Monday, February 6, 2023

Jerome Gambit: Blinded by the Light (Part 4)


[continued from the previous post]

perrypawnpusher - joshuagasta

"Giuoco Piano Game" tournament,, 2022


Getting out of the way of the Rooks. I think that both my opponent and I may have overlooked the fact that 28...Bf5 was a little bit better - the White Rook on f4 is pinned.

29.Nxf6 Rad8 30.Nd7+ 

I like this move. (It turns out that the Knight could have gone to d5 as well.)

Now the Queen zeroes in on the enemy King.

30...Kg8 31.Qd5+ Kh8 32.Qe5+ Kg8 33.Nf6+ Rxf6 

Pushing back checkmate at the cost of material.  

34.Qxf6 Qxf6 35.Rxf6 Bg2 

If the Jerome Gambit always led to an endgame the exchange ahead it would probably be more popular among masters - and possibly less popular among club players who relish wild attacks.

36.Rff7 h5 37.Rg7+ Black resigned

After 37...Kf8 38.Ref7+ Ke8 39.Rc7 White would threaten checkmate as well as the Bishop. 39...Bd5 40.c4 highlights Black's dilemma, as the attacked piece has nowhere safe to go.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Jerome Gambit: Blinded by the Light (Part 3)


[continued from the previous post]

perrypawnpusher - joshuagasta

"Giuoco Piano Game" tournament,, 2022

At this point in the game I could see that I would win material. It is a good example of how a lead in development can translate to further advantage.

18.e5 dxe5 19.dxe5 Qb4 20.exf6 Qd4+ 21.Kc1 Nxf6 

Sacrificing material is a bit like transforming matter into energy.

Recovering material is a bit like turning that energy back into matter. 

(According to Prof. Richard Feynman's bright words on annihilation. See "Chess and Physics in the Classroom".)

The risk is that when the energy dissipates, even as material appears the advantage may disappear. 

I was happy to reach the above position, seeing myself as being a pawn better, with a relatively safe King. Imagine my surprise when I was preparing this post to see that in this position Stockfish 15 sees (32 ply) White as more than a Queen better!


Good enough, although tactical Readers will no doubt find 22.Re7 Bd7 23.Bxf6 Rxf6 24.Rd1 with an x-ray attack on the Bishop at d7. 

How did I miss that? Well, during the game I looked at 22.Re7 Ne8 and explored no further. I suspect that Alonzo Wheeler Jerome is turning over in his grave at me missing the subsequent 23.Rxf8+ Kxf8 24.Rxe8+ Kxe8 25.Qe7 checkmate. 


22...gxf6 23.Re7 Qg4 24.Rf4 

Again, this moves the game forward, but it should not have been hard to find - the time control was 3 days per move - 24.Ne4 Bf5 25.Rxf5 (deflection) Qxf5 26.Rg7+ Kh8 27.Ng3 and Black's Queen is in danger, but can not give up her protection of h7.

Hmmm... This might enlighten my italicized comment after the previous diagram. 


What I needed now was for all my pieces to work together.

25.Qc4+ Kh8 26.Qd4 Qg5 27.h4 Qh6 28.Nd5 

Okay, that should do it.

The "ghost" of the Knight that was pinned at f6 on move 14, captured on move 20, replaced on move 21 and whose twin was captured on move 22 continues on as a pawn - pinned and soon to be captured.

[to be continued] 

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Jerome Gambit: Blinded by the Light (Part 2)


[continued from the previous post]

perrypawnpusher - joshuagasta

"Giuoco Piano Game" tournament,, 2022

To take or not to take, that is the question...


Yury V. Bukayev has eplored both capturing the piece and the subtle declination 9.Ke2!?, which is still unplayed - but maybe not for much longer. The chess "coach" at, reviewing my game after it had been completed, called it the best move and "very precise!"


This solid move is an improvement over 9...Ng4+ in perrypawnpusher - Ryszak, "Giuoco Piano Game" tournament,, 2022 (1-0, 17).


The "coach" would have preferred 10.Rf1, starting to castle-by-hand.

10...Qf8+ 11.Ke1 Nd7 

This unbalanced position is assessed by Stockfish 15 (32 ply) as slightly better for Black. White has the better pawn center. Black has an extra piece for White's extra pawn. Neither King is particularly safe.

