Friday, April 8, 2016

5% New (Part 2)

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nc6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Bxf7+ 

As we have seen in the previous post, here we have the "Open Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit", otherwise known as the "Noa Gambit", otherwise not known as the "Zoltowski Gambit", otherwise known as the "Monck Gambit".

So, who was Monck?

A quick trip to Dr. Tim Harding's website reveals that he has a page on William Henry Stanley Monck (1839 - 1915), an Irish amateur chess player. Monck wrote a chess and logic column in Our School Times (Derry), from 1878 to 1884.

There is also on the site a downloadable PGN file of Monck's games, although only one showcases "his" gambit.

Monck, WH Stanley (IRL) - Patterson, T (IRL)
FLS correspondence tourney division 8, 1905

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nc6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Nxe4 h6 7.d4 d6

8.dxe5 Nxe5 9.Nxe5+ dxe5 10.Qxd8 Bb4+ 11.Qd2 Bxd2+ 12.Bxd2 Bf5

13.Ng3 g6 14.Nxf5 gxf5 15.Bc3 f4 16.O-O-O Black resigned

Since I introduced the Monck Gambit with a game by William Henry Krause Pollock, let me finish this post with another one, also from Pollock Memories - this time with WHKP defending. 

Blanchard - Pollock, WHK
Chicago, 1890
notes (converted from descriptive to algebraic notation) from Pollock Memories 

A bright little game played at Chicago.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nxe4 5.Bxf7+

These moves give Black a chance to free his game through a slight counter attack.

5...Kxf7 6.Nxe4 d5 7.Neg5+ Kg8 8.d4 h6 9.Nh3 Bg4 

9...Bxh3 10.gxh3 exd4 11.Nxd4 Qf6 is rather preferable.

10.dxe5 Nxe5 11.Nhg1

For here White can improve matters by 11.Nf4

11...Bc5 12.Bf4 Ng6 13.Bg3 Kh7 14.Qd3 Re8+ 15.Kf1 Re4

Insidious, as threatening ...Bf5 in some cases, and also preventing Ne5

16.Re1 Qe7 17.Qxd5

Black's coveted opportunity

17...Rxe1+ 18.Nxe1 Rd8 19.Qc4

Black mates in two moves.

We will finish up our look at William Henry Stanley Monck in the next post, which features a Jerome-ish Evans Gambit Declined.

[to be continued]

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]

Monday, April 4, 2016

Hard Work

Image result for free clip art mail

The third of the recently-supplied games by shugart, at FICS, shows White confronting a difficult defense - and prevailing. You need only look in the notes and see others who lost in those lines - fehim, MrJoker, perrypawnpusher, wall - to appreciate the challenge. It is as if his attack sneaks up on his opponent.

shugart - Invited
FICS, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Kf8 

The Jerome Variation of the Jerome Gambit, played by Alonzo Wheeler Jerome against David Jaeger in correspondence, 1880.

7.Qxe5 d6 8.Qg3 Nf6 9.Nc3 Be6

An interesting and surprisingly relatively unexplored line. Others:

9...Kf7 10.O-O Rf8 (10...Re8 11.d3 Qe7 12.Bd2 Qe5 13.Bf4 Qh5 14.Rae1 Qg4 15.h3 Qxg3 16.Bxg3 Bd7 17.Kh1 b5 18.f4 b4 19.Nd1 Bc6 20.Ne3 Bxe3 21.Rxe3 Kg8 22.Bh4 Nd7 23.g4 d5 24.Rfe1 dxe4 25.dxe4 Nc5 26.Kh2 Nxe4 White resigned, mrjoker - creeredes, Internet Chess Club, 2008) 11.d3 Be6 (11...Kg8 12.Bg5 Nh5 13.Qh4 Qe8 14.Nd5 Qf7 15.c3 Be6 16.Ne3 h6 17.Bxh6 gxh6 18.g4 Qg6 19.Qxh5 Qxh5 20.gxh5 Bh3 21.Rfe1 Kh7 22.Kh1 Rxf2 23.d4 Bb6 24.Rab1 Raf8 25.a4 R8f3 26.b4 a6 27.a5 Ba7 28.Rbc1 Rd2 29.Nd1 c5 30.dxc5 dxc5 31.e5 cxb4 32.e6 Bg2 checkmate, perrypawnpusher - truuf, FICS, 2011) 12.Be3 Nh5 13.Qf3+ Kg6 14.Qe2 Nf4 15.Bxf4 Rxf4 16.g3 Rf7 17.e5 dxe5 18.Qxe5 Qd6 19.Qe4+ Bf5 20.Qxb7 Re8 21.Qg2 Bg4 22.Ne4 Qe5 23.Rae1 Bb6 24.b4 Qe7 25.a3 Qd7 26.h4 Bh3 27.Qh1 Ref8 28.Rc1 Qg4 29.Qh2 h6 30.c4 Bd4 31.Rcd1 Rf3 32.Rd2 R8f4 White resigned, Wall,B - Guest874250, 2014; 

