Saturday, June 13, 2015

Zeromov Gambit!?

Another recent discovery on the internet is a Serbian language video examining the famous Jerome Gambit game Amateur - Blackburne, London, 1885.

Having shown the first moves of the game - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ the presenter takes an aside to look at 6...Ke6, before continuing with Blackburne's 6...g6. There, White executes a checkmate in 17 moves - ah, well, but, anyhow, back to Blackburne...

I had to chuckle. Knowingly or not, the chess player had just shown the game Ghandybh  - ishahir,, 2009, presented on this blog in the post "Teach / Learn" about 5 1/2 years ago.

For that matter, there had been updates in "Jerome Gambit on YouTube!?" (the game Ghandybh  - ishahir,, 2009) and "Jerome Gambit: Winning Strategy #1".

But what really shocked me about the Serbian video was the reference to the opening as the Jerome Gambit, or the Zeromov Gambit.

I had not heard that one before. Looks like I have more research ahead of me!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Nigerian Abrahams Jerome Gambit

The other day I came across a chess thread on a Nigerian website,, with a post by InesQor, who wrote 
I just finished a chess game on this new site I found (lichess) and the game was really odd to me.
I won, but I'm wondering if the Jerome gambit my opponent played could ever have been played better than it was. Or else, if it is so terrible an opening?! Better players in the house, what do you think?...
Caveat: I haven't played chess in a while so I'm not in the best of form: playing fast (thus, there are some blunders.)
I am not sure that I am a better player than you are, but I am glad to be of some assistance, InesQor!

Anonymous - Anonymous

3 0 blitz,, 2015

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

The site lichess identifies this as "Bishop's Opening, Jerome Gambit". My preference is to refer to it as the "Abrahams Jerome Gambit" as opposed to the Jerome Gambit proper (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+).

The point is largely moot here, as with White's and Black's next moves, the game transposes to the "regular" Jerome Gambit.


White would have better chances of an attack after 4.Qh5+, although Black still would be better.

The fact is that the Jerome Gambit is pretty much a terrible opening, although in a 3-minute blitz game between club players, it has some practical value.

4...Nc6 5.d3 

This move marks the game as a "modern" Jerome Gambit variation, as opposed to the "classical" lines which feature 5.Nxe5+ - a move that was almost always played back in the time of Alonzo Wheeler Jerome. However, modern players are not always willing to sacrifice a second piece.

5...Nf6 6.Bg5 Rf8 7.c3 Kg8 

Black has played very well, developing his pieces and castling-by-hand. It is up to White to show that he has any kind of compensation for his sacrificed piece.

8.Qb3+ Kh8 9.h4 Qe8 10.h5 Qe6 

Black offers to exchange Queens, snuffing out White's attacking chances. He could have gone further with the counter-attack 10...Ng4!?, sowing confusion in his opponent's ranks.

11.c4 Nxh5

A very sharp idea, if followed up correctly.

12.Rxh5 Bxf2+

Black misses 12...Qg4! with a chance to recover his sacrificed material (with interest), moving toward a strong attack on White's King. If he does not take advantage of his Queen's opportunities, White will recover - and the first player still has an extra piece.

13.Kxf2 Nd4 14.Qd1 d5

Things are looking complicated - and in a 3-minute game!

White has a chance to work on a counter-counter-attack, with 15.Be3, e.g. 15...dxe4 16.dxe4 Qg4 17.Qh1.

The game now bounces back and forth - time must have been running short for both players.

15.cxd5 Qb6 

A scary move - a strong tool in blitz - but the Queen would be better placed on g6. White's response is all bluff, however.

16.Rxh7+ Kxh7 17.Qh1+ Kg8 18.Kg3 Ne2+ 19.Kh4

Allowing checkmate, but White was worse in any event.

19...Qf2+ 20. Kh5 Ng3+ 21. Kg6 Nxh1 22. Nxe5 Rf6+ 23. Bxf6 Qxf6+ 24.Kh5 Qh6 checkmate

Very nice!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Happy Blog Birthday

Happy Blog Birthday.

This blog started on June 10, 2008, with "Welcome".

I posted daily for almost 5 years, before changing to the current arrangement of posting every-other-day.

Dozens of good Readers have contributed games and analysis.

Hundreds of players continue to experiment with the Jerome Gambit and its relatives.

Many thanks for 7 years of fun and excitement!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Doing the Enemy's Work

I like the Jerome Gambit in all its variations, and I love to show a snappy Jerome Gambit win; but sometimes it is necessary to balance the scale, and give Black a hand, too...

blitz, FICS, 2009

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Bxf7+ Kxf7 4.Qh5+ Kf8 5.Qf5+ Nf6 6.Qxe5

Here is a position in the Abrahams Jerome Gambit that has been reached in 72 games in The Database. What is Black's best move now?


Of course.

However, the move was played in only 7 of the aforementioned games, less than 10% of the time! Defenders, step up your game!


Unwittingly going along with Black's plan.


Forking King and Queen.

White resigned