Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Jerome Gambit: Dr. Harding Checks In

As a followup to the previous post, I returned to the online English Chess Forum and asked members if they were aware of any early (pre-WWI) Jerome Gambit games.

Early English Jerome Gambit Games?

Postby Rick Kennedy » Mon May 08, 2017 3:57 pm
Many people are familiar with Amateur - Blackburne, London, 1880 (or 1885) that
started 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ - the notorious Jerome Gambit - and 
concluded 4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ g6 7.Qxe5 d6 8.Qxh8 Qh4 9.O-O Nf6 
10.c3 Ng4 11.h3 Bxf2+ 12.Kh1 Bf5 13.Qxa8 Qxh3+ 14.gxh3 Bxe4# 

I am researching the Jerome, and am interested in discovering what other early (before
WWI) games there might have been played with the opening in England.

I have run across Keeble - Cubitt, Norwich, 1886 (1-0, 17), but that is about it.

Many thanks for whatever enlightenment might prevail.

Not surprisingly, Dr. Tim Harding, author of  Joseph Henry Blackburne A Chess Biography(and other fine books), published by McFarland,  responded quickly.

Re: Early English Jerome Gambit Games?

Postby Tim Harding » Mon May 08, 2017 5:38 pm
That was "Mr M" v Blackburne, first published in the Illustrated London News on 10 May
1884 (probably played at the Divan when Blackburne was convalescing). There is also 
floating around a very similar game Milner-Blackburne supposedly played in Manchester 
(ending 10 h3 Bxh3 11 Qxa8 Qg4 12 g3 Qxg3+ 13 Kh1 Qg2#) but I have no primary source 
for that.

I also found three postal games played by E. B. Lowe ca. 1879-1881 and you possibly
already know Charlick-Mann played by post in Australia in 1881 (1-0, 72).
Tim Harding
Historian and Kibitzer

Author of 'Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography' and 'Eminent Victorian
Chess Players'

Dr. Harding's response adds to information about the Blackburne game,
from the Illustrated London News, giving "Mr. M" as the amateur player
of the White pieces. Other (not primary) sources have named this person

More importantly, the Illustrated London News account of May 10,1884
helps focus the possible date of the game, usually given as 1880 - which I 
had challenged, based upon an article in August 15, 1885 issue of the 
Brooklyn Chess Chronicle. So, 1884 is the corrected date.

Finally, Dr. Harding is being modest in merely mentioning the three postal
games played by E. B. Lowe correspondence games, as a good while back 
he provided them for me. 

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