Saturday, September 9, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Game of the Year?

Of course, when it comes to selecting Jerome Gambit games, it is always pleasant to find one that shows a powerful attack. In the following game, Black is quite willing to mix it up with his opponent. White, however, has more sacrifices in store, and the board quickly erupts in flames. Certainly this battle bids for Jerome Gambit game of the year!

Wall, Bill - Bojovic, Dejan, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bxd4 7.Qxd4 Qe7 

Protecting the Knight, while establishing a veiled threat against the e-pawn and the King behind it.

8.O-O Nf6

An improvement over 8...c5 9.Qd5+ Qe6 10.Qxc5 Ne7 11.f4 d6 12.fxe5+ Black resigned, Wall,B - Anonymous,, 2016.

9.Nc3 Nc6 

Probably better than 9...c6 10.f4 Ng6 11.e5 Ng4 12.h3 Nh6 13.f5 Nh4 14.f6 gxf6 15.exf6 Nf3+ 16.Rxf3 Qe6 17.Bxh6 Rg8 18.Qd3 d5 19.Qxh7+ Ke8 20.f7+ Black resigned, Wall,B - Guest2327120,, 2014

10.Qd3 Nb4 11.Qc4+ Kf8 

Black would have done better to complicate things with 11...d5 12.exd5 Nxc2

12.e5 Nh5 

Black's Knights do not impress.

Stockfish 8, which always seems to keep an eye out for the draw, recommends 12...Ne8 13.Qf4+ Kg8 14.Qc4+ Kf8 and repetition. I can't see Bill wanting to wrap things up so quickly - at the cost of surrendering a half point.


Protecting the e-pawn and considering possible pawn advances. Also available was the fork of the two Knights, 13.Qg4.


The Rook on a1 looks like a good target, but this adventure will not turn out well. 

14.Nd5 Qe6 15.Qxc7 

It is not easy to see that 15.f5 is playable, as after 15...Qc6 16.Qe4 Black would have 16...Nxa1. However, White would have complex but strong play after either 17.Bg5!? or 17.f6.

White's choice in the game is practical, and still offers the Rook sacrifice. Black would now do better to decline it with 15...Qxd5 16.Qxc2 d6 17.Be3 Qf7 18.Rad1 Bf5 although White would be at least even in a complicated position.

15...Nxa1 16.f5 

Bill's idea - offer more material!


The only move that avoids checkmate. Wow.

17.Qd8+ Kf7 18.e6+ dxe6 19.fxe6+ Kxe6 

20.Re1+ Qe5 21.Rxe5+ Kxe5 22.Qxh8 Nc2 23.Qe8+ Black resigned

For the moment Black has two Knights and a Rook for his Queen, but he is going to drop the piece on h5 right away. The placement of his King, and the agility of the enemy Queen guarantee that another piece, as well as a few pawns, will also disappear soon after.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Shortening the Pain

Of course, given a selection of Jerome Gambit games, it is always fun to find a short win for White. Often the game is a good lesson in "crime and punishment". 

Wall, Bill - Guest2614882, 2017

 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bxd4 7.Qxd4 d6 

8.O-O Ne7 9.f4 N7c6 

You attack my Knight, I will attack your Queen.

Sometimes this strategy works, but here things are about to become difficult for Black.

10.fxe5+ Ke7 

As will quickly become clear, 10...Ke8 was necessary.

11.exd6+ Ke6 

Finding the short way to the end of the game. There was only suffering after 11...Qxd6, e.g. 12.Qxg7+ Ke8 13.Qxh8+ Kd7 14.Be3 b6 15.Nc3 Nd4 16.Bxd4 h6 17.Rf7+ Kc6 18.Rf6 Qxf6 19.Qxf6+ etc.

12.Qd5+ Kd7 13.Qf5+ Kxd6 14.Qd5+ Ke7 15.Bg5+ Ke8 16.Qf7 checkmate

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Next Comes Home Brew

Working through the latest selection of Bill Wall's Jerome Gambits, I think the next criterion I use for chosing games is when Black invents his own defensive ideas to counter White's attack. I could have chosen "short games" as a criterion, although in the case of the following game, both would apply.

Wall, Bill - Guest2613563, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4

7.dxe5 Bxf2+ 

As covered in the previous post, 7...Qh4 was the sharpest response.

