Friday, September 24, 2010

Jerome Gambit vs Two Knights Defense (Part 2)

Readers of this blog may remember that in the 2009 ChessWorld Jerome Gambit Thematic Tournament, GladToMateYou played 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Qe2 fourteen times, winning eight of those games (see "Home Cooking").

Five of those games (GladToMateYou won four of them) continued with 5...Nf6, transposing to a Jerome Gambit / Two Knights Defense line that can arise from the play mentioned in yesterday's post: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Qe2, which can be followed by 4...Bc5 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Qc4+ and 7.Qxc5

The earliest game that I have in my database with 4.Qe2 meeting the Two Knights is Bird - Chigorin, Sixth American Chess Congress, New York, 1889 (although the related 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Qe2 probably goes all the way back to Ruy Lopez), about which Wilhelm Steinitz briefly wrote, in the tournament book, "Not as strong as the authorized move Ng5".

The earliest game in my database with 4.Qe2 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ as mentioned previously (see "Adolf Albin Plays the Jerome Gambit (Part 1)" and "(Part 2)"), is Albin - Schlechter, Trebitsch Memorial Tournament, Vienna, 1914.

The line has surprise value, and, as NiceToMateYou showed, some practical use in club play, but Black has resources (if he can find them) in 6...Kxf7 7.Qc4+ d5! 8.Qxc5 Nxe4! when after 9.Qe3 Re8 Black is somewhat better, and White is scrambling for playable ideas.

Still, none of this dissuaded Bill Wall from playing and winning with the opening this year:

Wall,B - Asesino, 2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+

4...Kxf7 5.Qe2 Nf6 6.Qc4+ d5 7.Qxc5 dxe4

8.Nxe5+ Nxe5 9.Qxe5 Re8 10.Qb5 Qd4 11.0-0 c6 12.Qb3+ Nd5

White has already achieved an edge in the game.

13.Nc3 Be6 14.Qxb7+ Ne7 15.Re1 Bd5 16.b3 Kg8 17.Bb2 Rf8

For the illusion of an attack, Black surrenders a piece.

18.Qxe7 Qxf2+ 19.Kh1 Rae8 20.Qg5 e3 21.Nxd5 exd2 22.Qxg7 checkmate

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