The attacking mayhem of the Jerome Gambit was made for blitz play. Often the defender who is unaware of best play will first slip, and then slide, and then take a fall. ndrwgen, with White in the following miniature, is familiar with the Jerome Gambit - in fact, he has 165 games in The Database. ndrwgn - abogatyrev 5 0 blitz, FICS, 2017 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.O-O A move in the Two Knights that has "more going for it than is generally realized" as I have noted elsewhere in this blog. 4...Bc5 5.Bxf7+
When Black captures the Bishop, the game will transpose into a "modern" Jerome Gambit variation, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.0-0 Nf6. The Database contains 1072 games with this position, with White scoring 41%. 5...Kxf7 6.Nxe5+ Nxe5 7.d4
ndrwgn has a good bit of experience with this move. The Database shows he has a record of 23-22-1. 7...Nxe4 Black realizes he will lose a piece, and decides not to worry about it - he will grab a pawn, instead. A slightly stronger move move here, 7...d5, is based on similar reasoning - let White choose what piece he wants, while Black plans to grab a pawn with a subsequent ...dxe4. 8.dxc5 Also: 8.dxe5 d6 9.Qd5+ Be6 10.Qxe4 dxe5 11.Qxe5 Bd6 12.Qh5+ g6 13.Qf3+ Kg7 14.Bd2 Re8 15.Bc3+ Kg8 16.Qf6 Qxf6 17.Bxf6 Kf7 18.Bg5 h6 19.Bd2 Rad8 Black resigned, ndrwgn - Vuquoclong, FICS, 2013. 8...Qf6 ndrwgn also faced: 8...Nxc5 9.Qd5+ Kf6 10.Qxc5 d6 11.Qc3 Re8 12.f4 Bf5 13.fxe5+ dxe5 14.Nd2 Qd4+ 15.Qxd4 exd4 16.Nf3 Bxc2 17.Nxd4+ Ke5 18.Nxc2 Rad8 19.Bf4+ Kd5 20.Bxc7 Re2 21.Bxd8 Rxc2 22.Rfd1+ Ke4 23.b3 Re2 24.Re1 Kd3 25.Rxe2 Kxe2 26.a4 Ke3 27.b4 h5 28.Ra3+ Ke4 29.Be7 g6 30.Rg3 Kf5 31.Bc5 b6 32.Bd6 g5 33.Be7 g4 34.h3 a5 35.bxa5 bxa5 36.hxg4+ hxg4 37.Bd8 Ke4 38.Bxa5 Kf4 39.Rc3 Ke4 40.Rc4+ Kf5 41.g3 Kg5 Black resigned, ndrwgn - LochChessMonster, FICS, 2013. Probably best was 8...d5. 9.Qd5+ Ke7
White will collect the Knight at e4, with advantage. (That was quick.) 10.Qxe4 Re8 11.f4 d5
Very often Black's last move is part of a good counter-attack for Black in the Jerome Gambit (see the note to move 8 for example) but in this case - a blitz game - the defender has overlooked something. 12.cxd6+ The capture with check makes all the difference in the world. 12...cxd6 13.fxe5 Qxe5 14.Bg5+ Kd7 15.Rf7+ Re7
A visual (the Rook is actually attacked 3 times and only defended 2) or clock error. After 15...Ke6 16.Qxe5+ dxe5 17. Rxg7 Black would still be lost. 16.Rxe7+ Qxe7 17.Qxe7+ Kc6 18.Nc3Black resigned
Further searching the internet (see the previous post) I discovered a LinkedIn link for Arome Victor, professor at Covenant University, in Nigeria. He also has a link to a post about Cliff Hardy, presented earlier on this website. From the US of A to Australia (where Cliff Hardy resides) to Nigeria is another very exciting journey for the Jerome Gambit! (I wish I had discovered the link earlier, as my son Jon - who has experience with the Jerome Gambit - had been in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, earlier this year. What an interesting game of chess the two might have played!)
Searching the internet, as I often do, I just discovered a LinkedIn link for Kojo Bonsu, former mayor of Kumasi, in Ghana. The independent luxury goods and jewelry professional has a link to a post about Cliff Hardy on this website. From the US of A to Australia (where Cliff Hardy resides) to Ghana is a very exciting journey for the Jerome Gambit!
