Saturday, March 25, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Schooled

I have not had the time to play much chess on the internet these days, but I still try to get in a Jerome Gambit or two at, where I can play at 2 or 3 days per move. The following is the most recent to finish.

perrypawnpusher - 4xel, 2017

My opponent in the following game challenged me to a Jerome Gambit, wondering what new tricks I had in store. It turns out that I was not the one who brought new ideas to the board. I was fortunate to find a drawing line.

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4

I think that this is the first and only time that I have played this move, as opposed to over 280 games with 6.Qh5+. Bill Wall has had a lot of success with the line. On the other hand, Bill has had a lot of success with all Jerome Gambit lines.


Uh-oh. This is what I have called the Pie-in-the-Face Variation. It is at least as old as Sorensen - X, Denmark, 1888 (see below). It is probably Black's strongest response.

Figures. At one point in the game my opponent took some "vacation" time away from the board to complete exams. Just my luck to be playing a hard-working student.

7.O-O Qxe4

The alternative, 7...Ng4, was seen in a number of games, including: 8.h3 Bb6 (8...Bd6 9.e5 Bxe5 10.dxe5 Nxe5 11.Qd5+ Kf6 12.f4 Ng6 13.Nc3 d6 14.Be3 Ke7 15.Rae1 Kd8 16.Nb5 Nf6 17.Qc4 Ne8 18.Bf2 Qf6 19.Bd4 Qh4 20.Rxe8+ Kxe8 21.Nxc7+ Kf8 22.f5 Ne5 23.f6 gxf6 24.Qd5 Kg7 25.Qxd6 Rg8 26.Rxf6 Qxf6 27.Bxe5 and won, Sorensen,S - X, Denmark, 1888) 9.hxg4 (9.Qf3+ N4f6 10.e5 Bxd4 11.exf6 Nxf6 12.c3 Bb6 13.Nd2 Rf8 14.Ne4 Qxe4 15.Qd1 d5 16.Re1 Qf5 17.Be3 Bxe3 18.Rxe3 Bd7 19.Rf3 Qe5 20.Qd2 Rae8 21.Re3 Qd6 22.Rxe8 Rxe8 23.b3 Qe5 24.Rf1 Bc6 25.Kh1 Qe2 26.Qc1 d4 27.cxd4 Qe4 28.d5 Qxd5 29.f3 Kg8 30.Rd1 Qe6 31.Qf4 Nd5 32.Qd4 Ne3 33.Rc1 Bxf3 34.Kg1 Nxg2 35.Rxc7 Qe3+ 36.Qxe3 Nxe3 37.Kf2 Bc6 38.b4 Nd5 White resigned, Sir Osis of the Liver - perrypawnpusher, JG3 thematic, 2008) 9...d6 10.f3 Be6 11.Be3 Bc4 12.Re1 Ne7 13.f4 Rhe8 14.Nd2 Ba6 15.Nf3 Qg3 16.a4 Ba5 17.c3 Kf8 18.b4 Ng6 19.f5 Nf4 20.Bxf4 Qxf4 21.Qc2 c5 22.bxa5 Qxg4 23.Rad1 cxd4 24.Rxd4 Qg3 25.Qb3 Qf4 26.Qb1 Qg3 27.e5 g6 28.Rxd6 Re7 29.f6 Ree8 30.Qb4 Bb5 31.Rd8+ Kf7 32.e6+ Kxf6 33.Qd4+ Black resigned, Wall,B - Rajiv,, 2010.

8.dxc5 Nf6 9.Nc3 Qc6

The placement of Black's Queen looks okay, although it has gone elsewhere: 9...Qc4 10.Be3 Re8 11.Bd4 d6 12.b3 Qa6 13.cxd6 Qxd6 14.Nb5 Qc6 15.Nxa7 Rxa7 16.Bxa7 b6 17.Qd4 Ba6 18.c4 Nf3+ 19.gxf3 Qxf3 20.Qd1 Re2 21.Qd8 Qg4+ 22.Kh1 Bb7+ White resigned, Wall,B - Guest6296711, 2014


I figured there was no sense worrying about the pawn at c5, and went right ahead with development.

Two Bill Wall games:

10.Re1 d6 11.cxd6 Qxd6 12.Bf4 Nf3+ 13.Qxf3 Qb6 14.Nd5 Nxd5 15.Bxc7+ Qf6 16.Qxd5+ Be6 17.Qxb7 Rhe8 18.Bd8+ Black resigned, Wall,B - Gorodetsky,D,, 2010.

10.Qd4 Ng6 11.f3 Re8 12.Be3 b6 13.b4 bxc5 14.bxc5 Nf8 15.a4 Ne6 16.Qc4 d6 17.Rfd1 dxc5 18.Bg5 Black forfeited by disconnection, Wall,B - felineMMXI, blitz. FICS, 2011.


Wow. This is a novelty, and a good one. My "safer" castled King is about to experience some heat.

11.Bxf6 Bb7

Of course. Makes you wonder who is the Jerome Gambit "expert".


Wishing I had played this 6 moves earlier.

12...Kxf6 13.f3 Qxc5+ 14.Kh1 g6 15.Qh3 Bc6  

I reminded myself that I had seen better Jerome Gambit players get out of worse positions than this. I told myself to develop and keep my eyes wide open.

16.Rae1 Rae8 17.Ne4+ 

If we were playing blitz, I would have tried 17.Re4. I wasn't happy giving up the Knight, but I needed the tempo and the enemy Bishop had been a pain.

