Saturday, March 11, 2017

Jerome Gambit: I Forget How Complicated

Vlasta Fejfar shares his latest Jerome Gambit. I forget how complicated the game can get.

Vlastous - Kombe
internet, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6 7.f4 Qf6

I am pretty sure that Vlasta was happy to get a break from the "annoying defense" 7...d6.

8.Rf1 Nd3+ 

Creatively returning a piece. (It is not the strongest response, however.)

9.cxd3 Bd4

Plotting or planning something, but I am not sure what... Probably the simple 9...d6 was better.


This is a small improvement over 10.Qd5+, which appeared in an earlier game, the only other one in The Database to feature 8...Nd3+10...Ke7 11.e5 Qh4+ 12. g3 Qxh2 13. Qxd4 Qxg3+ 14. Qf2 Qxf2+ 15. Rxf2 b6 16. d4 Nh6 17. Nc3 c6 18. f5 Bb7 19. d3 Raf8 20. Bxh6 gxh6 21. O-O-O Rf7 22. Ne4 Ba6 23. Nd6 Rff8 24. Kd2 Rhg8 25. f6+ Ke6 26. f7 Rg3 27. Rf6+ Ke7 28. Nf5+ Kd8 29. Nxg3 Black disconnected and forfeited, MrJoker - Melbourne, Internet Chess Club, 2011.


Kicking the Queen makes a lot of sense - sometimes; but not right now. A typical Jerome Gambit problem for Black: what is good, and what is not?

11.f5+ gxf5

A measure of how complicated the game has become is shown in Stockfish 8's recommendation: 11...Ke7 12.fxg6 Qxg6 13.Qh4+ Ke8 14.Nd5 Be5 15.b4 d6 16.Rb1 Be6 17.Nxc7+ Kd7 18.Nxa8 Qxg2 19.Bb2 Bxb2 20.Rxb2 Ne7 21.Qf2 Qxf2+ 22.Kxf2 Rf8+ 23.Ke2 Rxa8 24.Ke3 d5 25.b5 Kd6 26.Rb4 Ng6 27.Ra4 leading to an even game.

The text turns the advantage over to White.

12.exf5+ Ke7 13.Nd5+ Kd6 14.Nxf6 Nxf6 15.Qh4 Re8+ 16.Kd1 b6

Assuming that a Queen is worth three pieces, for a moment it looks as if it is Black who has sacrifice a piece to attack White's uncastled King. Alas, the second player's game has come undone.

17.Qxd4+ Ke7 18.Re1+ Kf7 19.Rxe8 Nxe8 20.Qd5+ Ke7 21.Qe4+ Kd8 22.Qh4+ Black resigned

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!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Jerome Gambit: A Norton Link

I recently heard from 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 (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+).

While I pursue the possibility of further historical discoveries, I thought I would point out earlier coverage of the Nortons on this blog:

"A sparkling variation to the tiresome Piano game"

"Jerome Gambit Tournament: Chapter II"

"Jerome Gambit Tournament: Chapter III"

"Critical Line: 5...Kf8 (1)"

"The Life of Alonzo Wheeler Jerome"

"The Jerome - Norton Games (Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4)"

"The Norton - Hallock Game (Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4)"


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Jerome Gambit: To The Very End

Even though the Jerome Gambit is considered "objectively" a win for Black, it must be said that the second player does a good job in the following game of hanging in with a very strong member of the Jerome Gambit Gemeinde - until the very end. 

Wall, Bill - HyperElastic, 2017

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bxd4 7.Qxd4 Qf6 8.Qc5

Avoiding the threat of ...Nf3+.

Bill has also played 8.Qe3 Ne7 9.O-O Rf8 10.Nc3 c6 11.f4 Ng4 12.Qd3 Kg8 13.h3 Nh6 14.Be3 Qf7 15.f5 b5 16.g4 Kh8 17.f6 Ng6 18.Bd4 gxf6 19.Rxf6 Qc4 20.Rxf8 checkmate, Wall,B - Tsyalex,, 2015.


