Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Quick Jerome Gambit Lesson

Bill Wall has encouraged others to play the Jerome Gambit. The following game is between a friend of his - a teacher - in St. Paul and a student. It is a good example of a stronger player giving "Jerome Gambit odds" and the game is good source material for understanding about attack and defense.

teacher - student
Minnesota, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

White will offer a couple of pieces. Can Black defend?

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 

A common, reasonable defense - Black removes one piece from the line of fire, and returns the other, a time-honored recipe for dealing with a gambit. White has to be pleased, however, as Black has side-stepped some of the sharper, more challenging defenses.

7.Qd5+ Kf6

Stockfish 8 sees this move (at 30 ply) as about 1/4 pawn worse than the top alternatives, 7...Kf8 and 7...Ke8; but the text allows a certain amount of mischief to wander in - starting with White's next move.


A stranger to the Jerome has to wonder - why is White again refraining from capturing the Bishop?

The piece is doomed, whether it sits or moves. White is giving some misdirection: the open c1-g5 diagonal is the reason behind his play.

8...Bb4+ 9.c3 Ba5

The Bishop is safe - but the King is not. Necessary was for the monarch to retreat along the d8-h4 diagonal, when the worried-about piece will fall after all.

10.Bg5 checkmate

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