Friday, July 7, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Not Taking It Seriously Has Consequences

Recently I received some Jerome Gambit games from long-time unorthodox openings expert Bill Wall. He pointed out 
My chessbase database says I have played 352 Jeromes without transposition and I just now discovered the statistics page with a 93% winning advantage.  I have 168 games with 6.Qh5 (90% winning percentage) and 138 games with 6.d4 with a 90.6% winning percentage.  Pretty even.
I have now played 50,817 chess games that I have a recorded game since 1969.  I should hit 51,000 before the end of the year.

One reason (besides skill and knowledge) that Bill does so well with the Jerome Gambit is that his opponents do not take the opening seriously - to their dismay, as he does.

Wall, Bill - Guest412053, 2017

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bd6 

This is trouble. The Bishop could have gone to e7 or f8, with or without checking at b4 first.

7.dxe5 Bxe5

A tale similar to the game: 7...Bb4+ 8.c3 Ba5 9.Qd5+ Ke8 10.Qxa5 Black resigned, Wall,B - Guest1227654,, 2017


Or 8.Qh5+ Ke6 9.Qf5+ Kd6 10.Na3 Qf6 11.Nc4+ Ke7 12.Bg5 d6 13.Bxf6+ gxf6 14.Qf3 Black resigned, Wall,B - Nikelin,, 2017.


Not the only, or safest, way to move the King. There was: 8...Kf8 9.Qxe5 d6 (9...Qe7 10.Qxc7 [10.Qf4+ Nf6 11.Nc3 d6 12.O-O Qe5 13.Qxe5 dxe5 14.f4 exf4 15.Bxf4 Ne8 16.Bd6+ Kg8 17.Rf8 checkmate, Wall,B - Guest539122,, 2015] 10...Qxe4+ 11.Kf1 d5 12.b3 d4 13.Ba3+ Ne7 14.Nd2 Qe6 15.Re1 Qd7 16.Bxe7+ Black resigned,Wall,B - Guest851465,, 2017) 10.Qb5 (10.Qd4 Nf6 11.O-O c5 12.Qd3 Bd7 13.Bf4 a6 14.Bxd6+ Kf7 15.e5 Bb5 16.c4 Black resigned, Wall,B - Guest5856753,, 2016) 10...Nf6 11.Nc3 c6 12.Qd3 Be6 13.Bg5 h6 14.Bh4 g5 15.Bg3 Ke7 16.O-O-O Ne8 17.f4 g4 18.Bh4+ Nf6 19.e5 dxe5 20.Qg6 Qf8 21.fxe5 Black resigned, Wall,B - NN,, 2016

9.f4 Bd6 

Apparently offering to return the piece, after all, once White has played the fork 10.e5+.

Black has tried other moves against Bill, as well:

9...Qe7 10.fxe5+ Qxe5 11.Rf1+ Kg6 12.Qf7 checkmate, Wall,B - Vicher,, 2016; and

9...c6 10.Qxe5+ Kf7 11.O-O Qe7 12.Nc3 d6 13.Qh5+ g6 14.Qe2 Nf6 15.e5 Nd5 16.Nxd5 cxd5 17.Qb5 dxe5 18.fxe5+ Kg7 19.Qxd5 Re8 20.c3 Qxe5 21.Qf7+ Kh8 22.Bg5 Qxg5 23.Qxe8+ Kg7 24.Qf8 checkmate, Wall,B - Neilson,C, Melbourne, FL, 2016.


The real threat, winning Black's Queen.

One of Bill's games last year continued 10...Kf7 11.Qxd8 Black resigned, Wall,B - NN, 2016, but  in this game, here

Black resigned 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Strangest Beast

Here is the last game of the Philidor1792 - Slayman match, testing a particular opening. With a time control of 2 0, the outcome rests on any number of things, including the "33rd piece" - the clock.

Again: a 2-minute game is almost too fast for me to breathe, let alone play interesting chess. Nice work, gentlemen.

Philidor1792 - Slayman
2 0 bullet,, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nf3 Nc6

After the first three moves we have come to expect, White tosses in 4.Nf3 and Black adds 4...Nc6, bypassing the Urusov Gambit and moving on to the Two Knights Game, although labels the line "Scotch Game: Scotch Gambit, Dubois Reti Defense".


The Jerome-ish sacrifice.

5...Kxf7 6.e5 Ne4 7.c3 d5 

Again, White seeks to develop after 7...dxc3 8.Nxc3, and again Black does not cooperate - this time moving his other d-pawn.

8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Nbd2 Rf8 10.O-O Bxd2 11.Bxd2 Kg8 

Black has castled-by-hand and retains his extra piece.

White's protected passed "Jerome pawn" is not yet a factor in the game.

