Thursday, May 31, 2012

Open Italian Jerome Gambit

What is a Jerome Gambit? Our chess friend Rick Kennedy has a great site on the various forms of the Jerome Gambit. I suggest you check it out.

Rick Kennedy lists five Jerome Gambit options and writes about them passionately:
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Jerome Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 4.0-0 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 4.0-0 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bc5 6.Bxf7+ Semi-Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 4.Bxf7+ Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit

Today I humbly present a possible sixth option:
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nxe4 5.Bxf7+ Open Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit (borrowing from the "Open" Ruy Lopez idea with ...Nxe4)

In a recent Internet Chess Club game, my opponent "jeromed" chose to play a form of Jerome Gambit. Here White gets the piece back. In that way it is more Queen's Gambit than King's Gambit, but it has an aggressive feel. Bill Wall listed it as a "Noa Gambit, Four Knights", but it is so Jerome-ish that I am borrowing that name, especially in view of my opponent's ICC handle. Eventually Black gets a better game, and White misses a tactic. But as I note below, there were possible opening improvements for both sides.

And yes, this is the same Rick Kennedy I cite on page 19 of my Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Keybook II (published March 1999) under BDG Theory: "Rick Kennedy points out that the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit is a 1.d4 opening that plays like a 1.e4 opening."

jeromed-Sawyer, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 24.05.2012 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nxe4 5.Bxf7+ [The Jerome Gambit idea. Usually White plays 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Bd3 dxe4 (6...Nb4!= Kaufman) 7.Bxe4 Bd6= (7...Ne7!? is an interesting alternative.)] 5...Kxf7 6.Nxe4 d5 7.Ng3!? [By far the most common is 7.Neg5+ Kg8-/+ Material is even but theory favors Black with his two central pawns and two bishops. White has scored 22% from this position in over 200 games in my database.] 7...Bd6 [7...e4! 8.0-0 (or 8.Ng1 h5-/+) 8...exf3 9.Qxf3+ Qf6 10.Qxd5+ Be6 11.Qb5 Nd4 12.Qxb7 Bd6 when Black is well developed and aggressively poised, but White has at moment three pawns for the sacrificed bishop.] 8.d3 Rf8 9.Bg5 [White can quickly castle kingside: 9.0-0 Kg8 10.h3 h6 11.c4 Fighting for e4 for the Ng3. 11...Be6 12.cxd5 Bxd5 13.Ne4 Nd4 14.Nxd4 exd4 15.Qg4 with a playable game for White, although it seems Black a little stands better.] 9...Qe8 10.Qd2 Kg8 [10...h6 forces White to somehow give up his bishop, but I wanted a safer king in a 3 minute blitz game.] 11.0-0-0 Bg4 12.h3 Black gives up a pawn for an open g-file. 12...Bxf3 13.gxf3 Rxf3 14.Rhg1 Qf7 15.Nh1 Kh8 Unpinning the g-pawn. 16.c3 d4 17.c4 Rf8 [I missed 17...Nb4!-+] 18.Bh4? Missing the diagonal threat to follow. 18...e4 19.dxe4? Bf4 White resigns as the queen is lost. 0-1

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Peterson - Haines in Caro-Kann

Ray Haines played in a four round chess tournament in Houlton, Maine on March 26 at Game/75. In the third round Ray played Black in the Caro-Kann Defence 4.Nxe4 Nf6 defence vs Roger Peterson in view of what he knew about his opponent. Haines writes:

"This is the first time that I have been able to play this line in it though as most people seem to wish to play the exchange lines. I played a bishop move because it looked good, but he missed a knight move [9.Ng5] which would have made thing harder for me. We both missed chances for better play early. I like to sac. Pawns for play, and he knows this, so he did not try to take my krp [h-pawn]. He has gotten into trouble doing take before when playing me.. He thought that he would have the better endgame but that did not work out for him. I have learned from this game and will not make the same mistakes."

Ray Haines and I played a lot in 1974 when I began playing the Caro-Kann myself as one of my five top defences vs 1.e4 over the past 40 years. It is quite likely that Ray influenced my choice for 1...c6. I played it almost exclusively until about 1980 when I added sharper opening to my repertoire. This game below reminds me of a cassette tape by Raymond Keene on the 5...gxf6 Caro-Kann that I bought in the late 1970s. I was surprised at how sharp 4...Nxf6/5...gxf6 can be.

