Saturday, July 1, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Taming the Strange Beast?

Following up on the previous post (see "Jerome Gambit: Strange Beast"), Philidor1792 sent me four games he recently played with the line (as White) in a match against Slayman, at, at the quick speed of 2 minutes with no increment per game. Philidor1792 scored 3 1/2 - 1/2.

It is fun to first look at the two shortest - and funniest - games.

Philidor1792 - Slayman
2 0 bullet,

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4

This is identified at as "Bishop's Opening: Ponziani Gambit".

3...exd4 4.Bxf7+

This is not a Jerome Gambit, but it has a Jerome feel about it, and certainly is equally outrageous.

Of course, White also had 4.Nf3, offering the Urusov Gambit; and Black could have further declined with 4...Nc6, the Two Knights Defense.

4...Kxf7 5.e5 Ne8 

The proper defense, maintaining Black's advantage, as shown in saprvade - Philidor17923 2 blitz, 2016 is 5...Qe7 6.Qe2 Ne8 etc.

6.Qf3+ Kg6 

I was amused to see that Stockfish 8 assessed the silly alternative, 6...Nf6, as completely equal (0.00), recommending the equally silly 7.Qd1, even with an analysis depth of 25 ply. 

Of course, Stockfish is confused by the possibility of repeating the position, resulting in a draw - just play the two moves and the computer leaps to point out, of course, that Black is better by 2 2/3 pawns.

After the text move, however, Stockfish 8 assesses the top 6 replies by White to lead to complete equality (0.00) again.

7.Nh3 h6 8.Nf4+ Kf7

Remember: this is a 2-minute game, and any retreat probably looks the same as any other retreat. But: not so.

The proper line was shown in another one of the games in the match: 8...Kh7 9.Qe4+ Kg8 10.Qd5+ Kh7 11.Qe4+ Ke8 12.Qd5+ Kh7 13.Qe4 drawn (by repetition).

9.Qd5+ Ke7 10.Ng6 checkmate

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Strange Beast

I just received a game from Philidor1792, and although it is not a "regular" Jerome Gambit, it is related, or "inspired by" - and it blew my mind. It features a pretty scary gambit, completely "objectively" unsound, but very uncomfortable to play against.

You have been warned.

saprvade - Philidor1792
3 2 blitz, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 

So far we have a variation of the Bishop's Opening, Berlin Defense. The position could also arise from the Center Game, von der Lasa Gambit, 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Bc4 Nf6.

Now White can play 4.Nf3 and hope to transpose into the Urusov Gambit, although Black has 4...Nc6, moving the game into a Two Knights Defense or Scotch Gambit.

4. Bxf7+

Say what??

I could find no game examples in The Database, or in the ChessBase Big Database 2016. A Google search online was of no help.

Philidor1792 pointed me toward the database at, where I discovered that there were 41 games (including 1 0 bullet games and 3 0 blitz games) where White scored 51%.

4...Kxf7 5.e5 Qe7 6.Qe2 Ne8 

Philidor1792 is a long-time Jerome-Gambit-and-related player. He knows what he is doing with Black, but the position already looks quite uncomfortable. Remember, too, this is a 3 2 blitz game.

7.Nf3 d6 

Black's move is logical, but is a slip. Best seems the immediate safeguarding of the King with 7...Kg8 e.g. 8.Nxd4 and Stockfish 8 suggests the tortured continuation 8...c5 9.O-O Nc7 (if 9...cxd4 then 10.Qc4+ d5 11.Qxc8 Qd7 12.Qxd7 Nxd7) 10.Nf5 Qe6 11.Ne3 Nc6 12.f4 b6 13.c4 Nd4 and "of course" Black is "winning". Nice work if you can get it, as they used to say.

analysis diagram

8.Ng5+ Kg8

Of course this seems reasonable, but, as Philidor1792 points out, if 8...Kg6 then 9.e6 Bxe6 10.Nxe6 Kf7 11.Nxd4 Nc6 (or 11...Qxe2+ 12.Nxe2 Nc6) 12.Nxc6 Qxe2+ 13.Kxe2 bxc6 with an equal game.

Of course. Easy as pie, in the blink of an eye.

analysis diagram

9.Qc4+ Be6 10.Nxe6 Qf7 11.Qb3 Nd7 12.Nxd4 dxe5 13.Nf3 Bc5 14.Nc3 Qxb3 15.axb3 Nef6 

Black has pretty much weathered the storm, although White has an edge due to a slightly better pawn structure and a safer King.

