Friday, October 17, 2008

Jerome Gambit / Jerome Defense

It is not clear which defense to the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) was considered best by its originator, Alonzo Wheeler Jerome, but he defended against the Gambit at least twice in correspondence games and used the same main line each time.

The New York Clipper
September 4, 1880
Game No. 1,237
Miron Hazelton

In Game 1,193 our contributor Dan Jaeger successfully defended himself against the "Jerome Gambit" in the hands of J. himself. This time Mr. Jaeger tries the attack, with the following result.

Jaeger,D - Jerome,A
correspondence 1880

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Kf8

Here, in the game cited, our contributor interposed KtP [6...g6].

7.Qxe5 Qe7 8.Qf4+ Nf6 9.Nc3 c6 10.d3 d6 11.h3 h6 12.0-0 g5 13.Qg3 Qe5 14.Ne2

In another game also sent us, White x Q [14.Qxe5], but lost speedily.

14...Qxg3 15.Nxg3 Ke7 16.c3 Be6 17.a4

Quite useless -- or worse.

17...a5 18.Be3 Ba7 19.d4 Rag8 20.f4 gxf4 21.Bxf4 d5 22.Be5

This seems to us a mistake; it looks as if he should now have secured a passed P.

22...Rf8 23.exd5 cxd5 24.Rae1 Rhg8 25.Nf5+ Kd7

The difference in the fighting capacities of the two Kings in this situation is now strikingly apparent in Black's favor.

26.Nxh6 Rg6 27.Nf5 Ne4 28.Ne3 Rxf1+ 29.Rxf1 Bb6

With the charge of this prelate, which White is helpless to prevent, comes victory to the Black banner.

30.g4 Bd8 31.Kg2 Kc6 32.b3

Is now "fought to a stand-still," and outplayed to the end.

32...Bg5 33.Nd1 Nd2 34.Rh1 Bh4 35.b4 axb4 36.cxb4 Nc4 37.Nc3 Nxe5 38.dxe5 d4 39.Ne4 Bd5 40.Kf3 Rg8

and White resigned.

graphic by Jeff Bucchino, "The Wizard of Draws"

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