Peterson - Haines, Houlton, ME (3), 26.05.2012 begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6 6.Nf3 [The most common set-up is 6.c3 Bf5 7.Nf3 e6 8.g3] 6...Qc7 [6...Bg4 7.Be2 Qc7 8.0-0 Nd7 and in some scenarios, usually after ...0-0-0, Black could play ...e5 in one move.] 7.Bc4 Rg8!?N [Usually Black develops a bishop with 7...Bf5 ; or 7...Bg4 ] 8.0-0 Bh3?! 9.Nh4 [9.Ng5! fxg5 10.Qh5 Rg7 11.Qxh3+/=] 9...Bg4 10.Be2 [10.Qd3! Rh8 11.Qb3+/-] 10...Be6 11.c4 [11.Qd3+/-] 11...Na6 12.Qd3 0-0-0 13.Be3 Qd7 14.a3 Bg4 15.Bxg4 Qxg4 16.Qf5+ [White might be able to pick off the h-pawn with 16.Qxh7 e6 17.h3+/-] 16...Qxf5 17.Nxf5 e6 18.Ng3 f5 19.b4 Bd6 [19...f4! 20.Bxf4 Rxd4=/+] 20.f4 Nc7 21.Rac1 Rg4 22.Rc3 Rdg8 23.Rf2 Be7 24.d5 Bf6 25.Rcc2 exd5 26.Bxa7 [26.Nxf5+/=] 26...Bh4 27.Rfd2 dxc4 [Black misses 27...Bxg3! 28.hxg3 dxc4 29.Rxc4 Rxg3=/+] 28.Nxf5 Nb5 29.Bb6 [29.Be3!+/=] 29...Nxa3 30.Nd6+? [30.Rc1=] 30...Kb8 31.Ra2 c3 32.Rd1? c2 33.Rxc2 Nxc2 34.Rd2 Nxb4 35.Rb2 Nd3 36.Ra2 Ne1 37.g3 Bxg3 38.Ra7 Bxf4+ 39.Kf2 Bxd6 40.Kxe1 Rg2 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Queens Fianchetto Split Pawn Soup

Every once in a while you face a player who begins with the Queens Fianchetto (1...b6). This was originally named after Rev. John Owen who played it against Paul Morphy over 150 years ago. I have tried many different things against 1...b6. It can resemble a type of French Defence.

Below is a three minute blitz game I played on the Internet Chess Club. This time I get mixed up in my ideas and get nothing special out of the opening. I had a couple shots at an advantage but missed them both.

In the ending, I blundered and was losing for a moment. My opponent returned the favor. Both sides would have split pawns but had to decide which pawns they would go with. Both sides made many mistakes. In the end, Black had b&d pawns. White had a&g pawns. The race was on, but Black wasted one tempo in time pressure and lost.

Sawyer-vladdfallavenna, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 23.05.2012 begins 1.d4 b6 2.e4 Bb7 3.Nc3 e6 4.Bd3 Bb4 5.Nf3 [White could try 5.Nge2 Nf6 6.0-0+/-] 5...Nf6 6.e5 [6.Qe2 d5=] 6...Ne4 7.Bd2 [7.Bxe4] 7...Nxc3 8.bxc3 Be7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Qe2 d5 11.Qe3 c5 12.Ng5 Bxg5 13.Qxg5 Qxg5 14.Bxg5 Ba6 15.Bxa6 [15.dxc5=] 15...Nxa6 16.Rab1 f6 17.exf6 gxf6 18.Bf4 c4?! [Black is better with 18...cxd4 19.cxd4 Rfc8=/+] 19.Rfe1 Rfe8 20.Re2 Kf7 21.Rbe1 Rac8 22.Bd6 [I am playing quickly, but I am not playing good moves. 22.f3+/= ] 22...Nc7 23.Bxc7?! Rxc7 24.f4 b5 25.a3 Rce7 26.Kf2 e5 27.dxe5 fxe5 28.fxe5 Kg6 [28...Ke6=] 29.e6?! [29.Kg3+/=] 29...Kf6 30.g3 Rxe6 31.Rxe6+ Rxe6 32.Rxe6+ Kxe6 33.Ke3 Ke5 34.Kf3? [34.g4!=] 34...a5? [34...d4!-+ wins for Black.] 35.Ke3 h6? [35...h5!=] 36.h3? [36.g4!+- wins] 36...h5 37.g4 hxg4? [37...h4!=] 38.hxg4 b4 39.cxb4 axb4 40.a4? [Too cute. The win is easy after 40.axb4+- ] 40...d4+ 41.Kd2 b3 42.cxb3 cxb3 43.a5 b2 44.Kc2 Ke4 45.Kxb2 Ke3 46.a6 Ke2? [By now I realized that the game was a draw on the board, though I believe I was ahead on time. I was surprised to see him waste the tempo allowing me to win. 46...d3!= ] 47.a7 d3 48.a8Q d2 49.Qe4+ 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Quentin Mason Value of Blitz Chess

