Saturday, June 17, 2017

Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit: Creativity

I recently ran across an unusual line in the Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit that led to some interesting play - no doubt "enhanced" by the blitz time limit. White's creativity is to be applauded.

sahistonline - sriwijaya
5 5 blitz, FICS 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 Nd4

Blackburne Shilling Gambit.


Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke6 6.c3 Kxe5 


A rare, but interesting idea. Most recommended is 7.cxd4+ leading to an equal game.


Not 7...Kxf4 which gave White an immediate payoff after 8.Rf1+ (8.Qh5!?) Ke5 9.cxd4+ Kxd4?! 10.Qa4+ (10.Rf5!?) Ke5 11.d4+ Ke6 12.Qb3+ (12.d5!?) Kd6?! 13.Qd5+ Ke7 Black resigned, drakorg - borodin, FICS, 2002.

Best, as always in this line of the Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit, was to retreat the King, e.g. 7...Ke6.


White should not seek to immediately recover his sacrificed material, i.e. 8.cxd4 Kxd4 (8...Kxf4 leads to mate 9.Rf1+ Kg5 10.d3+ Kg6 11.Qg4+ Black resigned, jorgemlfranco - FoldZero, FICS, 2012; 8...d5!?) 9.O-O Bc5 10.Kh1 Qh4 11.Qa4+ Kd5 12.Nc3+ Kd6 13.d4 Bb6 14.Bd2 Nf6 15.Qb4+ Ke6 16.Rae1+ Kf7 17.Qc4+ Kg6 18.f5+ Kh5 19.Ne2 d5 20.Qd3 Ne4 21.Nf4+ Kg4 22.Qf3+ Kxf5 23.Ng6+ Kxg6 24.Qf7 checkmate, richiehill - steadylooking, FICS, 2011.

Best is to lock the enemy King in the center with 8.Qh5.

8...Kd5 9.Qh5+

The King is free. White might as well play 9.cxd4 and accept that he is worse.

But, remember, this is a blitz game!

9...Kc6 10.cxd4 Qe7+ 11.Kf2 Nf6 12.Qf3+ Nd5

In the BSJG, as well as in the Jerome Gambit, Black should always be concerned about blocking in his light-squared Bishop, which in turn blocks his Rook. Best, therefore, was 12...d5!?.

13.Nc3 Qd6 14.Be3 b6 15.Rac1 Kb7 16.Nxd5 c6 17.Nc3 

Black has castled-by-hand on the Queenside.

White's advantage isn't his extra, doubled pawn, it is his great lead in development.

17...g5 18.Rhf1 Be7

Black would have done better to stick with his original idea 18...gxf4 19.Qxf4 Qxf4+ 20.Bxf4 d5 and White has only an edge.


More direct was opening the position with 19.d5!?


How ironic: Black erred earlier by putting his Knight on this square, now he is mistaken putting his Queen there. Then as now, ...d5!? was the move with near equality. The locked up pieces will never become part of the game.

20.Qxd5 cxd5 21.fxg5 Rf8+ 22.Kg1 Rxf1+ 23.Kxf1 Bd8

24.Nd6+ Ka6 25.Nxc8 Rxc8 26.Rxc8 Black resigned

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Daily Business

The following game is a good example of a serious Jerome Gambiteer going about his daily business of building his game toward equality, and then advantage...

HauntedKnight- joshuaabby
15 0, FICS, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.Bxf7+

The Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit, also reached by 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nc3 Nf6.

Play usually develops slower than in the main line Jerome.

5...Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.d4 Bxd4 8.Qxd4 d6 9.Bg5 Be6 10.O-O-O

HauntedKnight has over 400 games with the white pieces in The Database. He has tried a couple other, equally strong, ideas instead of the text:

10.f4 Nc6 11.Qe3 h6 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.O-O-O Nb4 14.e5 dxe5 15.fxe5 Qg5 16.Rhf1+ Ke7 17.Qxg5+ hxg5 18.a3 Na2+ 19.Nxa2 Bxa2 20.b3 Rad8 21.Kb2 Rxd1 22.Rxd1 Bxb3 23.cxb3 Rf8 24.Rd2 Ke6 25.Re2 Rf5 26.g4 Rxe5 27.Rc2 c6 28.h3 Re3 29.Rc3 Rxc3 30.Kxc3 Ke5 31.Kd3 Kf4 White resigned, HauntedKnight - craquou, FICS, 2014; and