Or 8...c6 9.f4 d6 10.fxe5 Qh4+ 11.Qf2+ Qxf2+ 12.Kxf2 dxe5 13.Nd2 Nf6 14.b3 Rf8 15.Ba3 Rd8 16.Ke3 Ng4+ 17.Ke2 Kg8 18.h3 Nf6 19.Bb2 Re8 20.Rhf1 b6 21.Ke3 Ba6 22.Rf5 Rad8 23.Rxe5 Rxe5 24.Bxe5 Re8 25.Bxf6 gxf6 26.Rd1 f5 27.c4 fxe4 28.Nxe4 c5 29.Kf4 Rf8+ 30.Kg5 Bc8 31.Nf6+ Kg7 32.Nh5+ Kg8 33.g4 Kh8 34.Re1 Rg8+ 35.Kh4 h6 36.Re7 Black resigned, Wall,B - Jatai,, 2016.



9.Qb5 a6 10.Qb3+ Qe6 11.Qc3 Qd6 12.Qb3+ Qe6 13.Qc3 c6 14.O-O Nf6 15.Nd2 Rf8 16.f4 Neg4 17.h3 Nh6 18.g4 Nhxg4 19.f5 Qd6 20.hxg4 Nxg4 21.e5 Nxe5 22.Re1 Ng4 23.Qc4+ Qd5 24.Qxg4 d6 25.Nc4 Kg8 26.Re7 Rf7 27.Re8+ Rf8 28.Bh6 Qf7 29.Nxd6 Bxf5 30.Rxf8+ Kxf8 31.Rf1 Bxg4 32.Rxf7+ Kg8 33.Rxg7+ Kh8 34.Nf7 checkmate, Wall,B - NN,, 2016; and

9.Qxd6 cxd6 10.Bf4 (10.O-O Nf6 11.Nc3 a6 12.Rd1 Ke7 13.b3 b5 14.Ba3 Nf7 15.e5 Ne8 16.exd6+ Nexd6 17.Ne4 Bb7 18.Nxd6 Nxd6 19.Rxd6 Kd8 20.Rad1 Bc6 21.Rxc6 Black resigned, Wall,B - berserkergang, FICS, 2011) 10...Nf6 11.Nc3 b6 12.O-O-O Ke6 13.Nb5 Nxe4 14.Nc7+ Ke7 15.Nxa8 Nxf2 16.Bg5+ Kf7 17.Rhf1 Kg6 18.Rxf2 Kxg5 19.Nc7 Bb7 20.Nb5 a6 21.Nxd6 Be4 22.Nxe4+ Black resigned, Wall,B - NN,, 2016.

9...Nf6 10.Bf4 Re8

Or 10...Nxe4 11.Qxe5 Qxe5 12.Bxe5 d6 13.f3 Re8 14.fxe4 Rxe5 15.Nc3 c6 16.Rf1+ Kg8 17.O-O-O d5 18.exd5 Bd7 19.dxc6 Bxc6 20.g3 Rae8 21.Rd4 h6 22.Kd2 a6 23.a3 Bb5 24.Nxb5 axb5 25.Rf2 b6 26.Rd6 Kh7 27.Rxb6 Rd5+ 28.Kc3 Re3+ 29.Kb4 Re4+ 30.Kb3 Re3+ 31.c3 Rde5 32.Rb7 Re7 33.Rxb5 Re2 34.Rxe2 Rxe2 35.a4 Rxh2 36.a5 Rg2 37.a6 Rxg3 38.a7 Black resigned, Wall,B - Guest3967134,, 2015

11.Nd2 Kg8 12.O-O b6 13.Nc4 Qc5 14.Nxe5 Qxc3 15.bxc3 Nxe4 16.Rfe1 Nxc3

Black's advantage is down to a pawn.

17.Bd2 Nb5 18.c4 Nd4 19.Ng4 Bb7 20.Ne3 Re7 21.Bc3 c5 22.Bxd4 cxd4 23.Nf5 Rxe1+ 24.Rxe1 d3 25.Nd6 Ba6 26.Rd1 Rf8 27.Rxd3 Rf6

Things look even.

28.g3 Re6 29.Ra3 Rxd6 30.Rxa6 Rc6 31.Rxa7 Rxc4 32.Rxd7 Ra4 33.Rb7 Rxa2 34.Rxb6 h6

Black should be able to hold. It is not clear how much time was left in the game.

35.Kg2 Kh7 36.h4 h5 37.Kf3 g6 38.Ke3 Kh6 39.Rd6 Ra3+ 40.Ke4 Ra1 41.f3 Re1+ 42.Kf4 Rc1 43.g4 Rc4+ 44.Kg3 Rc5 45.Re6 Rd5 46.Re7 Rd3 47.g5 checkmate

Truly an unfortunate turn of events for Black.