16.O-O Kf7 17.Re1 Rhe8 18.Be3 Bd6 19.Bxa7 b6 20.Nb5 Rec8 

White's Queenside adventures do not seem to be amounting to much.

21.Red1 Kg8 22.Nc3 e4 23.Nd4 Nc5 24.Ncb5 Nb7 25.Nc6 Bf8 26.b4 Nd6 27.Nxd6 Bxd6 

White is still a bit better, but not by very much. What in the world are his minor pieces doing?

28.c4 Nd7 29.Rxd6 cxd6 30.Ne7+ Kf7 31.Nxc8 Rxc8 32.b3 Ra8

 33.Kf1 Ke7 34.Ke2 Kd8 35.c5 bxc5 36.bxc5 dxc5 37.Ra3 Kc7 

This looks like a time slip. If the Jerome-ish opening doesn't get you, the clock will...

38.Bxc5 Rxa3 39.Bxa3 

Facing a Bishop vs a Knight, and an outside passed pawn, Black can only hope his opponent's flag falls, but it does not do so - although almost 40 more moves are played.

39...Kc6 40.Ke3 Kd5 41.Bb2 g6 42.b4 Nf8 43.b5 Ne6 44.Ba3 Nd8 45.Be7 Nb7 46.Kf4 Ke6 47.Bf8 Kd5 48.Kg5 Ke6 49.Kh6 Kf7 50.Bb4 Kg8 51.Kg5 Kf7 52.Kf4 h5 53.Kxe4 Ke6 54.Kf4 Kf6 55.b6 g5+ 56.Ke4 Ke6 57.f4 gxf4 58.Kxf4 Kf6 59.Bc3+ Kg6 60.Ke5 Nc5 61.Kd5 Nd7 62.b7 Kf5 63.Kd6 Nb8 64.Be5 Na6 65.Kd5 Nb4+ 66.Kc5 Nd3+ 67.Kd6 Nxe5 68.b8=Q Nc4+ 69.Kc5 Ne5 70.Qh8 Ng6 71.Qxh5+ Kf6 72.Kd6 Nf8 73.h4 Ng6 74.Qg5+ Kf7 75.h5 Nf8 76.Qe7+ Kg8 77.h6 White resigned

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Jerome Gambit Delayed: Consulting The Database and Stockfish

The following game has a line in the Jerome Gambit (Delayed?) that I am not very familiar with, so I consulted with The Database and Stockfish 8 for some assistance. It is good to see jfhumphrey move quickly to victory.

jfhumphrey - ckilee
5 0 blitz, FICS, 2017

1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 e5 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.O-O


Transposing to a Two Knights Defense (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6) with ...Bc5 added.

The Database has 1,148 games with this position, with White scoring 42%. (For comparison, The Database shows White scoring 45% after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+)

5.Bxf7+ Kxf7

Now The Database has 1,909 games with this position (oh, the joys of transposition) with White scoring 40%.

6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.d4

The Database has 291 games with this position, with White scoring 45%.


Now, however, The Database has 35 games with this position, with White scoring 71%. From a practical point of view, Black has made an error that generally gets punished.

Interestingly enough, Stockfish 8 sees the text move as giving White less than a half of a pawn advantage. It prefers 7...d5, and this is backed up by The Database, which has 10 games with that move - all of them wins for Black.

8.dxe5 Bxe5 9.f4 Bd6 10.e5 Bc5+

Stronger than 10...Ne4?! 11.exd6 (11.Qd5+!?) Nxd6 12.Qd5+ Kf8 13.f5 Qf6 14.Nc3 c6 15.Qf3 Nf7 16.Be3 Ne5 17.Qe4 d5 18.Qd4 Kf7 19.Bf4 Re8 20.Bxe5 Qxe5 21.Qf2 Kg8 22.Rae1 Qxe1 23.Rxe1 Rxe1+ 24.Qxe1 Bxf5 25.Qe7 h5 26.h3 Bxc2 27.Qxb7 Rf8 28.Qxc6 Bd3 29.Nxd5 Rf1+ 30.Kh2 Be4 31.Qe6+ Kh7 32.Qxe4+ Black forfeited on time, Teterow - yelloman, FICS, 2011.