12.h3 Be6 

(In a slower game it would be worth pointing out 12...Rxf3 13.Qxf3 Nxd2 )

13.Be3 Qe8 14.Rc1 Qh5  


White sees there will be trouble on the Kingside, but might have done better to offer the exchange of Queens with 15.Ng5. 

15...Bxh3 16.Ng1 Qxd1

Black does White a favor. The Queen exchange takes the energy out of the attack - but it also makes calculation in the position a bit easier; and the second player still maintains his advantage.

17.Rfxd1 Be6 

Black has the extra piece - but the clock is ticking away.

18.f3 Rad8 19.fxe4 dxe4 20.Ne2 Nb4 21.Rxc7 

When in doubt, and time trouble, grab material.

Stockfish 8 recommends the rambling line 21.Nf4 Bg4 22.Rd2 c6 23.Kg3 Bf5 24.Rf2 Nd3 25.Nxd3 exd3 26.a4 h6 27.Rcf1 Be4 28.b4 Rxf2 29.Rxf2 Bd5 30.Rd2 Bc4 31.Rf2 g5 32.Rf1 Kg7 33.Rf2 Rf8 34.Rxf8 Kxf8 35.Kf2 Ke7 36.Bc1 Ke6 which it sees as favoring Black, but which looks pretty drawish due to Bishops-of-opposite-colors.


Not enough time to figure out 21...Nd5 22.Rc3 Bg4 23.Rd2 Bxe2 24.Rxe2 Nxc3 25.bxc3 Kf7 and the extra exchange helps Black.

22.b3 White won on time. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Faster Than A Speeding Strange Beast

Continuing to present the games from the bullet match at between Philidor1792 and Slayman, using the unusual Jerome Gambitish line mentioned a couple of posts ago - see "Jerome Gambit: Strange Beast".

Philidor1792 - Slayman
2 0 bullet,, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bxf7+ 

Here we go. Philidor1792 was successful with this line in this rocket-fast match, winning three games, drawing one, losing none.

4...Kxf8 5.e5 Ng8

As we have seen, the best defense starts with 5...Qe7 6.Qe2 Ne8. However, in a 2 0 game you barely have time to breathe, let alone analyze deeply. Knowing anything about the line is a great advantage.

6.Nf3 Bc5 7.c3 d3

Black has no intention of helping White's development with 7...dxc3 8.Nxc3.

8.Qxd3 Bb6 9.O-O Ne7 10.Qc4+ Kf8 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bf4 Rg8 

"Objectively" Black is better, with a piece for a pawn, but his position is horribly cramped and undeveloped.

13.Nbd2 g5 14.Bg3 Nbc6 15.Ne4 Nf5 16.Nf6 Nxg3

Yipes! This overlooks a checkmate-in-two.

17.Qxg8+ Ke7 18.Qg7+

Move, move, move! Missing 18.Nd5#. Move, move, move!

18...Ke6 19.hxg3 Nxe5 20.Nxe5 Qxf6 21.Qxf6+ Kxf6 

In a game with a slower time control, exchanging Queens would not be the best plan. Here White is up the exhange, and he can calculate better (and faster) with fewer pieces on the board.

22.Nc4 d5 23.Nxb6 axb6 24.a3 Be6 25.Rae1 c5 

Black needs to activate his Queenside pawn majority.

26.Re3 d4 27. cxd4 cxd4 28.Re4 Rd8 29. Rd1 d3 30.Rd2 Bf5 

31.Rb4 Rc8 32.Rxb6+ Rc6 33.Rxc6+ bxc6 34.f3 Ke5 35.Kf2 Kd4

36.g4 Bg6 37.g3 Kc4 38.Ke3 Kb3 


An option always available to the one ahead the exchange.

39...Bxd3 40.Kxd3 Kxb2 41.Kd4

Nice. White could have decided to run his a-pawn, but after 41.a4 Kb3 42.a5 c5 43.a6 c4+ 44.Ke4 c3 45.a7 c2 46.a8/Q c1/Q both of the Queens are back on the board, and calculation becomes a bit more time-intensive. Only the clock can beat White now, so he keeps it simpler.

41...Kxa3 42.Kc5 Kb3 43.f4 Kc3 44.f5

Now there will be only one Queen on the board, and White only needs one...

44...Kd3 45.f6 Ke4 46.f7 Kf3 47.f8=Q+ Kxg3 48.Qxh6 Kxg4 49.Kxc6 

Alas for Black, if his remaining pawn were either the f-pawn or h-pawn - and more advanced - he would still have drawing chances. Was not to be...

49...Kg3 50.Qxg5+ Kh2 51.Qg4 Kh1 52.Kd5 Kh2 53.Ke4 Kh1 54.Kf3 White won on time

Each player spent around 2 seconds per move.