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NN vs Joseph Henry Blackburne
"Old Kentucky" (game of the day Oct-22-05)
England (1880)  ·  Italian Game: Jerome Gambit (C50)  ·  0-1
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Given 98 times; par: 23 [what's this?]

Annotations by Joseph Henry Blackburne.      [148 more games annotated by Blackburne]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-23-07  the idiot prince: Does anyone know any history behind the Jerome Gambit? I've searched all over the internet for its source but can't find a thing. By the way, I found a couple variations to win against "little chess partner" from this position, so I don't think it's as bad a proposition as ave. chess players seem to think.
Jul-04-07  perrypawnpusher: Hey "idiot prince",
I've been researching the Jerome Gambit for a half-dozen years, and Stefan Bücker, of the German chess magazine "Kaissiber" tells me he'll publish some of my findings... eventually. I'd be glad to swap my knowledge of Alonzo Wheeler Jerome's brain child for a look at those variations you mention!
Oct-15-07  m0nkee1: I think it relys on black being fool hardy and walking his king around the board..I have beaten a few mediocre computers with it as they try to defend the knight on e5 with the king leading to trouble ... but if 5 Qf5+ Kf8 White hasn't got a hope...?
Nov-04-07  perrypawnpusher: m0nkee1, you wouldn't happen to have those games where you've "beaten a few mediocre computers" with the Jerome Gambit, would you? I'm still chasing JG games! You're right, by the way, that after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ _Kf8_ is one of the recommended refutations. Jerome mentioned it in his analysis in 1874, but of course his line led to an advantage for White! Oddly, a correction only came in 2005 by USCF master Dennis Monokroussos - before that Harding (Counter Gambits 1974; The Italian Game 1977) and ECO (1974) gave a different line for White... Also not taking the Knight - 5...Kf8 - is one of the earliest refutations, although Jerome himself was able to draw against it in Jerome - Brownson, Iowa 1875.
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: "Not to be outdone in generosity" - Blackburne is hilarious!
Jun-28-08  perrypawnpusher: If you've read this far, you might as well check out my Jerome Gambit website:
Jul-10-08  sjgregory: 10. d4 would not have saved White either, because Black does not need to take the pawn straight away.

10. d4 Nf6! (11. dxc5? Qxe4+ 12. Be3 Qxg2) 11. 0-0 Ng4 12. h3 Bf5 and despite having four pieces en prise (sufficiently flashy even for Blackburne!) Black's attack is still overwhelming.

Jul-10-08  sjgregory: Nor does 9. Qd8 work for White.

9. Qd8 Bd7 10. Qxa8 Ng4 12. h3 Bxf7+ and the game concludes in similar fashion to the actual moves played.

Jul-19-08  perrypawnpusher: "10.d4 would not have saved White either, because Black does not need to take the pawn straight away. 10.d4 Nf6!" etc.

sjgregory, I'm guessing you've got your move numbers off, since in the Blackburne game Black has already played 9...Nf6.

If you meant "9.d4" then 9...♘f6 is indeed best, although then 10.0-0 would be a blunder for White, not so much because of 10...♘g4 11.h3 ♗f5 (which is well-answered by 12.♗g5!) but because Black would then have 10...♗h3 winning.

Everybody is "throwing away" pieces in this variation.

White's best after 9.d4 ♘f6 is 10.♘d2 where the first player has the better game.

As far as I can tell, the earliest recommendation of 9.d4 was by J.B. and E.M. Munoz, editors of the Brooklyn Chess Chronicle, in the August 15, 1885 issue, where they present the legendary Jerome Gambit gameplayed some months ago in London between Mr. Blackburne and an Amateur."

Jul-19-08  perrypawnpusher: "Nor does 9.Qd8 work for White."

Again, sjgregory, this looks like a slip in move numbering, as in the Blackburne game White cannot get his Queen to d8 until Black has played ...♘f6 -- which he did on move 9.

If you are referring to 10.♕d8 you have pounced right into the middle of an interesting Jerome Gambit debate.

Again, as far as I can tell, the earliest recommendation of 10.♕d8 was by J.B. and E.M. Munoz, editors of the Brooklyn Chess Chronicle, in that August 15, 1885 issue.