Quentin Mason (playing as "Knaaky") recently sent game, presumably played on FICS. Thus I am making the assumption that this was a blitz game; that is what he sent me in the past. The opening was a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Euwe 7.Bd3 Nbd7 by transposition.

One thing that makes this game different is that White chose to vary from the normal 9.Qe1 (intending 10.Qh4) lines to play 9.Ne5. In any White still ended up with the dream of Qh7 checkmate!

Blitz games from an openings standpoint teach you things. Blitz chess helps you:
1. See which lines you KNOW already and which lines you need to study.
2. Experience a variety of responses to your opening repertoire.
3. Practice winning games from basic typical tabiya positions.
4. Teaches you new tactical concepts if you play better players.

Knaaky - Lisu, FICS, 2012 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 e6 6.Bd3 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Bg5 Nbd7 9.Ne5?! [This position has been reached 185 times in my database. White chose 9.Qe1 177 times, scoring 74.9% and +169 over the expected performance rating. In other words, 9.Qe1 is a very good move.] 9...b6? [The problem with 9.Ne5 is 9...Nxe5! 10.dxe5 Qd4+ 11.Kh1 Qxe5 and Black is up two pawns. White will have an attack, but is it worth TWO pawns?] 10.Rf3?! [White can win instantly with 10.Nc6! Qe8 11.Nxe7+ Qxe7 12.Ne4 Bb7 13.Nxf6+ Nxf6 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.Qg4+ Kh8 16.Qh4+- and Black loses the king or queen or both.] 10...Bb7!? 11.Rh3 c5? [Black has to try 11...g6 and hope to survive the attack.] 12.Nxd7 [Wow, White has another amazing idea too: 12.Bxh7+! Nxh7 13.Qh5!+- with a fast win.] 12...Qxd7 13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.Bxh7+ Kh8 15.Qh5 [White has a mate with 15.Be4+ Kg8 16.Rh8+ Kxh8 17.Qh5+ Kg8 18.Qh7#] 15...Qxd4+ 16.Kh1 Qh4 17.Rxh4 Bxh4 18.Bg6+ Kg8 19.Qh7# 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Blackmar-Diemer Ryder "Refuted?"

Jocelyn Bond comments about whether the Ryder Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.e4 exd4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Qxf3) and asks whether it has been refuted by 5...Qxd4 6.Be3 Qg4 7.Qf2 e5?

"This e5 variation is a refutation of the Ryder? 2 pawns up, it is big material advantage.
I think in the other variations...i think about
5...Nc6 6.Bb5 seems ok for White
5...c6 6.Be3 is often played against me and
5..e6 6.Bf4 (6...Qxd4? 7.Nb5 is strong) 6...Bd6 7.Bg5 seems standard here
5...g6! 6.Bf4 seems to be a good plan for black. but i like to place my bishop on e5....
Anyway Tim you are very kind to do a blog on the Ryder accepted...
I heard about the Schiller book but nothing more... it seems excellent... Do you know if he says that the ryder is refuted by Qxd4?"

"Refuted" in chess opening terminology has to do with theory or evidence. Basically, a variation is refuted if: when you play it, you lose.
There are three types of "refuted" variations:
1. When computer analysis overwhelmingly favors your opponent's side.
2. When the performance ratings are significantly below expectations.
3. When you lose regularly with this variation against your opponents.

