Friday, April 22, 2016

Always Be Ready to Deliver Checkmate

Image result for free clip art checkmate

Chris Torres (see "The Most Violent Chess Game Ever Played!", "Another Lesson in the Jerome Gambit", "More Musings" and "More Useful Junk") of the blog site Chess Musings, sent a Jerome Gambit game that is a reminder that the attacker must always be ready to deliver checkmate.

chessmusings - Dumble Door
Internet, 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Kf8 7.Qxe5 Be7

An unusual move. Checking The Database, I discovered only a dozen games with this position (White scored 79%). I noticed some of the "usual suspects" playing the Jerome: UNPREDICTABLE, chessmanjeff, fehim, Petasluk - and perrypawnpusher (a loss!).

8.O-O Nf6 9.Nc3 d6 10.Qg3 Rg8

A "mysterious Rook move" that actually seems to have something to do with castling-by-hand - on the Queenside!

11.f4 Bd7 12.e5 Ne8 13.d4 c6 14.f5 

The "Jerome pawns" are on the march!

But, Black has a plan: return his extra piece for a couple of pawns and then continue his King's journey to safety across the board!

14...Kf7 15.e6+ Bxe6 16.fxe6+ Kxe6 

Onwards to c7, c8 or b8!

17.Qh3 checkmate


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Born to Skepticism

I recently ran across what might loosely be considered a "birth announcement" for the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+). It was in a Canadian magazine, and had the expected amount of skepticism.

(The Jerome Gambit was first introduced in the Dubuque Chess Journal, April 1874, Vol. VI, No. 50, p. 358-9, in the article "New Chess Opening")

The Favorite 
An Illustrated Journal of Amusing and Useful Reading
Vol. 03 No. 18: May 02, 1874
editor George Edouard Desbarats
The [DubuqueChess Journal presents to the world a new variation in the “ slow ” opening, called “Jerome’s double gambit.” It will in all probability prove to be practically, as it certainly is theoretically, unsound. The sacrifice of a Bishop and a Knight so early in a game as the 4th and 5th moves, can hardly be expected to afford equivalent advantage in position. After further examination we may possibly republish it in the Favorite, should we not see what we expect to see.

Alas, I have not been able to find further issues of The Favorite,  so I do not know if Mr. Desbarats ever changed his mind about the opening!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Garrison Duty

Wandering the internet the other day, I came across a document purported to be a "personal war sketch" of Alonzo Wheeler Jerome, inventor of the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+). Some of the dates vary from earlier information I have uncovered, and I have added, below, some further information on Jerome's apparent activity with the 26th Infantry, United States Colored Troops.

Paxton Post No. 387
Department of Illinois
Grand Army of the Republic
Personal War Sketch
Comrade Alonzo Wheeler Jerome
Who was born on the eighth day of March, A.D. 1834 in Four Mile Point, County of Greene, State of New York was drafted or conscripted into the service at Jamaica Long Island Nov 16th 1863 and was made Quarter Master Sargeant of the 26th U.S. Colored Troops Feb. 16th 1864 and upon the recommendation of the Quarter Master was promoted by Special order of the War Department in July 1865 to 2nd Lieutenant in the same regiment, serving in this capacity until discharged.
It was Comrade Jerome's fortune to spend a great proportion of his time of service in doing Post and Garrison duty along the Atlantic Seaboard and discipline became a feature of military life with him rather than long marches and exciting campaigns. He took part in an expedition against the rebel defenses of Charleston S.C. during July 1864 from Beaufort S. C. Aside from this monotony was characteristic of service in garrison duty.After being commissioned he served on the staff of Cols Howard and Beed who at different times commanded the Post at Beaufort S.C. where the 26 U.S.C.T. were during guard duty...
He died March 22, 1902 in Springfield, IL and was buried in Glen Cemetary, Paxton, IL.

It is interesting to note the action, according to another source, listed for the 26th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry - it appears to have more than "monotony". (Information was gathered from the online site, which no longer is active.)

SERVICE -Reported at Beaufort, S.C., April 13, 1864 and post duty there till November 27. Expedition to Johns and James Islands July 2-10. Operations against Battery Pringle July 4-9. Actions on Johns Island July 5 and 7. Burden's Causeway July 9. Battle of Honey Hill November 30. Demonstration on Charleston & Savannah Railroad December 6-9. Action at Devaux's Neck December 6. Tillifinny Station December 9. McKay's Point December 22. Ordered to Beaufort, S. C. January 2, 1865, and duty there till August. Mustered Out August 26, 1865.