Wednesday, April 6, 2016

5% New (Part 1)

I am always looking for something new in the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ and friends) universe. Before I share any discoveries, though, I check to make sure that I haven't already passed the information along. With over 2,200 blog posts, I can't keep everything in my head. Here's a good example.

Let's start with a Jerome-ish line from the Two Knight's Defense (or the Italian Game, or the Four Knights Game):  1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nxe4 5.Bxf7+ . It, and similar positions, are discussed under the "fork trick" in Pawn Power in Chess, by Hans Kmoch (1949).

For a brief introduction as it relates to the Jerome, see the post "Jerome Gambit vs Two Knights Defense (Part 3)". Follow that up with "Further Explorations" (Parts 1, 2, 3 4 & 5). 

A few years ago, Tim Sawyer, a Blackmar Diemer Gambit expert, on his blog, gave the line that we are looking at today the descriptive name the "Open Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit". He was influenced by a game where "jeromed" played the OIFKJG against him.

Tim mentioned that Bill Wall - no stranger to the Jerome Gambit - instead calls the line the "Noa Gambit".

I am guessing that Bill is referring to the following game (there are probably others) by the Hungarian Chess master:

Noa, Josef - Makovetz, Gyula
DSB-07.Kongress, Dresden, 1892
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nxe4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Nxe4 d5 7.Ng3 e4 8.Ng1 h5 9.d4 h4 10.Nf1 Qf6 11.c3 Ne7 12.Ne3 Kg8 13.Ne2 c6 14.h3 g5 15.Rf1 Bh6 16.f3 exf3 17.Rxf3 Qg6 18.b3 Rh7 19.Ba3 g4 20.hxg4 Bxg4 21.Nxg4 Qxg4 22.Ng3 Rf7 23.Bxe7 Rxe7+ 24.Ne2 Qxg2 25.Rf2 Qg1+ 26.Rf1 Qg3+ 27.Rf2 Rf8 White resigned

I am happy to now add that Examples of Chess Master-Play (1894), by Charles Thomas Blanshard, says of 5.Bxf7+ "The text move, a hobby of Dr. Noa, develops Black's game." (I have not turned up any more examples, however.)

It turned out, however, that I was able to identify a precursor to Noa's play:

Zoltowski, E - Zukertort, Johannes
Berlin, 1869
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Nxe4 Be7 7.Nfg5+ Bxg5 8.Qh5+ g6 9.Qxg5 d5 10.Qxd8 Rxd8 11.Ng5+ Kg7 12.d3 Nd4 13.O-O Nxc2 14.Rb1 Re8 15.b3 Bf5 16.Rd1 Nb4 17.Ba3 Nxd3 18.g4 Nxf2 19.Rxd5 Nxg4 20.Rbd1 Ne3 21.Rd7+ Bxd7 22.Rxd7+ Kh6 23.Nf7+ Kh5 24.Bc1 Nf5 25.Ng5 h6 26.Rh7 Rad8 White resigned

To date, I have not found any references to the "Zoltowski Gambit".

I also shared a game which was about as close as any sort of Jerome Gambit was going to get to a World Champion:

Fischer, Robert James - Ames, D.
USA, 1955
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bc4 Nxe4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Nxe4 d5 7.Neg5+ Kg8 8.d4 h6 9.Nh3 Bg4 10.dxe5 Nxe5 11.Nf4 c6 12.h3 Nxf3+ 13.gxf3 Bf5 14.Be3 Bb4+ 15.c3 Ba5 16.Rg1 Qe8 17.Nxd5 Qf7 18.Nf4 Re8 19.Qb3 Bc7 20.Qxf7+ Kxf7 21.Nh5 g6 22.Ng3 Bxh3 23.O-O-O Rd8 24.Rxd8 Bxd8 25.Rh1 Bg2 26.Rxh6 Rxh6 27.Bxh6 Bxf3 28.Be3 drawn

Of course, Bobby wasn't even a teenager when he played that game.

So - what's new?

I recently discovered, in Pollock Memories: A Collection of Chess Games, Problems, &c., &c., Including His Matches with Eugene Delmar, Jackson Showalter, and G.H.D. Gossip (1899), by William Henry Krause Pollock, edited by F. F. Rowland, an undated/unplaced game between Pollock and an Amateur, with the introduction: "The following is a very fine example, known in Dublin years ago as the 'Monck Gambit' ." 

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nxe4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Nxe4 d5 7.Nfg5+ Kg6 8.Qf3 dxe4 9.Qf7+ Kxg5

"White now mates in ten moves."

10.d4+ Kh4 11.h3 Bb4+ 12.Kf1 g6 13.g3+ Kh5 14.g4+ Kh4 15.Qb3 Bc3 16.Qxc3 e3 17.Qxe3 Bxg4 18.hxg4+ Kxg4 19.Qh3 checkmate

I will have more on the Monck Gambit next post. For now, it will suffice to recall Monck's comment about the Jerome Gambit from the Preston Guardian, April 26, 1882, concerning the game Lowe,E - Cudmore,D, correspondence, 1881
Every form of the Jerome Gambit is, I believe, unsound and this is no exception.

[to be continued]

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