10.O-O Rf8 11.f4 Nc6 12.Qd2 Bc4 13.Rf2 Qd7 14.e5 Ne8 15.b3 Ba6 16.Qd5+ Qe6 17.Qxe6+ Kxe6 18.exd6 Nxd6 19.Re2+ Kd7 20.Rd2 Rae8 21.h4 Kc8 22.h5 Ne4 23.Nxe4 Rxe4 24.c4 Nd4 25.Rd3 Ne2+ 26.Kh2 Nxf4 27.Rf1 Nxd3 28.Rxf8+ Kd7 29.Rd8+ Ke6 30.Rxd3 Kf5 31.Bd8 c6 32.Bc7 b5 33.Rf3+ Rf4 34.Rxf4+ Black resigned, HauntedKnight -  Bernano, FICS, 2013.


Preparing to castle-by-hand. HauntedKnight has also faced:

10...Nc6 11.Qe3 h6 12.Bh4 g5 13.Bg3 Qe7 14.Rhe1 Rad8 15.h3 Rhe8 16.f4 gxf4 17.Qxf4 Rg8 18.Bh4 Ne5 19.Qxh6 Rh8 20.Qf4 Ng6 21.Qf2 Rxh4 22.g4 Ke8 23.e5 dxe5 24.Rxd8+ Kxd8 25.Qxa7 c6 26.Qb8+ Kd7 27.Rd1+ Nd5 28.Nxd5 cxd5 29.Qxb7+ Ke8 30.Qb8+ Kf7 31.Rf1+ Kg7 32.a4 Qg5+ 33.Kb1 Nf4 34.a5 Rh8 35.Qc7+ Kg6 36.h4 Qxh4 37.Qxe5 Qf6 38.Qxf4 Qxf4 39.Rxf4 d4 40.Rxd4 Rh1+ 41.Rd1 Rxd1 checkmate, HauntedKnight - spip, FICS, 2011; and

10...h6 11.Bh4 g5 12.Bg3 Nh5 13.Bxe5 dxe5 14.Qxe5 Qf6 15.Qxc7+ Kg6 16.f3 Rac8 17. Qxb7 Rb8 18.Qxa7 Nf4 19.h4 Ne2+ 20.Nxe2 Qxb2+ 21.Kd2 Rhd8+ 22.Ke1 Qb4+ 23.c3 Qb2 24.h5+ Kf6 25.e5+ Kf5 26.g4+ Kxe5 27.Qe3+ Kf6 28.Nd4 Qxa2 29.f4 Bxg4 30.fxg5+ hxg5 31.Rf1+ Kg7 32.Qe7+ Kh6 33.Qf6+ Kh7 34.Qg6+ Kh8 35.Qh6+ Kg8 36.Qxg5+ Kh7 37.Rf7+ Qxf7 38.Qxg4 Re8+ 39.Kd2 Qf2+ 40.Kc1 Qb2 checkmate, HauntedKnight - davidromero, FICS, 2014;

11.f4 Nc6 12.Qe3

Also: 12.Qd2 Kg8 13.e5 dxe5 14.Qxd8 Raxd8 15.Bxf6 Rxd1+ 16.Rxd1 gxf6 17.fxe5 Nxe5 18.h3 Rf7 19.b3 Rd7 20.Rf1 Kf7 21.Ne4 f5 22.Nc5 Rd6 23.Nxb7 Ra6 24.Kb2 Kg6 25.Nc5 Rd6 26.Rf2 Rc6 27.Na4 Nd7 28.Nc3 Nb6 29.Ne2 Nd5 30.Nd4 Rd6 31.g3 c5 32.Nb5 Rd7 33.Na3 f4 34.gxf4 Bxh3 35.Nc4 h5 36.Ne5+ Kf5 37.Nxd7 Nxf4 38.Nxc5 Bg4 39.Nd3 Black resigned, HauntedKnight - craquou, FICS, 2012.

12...h6 13. Bh4 Ng4 14.Qg3 Nf6

Interestingly enough, even though Black has a piece for a pawn, after this move Stockfish 8 sees the position as even. Instead, it recommends the messy line 14...g5 15.Bxg5 hxg5 16.f5 Nge5 17.fxe6+ Kxe6 18.Rhf1 g4 19.Rf5 Rxf5 20.exf5+ Kd7 21.Ne4 b6 22.h3 gxh3 23.Qxh3 Qh8 24.Rh1 Qxh3 25.Nf6+ Kc8 26.Rxh3 Kb7 when Black has castled-by-hand on the Queenside and is clearly better - but I don't see two club players finding their way through all of that.