Let's look at each one individually in regards to the Ryder Gambit and 7...e5 line.
1. Computer analysis favors Black, but not quite by two pawns. White usually has compensation for only one of the two pawns sacrificed. That is bad for White.
2. Performance rating for the Ryder is above expectations, but after 7...e5 below. 5.Qxf3 scores 60% with a performance rating +52 points above actual rating (1346 games), but after 7...e5 White scores 47% with a performance rating -42 points below actual rating (272 games). This means about 1 in 5 players as Black have followed up 5.Qxf3 with all three moves, Qxd4/Qg4/e5. Those who play this way have scored well with Black. In the games where the other four players varied, White did well.
3. Are your opponents likely to regularly find very good moves for Black? The higher they are rated, the more likely they are to know this stuff. Diemer was still winning with the Ryder Gambit in his 80s, so there is practical value, along with real risk.

One author that recommends 7...e5! for Black is IM James Rizzitano in his book "How to Beat 1 d4" ("A sound and ambitious repertoire based on the Queen's Gambit Accepted"). Rizzitano sites a few games as examples, the first one being Alex Lane - Tim Sawyer, played in one of Tom Purser's thematic BDG tourneys in 1997. Lane chose 8.Be2. Better seems to be 8.Nf3 or 8.a3, but Black stands better in theory. To sum up I quote International Master James Rizzitano again: "The Ryder Gambit is unsound and the reader should be extremely sceptical of any claims to the contrary."

Lane-Sawyer, corr BDG thematic (2), 1997 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Qxf3 Qxd4 6.Be3 Qg4 7.Qf2 e5 8.Be2 Qf5 9.Qg3 Bb4 10.0-0-0 Bxc3 11.bxc3 0-0 12.Bd3 e4 13.Bc4 Qa5 14.Ne2 Be6 15.Bb3 Bg4 16.Bd4 Nbd7 17.Rhe1 c5 18.Bxf6 Nxf6 19.Rd6 c4 20.Bxc4 Bxe2 21.Bxe2 Qxa2 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Monday, May 28, 2012

Blackmar-Diemer Avoided Paleface Attack

I have been playing many 3 minute blitz games per day. My focus has been to play opening moves where I have the best performance rating. As of today, I have the same performance with 1.d4 and 1.e4. I am working more on my 1.d4 repertoire right now.

After 1.d4 Nf6, my best lifetime performance rating in the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Avoided has been the Paleface Attack 2.f3. This month I played 2.f3 most often, but it is only one rating point above my 2.Nc3 lines with 2.c4 is just a few ratings points below that. With other moves 2.Nf3, 2.Bf4 and 2.Bg5 I have had much less success. All other 2nd moves I have tried beyond those six have not worked well for me.

In the game below, Black delays ...dxe4 until move six. After that I do get a kingside attack which eventually wins. I kicked myself that I missed 19.Qe4!, but at 3 0 speed (playing a move every 2 seconds or so) I often see a good move a couple seconds after I make a move.

Sawyer-vladdfallavenna, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 23.05.2012 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 e6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 [Two alternatives are the solid 5.e5 ; or the gambit 5.Be3 ] 5...Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 dxe4 7.fxe4 h6 8.Bxf6 Qxf6 9.Nf3 0-0 10.e5 [Or 10.Bd3+/= ] 10...Qe7 11.Bd3 c5 12.0-0 Nc6 13.Qd2 cxd4 14.cxd4 Nb4 15.Be4 Nd5 16.c4 Nb6 17.Bd3 [17.Rac1] 17...Bd7 18.Qf4!? g5? [18...Bc6 19.Rac1+/=] 19.Qg4 [Even stronger was 19.Qe4! f5 20.exf6 Rxf6 21.Ne5+-] 19...f6 20.exf6 Qxf6 21.Ne5 Qe7 22.Rxf8+ Rxf8 23.Ng6 Qa3 24.Nxf8 Qxd3 25.Nxd7 Qc3? 26.Qxe6+ Kh8 27.Qf6+ Kh7 28.Qf7+ [28.Nf8+ Kg8 29.Qg6+ Kxf8 30.Rf1+ leads to a quick mate.] 28...Kh8 29.Rf1 Qxd4+ 30.Kh1 Qxd7 31.Qf8+ Kh7 32.Rf7+ 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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104 London System Repertoire: 1.d4 d5 Classical

Here on Main Line Monday we finish up the London System Repertoire by compiling prepared responses to the most common Classical moves Black will try. This usually involves Black playing 1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 with a combination of ...e6/...c5/...Nf6 in any order.

