Sunday, September 26, 2010

Jerome Gambit vs Two Knights Defense (Part 4)

Still another way for the Jerome Gambiteer to face the Two Knights Defense (see "Jerome Gambit vs Two Knights Defense Part 1", "Part 2" and "Part 3"), besides playing the main lines, opting for 4.Qe2 or playing for a transition to the Italian Four Knights Game with 4.Nc3 is 4.0-0.

So we have 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.0-0, which has more going for it than is generally realized.

International Master Tim Harding, writing in his "Kibitzer" column at ChessCafe, noted 

4 0-0 is not a move you will see played by experienced players; it is simply not direct enough.
International Master Jan Pinski, in Italian Game and Evans Gambit, was even more dismissive

4.0-0 is completely toothless, and Black can do as he pleases.
Perhaps the second player will be so lulled by the move that he will play 4...Bc5, when 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 transforms the game into a "modern" Jerome Gambit variation (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.0-0 Nf6)? In this line, the updated New Year's Database has 548 games. White scores 39%.

What if, after 4.0-0, Black plays 4...Nxe4? Probably White can get an even game with 5.d3, but the move he should really look at is 5.Nc3!?, offering the Boden-Kieseritzky Gambit – a strategy that has worked well for me. The same idea should occur after 4.Nc3 (from yesterday's post) Nxe4 5.0-0.

The Boden-Kieseritzky Gambit is not well-known at the club level. In addition, it gives White a line to play against the Petroff Defense (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4 4.Nc3).

The one "downside" I would say that the B-KG has is that it is so much fun, some players might give up the Jerome Gambit and start playing it!

Here are a few B-KG resources to get started:

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