Thematic, but possibly premature. The computer prefers 15.Qe3 Kg8 with equality.

15...Nh5 16.Qf2 Qd7 17.h3 Rg8

This looks like a mouse-slip, instead of the better 17...Kg8, but I am not sure. Perhaps Black is planning on expanding on the Kingside, but he never gets the chance.

18.g4 Ke8

The King senses danger, and he is right.

19.gxh5 Bxh3 20.e6

A sacrifice to open the e-file, but the simple 20.exd6 was good enough.

20...Bxe6 21.Rhe1 Rf8

White has too much fire power on the files.

22.f5 Rxf5

A final slip.


Black forfeited by disconnection, no doubt out of frustration at his last move; but the game was lost, for example 22...Qf7 23.Rxe6+ Qxe6 24.fxe6 Rxf2 25.Bxf2 when White has an extra piece and his advanced passed pawn will cause problems for Black. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Inscrutible

With the proliferation of computer engines in the chess world, the notion of a "computer-like" move - not the kind of thing that a person might easily come up with - has become frequent in game discussion or analysis. There are some "computer-like" moves in the following game - but a better word might be "inscrutible".

Wall, Bill - Computer-level 8, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4  d6 

A reasonable move, aiming to develop and allowing its opponent to choose which piece to recapture. White has scored 50% in the couple dozen games in The Database.

7. dxc5 a6 

This is a bit odd, however, and a novelty according to The Database. More frequently seen is the consistent 7...Nf6.

8.cxd6 Nf6 9.O-O Re8 

The pawn on d6 will hang for several more moves.

10.f4 Neg4 11.h3 Nxe4 12.hxg4 Bd7 

The computer continues to go its own way. It has returned the extra piece. White has an edge.

13.f5 Kg8 14.Bf4 cxd6 15.Nc3 Qb6+ 16.Kh2 Bc6 17.Nd5

Bill is willing to mix it up tactically with the computer.

17...Qxb2 18.Nc7 Rab8 

Stockfish 8 suggests, instead, the following well-balanced mess, with White for choice: 18...Nf2 19.Qd2 Nxg4+ 20.Kh1 Nf6 21.Nxa8 Rxa8 22.Rfb1 Qa3 23.Bxd6 Qh3+ 24.Kg1 Qg4 25.Be5 Ne4 26.Qf4 Qxf4 27.Bxf4 Rf8 28.Be3 Rxf5 29.Rb3 Ng3 30.Re1 Rh5 31.Bf4 Rh1+ 32.Kf2 Ne4+ 33.Ke2 Rh5 34.Kd1. I can understand the preference for the text.

19.Nxe8 Rxe8 20.g5 Nc3 

The battle rages. Black's loss of the exchange will be considered either a blunder or a sacrifice depending on how the game turns out. In the meantime, White prefers to move the attention to the Kingside.

21. Qg4 Qxc2 22. f6 Qe2 

Feeling the heat, Black offers the exchange of Queens.

23.Qh3 Nb5 

Stockfish 8 now snarkily points out that White has a checkmate in 28 moves!

The game does not last that long.

24.Rae1 Qxe1 25.Rxe1 Nc7

Very strange. Why not 25...Rxe1?

White now relentlessly closes in on Black's King with computer-like precision.

26.f7+ Kxf7 27.Qf5+ Kg8 28.Bxd6 h5 29.g6 Ne6 30.Rxe6 Rd8 31.Qxh5 Bxg2 32.Qh7 checkmate

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Jerome Gambit Blog Birthday

Image result for free clipart birthday cake

June 10 marked the 9th birthday of this blog, with this being post #2,425.

I am thankful for the visitors and supporters - especially those who have generously shared Jerome Gambit games and analysis.

There is much more to explore and share.

In the mean time, let me bring a story to a close: The last round of the Giuoco Piano thematic tournament has come to an end, and with it, the tournament.

I finished the round with three wins and a draw, enough to give me top honors, with 17 wins, 4 losses, and 1 draw (followed by IlToscano and AWARDCHESS). I played the Jerome Gambit in all of my games with white and scored 9-2 .