Friday, October 13, 2017

Jerome Gambit Declined: Just Move

A major shortfall of declining the Jerome Gambit is that Black passes up a "won" game for one in which he has a clear disadvantage - a pawn down, a King who cannot castle.

A minor shortfall, as the following game illustrates, is that White can play his game, move-after-move, without having to take a lot of chances, or even having to put a lot of thought into his move choices.

Wall, Bill - Guest1064582, 2017

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


The Database has 278 games, with this position. Curiously enough, despite his advantage, White scores only 55%. Still, this is better than the 45% that White scores in the Jerome Gambit accepted line. (Please remember that The Database largely reflects the actions of online club players.)

Bill has also faced 4...Ke7 in the eyeblink 5...Bxg8 Rxg8 6.d4 Black resigned, Wall,B - Guest2877685,, 2015(The Database 42 games with this form of declining, with White scoring 73%) 


Bill has also played:

5.Bxg8 Kxg8 6.O-O Qf6 7.Nc3 Ne7 8.d4 exd4 9.Bg5 Qg6 10.Bxe7 Bxe7 11.Nd5 Bd6 12.e5 c6 13.exd6 cxd5 14.Re1 Qxd6 15.Re8+ Kf7 16.Rxh8 Black resigned,Wall,B - Guest558953,, 2017;

5.Bc4 Bxf2+ 6.Kxf2 Nd4 7.Nxd4 exd4 8.Qf3+ Qf6 9.Rf1 Qxf3+ 10.Kxf3 Nf6 11.d3 Ke7 12.e5 Nh5 13.Bg5+ Nf6 14.exf6+ gxf6 15.Re1+ Kd6 16.Bf4+ Kc6 17.a4 d5 18.Bb5+ Kc5 19.Bxc7 a6 20.b4+ Kxb4 21.c3+ Kc5 22.cxd4+ Kb4 23.Bd6+ Ka5 24.Nc3 axb5 25.axb5+ Kb6 26.Bc5+ Kc7 27.Nxd5+ Black resigned, Wall,B - Guest1393049,, 2013;

and 5.Qe2 (Bill has also played this move in the Jerome Gambit accepted: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Qe2 Nf6 6.Qc4+ d5 7.Qxc5 dxe4 8.Nxe5+ Nxe5 9.Qxe5 Re8 10.Qb5 Qd4 11.O-O c6 12.Qb3+ Nd5 13.Nc3 Be6 14.Qxb7+ Ne7 15.Re1 Bd5 16.b3 Kg8 17.Bb2 Rf8 18.Qxe7 Qxf2+ 19.Kh1 Rae8 20.Qg5 e3 21.Nxd5 exd2 22.Qxg7 checkmate, Wall, Bill - Asesino,, 20105...Qf6 6.Bb3 Nd4 7.Nxd4 Bxd4 8.O-O d6 9.c3 Bb6 10.d3 Ke7 11.d4 Nh6 12.dxe5 Qxe5 13.Bxh6 gxh6 14.Nd2 h5 15.Nc4 Bg4 16.Qd3 Qc5 17.e5 Raf8 18.exd6+ cxd6 19.Rae1+ Kd8 20.Nxd6 Kc7 21.Re7+ Kb8 22.Rxb7+ Ka8 23.Qe4 Rxf2 24.Rxb6+ Black resigned,Wall,B - Buster,, 2011.

5...d6 6.Nc3 Bg4 7.d3 Qf6 

8.Nb5 Rc8 9.Bg5 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 Qxf3 11.gxf3 h6 12.Be3 Nd4 13.Bxd4 exd4 

14.Be6 Re8 15.Bxg8 Rxg8 16.Nxc7

White is now up two pawns. He doesn't have an attack on the enemy King, but he doesn't need one.

16...Re7 17.Nd5 Re6 18.f4

Even here, the "Jerome pawns" can be of help.


Black goes after the open g-file, but it does not amount to anything.