It is interesting that the "coach" gives the Knight retreat to d7 (as opposed to c6) a "??". It seems concerned about congestion of a sort that sometimes occurs in the Jerome Gambit: the Knight blocks the Bishop which hems in the Rook 


Played with the idea of meeting 12...Ngf6 with 13.e5

Stronger - but not what I had considered at this point while I was playing - was 12.Rf1. Thank you, Stockfish.


After the game was over, I was shocked to see that the computer preferred 12...Kf7, putting Black's King in front of his Queen. 

Indeed, White would then have 13.Rf1+ but the dangers soon fizzle out, e.g. 13...Ngf6 14.Qb3+ Ke8 15.Nc3 h6 16.Bxf6 Nxf6 17.Kd2 Qg8 18.Qb5+ Kd8 19.e5 dxe5 20.dxe5 Nd7 21. Rae1 Qe6. Black's King is not totally safe, but he has extra material to make him feel better about that.


When in doubt, grab material might be good advice for bullet chess, but this move looks somewhat distracted here.

13...Ngf6 14.Rf1 Qe7 15.Nc3 Rf8 

The pinned Knight at f6 gets more support. To be considered was breaking the pin with 15...h6 16.Bh4 g5.


Unpinning the e-pawn. However, the "coach" would have none of that, giving the move a "??" and suggesting that 16.Rf2 is best, followed by 16...Kf7 17.e5 dxe5 18.Nd5 e6 19.Nxf6 Kg6 20.Nxd7 Qxd7 21.Qxd7 Bxd7 22.Be3 with a slight advantage to White. Thanks, coach.


Intensifying the pin on the Knight and giving White the advantage.

17.Rae1 Kg8 

A lot has changed.

Even though Black has succeeded in castling-by-hand - while my King remains a bit exposed - his Knight at f6 is doomed.

At the time I figured that White was at least even, but I was surprised that afterwards Stockfish 15 assessed White to be about a Rook better, despite the fact that Black still has the material advantage of a piece for two pawns.

[to be continued]

Friday, February 3, 2023

Jerome Gambit: Blinded by the Light (Part 1)

I recently completed a Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) win and submitted the game to analysis by Stockfish 15. The results were confusing. 

Was this another case of the computer not "understanding" the opening - as I have complained about before?

Or was I just stumbling along in the dark, only to be blinded by the light that the silicon assistant provided, post mortem?

perrypawnpusher - joshuagasta

"Giuoco Piano Game" tournament,, 2022

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

A check with The Database shows that I have played 377 games with this position, scoring 82%. 

Am I getting better? A quick check seems to show the opposite:

date range        scoring %

2004-2005       100%

2006-2010       86%

2011-2015       76%

2016-2020       90%

2021-2023       75%

Oh, well...

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 


I have played this move once before, as chronicled in "Jerome Gambit: Wandering Away (Part 1) and  (Part 2)".

[I] wandered away from recommended play and stumbled into a wilderness of weirdness.

I won, but I am not sure that I want to repeat the adventure.

Okay, so recently I was willing to repeat the adventure.

The earliest game in The Database with this move is Idealist - Bhima, 3 0 blitz, FICS, 2000 (0-1, 20).

63 players have played 7.Qh3+ (with White scoring 29%), the most significant contribution to the move has come from analyses and a game by Yury V. Bukayev, published on this blog
"JG: The New in Its Opening Theory, in Its Psychology (Parts 1235678910, 11, 13, 14, & 15)  "
"Jerome Gambit: Analysis Leads the Way (Parts 1 & 2)"  

7...Ke7 8.Qc3 

This novelty is given a "!?" by Yury V. Bukayev in his analysis of 2020 and 2022.

joca552000 at has subsequently adopted the move in a half dozen of his games, with mixed results.


Black decides to return a piece in the most disruptive fashion. White isn't the only one who can sacrifice!

Ryszak played this move against me in 2022: perrypawnpusher - Ryszak, "Giuoco Piano Game" tournament,, 2022 (1-0, 17). It was an interesting struggle - and now this one was, as well.

[to be continued]

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Jerome Gambit: To the Rescue?

I am still battling in the 4th round of the 2022-2023 "Giuoco Piano Game" tournament at

In the past, wins as Black were a lot of help, but I have drawn several games this time around.

I will need wins in my remaining two very interesting Jerome Gambits - and a bit of good fortune in terms of tie breaks - in order to advance to the next round, but I feel confident that my favorite opening will come through.