Instead, Black decides that if White's sacrifice of his Bishop was strong, then maybe Black should do the same thing.

8.Kxf2 Qh4+ 9.g3 Qxe4 

Previously seen was 9...Qe7 10.Rf1 Qxe5 11.Kg1+ Nf6 12.Nc3 d6 13.Nd5 c6 14.Nxf6 gxf6 15.Bf4 Qc5+ 16.Kg2 Be6 17.Qxd6 Qxd6 18.Bxd6 Rad8 19.e5 Bd5+ 20.Kg1 Ke6 21.Rxf6+ Black resigned, HauntedKnight - Wxbas, FICS, 2014


Instead, 10.Qh5+ g6 11.Qf3+ Qxf3+ 12.Kxf3 was okay, although White was eventually out-played:  12...Ne7 13.Rf1 Kg7 14.Bg5 Nf5 15.Bf6+ Kg8 16.Bxh8 Kxh8 17.Nc3 Nd4+ 18.Kg2 Nxc2 19.Rf8+ Kg7 20.Rc1 Ne3+ 21.Kf3 Kxf8 22.Kxe3 d6 23.exd6 cxd6 24.Nd5 Be6 25.Nf6 Kg7 26.Ne4 Bxa2 27.Nxd6 b6 28.Rc7+ Kh6 29.h4 Rd8 30.Nf7+ Bxf7 31.Rxf7 a5 32.Rb7 Rd6 33.g4 g5 34.h5 Re6+ 35.Kf3 Rf6+ 36.Kg3 Rd6 37.Ra7 Rd3+ 38.Kf2 Rd2+ 39.Ke3 Rxb2 40.Ra6 Kg7 41.Ra7+ Kg8 42.h6 Rc2 43.Rg7+ Kh8 44.Rxg5 a4 45.Rf5 Kg8 46.Rb5 Rc6 47.g5 Kf7 48.Rf5+ Kg6 49.Kf4 Rc4+ 50.Ke5 Rc5+ White resigned, HauntedKnight - ravenga, FICS, 2014.


This move looks like it accomplishes two things at once, removing Her Majesty from the attack by the Rook, and attacking the endmy King. Still, the open f-file is full of danger, and putting both the Queen and King on it is asking for trouble. Safer was 10...Qc6.


Or 11.Kg1 Ne7 12.Rf1 Qxf1+ 13.Qxf1+ Ke8 14.Bg5 Rf8 15.Qc4 c6 16.Bxe7 Kxe7 17.Nc3 b5 18.Qc5+ Ke8 19.e6 dxe6 20.Qxc6+ Black resigned, bemillsy - Dubnobase, FICS, 2012.


Planning to put the Bishop on the long diagonal and harass the enemy King. Black is caught up in his counter-attack. A little disrespect is involved, as well. 

12.Rf1 Bb7+ 13.Kg1 Black resigned

So far, in this and the previous post, we have yet to consider a tense, theoretical battle over the Jerome Gambit - but that is an important point. Black is often so underwhelmed by his opponent's opening that he fails to bring his A Game, or his B Game, or sometimes even his C Game... And White must and can take advantage of that.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Jerome Gambit: First Comes Disrespect

I just received 10 new Jerome Gambit games from Bill Wall, certainly one of the strongest players to routinely use the Jerome.

Which games to share? Which one to share first?

Those are funny questions.

I often start with a game that shows a defender who does not give the Jerome Gambit the "proper" amount of respect. Sometimes that shows up in overly casual play - because, as we all know, the Jerome is a refuted opening and therefore is hardly worth any attention at all...

In the following game the defender starts out with gusto, but loses focus before a dozen moves are played. That's okay, right? I mean, a garbage opening can be defeated with half your brain tied behind your back, right?

Wall, Bill - Guest2293428, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bb6 

A reasonable line. This is a good start.

7.dxe5 Qh4 

This is properly aggressive, even if Bill has seen it before.

8.Qf3+ Ke7 9.O-O Nh6 

Development, that's the key.

10.Nc3 Rf8 11.Nd5+ Kd8 

Uh, what was the question...? 

12.Qxf8 checkmate

If you play the Jerome Gambit, you have to grab these opportunities when they occur - and they will occur surprisingly often.