Thursday, May 31, 2012

Open Italian Jerome Gambit

What is a Jerome Gambit? Our chess friend Rick Kennedy has a great site on the various forms of the Jerome Gambit. I suggest you check it out.

Rick Kennedy lists five Jerome Gambit options and writes about them passionately:
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Jerome Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 4.0-0 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ Semi-Italian Jerome Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 4.0-0 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bc5 6.Bxf7+ Semi-Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 4.Bxf7+ Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit

Today I humbly present a possible sixth option:
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nxe4 5.Bxf7+ Open Italian Four Knights Jerome Gambit (borrowing from the "Open" Ruy Lopez idea with ...Nxe4)

In a recent Internet Chess Club game, my opponent "jeromed" chose to play a form of Jerome Gambit. Here White gets the piece back. In that way it is more Queen's Gambit than King's Gambit, but it has an aggressive feel. Bill Wall listed it as a "Noa Gambit, Four Knights", but it is so Jerome-ish that I am borrowing that name, especially in view of my opponent's ICC handle. Eventually Black gets a better game, and White misses a tactic. But as I note below, there were possible opening improvements for both sides.

And yes, this is the same Rick Kennedy I cite on page 19 of my Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Keybook II (published March 1999) under BDG Theory: "Rick Kennedy points out that the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit is a 1.d4 opening that plays like a 1.e4 opening."

jeromed-Sawyer, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 24.05.2012 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nxe4 5.Bxf7+ [The Jerome Gambit idea. Usually White plays 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Bd3 dxe4 (6...Nb4!= Kaufman) 7.Bxe4 Bd6= (7...Ne7!? is an interesting alternative.)] 5...Kxf7 6.Nxe4 d5 7.Ng3!? [By far the most common is 7.Neg5+ Kg8-/+ Material is even but theory favors Black with his two central pawns and two bishops. White has scored 22% from this position in over 200 games in my database.] 7...Bd6 [7...e4! 8.0-0 (or 8.Ng1 h5-/+) 8...exf3 9.Qxf3+ Qf6 10.Qxd5+ Be6 11.Qb5 Nd4 12.Qxb7 Bd6 when Black is well developed and aggressively poised, but White has at moment three pawns for the sacrificed bishop.] 8.d3 Rf8 9.Bg5 [White can quickly castle kingside: 9.0-0 Kg8 10.h3 h6 11.c4 Fighting for e4 for the Ng3. 11...Be6 12.cxd5 Bxd5 13.Ne4 Nd4 14.Nxd4 exd4 15.Qg4 with a playable game for White, although it seems Black a little stands better.] 9...Qe8 10.Qd2 Kg8 [10...h6 forces White to somehow give up his bishop, but I wanted a safer king in a 3 minute blitz game.] 11.0-0-0 Bg4 12.h3 Black gives up a pawn for an open g-file. 12...Bxf3 13.gxf3 Rxf3 14.Rhg1 Qf7 15.Nh1 Kh8 Unpinning the g-pawn. 16.c3 d4 17.c4 Rf8 [I missed 17...Nb4!-+] 18.Bh4? Missing the diagonal threat to follow. 18...e4 19.dxe4? Bf4 White resigns as the queen is lost. 0-1


You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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