Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Joy of Discovery (Part I)

Research in chess often entails a whole lot of digging with little to show in return. Some days, however, good fortune strikes.

I was checking out the website of the Southern California Chess Federation the other day and noticed that they had two downloadable files containing a large number of games from the Los Angeles Times chess column – 1881 to 1985.

Thanks to John Blackstone for all his hard work in uncovering and assembling the games.
A few clicks, a quick search in ChessBase, some crossed fingers – and, yes, there was a new Jerome Gambit game!

Harris,W.A. Sgt. - Quayle,Ernest H.
Los Angeles, California, USA 1944
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ g6

We've seen this line before, by Lt. Whistler and J.H. Blackburne – "Nobody expects the Jerome Gambit!"; "Mars Attacks!"; "Flaws (Part I)"; and "Flaws (Part II)".

7.Qxe5 d6 8.Qxh8 Qh4 9.0-0 Nf6 10.Qd8

This move is the recommended improvement over 10.c3 in Amateur - Blackburne, London 1885.


Troublesome for Black, who would keep things complicated (if in White's favor) instead after 10...Bb6 11.e5 dxe5 12.Qd3 Bf5

11.Qxc7 Bb6 12.g3

A plan with a hole in it.

White should free his Queen with 12.Qxd6. He would still have to deal with Black's ambitious pieces, but his position is solid and his material advantage should win in the end.

12...Qh3 13.Qxd6 Bc6

White will now have to give up his Queen in order to hold off mate. Instead, he gives up his King.

14.g4 Qxg4+ 0-1
Mate is unavoidable.

(Artwork compliments of Jeff Bucchino, "The Wizard of Draws")

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