Thursday, March 9, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Other Links?

The previous post mentioned that I had recently been contacted by
the great, great, great, great grandson of Dennis Platt Norton, a chess player who, along with his son, Frank C. Norton, played an early part in the development of the Jerome Gambit
There are other historical figures who would shed more light on Alonzo Wheeler Jerome's opening, if only we knew more about them.

For example, the “Our Portfolio” section of the Dubuque Chess Journal for May 1874, contained a “Chess Challenge” which looked a lot like a chess duel

George J. Dougherty, of Mineola, Queen’s County, New Yorkhereby respectfully invites John G. Belden, Esq., of Hartford, play him two games of chess by Postal Card, at his convenienceMr. Belden taking the attack in one game and Mr. Dougherty in the other; the object being to test the soundness of JEROME’S DOUBLE OPENINGpublished in the April No. (50) of this CHESS JOURNAL.
We know that, according to Jerome, Dougherty was the first opponent to face the Jerome Gambit; but, beyond that, very little. Of Belden - or even if the challenge was ever taken up - nothing further is known.

There is also Lt. G. N. Whistler, secretary of the Lexington, Kentucky Chess Club, with whom Jerome played a correspondence match in 1876, where "Whistler's Defense" (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ g6 7.Qxe5 Qe7!?) made an early appearance. There is only one game from that match in The Database.

Jerome tosses off a few names in relation to his games, including B.K. Neufville, all who remain relatively mysterious.

There is so much more history to uncover!

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