Friday, September 29, 2017

BSJG: Uncharted Territory

If you are a chess player who enjoys mixing it up in unclear positions - at blitz speed - then the Jerome Gambit is just what you are looking for.

And - if your opponent tries the Blackburne Shilling Gambit? Try the Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit, of course!

sahistonline - PlatinumKnight
5 0 blitz, FICS, 2017

What makes this game particularly interesting is that both players have over 100 games in The Database - playing both Black and White.

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

The Blackburne Shilling Gambit.


The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit.

Of course, White has other alternatives, such as 4.Nxd4, 4.0-0, 4.c3 or 4.d3, but the text, in my opinion, is the most fun. Not recommended is 4.Nxe5?! which is bodaciously met with 4...Qg5!?

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke6 6.c3 Kxe5 7.cxd4+ 

Here we see the major theme of the following play: Black is a piece up, but his King is in the center, in danger, facing White's extra pawns. Gobbling pawns will be dangerous; retreating the King to safety should be Black's plan.


Maybe just one, Black decides.

Safer was to start the journey home with 7...Ke6. As we shall see, neither player is commited to anything as boring as "safer".


There are 71 games in The Database with this move. White scores  43%. Black can be a bit comfortable if he remembers that he has faced this line before. Not too comfortable, though: he lost that game.

Instead, Stockfish 8 recommends 8.Qb3 followed by 9.Nc3. It should be noted that there are exactly 0 games in The Database with these moves. Largely uncharted territory.

8...Ke5 9.f4+ 

White has also offered the e-pawn with 9.d4+ Kxe4 10.Qc2+ Kd5 11.Nc3+ Kd6 12.O-O Nf6 13.Nb5+ Ke6 14.Nxc7+ Kf7 15.Nxa8 Bd6 16.d5 Re8 17.Bg5 Kg8 18.Bxf6 Qxf6 19.Nc7 Bxc7 20.Qxc7 d6 21.Rac1 Qg6 22.Rc3 Bf5 23.Rg3 Qe6 24.Qxb7 Qf7 25.Qb5 h6 26.a4 Kh7 27.Qc6 Bd7 28.Qxd6 Bxa4 29.Qb4 Bc2 30.d6 Bf5 31.Rc3 Bd7 32.Rc7 a6 33.Qa5 Ra8 34.Qb6 Qe6 35.Qb7 Rd8 36.Qxa6 Qd5 37.Qa7 Qxd6 38.Rc3 Bc6 39.Qa5 Qg6 40.Rg3 Qf7 41.Qxd8 Black resigned, yogasanjay - PlatinumKnight, FICS, 2014.

For a few ideas in this wilderness, playable alternatives include 9.Nc3!?9.O-O!? and 9.Qb3!?


Prudent. The pawn is poisoned: 9...Kxf4 10.d4+ Kg4 11.Qd1+ Kh4 12.Qf3 Bb4+ 13.Kd1 d6 14.g3+ Kh3 15.g4+ Kh4 16.Qg3 checkmate. 

10.f5+ Ke5 

Goading White? Surely 10...Kf7 was safer. But, see the note to Black's 7th move. We have a full-fledged battle, here.


First of all, development.

Stockfish 8 recommends wilder play, starting with pawn checks: 11.d4+ Kf6 12.e5+ Kf7 (of course not 12...Kxf5, i.e. 13.O-O+ Ke6 14.d5+ Ke7 15.Qb4+ d6 16.Qh4+ Ke8 17.Rxf8+ Kxf8 18.Qxd8+ Kf7 19.e6+ Bxe6 20.dxe6+ Kxe6 21.Qxa8) 13.O-O Be7 14.Qc4+ Kf8 15.Nc3 b5 16.Qxb5 c6 17.Qd3 d5 18.Ne2 Nf6 (it is helpful, but not saving, to give a piece back)19.exf6 Bxf6 20.Nf4 Qb6 21.Ne6+ Kg8 22.Nc5 h6 23.Qe3 Kh7 24.b3 Qb4 25.Bb2 Bg5 26.Qd3 Qd2 - and White is better. 


Black's idea: strike back at White's pawn center.  


Also to be considered was the dual-purposed 12.O-O!?

12...Kf6 13.Nxd5+ Kf7 14.Qc4 g6 

Cold-bloodedly looking to make a safe square for Black's King, while trying to undermine the White pawns. The computer suggests 14...b5!? 15.Qb3 Qh4+ 16.Kf1 Qxe4 17.Nc3+ Be6 18.Nxe4 Bxb3 19.axb3 Ne7 although White would still be better.

Hardly an easy position to play with the clock ticking.

15.Nxc7+ Kg7 16.Ne6+ 

Either seeing something, or not seeing something. This settles the game down a bit, although still being better for the first player. In a slower game, 16.Bf4!?, continuing to build tension, could have been explored.

16...Bxe6 17.Qxe6 Qxd4 

Both Kings are at risk, and neither army is developed, except for the Queens!


This looks a lot like a time slip. Now Black can do more than cover up. The protective 18.Bd2 followed by 19.O-O-O might lead to an edge for the second player.

18...Nxf6 19.Rf1 Bb4+ 20. Ke2 Rae8

White resigned

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

BSJG: All Along the Long Diagonal

The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit is a combination of two outrageous forms of play - one for Black, one for White - that can lead to odd, often outrageous, play, often along the a1-h8 diagonal. The following 15 minute game is a good example.

DVYate - borodin
FICS, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 

Blackburne Shilling Gambit.


Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke8 6.Qh5+ g6 7.Nxg6 hxg6 8.Qxh8 

Discussed a long time ago, blog-wise.


Always a temptation, often an error - but just fine in this position.

9.Kd1 Nxa1 10.b3 Nf6 11.Bb2 

So far, so good for Black, but he has to let the Knight at a1 go. Instead, he decides to get a pawn for it, and...

11...Nxb3 12.Bxf6 Black resigned

Monday, September 25, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Luck Helps

If you can't win with the Jerome Gambit, you can always be lucky, especially in a blitz game:

lonewolfejoe - Mayte, blitz, FICS, 2017
Black lost on time