19.Ke2 Kf7 20.f5 Rg4 21.Kf3 h5 22.h3 Rg5 23.h4 Rg4 24.Nf4 

Black's advanced Rook is in danger after all that pawn dancing: if now 24...Rh8 to protect the h-pawn, then 25.Nxh5, anyway.


Nothing is going to shore up the Kingside.

25.fxg6+ Ke7 26.Rag1 Rxf4+ 27.Kxf4 Rf8+ 28.Kg5 Black resigned

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Plenty of Ways to Go Wrong

One of the attractions of the 6.d4 line in the Jerome Gambit (a favorite of Bill Wall) is that Black has to figure out what to do with his dark squared Bishop. As the following game shows, there are plenty of ways to go wrong. White's mating attack is very attractive.

Wall, Bill - Holzkopp, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 

6...Bb4+ 7.c3 Bd6

Bill has faced a variety of alternatives:

7...Nc4 as in Wall,B - Anonymous,, 2016 (1-0, 18);

7...Qe7 as in Wall,B - Guest3742987,, 2015 (1-0, 50);

7...Bxc3+ as in Wall,B - Caynaboos, FICS, 2011 (1-0, 26); Wall,B -ChessFlower,, 2012 (1-0, 27); Wall,B -Boris,,  2012 (1-0, 31); and Wall,B - FJBS, FICS, 2015 (1-0, 14); and

7...Be7 as in Wall,B - ChrSav, FICS, 2010 (1-0, 11).

Black's strongest response is 7...Qh4!?, which has been seen seen 10 times in The Database (with all wins for Black). See "Gloom and Doom",  "Beyond Gloom and Doom" and "Jerome Gambit: Unresolved".

8.dxe5 Bxe5 

Black would still retain an edge after 8...Be7.


9.Qh5+ has also been seen: there are 6 wins for White and one draw in The Database.


Or 9...Kf6 10.f4 Kg6 11.O-O Bf6 12.f5+ Kh5 13.Qd1+ Kh4 14.Rf4+ Kg5 15.Rf3+ Black resigned, Wall,B - Guest6953174,, 2016. 

10.Qxe5 d6 11.Qd5 Nf6 12.Qd3 Be6 

White has an extra pawn and the safer King. Black has the better development.

13.O-O c6 14.b3 Kf7 15.Ba3 c5 

The position is complicated. Stockfish 8 suggests, instead, 15...Re8 16.Nd2 d5 17.e5 Ng4 18.Nf3 Kg8

16.f4 Qb6 17.c4 Qa5 

Overlooking White's tactical play in the center. 

18.e5 Ng4 
19.f5 Nxe5 20.fxe6+ Kxe6 21.Qd5+ Kd7 

22.Qxb7+ Ke6 23.Nc3 

A nice finish: Black cannot afford to capture either of the two offered pieces.

23...Qxc3 24.Qd5+ Ke7 25.Bxc5 Rad8 26.Rae1 Qa5 27.Qf7 checkmate

Monday, October 9, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Improved Play

One of the goals of this blog, beyond providing entertainment, is to add to the store of knowledge of the Jerome Gambit, and to help Readers improve their own play with the opening. It is also to highlight those who have made such improvements - and benefitted from them.

The following game is light and airy, but it is still possible to see improvement over past games.
Wall, Bill - Guest670135, 2017 

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bb6 

7.dxe5 Bxf2+ 

This is not a frequently played move, but, curiously enough, it was covered in a recent post here. It will be interesting to see what improvements have been made in Black and White's play..

Certainly 7...Qh4 and 7...Qe7 were playable alternatives.

8.Kxf2 Qh4+ 9.g3 Qxe4 

This is stronger than 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.


This, in turn, is a little bit better than 10.Qh5+ g6 11.Qf3+ Qxf3+ 12.Kxf3 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


Black cannot resist the opportunity to swipe at the enemy King, but this move is not well-considered. The Queen would be much safer after 10...Qc6.


For the record, this is an improvement over 11.Kg2 b6 12.Rf1 Bb7+ 13.Kg1 Black resigned, Wall,B - Guest2613563,, 2017


This is not an improvement over 11...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.

12.Rf1 Black resigned