Saturday, April 22, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Pathfinding

Sometimes a player will find a path through the forest that is the Jerome Gambit. Later, others will clarify the way. In the following game, Bill Wall makes the way a bit clearer.

Wall, Bill - Nikelin, 2017

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bd6 

7.dxe5 Bxe5 

The best response was 7...Bb4+.

8.Qh5+ Ke6 9.Qf5+ Kd6 10.Na3 

This is right, the Knight should go to a3, not c3, as we shall see.


In HauntedKnight - VSRajput, FCIS, 2015, White had the right idea in responsing to 10...Bf6, but then lost his way: 11.Nc4+ Ke7 12.Bf4 d6 13.Qb5 Qe8 14.O-O-O Qxb5 15.b3 Be6 16.Ne3 Qb4 17.g4 Qa3+ 18.Kd2 g5 19.Bg3 h5 20.h4 gxh4 21.Bxh4 hxg4 22.Bxf6+ Nxf6 23.Rxh8 Rxh8 24.f4 gxf3 25.Rf1 Nxe4+ 26.Kd3 Ng5 27.c4 Qxa2 28.Re1 Qxb3+ 29.Kd2 Ne4+ 30.Kc1 Qc3+ 31.Nc2 Nf2 32.Kb1 Kf6 33.Rf1 Rh1 34.Rxh1 Nxh1 White resigned

11.Nc4+ Ke7 12.Bg5

White missed his chance after 12.Qxe5+ Qxe5 13.Nxe5 d6 14.Bg5+ Ke6 15.Nc4 b5 16.Ne3 h6 17.Bh4 g5 18.Bg3 Nf6 19.f3 b4 20.b3 Ba6 21.O-O-O Bb5 22.h4 Nh5 23.Be1 Nf4 24.hxg5 hxg5 25.Rxh8 Rxh8 26.Bxb4 Rh2 27.Rg1 Ne2+ 28.Kd2 Nxg1 29.Bc3 Nxf3+ 30.Kc1 Rh1+ 31.Kb2 Nh4 32.g3 Ng6 33.Nd5 c6 34.Ne3 Rh3 35.Nf5 Ne5 36.a4 Be2 37.Nd4+ Kd7 38.Nxe2 Rh2 39.Nd4 c5 40.Nf5 Nd3+ 41.Ka3 Nb4 42.Bxb4 cxb4+ 43.Kxb4 Rxc2 44.Nd4 Rg2 45.e5 dxe5 46.Nf3 Rxg3 47.Nxe5+ Ke6 48.Nc4 Rg4 when White forfeited on time, noatun - Papaflesas, FICS, 2008.

12...d6 13.Bxf6+ gxf6 14.Qf3 Black resigned

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Jerome Gambit: It Is Not Enough...

I have said this before, many times: It is not enough to know that the Jerome Gambit is refuted; it is not enough to know the move that refutes it; it is not enough to play the refutation - as Black, you have to win the game.

It is helpful for the defender to know that out of 12,686 games in The Database that start 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+, White wins only 45%. The following game, however, is one of those times.

Wall, Bill - Guest7715764, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Qh4 

This is probably the strongest response to 6.d4, although you wouldn't know it by Bill's record against it: 13 - 0 - 1. 

7.O-O Nf6

This is one of a number of continuations for Black, here focusing on development rather than saving a piece - one has to go, anyhow.

8.dxc5 Qxe4 9.Nc3 Qb4 

You may ask yourself, "What does White have here?" Good question. The game will be over in a dozen moves, so watch closely.

10.Nd5 Qxc5 11.Nxf6 Kxf6 12.Be3 Qc6 

This seems simple enough, but it allows White to win back his sacrificed piece and achieve an even game.

Remember the old adage: When White has equalized in the Jerome Gambit, he has the advantage.

13.Bd4 Rf8 14.f4 Kg6 15.Bxe5 

Who is better now? Look at Black's d-pawn blocking his light-squared Bishop which is blocking his Rook... While Black works on this situation, his King falls deeper into danger.

15...d6 16.Qd3+ Bf5 17.Qg3+ Kf7 18.Qxg7+ Ke8 19.Rfe1 

19...dxe5 20.Rxe5+ Be6 21.Rae1 Black resigned

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Jerome Gambit: A Casual Stroll

Bill Wall recently sent me a few more of his Jerome Gambits. As he said, some are good, some are bad. None are quite as outrageous as the following.

Wall, Bill - Neilson, Criag
Florida, USA, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

This appears to be an over-the-board game, which already makes it very interesting.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ 

Interesting. Bill moves away from his favorite 6.d4.

6...g6 7.Qxe5 Qe7 8.Qxh8 

Wow! Into the mouth of the beast!

One of the many reasons the Jerome Gambit is considered "unplayable" is Whistler's Defense (7...Qe7!). The Rook is supposed to be untouchable.

Not for Bill Wall. "Danger" is his midde name. He considers things like the Pamplona bull run to be a casual stroll down some interesting avenues.


After 8...Qf6 the game did not last long: 9.Qxh7+ Kf8 10.O-O Black resigned, Wall,B - Sepoli,, 2010


The alternative, 9.Kd1, was seen in Jerome,A-Whistler,G, correspondence, 1876 (0-1, 15) - but also in Wall,B - Mathieubuntu, FICS, 2011 (1/2-1/2, 14).

9...Nf6 10.d3 Qd4

This looks like an improvement over 10...Qf5 in Jerome,A - Norton,D, correspondence, 1876 (1/2-1/2, 20). 

11.Be3 Qxb2 12.Bxc5 Qxa1 

It looks like things will come down to which King is the most vulnerable.

13.Qf8+ Ke6 14.Qe7+ Kf5 15.Ke2 Qe5+ 16.Qxe5+ Kxe5

Very interesting. Is Black for choice because his King is better developed? Or will the blocked-in-light-squared-Bishop-blocking-the-Rook theme give White an edge?

17.Re1 d6 18.Kf3+ Kf5 19.Bd4 Kg5

A dangerous slip.

20.h4+ Kf5 21.Re7 Nd5 


22.g4 checkmate