Note that I follow the recommendation to play 2.Bf4 vs 1..d5 but 2.Nf3/3.Bf4 vs 1...Nf6. For most lines it rarely matters, but for some it is better to play this way. Holding back Nf3 (say after 1.d4/2.Bf4/3.e3) allows the White queen to cover h5, thus avoiding for the moment Nf6-Nh5xB.

Next week we will cover one related line in the Slav Defence (3.cxd5 cxd5) which can transpose to some London lines. Then we move on to something completely different.

[Event "London System"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2012.05.28"]
[Round "?"]
[White "104 London"]
[Black "1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 Nf6 3.e3"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "D02"]
[Annotator "Sawyer,Timothy E"]
[PlyCount "23"]
[SourceDate "2012.01.29"]

1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 Nf6 3. e3 e6 (3... c5 4. c3 Nc6 (4... Qb6 5. Qb3 Qxb3 (5... c4
6. Qxb6 axb6 7. Nf3 Nc6 8. Na3 Bf5 (8... Ra5 9. Bc7) 9. Nb5) 6. axb3 cxd4 7.
exd4 Nc6 8. Nf3 Bf5 9. Nbd2) 5. Nd2 Qb6 (5... cxd4 6. exd4) 6. Qb3 c4 (6... Bf5
7. dxc5) 7. Qc2) (3... c6 4. c4 Bf5 (4... e6 5. Nc3) 5. Nc3 e6 6. Qb3 Qb6 7. c5
Qxb3 8. axb3 Nbd7 9. b4) (3... Bf5 4. c4 c6 (4... e6 5. Nc3 Nc6 (5... c6 6. Qb3
) (5... Bb4 6. Nf3) 6. Nf3 Bb4 (6... Be7 7. Be2) (6... a6 7. Rc1) 7. Bd3) 5.
Nc3 e6 6. Qb3 Qb6 (6... Qc8 7. Nf3 Nbd7 8. Nh4) 7. c5 Qxb3 8. axb3 Nbd7 9. b4)
(3... g6 4. Nf3) (3... Nc6 4. Nf3) (3... Bg4 4. Nf3) 4. Nd2 c5 (4... Bd6 5. Bg3
O-O 6. Bd3 c5 7. c3 cxd4 (7... Nc6 8. Ngf3) 8. exd4) (4... Be7 5. Bd3 O-O 6. c3
) (4... c6 5. Bd3) 5. c3 Nc6 6. Ngf3 Bd6 (6... Be7 7. Ne5 O-O (7... Nxe5 8.
dxe5 Nd7 9. Bd3 O-O 10. Qh5) 8. Bd3 Bd7 (8... Nxe5 9. dxe5 Nd7 10. Qh5) (8...
Nd7 9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. Nf3) 9. Qf3 Rc8 10. Qh3) (6... cxd4 7. exd4 Bd6 8. Bxd6
Qxd6 9. Bd3 O-O 10. O-O e5 (10... Qf4 11. Re1) (10... Bd7 11. Re1) 11. dxe5
Nxe5 12. Nxe5 Qxe5 13. Re1) (6... Qb6 7. Qb3 Be7 (7... Qxb3 8. axb3) 8. h3) (
6... a6 7. Bd3 Be7 8. h3 O-O 9. O-O) (6... Nh5 7. Bg5 Qb6 8. dxc5 Bxc5 (8...
Qxb2 9. Nd4 Qxc3 10. Rc1) 9. b4 Bd6 10. Nc4) (6... Bd7 7. Bd3 Be7 8. Ne5) 7.
Bg3 O-O (7... Bxg3 8. hxg3 Qd6 9. Bb5) 8. Bd3 Qe7 (8... Re8 9. Ne5 Bxe5 (9...
Qc7 10. f4 Ne7 11. O-O) (9... Qe7 10. O-O Nd7 11. f4) 10. dxe5 Nd7 11. Nf3 Qc7
12. O-O Ndxe5 (12... g6 13. e4) 13. Nxe5 Nxe5 14. Qh5) (8... b6 9. Ne5 Bb7 10.
f4 Ne7 11. O-O) 9. Ne5 Nd7 (9... Bxe5 10. dxe5 Nd7 11. f4 f6 12. Nf3) 10. f4 f6
11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. O-O *

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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