Of course the games will be shared as soon as they are finished.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Wandered Away...


I seem to have wandered away from the Land of the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) the last couple of posts...

Bill Wall - a serious Jerome Gambit devotee - just sent me a collection of 32 of his games with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Qf6?!.

The following game should finish the discussion. 

Wall, Bill - Guest1848719

internet, 2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Qf6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Nd5 Qe6 6.Nxc7+ Black resigned

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

A Bit More Chess History

A little bit of chess history relating to the previous post, before returning to the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) - after all, if we are going to look at 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Qf6, we might as well look at 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Qf6, known as Greco's Defense or the McConnell Defense.

From Wikipedia

Gioachino Greco (c. 1600 – c. 1634), surnamed Cusentino and more frequently il Calabrese, was an Italian chess player and writer. He recorded some of the earliest chess games known in their entirety. His games, which never indicated players, were quite possibly constructs, but served as examples of brilliant combinations.

Greco was very likely the strongest player of his time, having played (and defeated) the best players of Rome, Paris, London, and Madrid. Greco's writing was in the form of manuscripts for his patrons, in which he outlined the rules of chess, gave playing advice, and presented instructive games. These manuscripts were later published to a wide audience and became massively influential after his death.

Greco, Gioacchino - NN

Italy, 1620

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Qf6 3.Bc4 Qg6 4.O-O Qxe4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ng5+ Ke8 7.Nxe4 1-0

Greco, Gioacchino - NN


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Qf6 3.Bc4 Qg6 4.O-O Qxe4 5.Bxf7+ Ke7 6.Re1 Qf4 7.Rxe5+ Kxf7 8.d4 Qf6 9.Ng5+ Kg6 10.Qd3+ Kh5 11.g4+ 1-0

The American Paul Morphy was not patient with this style of defending: 

Morphy, Paul - Mac Connell, James

New Orleans, 1849

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Qf6 3.Nc3 c6 4.d4 exd4 5.e5 Qg6 6.Bd3 Qxg2 7.Rg1 Qh3 8.Rg3 Qh5 9.Rg5 Qh3 10.Bf1 Qe6 11.Nxd4 Qe7 12.Ne4 h6 13.Nf5 Qe6 14.Nfd6+ Bxd6 15.Nxd6+ Kd8 16.Bc4 Qe7 17.Nxf7+ Kc7 18.Qd6+ Qxd6 19.exd6+ Kb6 20.Be3+ c5 21.Bxc5+ Ka5 22.Rg3 b5 23.Ra3 checkmate

Still, there are those today, for good or ill, surprise or annoyance, still give the defense a whirl

Rodchenkov, Sergey D (2346) - Dardha, Daniel (2503)

Titled Tuesday blitz, 2021

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Qf6 3.d4 exd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Qa4 Bc5 6.Nc3 Qg6 7.Bf4 Nf6 8.O-O-O O-O 9.Bg3 d6 10.Bd3 Qh5 11.Nd5 Nxd5 12.exd5 Nb4 13.Be2 Bf5 14.Rd2 Bxc2 15.Rxc2 Nxc2 16.Qxc2 Qxd5 17.Kb1 Rfe8 18.Bd3 h6 19.Rd1 Qe6 20.Bc4 Qe4 21.Bd3 Qe6 22.Bc4 Qf6 23.h4 c6 24.h5 d5 25.Bd3 Bd6 26.Bxd6 Qxd6 27.Qd2 Re7 28.Bc2 Rae8 29.Qd3 g6 30.hxg6 Qxg6 31.Qd4 Qg7 32.Qf4 Re2 33.Nd4 Re1 34.Nf5 Rxd1+ 35.Bxd1 Qg6 36.g4 Re6 37.a3 b5 38.Bc2 Re1+ 39.Ka2 Qe6 40.Nxh6+ Kf8 41.Nf5 Qe5 42.Qh6+ Ke8 43.Qh7 Re2 44.Qg8+ Kd7 45.Qxf7+ Kd8 46.Qf8+ Kc7 47.Qc5 Kb8 48.Nd4 Re1 49.Nxc6+ Kb7 50.Nxe5 Rxe5 51.Bb3 Re1 52.Bxd5+ Ka6 53.Qc6+ Ka5 54.b4+ Ka4 55.Bb3 checkmate

Kind of makes the Jerome Gambit look almost normal, doesn't it?