Friday, August 4, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Creativity Abounds

It is fun to see the creativity that attackers bring to the already unusual Jerome Gambit.

Overlooked sometimes is the creativity that defenders provide, as well. There is risk involved, for sure, but imagination can sometimes bring success as well as danger.

Wall, Bill - Guest700210, 2017

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 

Alonzo Wheeler Jerome's original choice in his gambit, although he later preferred 6.Qh5+. I think the Queen move is more forceful, but also moves Black into lines that are playable, if uncomfortable. The center pawn thrust provides less guidance to the defender.

6...Bxd4 7.Qxd4 Nf3+

A very interesting way of returning the second sacrificed piece, breaking up the pawns on White's Kingside in the process. That said, it was probably not necessary to be so clever; 7...d6 was a strong alternative.

There is only one other example in The Database - a computer vs computer game.

8.gxf3 Nf6

Also: 8...Qf6 9.Qc4+ Ke7 10.Qc5+ Ke8 11.Nd2 Qd6 12.Qxd6 cxd6 13.Rg1 g6 14.b3 Nh6 15.Nc4 Nf7 16.Bb2 Rf8 17.O-O-O b5 18.Na3 b4 19.Nb5 Ba6 20.Nc7+ Ke7 21.Nxa6 Ne5 22.Nxb4 Nxf3 23.Rg2 Nh4 24.Rg4 Nf3 25.Bg7 Rfb8 26.Nd5+ Kf7 27.Bd4 Nxh2 28.Rh4 Nf3 29.Rf4+ Kg8 30.Ne7 checkmate, Delphi - WeakDelphi, Sherbrooke, 2008.

9.Nc3 Kf8 10.Bg5 Qe7

Black is in no hurry to develop his pieces, and apparently sees his King as safe. No need to create weakenesses by moving pawns!

This strategy is not going to work against a skilled Jerome Gambiteer like Bill Wall.


Hitting the Queen at e7 as well as the pinned Knight at f6. If you are familiar with the Jerome Gambit you likely could find this thematic move in your sleep.

11...Qd6 12.Bf4 c5

Striking out, but overlooking that White will capture with check.

13.Bxd6+ Black resigned

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Slower But Still Fast

Here is the second game recently shared by shugart. It is "slower" than the previous one, being a 3-minute blitz game. The kind of quick thinking that sugart shows is pretty impressive: the name of the game is tactics.

shugart - mijac
3 0 blitz, FICS, 2017

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Kf8

The Jerome Defense to the Jerome Gambit, played successfully by Alonzo Wheeler Jerome in two correspondence games against Daniel Jaeger in 1880.

7 Qxe5 Qe7 8.Qf4+

shugart has also tried 8.Qd5, e.g. 8...d6 9.O-O Nf6 10.Qc4 Be6 11.Qe2 Re8 12.c3 Kg8 13.d4 Bb6 14.f3 c5 15.d5 Bd7 16.c4 a5 17.Bf4 Ba7 18.Nc3 h6 19.Bg3 Kh7 20.Rae1 Rhf8 21.Qc2 Qf7?! 22.e5+ Kh8 23.exf6 Qxf6 24.Ne4 Qf5 25.Nxd6? Qxc2 26.Nxe8 Rxe8 27.Rxe8+ Bxe8 28.h3 Qxc4 29.Re1 Qc3 30.Rxe8+ Black forfeited on time, shugart - orakel, lightning, FICS, 2014.

He has also played 8.Qg3, which looks like a mouse slip: 8...Qxe4+ 9.Kd1 d5 10.Qxc7 Bxf2 11.Rf1 Bg4 checkmate, shugart - bakugan, lightning, FICS, 2014.


Of about similar strength was 8...Qf6, e.g. 9.Qg3 Bd6 10.Qe3 b6 11.c3 Bb7 12.O-O Re8 13.f3 Ke7 14.d4 Kd8 15.e5 Bxe5 16.dxe5 Rxe5 17.Qd4 Ne7 18.Nd2 Nc6 19.Qd3 Rhe8 20.Ne4 Qe7 21.Bg5 Black resigned, shugart - eggert, blitz, FICS, 2013.

