Saturday, July 21, 2012

Just Some Numbers

Wandering through The Database, I noted...

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

8,882 games, White scores 44%


8, 638 games, White scores 43% (4...Kf8, 204 games, White scores 57%; 4...Ke7, 33 games, White scores 71%)


3,656 games, White scores 53%


3,496 games, White scores 53% (5...Kf8, 126 games, White scores 50%)


2,571 games, White scores 54% (6.d4, 915 games, White scores 50%)

6...Kf8, 352 games, White scores 48%

6...Ke6, 661 games, White scores 53%

6...g6, 331 games, White scores 71%

6...Ng6. 1, 197 games, White scores 51%

Friday, July 20, 2012


There is an old adage about "not counting your chickens before they are hatched", but with a King and two (connected, passed) pawns against a King in my final game of the second "Italian Game" thematic tournament that I am playing in, I would like to consider it to be a full point scored.

That would leave me at 4 - 4 for the first round, possibly good enough for the top 10 finishers, but only third in my 5-player group (of five), from which the top two players advance.

It would probably take something strange, like the top finisher in one of the groups withdrawing (oops, someone did that), for me to have a chance at a few more Jerome Gambits...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Missing Element

In the following game White clearly had his chances. In fact, had he figured out or recalled a particular move (Nc4+) on several occasions, he would have brought the game to an early conclusion, in his favor. Sometimes the risks of blitz cut both ways.

COMTIBoy - elmasgrande
blitz, FICS, 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 

The Blackburne Shilling Gambit.


The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit. We have seen COMTIBoy play this before.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke8 6.Qh5+ Ke7 

Almost asking to be checkmated.

7.Qf7+ Kd6 8.c3 

Leading to an even game. Instead, White had 8.Nc4+ Kc5 9.Qd5+ Kb4 10.a3+ Ka4 11.Nc3#, 

8...Nc2+ 9.Kd1 Nxa1 

Black cannot resist the bait. He could have escaped to a roughly equal game with 9...Kxe5 10.Kxc2,


This leads to an advantage for White, but he overlooks the missing element: 10.Nc4+ Kc6 11.Qd5#.

10...Qf6 11.Qd5+ 

Or 11.Nc4+ Kc6 12.Qd5#. 

11...Ke7 12.f4 

Instead, 12.Bg5 wins the Queen. 

Now Black's counter-attack crushes, as he is a minor piece and a Rook ahead.

12...c6 13.Qc4 d6 14.Nf3 Bg4 15.Nbd2 Qxf4 16.Nf1 Bxf3+ 17.gxf3 Qxf3+ 18.Qe2 Qxh1 19.Bg5+ Kd7 20.Qg4+ Kc7 21.Qf5 Nf6 22.e5 dxe5 23.Qe6 Qxf1+ 24.Kd2 Ne4+ 25.Ke3 Qe1+ 26.Kd3 Nxg5 27.Qxe5+ Qxe5 28.dxe5 Bc5 29.b4 Rad8+ 30.Kc4 b5+ 31.Kxc5 Rd5 checkmate

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Off, Off, Off the Beaten Path

If the Blackburne Shilling Gambit can be considered "off the beaten path" when it comes to the chess openings, then surely the Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit can be considered "off, off the beaten path". White must be careful with his creativity, however, as  if he goes too much further off the path, he will be beaten...

benjik  - CahMedan
standard, FICS, 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 Nd4 

The Blackburne Shilling Gambit.


The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke6 6.f4 

This interesting line (recommended is 6.c3) was explored in "Further on Down the Broken Path".

6...Qh4+ 7.g3 Qh3 8.c3 Qg2 9.Rf1 

The alternate, 9.Qg4+, was seen in HydraRancher - kellyzeye
standard game, FICS, 2011

White fights back, but Black has the upper hand.

9...Qxe4+ 10.Kf2 Nf5 11.Ng6 hxg6 12.Re1 Rxh2+ White resigned

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

So Much Fun...

Looking back at some of the highlights of the early posts to this blog was so much fun, I decided to do a little more digging and sharing... Here we go.

I have made at least a half-dozen trips to the White Collection of the Cleveland Public Library to look up Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) games and analyses. I have also used my local library, interlibrary loan and the online Google Books.

For example, a few years ago I came across Volume XI of The Westminster Papers of London, "A Monthly Journal of Chess, Whist, Games of Skill, and The Drama" which had this note in its February 1, 1879 issue:

We shall be most happy to receive some games fairly well played in which the Jerome Double Gambit was adopted. They will be handed to our annotator indue course and will analyse them in an unprejudiced and impartial manner.