17...Bxe4 18.Rxe4 Re7 

Black only has to swap off the heavy pieces and his Knight will then guarantee victory.

Still, this move whispered to me "possible swindle" so I kept my hopes up.

19.Rfe1 Rhe8 20.Qg3 Qxc2 21.f4 Nc6

And here we go.

22.Qh4+ g5

It's no use. Instead, 22...Kf7 is met by 23.Qxh7+ and 22...Kg7 is met by 23.Rxe7+ Rxe7 24.Rxe7+ Nxe7 25.Qxe7+, in both cases leading to a draw by repetition.

23.Qxg5+ Kf7 24.Qf5+ Kg8 25.Qg5+ Kh8 26.Qf6+ Kg8 27.Qg5+ Kf8 28.Qf6+ Kg8 29.Qg5+ Drawn

veni vidi amavi vale 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Eyes on the King

After all is said and done, in the Jerome Gambit White wants to attack and checkmate Black's King. Sometimes that is goal enough.

Wall, Bill - Smith, James, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bxd4 7.Qxd4 d6 8.O-O Nf6


There is also the historical Jerome, A - Shinkman, W, Iowa, 1876: 9.f4 c5 10.Qc3 Neg4 11.Nd2 b5 12.h3 h5 13.e5 b4 14.Qf3 Ba6 15.exf6 Bxf1 16.Qb7+ Kxf6 17.Ne4+ Kg6 18.f5+ Kxf5 19.hxg4+ Kg6 20.Qd5 Qd7 21.Qg5+ Kf7 22.gxh5 Bc4 23.b3 Be6 24.Bb2 Rag8 25.Rd1 d5 26.Be5 Rf8 27.Rf1+ Kg8 28.Nf6+ Rxf6 29.Bxf6 Rh6 30.Rf4 a5 31.Be5 c4 32.bxc4 dxc4 33.Bd4 a4 34.Re4 b3 35.cxb3 cxb3 36.a3 Qf7 37.g4 Qc7 38.Be5 b2 39.Bxb2
Qg3+ 40.Kf1 Qf3+ 41.Kg1 Qg3+ 42.Kf1 drawn.

9...Re8 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bh4 g5 

Bill has also seen:

11...c5 12.Qd2 Be6 13.Rad1 Nc4 14.Qc1 Qb6 15.b3 Ne5 16.Bxf6 gxf6 17.f4 Ng4 18.f5 c4+ 19.Kh1 Nf2+ 20.Rxf2 Qxf2 21.fxe6+ Rxe6 22.Rf1 Qd4 23.Qxh6 Qxc3 24.Qh7+ Ke8 25.Qg8+ Kd7 26.Qxa8 cxb3 27.Qxb7+ Qc7 28.Qxc7+ Kxc7 29.cxb3 Rxe4 30.Kg1 Re6 31.h4 d5 32.h5 Kd6 33.g4 Ke7 34.Kf2 Kf7 35.Rc1 Re7 36.Kf3 d4 37.Rc6 Rd7 38.Ke2 d3+ 39.Kd2 Rd4 40.Rc7+ Kg8 41.Rxa7 Rxg4 42.Kxd3 Rh4 43.a4 Rxh5 44.a5 Rb5 45.Kc4 Rb8 46.a6 f5 47.Rb7 Ra8 48.a7 Black resigned, Wall,B - Guest5111265,, 2014; and

11...Be6 12.f4 c5 13.Qa4 Ng6 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15. f5 b5 16.Qxb5 Bd7 17.fxg6+ Kxg6 18.Qd3 Kg7 19.Qxd6 Rc8 20.Rad1 Rc7 21.Qg3+ Kh7 22.Nd5 Rc6 23.Nxf6+ Rxf6 24.Rxf6 Qxf6 25.Rxd7+ Black resigned, Wall,B - Guest1561957,, 2014

12.Bg3 c5 13.Qd2 Be6 14.f4

14...Nc4 15.Qe2 gxf4 16.Rxf4 d5 17.Bh4 dxe4 18.Qh5+ Kg8 19.Qg6+ Kf8 20.Rxf6+ Black resigned

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Image result for clipart embarrassed face
I have given periodic updates on the Giuoco Piano thematic tournament at that I am playing in, under the belief that I - surprisingly - was going to finish at the top of the field, thanks to a lot of teriffic battling amongst players, and to the Jerome Gambit.

Much to my surprise, and some embarassment, I have learned that there is one more round to play!

So, I will have black and white against IlToscano and AWARDCHESS, who finished the previous round ranked #2 and #3 respectively. (The latter moved ahead of Altotemmi on tie breaks, 93.75 to 93.5!)

Apologies for prematurely claiming victory in the tournament.

My successes with the Jerome Gambit in the earlier round against my current opponents came mostly due to the element of surprise. I expect to have even harder fights this time around.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit: This Is Why We Play It

White has several very reasonable responses to Black's third move, only one of which - 4.Bxf7+ - calls to mind the Jerome Gambit. Still, playing that last one often means a short end to hostilities. Bill Wall demonstrates in the game below.

Wall, Bill - Mouhamadyamin, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 

The Blackburne Shilling Gambit.


The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke6 6.c3 Kxe5 7.cxd4+Kxd4

A risky meal.

8.d3 b6 

And just like that, it's Game Over. Black does not have time for this development; checkmate follows.

9.Qh5 Bb4+ 10.Ke2 g5 11.Bxg5 Kc5 12.Be7+ Kc6 13.Qd5 checkmate