Saturday, December 27, 2014


I have a Google "alert" set for "Jerome Gambit". It rarely returns anything, and when it does, it mostly gives me a link to one of the posts on this blog - not always a current one.

The other day, however, it linked me to the following game at The game is given there as an example of "Bishop's Opening, Jerome Gambit," which is a bit of a misnomer, in that Alonzo Wheeler Jerome did not play or analyze the line (as far as I have been able to discover in 13 years of research into the Jerome Gambit).

I have called the line the "Abrahams Jerome Gambit" (see Part 1 and Part 2 among several references), after the British chess player and author Gerald Abrahams (1907 - 1980) who referred to it as the Jerome Gambit in at least two of his books.

In the following game, White is not able to develop an attack worthy of the piece sacrificed, and eventually loses on time in an undermanned endgame. 

vitula - Pigmalion

5 0 blitz,, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Bxf7+ Kxf7

"Bishop's  Opening,  Jerome  Gambit" according to the site.

4.Qh5+ Kf8 5.Nc3

From The Database:

5.Qxe5 d6 (5...Qe7 6.Qf4+ Qf6 7.Qg3 Ne7 8.Nf3 Bd6 9.Qh3 Ng6 10.g3 White resigned, Eveque - igigfufu, FICS, 2011) 6.Qg3 Qf6 (6...Nf6 from Philidor 1792 - guest543,, 2014 [1/2-1/2, 42]) 7.Nc3 c6 8.Nge2 b5 9.d4 Bxd4 10.Bg5 Bxc3+ 11.Nxc3 Qg6 12.0–0–0 h6 13.Qxd6+ Qxd6 14.Rxd6 Bb7 15.Rd8+ Kf7 16.Bf4 g5 17.Bxb8 Rh7 18.f4 Ne7 19.Rf1 g4 20.f5 Kf6 21.e5+ Kg5 22.Ne4+ Kh4 23.e6 Ng8 24.Bg3+ Kh5 25.h3 Rxd8 hg+  Kxg4 26.Rf4 Kh5  Rh4, checkmate, Philidor 1792 - guest321,; or

5.Qf5+ Nf6 6.Qxe5 Bd6 7.Qd4 Nc6 8.Qc3 Nxe4 9.Qf3+ Nf6 10.d3 Kf7 11.Nh3 Re8+ 12.Be3 Bc5 13.0-0 Bxe3 14.fxe3 Ne5 15.Ng5+ Kg8 16.Qf4 d6 17.d4 Nh5 18.Qe4 Qxg5 19.Rf5 White resigned, rnlgnd - PeterBondurant, FICS, 2011.

5...Qf6 6.Nf3 d6 7.0-0 g6 8.Qg5 Qxg5 9.Nxg5 h6 10.Nf3 Nf6

11.d3 Bg4 12.Nd2 Nbd7 13.h3 Be6 14.Nb5 Bb6 15.Nc3 Ke7

16.a4 Bd4 17.Nb3 Bxc3 18.bxc3 b6 19.Ba3 g5 20.Nd2 c5 21.d4 Rhg8 22.d5 Bf7 23.f3 Bg6 24.c4 Nh5 25.Rfb1 Nf4

26.Kf2 Nf6 27.a5 Rgb8 28.Rb5 bxa5 29.Rxa5 Rb7 30.Bc1 Nd7 31.Rb5 Rxb5 32.cxb5 Nb6 33.Ra6 Be8 34.g3 Ng6 35.c4 h5 36.Bb2 Bd7

37.h4 g4 38.Kg2 gxf3+ 39.Nxf3 Bg4 40.Ng5 Nf8 41.Bc1 Nxc4 42.Rc6 Nd7 43.Rc7 Ncb6 44.Ne6 a5 White lost on time

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"Is he serious, or is he bluffing?"

I recently received another collection of Jerome Gambit, Jerome-ish, and Jerome-inspired games from Philidor 1792. The following game is a good example of the defender asking himself "Is he serious, or is he bluffing?" and not finding a good answer over-the-board. In a 3-minute game, there is often not a lot of time...

Philidor 1792 -Guest839182
3 0 blitz,, 2014

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

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.f4 Bd6

This unusual line, with the Black Bishop calling to mind White's play in the "fork trick", was looked at in "Dealing With the Unusual in the Unusual". It should bring a smile to White's face.


Here come the pawns! Is White serious?

A quick check with The Database shows that White is 7-2 with the move 8.Qf5+, which is probably the strongest move.


Instead of withdrawing his Knight with 8...Nf7 or 8...Nc6, or seeking complications with 8...Bb4+, in each case with advantage, Black decides to kick the White Queen first. This gives White a second chance.

9.Qf5+ Ke7 10.fxe5 Nxe4

Panic. Black's position now falls like a house of cards.

11.Qxe4 Bb4+ 12.c3 Ba5 13.Bg5+ Ke8 14.Bxd8 Kxd8 15.Qh4+ Ke8 16.O-O d6 

Black resigned

Sunday, December 21, 2014

In Pawns We Trust

In quick blitz games, it might be easier to "push pawns" than "calculate tactical variations". This may be one of the many secrets to Philidor 1792's success with the Jerome Gambit. In the following game, the "Jerome pawns" once again assert themselves. 

Philidor 1792 - Guest842066
3 0 blitz, 2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 7.Qd5+ Ke8 8.Qxc5

8...Qe7 9.Qxe7+ N8xe7

Philidor 1792 is always ready to take the "Jerome pawns" against the extra piece in the endgame. Curiously, The Database also has at least one MrJoker game with this line from each year 2008, 2009,
2010, 2011 and 2012.

10.d4 d6 11.f4 Bd7 12.O-O d5 13.e5 h5 14.g3 Nf5 15.c3 Nf8 16.Kg2 Ne6 


White works to lift it. 

17.Na3 Bc6 18.h3 Kd7 19.Nc2 a5 20.Bd2 b6 21.g4 hxg4 22.hxg4 Nh4+ 23.Kg3 g5

Putting too much faith in the planned blockade? This lets the White f-pawn advance menacingly, and Black's game shudders.

24.f5 Nd8 25.Bxg5 Nb7 26.Bxh4 Rag8 27.Bf6 Rh7 28.Rh1 Rxh1 29.Rxh1 Ke8 30.e6 Nd8 31.Be5 Ke7 32.Rh7+

Black resigned