Friday, June 6, 2014

A Scholarly Abrahams Jerome Gambit

Philidor 1792 - guest124
5 0 blitz,, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Qh5 

Philidor1792 would be having a lucky day, indeed, if he were now able to pull off the "scholar's mate" - 3...Nf6? 4.Qxf7#.

3...Qf6 4.Bxf7+ Qxf7 5.Qxe5+ Qe7 6.Qxe7+ Nxe7

The game has experienced an interesting transformation, almost transposing into an Abrahams Jerome Gambit, 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Bxf7+ Kxf7 4.Qh5+ Ke8* 5.Qxe5+ Qe7 6.Qxe7+ Nxe7, like the game in the previous post.  (See "A New Abrahams Jerome Gambit", as well as "Abrahams Jerome Gambit" Part I and Part II).

Of course, Black's 4th move, above, is illegal, but if he were to play, instead, 4...Kf8, and the game proceeded similarly otherwise with 5.Qxe5 Qe7 6.Qxe7 Nxe7, that would be a legitimate Abrahams Jerome Gambit; and if Black were later to play ...Kf7 to allow castling-by-hand, as in Philidor1792 - guest543,, 2014, the transformation would be complete.

By the way, I have not been able to find many games starting 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Qh5 Qf6 (or 3...Qe7) 4.Bxf7+ (although I did speculate about the line and Alonzo Wheeler Jerome in "Proto-Jerome Gambits? (Part 2)"), but all of them have been put into The Database. I plan on checking through my issues of Randspringer to see if there is any analysis there.

If all of this seems a bit egregious,  I should remind Readers of Emmanuel Lasker's best, if not the last, words on the Jerome Gambit, responding to a letter to “Our Question Box” in the March 1906 issue of Lasker’s Chess Magazine

No; the Jerome gambit is not named after St. Jerome. His penances, if he did any, were in atonement of rather minor transgressions compared with the gambit.
The picture at the top of this post is of St. Jerome.

7.c3 d5 8.d4 Bb6 9.e5 c5 10.dxc5 Bxc5 11.f4 Nbc6 12.Nf3 Be6

You have to have faith in the "Jerome pawns" to play on in this kind of position.

13.Na3 Bxa3 14.bxa3 0-0-0 15.Be3 Rhf8 16.Ng5 Bf5 17.Kf2 h6 18.Nf3 Be4 

19.h4 Nf5 20.Rad1 b6 21.h5 Na5 22.Bc1 Nc4 23.Rh3 Kb7 24.g4 Ne7 

25.e6 Bxf3 26.Rxf3 Rd6 27.f5 Rfd8 28.Re1 d4 29.cxd4 Rxd4 30.f6 gxf6 31.Rxf6 Nd6 

32.Rf4 Rd3 33.Rf7 Re8 34.Bxh6 Kc6 35.Rf8 Rxa3 36.Rxe8 Nxe8 37.Bf8 Rxa2+ 38.Kg3 

Although both sides have passed pawns, White's are better placed, and Black's defense is difficult - especially at the end of a 5-minute game.

38...Nd5 39.h6 Ra3+ 40.Bxa3 Black resigned

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A New Abrahams Jerome Gambit

The following game is typical of Philidor1792: an interesting opening line, pawn play against the extra piece, some sharp tactics - all executed at blitz pace. 

Philidor1792 - guest543

3 0 blitz,, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Bxf7+ 

I have referred to this as the Abrahams Jerome Gambit (see Part I and Part II), after Gerald Abrahams, who, in his The Chess Mind (1951) and The Pan Book of Chess (1965) referred to the line as the Jerome Gambit or Jerome's Gambit. Other authors may have made this attribution, earlier - I would be glad to hear from Readers.

To date, I have not been able to find a game or analysis by Alonzo Wheeler Jerome with the line. My guess is that Abrahams decided that the presence of Bxf7+ was enough to make it Jerome's.

This kind of mis-attribution has occurred before. Joseph Henry Blackburne, in annotating his famous destruction of the Jerome Gambit (see "Nobody Expects the Jerome Gambit!"), referred to it as the "Kentucky Opening".

After some investigation (see "The Kentucky Opening" Parts 1, 23 and 4, as well as "The Kentucky/Danvers Opening"), I ran across analysis of 1.e4 e5 2.Qh5 - "the Kentucky Opening" - published in the Dubuque Chess Journal at around the same time the magazine was introducing the world to the Jerome Gambit 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+. My conclusion

[T]he Queen move in the Jerome Gambit, and the Queen move in the Kentucky Opening are an outstanding – but similar – feature in each opening, something which likely caught Blackburne's eye.