After 10.♕d8, Black's best has been considered to be 10...♗b6 (e.g. Renaud & Kahn, The Art of the Checkmate, 1953), whereupon White has 11.e5 and after 11...dxe5 12.♕d3 he has the advantage.

Geoff Chandler and Todor Dimitrov (2004), however, have made a strong case that 10.♕d8 should be met by 10...♗h3 and that then the game is drawn.

You mention (by inference) 10.Qd8 Bd7, which actually occurred in Harris - Quayle, correspondence 1944, when 11.Qxa8 would have been a serious blunder, given that 11.Qxc7 (as played by Quayle) would have led to a winning position (Quayle quickly blundered, however, and lost soon thereafter).

I love discussing that reprobate, the Jerome Gambit!

Nov-08-08  thebribri8: I am a huge Blackburne fan, and I think that this is my favorite game of his. Of course the sacrifice is completely unsound, but the old boozer knew NN all too well.
Jan-20-09  WhiteRook48: great double rook sac!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <perrypawnpusher: ***

Geoff Chandler and Todor Dimitrov (2004), however, have made a strong case that 10.Qd8 should be met by 10...Bh3 and that then the game is drawn.

*** >

I am curious to know how they believe Black can hold after [10. Qd8 Bh3] 11. Qxc7+.

I suppose I should check to see whether an answer is to be found there.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <DarthStapler: "Not to be outdone in generosity" [JHB's annotation to 7. ... d6] - Blackburne is hilarious!>

<perrypawnpusher: Blackburne's 7...d6?! was inaccurate - had he played Whistler's 7...Qe7! (played by Lt. Whistler in a postal match with Alonzo Wheeler Jerome himself) he would have had a different kind of win, although not nearly as flashy.>

Indeed. In choosing 7. ... d6?! Blackburne was playing commensurate to his opponent not only in terms of generosity, but also dubiety.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: With reference to my own recent comment:

<Peligroso Patzer: <perrypawnpusher: ***

Geoff Chandler and Todor Dimitrov (2004), however, have made a strong case that 10.Qd8 should be met by 10...Bh3 and that then the game is drawn.

*** >

I am curious to know how they believe Black can hold after [10. Qd8 Bh3] 11. Qxc7+.>

The following analysis seems to support the conclusion that this line does indeed lead to a draw [after 10.Qd8 Bh3]:

11.Qxc7+ Kf8 12.Qxb7 Qg4 13.Qxa8+ Kf7

and now White must take a perpetual with: 14.Qb7+ (not 14.e5? d5 15.Qb7+ Be7 ) 14...Kf8 15.Qa8+ Kf7, etc.

But not here [after 15. Qa8+] 15...Kg7? (with the tempting but unsound idea of escaping perpetual by running to h6) because of 16.e5 Ne4 [No better for Black is 16...dxe5 17.Qb7+ Kh8 (17...Kg8 18.Qb3+) 18.d4 Bxd4 19.Bh6 ] 17.Qb7+ Kh8 18.Qxe4 Qxe4 19.gxh3 and White should win with the extra material.

Jan-09-10  Frezco: Having researched this opening, I have decided not to include it in my opening repertoire for White.

I will continue to prefer 1 f3.

Sep-16-10  nvrennvren: funny
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Exquisite. I love the delicate understatement of Blackburne's note to his 7th, "not to be outdone in generosity".

Plus a marked absence of those self-awarded screamers (!!) which certain contemporary annotators are addicted to. They could learn from the Black Death.

May-14-12  Llawdogg: Both rooks and then the queen!
Aug-22-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

NN vs Blackburne, 1880.
Your score: 27 (par = 22)


Premium Chessgames Member
  Castleinthesky: hence the name Kentucky Opening
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Beautiful mate at the end. Is this called a "perfect" mate or some-such, where each king flight square is covered by a different enemy piece?
Jul-30-13  goldfarbdj: I think the phrase is "model mate".
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The final position:

click for larger view

is an example of a "model" mate, because it is both "pure" and has all of Black's pieces (excepting possibly king and pawns) participating.

In a pure mate, the key is that each square the king can move to (the "king's field") is covered in only one way, whether by an enemy attacker or a friendly blockader. If we move the pieces around a little:

click for larger view

This is still a model (and pure) mate, even though each of Black's bishops cover more than one flight square.

Mar-22-14  chesswar1000: <Not to be outdone in generosity>. Well, what about 7...Qg5?
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