Unfortunately, the The March and April issues which complete Volume XI have no further reference to Jerome's Gambit; and, alas, they were the last issues of The Westminster Papers to be published 

Sometimes the searching turns up fun stuff. What about a "reversed Jerome Gambit?" Sounds crazy, but the posts on 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Bc5, known by some as the "Busch - Gass Gambit", or, with the addition of 3.Nxe5 Nc6, as "Chiodini's Gambit" might be "Worth A Second Look"

Jumping on the trend, I invented the fictional "Jerome Gambit For Dummies" and provided educational material that I've added to from time to time (you can use the "search" feature on the blog). It's as lighthearted as "Whodunnit?", but that's okay. It makes more sense than "The Jerome Gambit shows up in the oddest places..."

The "Optical Illusion" variation of the Jerome Gambit continued to crop up.Jyrki Heikkinen shared his version of the "Sicilian Jerome Gambit". There was some work on "The Kentucky Opening". Then, there is that "Pie-in-the-Face" Variation"...

I opined on "A Side Line to Watch". I started sharing some "Stats" on the Jerome.

Who knows if there is a "Conspiracy of Silence" surrounding a particular variation of the Jerome Gambit? What about that "Critical Line 5...Kf8"?  What do we know about "The Life of Alonzo Wheeler Jerome"? What's with "the Nudge"? Did Adolph Albin actually play the Jerome Gambit? Can you handle the "Jerome Gambit Quiz"?

These are just some of the highlights of the blog posts made in 2009 alone (with 365 a year, there are plenty to choose from). Many games were presented that year, and I continued to share my Jerome Gambit wins and losses (my score is 83% in games with that refuted opening)

Monday, July 16, 2012


Having taken a look back at earlier times in this blog with yesterday's post, I would like to continue by pointing out some more, early, distinctive items. Newer Readers might be interested at what has gone on. Older Readers might enjoy the nostalgia.

Of course, it all started in mid-2008 with a "Welcome!". This was followed quickly with a post on the first published analysis, by Alonzo Wheeler Jerome, of the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) in "In The Beginning..."

Before starting this blog, I had written a history of the Jerome Gambit, and International Master Stefan Bücker, has, over the years, tried to find a way to publish a version of it in his fantastic magazine, Kaissiber. I don't know how many Readers believe this tale, but it has been told occasionally on this blog, starting with "To Infinity... And Beyond! (Part II)."

Of course, it is hard to overlook Geoff Chandler's send-up of the Jerome Gambit by pairing the moves of the infamous game, Amateur - Blackburne, London, 1885, with pictures from the even-more-infamous collector cards of "Mars Attacks!"

An early mention of "My Jerome Gambit Database" mentioned a whopping 950 games. Currently, The Database contains over 26,500 games, including Jerome Gambit (around 20,000) and related (e.g. Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit) games.

It was fun pointing out "Pitfall Numero Uno in the Jerome Gambit", as well as speculating on the possible "Godfather of the Jerome Gambit?". I was pleased to see that Wikipedia would let me link this blog to their entry on the Jerome Gambit (see "Hey Wiki, it's me, Ricky..."). It was easy to post Jerome Gambit resources with "Jerome Gambit Scrapbook".

There have been many opportunities for historical research. Whether or not Winston Churchill was related to Alonzo Wheeler Jerome, it was funny to report, as Anne Sebba wrote in American Jennie The Remarkable Life of Lady Randolph Churchill
And when Jennie displayed some daring originality or eccentricity the relations would comment: 'How very American. How very Jerome.'
Computers, smart and not-so, have weighed in on the value of the Jerome Gambit, including a massive and interesting computer vs human match.

When I add this blog contains "lots and lots of games" that I have uncovered, and that  friends of this blog have added; and toss in "lots of analysis"; all I can say is: and this is just from the year 2008...

There is sooooo much more. Check it out.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

All White did...

I imagine that some new Readers looked at yesterday's game, jfhumphrey - NextStar, FICS, 2012, and fulminated "All White did was stand around and wait for his opponent to make a mistake!"

True enough. 

In all fairness, recall the masters of old who used to give pawn, piece, or Queen odds, and then win. Weren't they doing much the same thing?

Since this is blog post #1,500 (that is, 1,500 consecutive daily posts), I can no longer be assured that every Reader has read every post, so let me give a short retrospective to reassure all that I am aware of the "All White did..." objection. 

Check out "But - Is this stuff playable?? (Part I)" and "But - Is this stuff playable?? (Part II)" and "Jerome Gambit for Dummies (1)".

While you're browsing the archives, why not keep wandering? There is always something interesting a page or a post or a day away!