3...Kxf7 4.Qh5+ Kf8 5.Qxe5 d6 6.Qg3 Nf6

7.d3 Nc6 8.c3 Kf7 9.Ne2 Re8 10.f3 d5 11.d4 Bb6 12.e5 Nh5

13.Qf2 g6 14.g4 Ng7 15.Na3 Ne7 16.Nc2 h5 17.h3 Be6 18.Bg5 Qd7 19.Kd2 hxg4 20.hxg4 Rh8 

The position resembles an unusual French Defense Advance Variation!

21.Ne3 c5 22.Qg3 cxd4 23.cxd4 Ba5+ 24.Nc3 Rac8 25.a3 Bb6 26.Nc2 Nc6 

27.Kd3 Na5 28.Raf1 Nc4 29.Bc1 Ba5 30.Ne3 Bxc3 31.bxc3 Qb5 32.Kc2 Qa4+ 33.Kd3 Nxa3 34.f4 Qb3 35.Bd2 Nc4 

White is in trouble, and seeks counterplay against Black's King.

36.f5 gxf5 37.gxf5 Nxd2 

Just the break White was looking for! Now he has a forced checkmate, featuring a Queen sacrifice.

38.fxe6+ Kg8 39.Qxg7+! Kxg7 40.Rhg1+ 

Alas! White is short of time, and goes for the repetition of position and the draw. With a few more seconds he would have found 40.Rfg1+ Kf8 41.Rxh8+ Ke7 42.Rg7+ Kxe6 43.Rh6 checkmate.


Black, in turn, misses the saving 40...Kh6.

41.Rh1+ Kg8 42.Rhg1+ 

See the note to White's 40th move.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Tug-Of-War: Pawns vs Piece

I suspect that, given the choice of an extra piece or an extra couple of pawns, a chess master would usually prefer the piece - unless those were the only things left on the board besides the Kings, in which case the promotion power of the pawns would give them an edge.

As Philidor1792 shows in the following game, at the club level the pawns can be for choice in the tug-of-war with a piece. We have seen many times previously that Philidor1792 is not afraid to exchange Queens in the Jerome Gambit; and here he gives a good example of how to press ahead.

Just follow along.

Philidor1792 - mihailsoloha,
Casual Game,, 2014

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Kf8

7.Qxe5 Qe7 8.Qxe7+ Nxe7

9.c3 Bb6 10.d4 d6 11.Nd2 Bd7 12.Nc4 Bb5 13.Nxb6 axb6

14.Be3 Kf7 15.Kd2 Rhf8 16.f3 Kg8

17.b3 Ng6 18.c4 Bd7 19.Rhf1 Nf4 20.g3 Ng6 21.Rf2 Rf7 22.Kd3 Raf8 23.f4 Ne7

24.f5 g6 25.g4 gxf5 26.gxf5 Kh8 27.Rg1 Rg8 28.Rxg8+ Nxg8 29.Bg5 Nf6 30.h3 Nh5 31.Ke3 Kg7 32.Rg2 Kf8

33.Bd8 Be8 34.Bg5 Nf6 35.e5 dxe5 36.dxe5 Ng8 37.Kf4 h6 38.Bh4 Rg7 39.Rd2 Rd7 40.Rd5 c6 41.Rxd7 Bxd7

42.e6 Be8 43.Ke5 Kg7 44.f6+ Nxf6 45.Bxf6+ Kg6

46.Bd8 b5 47.cxb5 cxb5 48.Kd6 Kf5 49.Bh4 Kg6 50.Ke7 Bc6 51.Kf8 Kh5 52.Bd8 Kg6 53.e7 Kf5 54.e8Q Bxe8 55.Kxe8 Ke4

56.Ba5 Kf3 57.h4 Kg4 58.Be1 Kf4 59.Kd7 Ke3 60.Kc7 Ke2 61.Bb4 Kf3 62.Kxb7 Kg4

63.Be7 Kf5 64.a4 bxa4 65.bxa4 Ke6 66.Bd8 Kd7 67.Bb6 Kd6 68.a5 Kd5 69.a6 Ke4 70.a7 Kf5 71.Be3 h5 72.Bg5 Kg4 73.a8Q Kf3 74.Qa4 Kg3 75.Qf4+ Kg2 76.Qe3 Kf1 77.Qd2 Kg1 78.Kc6 Kf1 79.Kd5 Kg1 80.Ke4 Kf1 81.Kf3 Black resigned