9.d3 d5 10.e5 Bd6

Black was doing well, with an extra piece (for two pawns) and better development, despite his more exposed King. His plan to win the e-pawn is proably a blitz oversight.

mijac would have done better with 10...Ke8. He was apparently not thinking in that direction as he observed his pinned Knight being attacked by White's pinned pawn.

11.d4 Kg8 12.O-O Nh5 

13.exd6 cxd6 14.Qf3 Nf6

The position has calmed down, but Black has all the weaknesses.

15.Bg5 Kf7 16.Bxf6 gxf6 17.Qxd5+ Kg7 18.Nc3 Be6 19.Rae1 Kf7

Protecting for a second time the twice-attacked Bishop - but there is a tactical continuation for White, the kind that wins blitz games.

20.Qh5+ Kf8 21.d5 Bf7

Not a saving move, but a good try in a desperate situation.

22.Qh6+ Ke8 23.Rxe7+ Kxe7 

24.Re1+ Kd7 25.Qh3+ Kc7 26.Re7+ Kb6 27.Qe3+ Black resigned

Black's Bishop is hanging - but, even worse, his King is in a mating net.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Explosive

Image result for clipart brain exploding

I recently received two Jerome Gambit games from chessfriend shugart, who plays at FICS. We have seen his games here before

His willingness to play at lightning time control continues to explode my brain.

One thing that helps in his play is familiarity with the opening, as the notes to the following game will show. (There might even be the chance that he reads this blog, and has picked up a tip or two.)

shugart - NightEagle
lightning, FICS, 2017

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

The Blackburne Shilling Gambit.


The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit.


In what appears to be a quick blitz game, shugart easily dealt with his opponent declining the gift: 4...Ke7 5.Nxd4 exd4 6.Bxg8 Rxg8 7.c3 d3 8.Qf3 h6 9.Qxd3 d6 10.O-O Be6 11.Qe2 Qe8 12.d4 Kd7 13.Qb5+ Kc8 14.Qxe8 checkmate, shugart - snob, blitz, FICS, 2013.


The alternative 5.Nxd4 is a hybrid line that has also been played by Jerome Gambiteers such as drumme, HauntedKnight, JKELSEY and Wall:  5...exd4 6.Qh5+ g6 7.Qd5+ Ke8 8.Qe5+ Ne7 9.Qxh8 d6 10.Qxh7 Qd7 11.O-O Qg4 12.f3 Qg5 13.d3 Qf6 14.Nd2 Be6 15.Nb3 Bg8 16.Qh3 Be6 17.Qg3 Kd7 18.Bg5 Qf7 19.Bxe7 Bxe7 20.Nd2 Rh8 21.Rae1?! Bh4 22.Qf4? Qxf4 23.e5 Bxe1 (23...Qxh2+!) 24.Rxe1 Qxh2+ 25.Kf2 Qh4+ 26.Kg1 dxe5 White resigned, shugart -Yaman, lightning, FICS, 2014.


(5...Ke6 6.Qh5 Nxc2+ 7.Kd1 Nxa1 8.Qf7+ Kxe5 9.f4+ Kd6 10.e5+ Kc6 11.Nc3 b5 12.Qd5+ Kb6 13.Qxb5 checkmate shugart - Manoelo, blitz, FICS, 2013)