Watching a good player who is skilled in playing the Jerome Gambit often inspires the question How did that happen? Starting from a theoretically "lost" position for White at move 4, the following game moves forward until, 10 moves later, White has the attack and the advantage. Black has clearly missed some drawing lines, but still - How did that happen? Wall, Bill - Guest2614882 PlayChess.com, 2017 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+
4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bxd4 7.Qxd4 d6 8.Nc3 c5 A typical kind of position for Bill in his preferred 6.d4 variation. Sometimes the pawn move to kick the Queen helps, sometimes not.
9.Qd5+ Ke7 It is always interesting to see, in this kind of position, if the defender will choose development over material, and elect for 9...Be6, allowing 10.Qxb7+. This is not a terribly complex issue - Black can make the offer, and White risks sidelining his Queen if he accepts - but often the cost on seeing this through is time off Black's clock. By the way, Bill has also faced 9...Kf6, which did not turn out well: 10.f4 Be6 11.fxe5+ Ke7 12.Qxb7+ Black resigned, Wall,B - NN, lichess.org, 2016. 10.Bg5+ Nf6 11.f4 Neg4
What do we have here? Things are getting messy... Stockfish 8 prefers 11...Nc6 and gives a line will all sorts of contortions - before ending in a draw by repetion. For now, it's time for White to open attacking lines. 12.e5h6 A standard idea: counter an attack with an attack. However, here Black, possibly thinking that he is striving for advantage, misses an opportunity to keep the game level: 12...dxe5 13.fxe5 Qxd5 14.Nxd5+ Kd7 15.exf6 Re8+ 16.Kd2 Re5 17.f7!? Rxd5+ 18.Kc3 Rf5 19.Rhf1 Nf2 20.Bh4 Rxf7 21.Rxf2 Rxf2 22.Bxf2 with an even endgame. 13.exf6+ gxf6 14.Bh4
There was no need to explore the further sacrifice 14.O-O!?, as the text is fine - although I will warn Readers not to reach this position in the future against Bill without exploring that move. 14...Re815.O-O-O Kf8
Black has castled-by-hand, but his King remains at risk, especially with White's lead in development. 16.Qh5 Kg7 The brave King defends his pawns - proving, again, how frustratingly backwards the Jerome Gambit can be sometimes for the defender. His best plan involved the alternative 16...Qd7, that is, a move that commits the classic error of blocking his light-squared Bishop, which in turn blocks his Queenside Rook... 17.Nd5 Be6
18.f5 Attacking the Bishop and un-protecting the Knight (which is protecting the Kingside). Black is worried about the two minor pieces attacking his pawn at f6 and the subsequent possible fork of his King and Queen, so he figures it is time to eliminate the white Knight - alas, that will not work. 18...Bxd5 19.Qxg4+ Kh8 20.Qg6
Black resigned White's Bishop will come to f6 with check, and either win the enemy Queen or force checkmate.
Sometimes you get to play - and I get to share - a light-hearted Jerome Gambit (yes, there are other kinds) that seems to skip along from beginning to end. The following game is an example from Bill Wall. Wall, Bill - Guest2467942 PlayChess.com, 2017 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+
4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bxd4 7.Qxd4 d6 8.Nd2
According to The Database (which, admittedly, needs some updating), this is a novelty. 8...Nf6 9.O-O Rf8 10.Re1 Be6 11.f4 Nc6 12.Qc3 Kg8
Black has wisely castled-by-hand and even leads in development. The question for him, of course, is what to do next. 13.Nf3 Bg4 14.Qb3+ Kh8 15.Ng5
Threatening a fork at f7, which would win the exchange. This can be dealt with, but the hits keep on coming. 15...Qd7 16.f5 h6 17.Ne6 Rfe8
After winning the exchange, White will have a Rook and three pawns for a couple of Knights. While this is not an overwhelming advantage - the position is more of a Queenless middlegame (where the pieces tend to hold sway) than an endgame (where the pawns preside) - it is certainly enough to produce a win for White over time. Likely Black shrugged his shoulders, whispered You win some, you lose some, and decided to move on.