Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Worth a Second Look... (Part 1)

Continuing the discussion from "London Calling... Seven Months of Blog", "The next best thing..." and "The next worst thing..." based on my self-challenge from that first post:
I also got wondering the other day: is there another totally obscure and disreputable tactical opening line or gambit that I could go digging for information about, while I'm researching the Jerome Gambit [1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+]??
Who – especially a Jerome Gambiteer – couldn 't get excited about the opening in the following game?

Kaidanov,Gregory - Martinenko,Sergey
Pioneer House Tournament, 1969

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Bc5 3.Nxe5 Bxf2+ 4.Kxf2 Qh4+ 5.Kg1 Qxe4 6.Qh5 Qd4 checkmate

Granted, the future Grandmaster was only 10 years old and in only his second year in the Pioneer House program when he played that game, but still...

Where did such a thing come from??

Unfortunately, the earliest example that I have in my database of the 3...Bxf2+ line is a little less optimistic for Black:

Krejcik, Josef - Baumgartner
Troppau, 1914

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Bc5 3.Nxe5 Bxf2+ 4.Kxf2 Qh4+ 5.g3 Qxe4 6.Qe2 Qxh1 7.Bg2 Black resigns

Oh, well. But, still... The thing surely is worth a second look.

The opening 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Bc5 actually has a long pedigree. When J.H. Sarratt published his The Works of Damiano, Ruy-Lopez and Salvio on the Game of Chess in 1813, he noted Salvio's analysis of the line (from Il Puttino, altramente detto, il Cavaliero Errante, del Salvio, sopra el gioco de Scacchi, 1604), including the following (translated into modern algebraic notation)

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Bc5 3.Nxe5 Qe7 4.d4 Bb4+ (4...Bd6 5.f4 f7 6.Nc4 Qxe4+ 7.Kf2 Bxf4 8.Nc3 Qf5 9.Bd3 Qg5 10.Re1+; 4...d6 5.dxc4 Qxe5 6.cxd5 Qxe4+ 7.Be3 cxd6 8.Qxd6 Qxc2) 5.c3 Ba4 6.f3 f6 7.Nc4

Note, though, that Salvio focused on 3.Nxe5 Qe7, rather than 3...Bxf7+, with the goal of capturing White's e-pawn to maintain material equality. To him, Black's 2...Bc5 didn't lose a pawn as much as it made capturing White's e-pawn, in turn, more awkward (due to 4.d4), and caused Black to fall behind in development.

That put 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Bc5 in a whole class of defenses where Black appeared indifferent to the loss of his e-pawn, as shown in these examples:

Pilkington,R - Harvey,E
Dublin Evening Mail corr, 1889
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 a5 3.d4 exd4 4.Qxd4 h5 5.Bc4 f6 6.0-0 d6 7.Nc3 Be7 8.Qd5 Black resigns

Judd,M - MacLeod,N
USA-06.Congress New York (8), 1889
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 c6 3.Nc3 d6 4.d4 Bg4 5.dxe5 Bxf3 6.Qxf3 dxe5 7.Bc4 Nf6 8.0-0 Be7 9.Qg3 0-0 10.Qxe5 Nbd7 11.Qf5 b5 12.Bd3 Bd6 13.Bg5 Qc7 14.f4 g6 15.Qh3 Nh5 16.e5 Bc5+ 17.Kh1 Rae8 18.Ne4 Be7 19.Bh6 Ng7 20.Rad1 f5 21.exf6 Bxf6 22.Bc4+ bxc4 23.Rxd7 Qc8 24.Nxf6+ Rxf6 25.Rxg7+ Kh8 26.Qxc8 Rxc8 27.Rxa7 Rg8 28.Re1 Rd6 29.h3 Black resigns

Csipkes,A - Sutro,J
Hungary, corr, 1893
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e5 3.Nxe5 Qe7 4.d4 Nc6 5.Nxc6 Qxe4+ 6.Be3 Qxc6 7.Nc3 cxd4 8.Qxd4 Nf6 9.0-0-0 Be7 10.Rg1 0-0 11.g4 d6 12.g5 Ne8 13.Bb5 Qc7 14.Nd5 Qd8 15.Bxe8 Rxe8 16.Qf4 Rf8 17.Bd4 Be6 18.Nf6+ Kh8 19.Qh4 Bxf6 20.gxf6 g6 21.Rxg6 Rg8 22.Rdg1 Rxg6 23.Rxg6 Bf5 24.Qh6 Qf8 25.Rg7 a6 26.Bc3 Black resigns

Brody,M - Albin,A
Kolisch mem, Vienna (5), 1899
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 a6 3.Nxe5 Qe7 4.d4 d6 5.Nf3 Qxe4+ 6.Be2 Bf5 7.c4 Qc2 8.0-0 Qxd1 9.Rxd1 Be7 10.Nc3 Nf6 11.Bf4 0-0 12.h3 Re8 13.Bd3 Bxd3 14.Rxd3 Bf8 15.Re3 Nbd7 16.Rae1 c6 17.Rxe8 Nxe8 18.d5 c5 19.Kf1 h6 20.g4 g5 21.Bg3 f6 22.Ke2 Kf7 23.Kd3 b5 24.b3 bxc4+ 25.bxc4 Rb8 26.Kc2 Rb4 27.Nd2 Ng7 28.a3 Rb6 29.f4 gxf4 30.Bxf4 h5 31.Nde4 hxg4 32.hxg4 Ne5 33.Bxe5 dxe5 34.Na4 Rb8 35.Kc3 Ne8 36.Naxc5 Rc8 37.Nd3 Nd6 38.Nxd6+ Bxd6 39.Rb1 e4 40.Nb4 Rb8 41.Re1 Be5+ 42.Kc2 a5 43.Nc6 Rb2+ 44.Kc1 Rb3 45.Rxe4 Rxa3 46.Nxe5+ fxe5 47.Kb2 Ra4 48.Kb3 Rb4+ 49.Kc3 Kf6 50.Re1 Rb8 51.Ra1 Rg8 52.Rf1+ Ke7 53.Rf5 Kd6 54.Rf6+ Kd7 55.Re6 Rg5 56.c5 Rxg4 57.Rxe5 Rg1 58.Rh5 Rc1+ 59.Kd4 Ke7 60.Rh6 a4 61.Ra6 Ra1 62.Ra7+ Kf6 63.c6 a3 64.Kc5 Ke5 65.Re7+ Kf5 66.Kd6 Rh1 67.c7 Rh6+ 68.Kc5 Rh8 69.d6 Kf6 70.Re2 a2 71.Rxa2 Ke6 72.Re2+ Black resigns

It's all too much to reflect on at once...


Pete B said...

I've just started a Lolli Gambit (aka Wild Muzio) tournament on Chessworld. It's similar to the Jerome in that a Bishop is sacced very early on f7.

1. e4 e5
2. f4 ef
3. Nf3 g5
4. Bc4 g4
5. Bxf7ch?!

It seems to have more potential for quick wins than the Jerome. there have been several wins for White in under 10 moves already.


Rick Kennedy said...


The "Wild Muzio", huh?

I'll have to stop by the tournament and check out some of those games!

Thanks for the tip.