-get-me strategy that puts the onus on Black to make something out of his material advantage. Sometimes this can be a part of a psychological push by White that unsettles his opponent - but, not today. Perhaps he should have ignored the move and gone ahead with winning the "minor exhange" with 12.Na4.

12...Qe7 13.Kh1 

This reminds me of the quote by the Joker in "The Dark Knight" movie: "Come on. I want you to do it. I want you to do it. Hit meHit me! I want you to hit me!"

13...Qf7 14.Be3 Nh5 15.Qh4 Bb6 




16.Nd5 Nf6 17.Nxb6 axb6 18.a3 d5 19.f3 Be6



20.g4 

Time to try to stir things up a bit.

20...Nd7 21.Bd4 

A move that is easy to understand, but repositioning the Bishop might have been better done by playing 21.Rae1 first, and if  21...c5, then  22.Bd2, eventually coming to c3. This subtle idea is brought to you by Stockfish 8.

21...Rf8 


22.f4 

Impatient - but, remember this is a 3 0 game.

The recommended line by Stockfish 8 would have been hard to work out, even in a slower game, with White finally developing pressure on the Kingside to offset Black's gains on the Queenside: 22.Qg3 c5 23.Bc3 d4 24.Be1 c4 25.f4 Nc5 26.f5 Bd7 27.Rd1 Bb5 28.Rf3 Rac8 29.Bb4 cxd3 30.cxd3 Rfe8 31.Rd2 Qb3 32.Kg2 Nd7 33.Rff2 Rc1 34.Kh2 Ne5 35.f6 Qf7 36.Rf5 gxf6 37.g5 Qg7 and Black would still be better. 

22...dxe4 23.dxe4 Bc4 24.Rf2 Rae8 25.Re1 Rxe4 26.Rxe4 Bd5



The a8-h1 diagonal is deadly.

27.Rfe2 Re8 28.Be5 Bxe4+ 29.Rxe4 Qd5 



Again.

30.Qe1 Nc5 White resigned



Ouch.

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