9...Nh5 10.Qf3+ Qf6 11.d3 Qxf3 12.gxf3 Bd7 13.Ke2 Bd4 14.Be3 Bf6 15.Nd5 Bd8 16.Rhg1 Kf7 17.f4 c6 18.Nc3 g6 19.f3 Be6 20.Rad1 Rf8 21.d4 d5 22.Kd3 Bc7 23.Ne2 Ke7 24.e5 Ba5 25.c3 Bb6 26.a4 Rae8 27.Ra1 Ba5 28.b3 Kd7 29.Rg2 Kc8 30.Kc2 Ng7 31.Kb2 Kb8 32.b4 Bd8 33.a5 Bh3 34.Rg3 Bf5 35.Nc1 Ne6 36.Kb3 Be7 37.Rg1 Bh3 38.Nd3 g5 39.fxg5 Rxf3 40.Rg3 Rxg3 41.hxg3 Rg8 42.a6 Bxg5 43.Rh1 Bf5 44.Bxg5 Bxd3 45.Bh4 Bxa6 46.Kc2 Kc8 47.Rh2 Kd7 48.Rf2 Ke8 49.Rf6 Rg6 50.Rf5 b6 51.Rh5 h6 52.Bf6 Kd7 53.Rh3 Bc4 54.g4 a5 55.bxa5 bxa5 56.Rh2 a4 57.Kb2 Nf4 58.Ka3 Bb3 59.Rh4 Nd3 White resigned, Wall,B - Ahmadi,S,, 2010; and

9...Ng4 10.O-O g6 11.d3 Kg7 12.h3 Ne5 13.Kh1 Rf8 14.f4 Kh8 15.Bd2 Nc6 16.Nd5 Be6 17.Ne3 Rg8 18.c3 d5 19.d4 Be7 20.e5 Bh4 21.Qf3 Qf8 22.g3 Be7 23.g4 Qf7 24.f5 gxf5 25.gxf5 Bc8 26.f6 Bf8 27.Nf5 Bxf5 28.Qxf5 Re8 29.Rae1 Nd8 30.Kh2 Ne6 31.Rg1 Rxg1 32.Rxg1 a5 33.Qg4 Black resigned, perrypawnpusher - klixar, blitz, FICS, 2007

10.O-O c6

Also seen: 10...Qd7 11.h3 c6 12.e5 dxe5 13.Qxe5 Qd6 14.Qg5 h6 15.Qh4 Bb6 16.d3 Bc7 17.f4 Re8 18.Be3 Bb6 19.Bxb6 axb6 20.Rae1 Kf7 21.f5 Bd5 22.Nxd5 Qxd5 23.b3 Rxe1 24.Rxe1 Qxf5 25.Qb4 Qc5+ 26.Qxc5 bxc5 27.a4 Re8 28.Rxe8 Kxe8 29.g4 Kd7 30.Kf2 Ke6 31.Ke3 Ke5 32.c3 Nd5+ 33.Kd2 Kf4 34.c4 Nb4 35.Kc3 Ke3 36.g5 hxg5 37.a5 g6 White resigned, fehim - bodocsmihaly, FICS, 2012

11.Na4 Bb4 12.c3 Ba5 13.b4 Bc7 14.d3 b5 15.Nb2 d5

Black wants an open line for his Bishop, but this move actually allows White to keep things closed. White needs the time to work on his development.

16.e5 Nd7 17.d4 Qe7 18.f4 Kg8

Overlooking the potential of the "Jerome pawns".

19.f5 Bf7

Usually the out-of-play Rook for Black is the one on a8. This time it is the one on h8.


Even stronger is Bh6!?, now or the next move.


Black underestimates the attack. Stockfish 7 suggests, instead, returning the extra piece: 20...Nxf6 21.exf6 Bxg3 22.fxe7 Bd6 23.a4 Bxe7 24.Nd3 when White would have a small advantage (Knight goes to e5, pawn weakness at c6) despite Black having the two Bishops.

21.fxg7 Qxg7 22.Qh3 h5 23.Qxd7 Kh7 


Good enough. (Crushing was 24.Rxf7!?)

24...Rhg8 25.Rxf7 Black resigned