6.Qh5+ Ke7

Necessary was 6...g6, but shugart has some experience with that, too: 7.Nxg6 hxg6 (7...Nf6 8.Qe5+ Ne6 (8...Be7 9.Nxe7 Qxe7 (9...Nxc2+ 10.Kd1 Qxe7 11.Qxe7+ Kxe7 12.Kxc2 d6 13.d3 Be6 14.Nc3 c6 15.Bg5 Rhg8 16.Bxf6+ Kxf6 17.g3 Raf8 18.f4 Ke7 19.Rae1 Kd7 20.e5 dxe5 21.Rxe5 Bg4 22.Rhe1 Kc8 23.Ne4 h5 24.Nd6+ Kd7 25.Nxb7 Rf7 26.Nc5+ Kc7 27.Re7+ Rxe7 28.Rxe7+ Kb6 29.Ne4 Bf3 30.Kd2 h4 31.Ng5 Bd5 32.gxh4 Bxa2 33.h5 Rh8 34.Rh7 Rf8 35.Ke3 Re8+ 36.Kf3 Bd5+ 37.Kg3 Re2 38.Ne4 Rxb2 39.h6 Rb3 40.Nf2 a5 41.Re7 Bg8 42.h7 Bxh7 43.Rxh7 a4 44.Rh8 Kc5 45.Ra8 a3 46.h4 Kd4 47.h5 Ke3 48.h6 Rb7 49.Rxa3 Rh7 50.Rc3 Kd4 51.Rxc6 Black resigned, shugart - Sutarsa, blitz, FICS, 2013) 10.Qxd4 Nxe4 11.0–0 Rg8 12.d3 c5 13.Qxe4 Qxe4 14.dxe4 Black resigned, shugart - smarcek, blitz, FICS, 2014) 9.Nxh8 Qe7 10.0–0 Qg7 11.f4 Qxh8 12.f5 Bd6 13.Qc3 Nc5 14.e5 Nce4 15.Qd4 c5 16.Qe3 Bxe5 17.d3 Bd4 18.Qxd4 cxd4 19.dxe4 d6 20.Bg5 Bd7 21.Nd2 Qg7 22.h4 h6 23.Bf4 Nh5 24.Bxd6 Ng3 25.Rf3 Bc6 26.Re1 Kd7 27.e5 Rf8 28.f6 Rxf6 White forfeited on time, shugart -Yaman, lightning, FICS, 2014) 8.Qxh8 Ne7 9.Qxd4 c6 10.0–0 d6 11.d3 Bd7 12.Bg5 Qc7 13.f4 c5 14.Qc3 b5 15.Bxe7 Bxe7 16.Qh8+ Bf8 17.Qf6 Be7 18.Qxg6+ Kd8 19.Nc3 Be8 20.Qg4 b4 21.Nd5 Qd7 22.Qxd7+ Bxd7 23.Nxe7 Kxe7 24.h3 Rg8 25.Kh2 Bc6 26.g4 d5 27.e5 Ke6 28.Rae1 d4 29.f5+ Kd5 30.e6 Be8 31.f6 Rf8 32.f7 Bc6 33.e7 Rxf7 34.Rxf7 Kd6 35.e8Q Bxe8 36.Rxe8 Kc6 37.Rxa7 Kd5 38.Rb8 c4 39.Rxb4 cxd3 40.cxd3 Kc5 41.Rb8 Kd5 42.Rb3 Ke6 43.Raa3 Kd5 44.Kg3 Black forfeited on time, shugart - Yaman, lightning, FICS, 2014. 

7.Qf7+ Kd6 8.Qd5+

Okay, okay, hold on a minute...

8...Ke7 9.Qf7+

Acceptable, but unnecessarily time-consuming, is 9.Qxd4, e.g. 9...Nf6 10.O-O d6 11.Nc4 Be6 12.Ne3 Kf7 13.f4 Be7 14.f5 Bd7 15.Nd5 Re8 16.Nxf6 Bxf6 17.Qd5+ Kf8 18.d3 Bc6 19.Qb3 Bd4+ 20.Kh1 Qh4 21.Nd2 Bb6 22.Nf3 Qf6 23.Bd2 Rad8 24.Bg5 Qf7 25.Bxd8 Rxd8 26.Qxf7+ Kxf7 27.a4 a5 28.c3 Bd7 29.b4 axb4 30.cxb4 Be3 31.Ra2 Bc6 32.b5 Bd7 33.Re2 Bb6 34.e5 dxe5 35.Nxe5+ Kg8 36.Nxd7 Rxd7 37.Rd2 Rf7 38.d4 Rd7 39.d5 Rd6 40.g4 Kf7 41.h4 Kf6 42.Kg2 Kf7 43.Kg3 Bc5 44.Kf4 Bb6 45.Ke4 Ba5 46.Kf4 Bxd2+ 47.Kf3 Ba5 48.Rd1 Bb6 White forfeited on time, shugart - Yaman, lightning, FICS, 2015.

9...Kd6 10.Nc4+ 

That's it.

10...Kc5 11.Qd5+ Kb4 12.c3+ Ka4 13.Qa5 checkmate