11.Kh1 Ne4 

Better alternatives are: 11...d6 12.exf6 Qxf6 13.Nc3 c6 (13...Qf5 14.Nd5 c6 15.Nc3 d5 16.Ne2 Re8 17.Ng3 Qf6 18.Bd2 Qxb2 19.Rb1 Qf6 20.Nh5 Qf5 21.Bc3 d4 White forfeited on time, aymmd - JabbaChess, FICS, 2012) 14.Ne4 Qf5 15.Nxd6+ Bxd6 16.Qxd6 Re8 17.Bd2 Be6 18.Bc3 Bd5 19.Qc5 Bxg2+ 20.Kxg2 Qxc5 White resigned, motorfot - theophraste, FICS, 2014;

11...Bb6 12.exf6 Qxf6 13.Qd5+ Qe6 14.Qh5+ Qg6 15.Qf3 Rf8 16.f5 Qc6 17.Qb3+ d5 18.Nd2 Kg8 19.Nf3 Qc4 20.Bg5 Qxb3 21.cxb3 Bxf5 22.Be7 Rfe8 23.Bb4 Be4 24.Ng5 h6 25.Nh3 c5 26.Bc3 Rf8 27.Rfe1 Bf5 28.Nf4 d4 29.Bd2 Rae8 30.Nd5 Black forfeited on time, jfhumphrey - Dimo, FICS, 2012; and

11...d5 12.exf6 gxf6 13.Nc3 Bf5 14.Nxd5 Bxc2 15.Qxc2 Qxd5 16.Bd2 Rag8 17.Bc3 Be3 18.Rad1 Qb5 19.a4 Qc6 20.Rf3 Bc5 21.Qf5 Be7 22.a5 Rd8 23.Re1 Rd5 24.Qe4 Rd7 25.Rh3 White forfeited on time, aymmd - GriffySr, FICS, 2011.

Incorrect are 11...Nd5 12.Qxd5+ Black resigned, Svrbt - pantyhose, FICS, 2011 and

11...Ng8 12.Qd5+ Ke8 13.Qxc5 Ne7 14.f5 Rf8 15.f6 gxf6 16.Bh6 Rg8 17.exf6 b6 18.Qh5+ Ng6 19.f7+ Ke7 20.Qg5+ Kd6 21.Rd1+ Kc6 22.Qd5 checkmate, chessmoods - MChessplayer, FICS, 2012.

Best is 11...Be7 12. exf6 Bxf6 when White has a slight edge. 

12.Qd5+ Ke8

Or 12...Kf8 13.Qxe4 d6 (13...Qe7 14.Be3 d6 15.Bxc5 dxc5 16.Nc3 Kf7 17.Rad1 g6 18.Nd5 Qe6 19.Nxc7 Rb8 20.Nxe6 Black resigned, HauntedKnight - jonisjonis, FICS, 2010) 14.e6 Qe7 15.f5 c6 16.Nc3 d5 17.Qg4 Qf6 18.Bg5 Qd4 19.Rad1 Qxg4 20.Bf4 Ke7 21.h3 Qh5 22.Rf3 g5 23.Be3 Bxe3 24.Rxe3 g4 25.Rf1 gxh3 26.Rxh3 Qg5 27.Ne2 h5 28.c3 Rg8 29.Rg3 Qxg3 30.Nxg3 Rxg3 31.Kh2 Rg8 32.b3 Kd6 33.a4 b6 34.b4 Ba6 35.Rf2 Ke5 36.e7 Rg5 37.f6 Ke6 38.Kh3 Rf5 39.Re2+ Kf7 40.g3 Black forfeited on time, HauntedKnight - heverson, FICS, 2011


White has a pawn advantage. At this point the clock seems to be influencing move choices.

13...Rf8 14.Qxh7 d6 15.Qxg7 dxe5 16.Qxe5+ Be7 

White will finish the game off in short order. 

17.Nc3 Bf5 18.Be3 b6 19.Rad1 Qc8 20.Nd5 Rf7 21.Nxc7+ Kf8 22.Qh8 checkmate

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Humiliation

Image result for free clipart yuck


Abject humiliation.

I just completed a 10 0 online blitz game with the Jerome Gambit.

I won on time.

I won't annoy my opponent by giving his name. 

For historical purposes, here is the final position when his flag fell (with Black to move, mind you). I don't need Stockfish's help to figure this one out.

I know that I have shown other Jerome Gambit players escaping similarly, but it's a bit different when it is my game.

What kind of a role model is that?

I have half a mind to take up knitting.