The Jerome Gambit Opening Guide for White and Black

Quick Summary

  • The Jerome Gambit arises from the Giuoco Piano after the moves (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5).
  • White sacrifices two pieces in hopes of mounting a quick attack on Black.
  • Black can easily evade White’s threats, with the best move after 6.Qh5+ being 6…Ke6.
  • Black does not have to find the best move to avoid trouble and can play 6…g6 or 6…Ng6 and will still avoid trouble.
  • Only after 6…Ke7 or 6…Kf6 will White’s sacrifices be worth it.

The Jerome Gambit- what is there to say about this crazy opening?

It is quite possible that you have never heard of it. That is because it is a completely refuted opening and has never been in fashion among top players. Does that mean you should not play it?

Well, like everything in chess, the answer is, that depends.

It is an opening best avoided against players that know what they’re doing and in classical time controls.

However, if the opening goes your way, then it can be a lot of fun. It is a tricky weapon in bullet and blitz, and if your opponent does not know what they are doing, they could be entering a world of pain.

The problem, as with other trick openings, is you rely on your opponent not knowing what they are doing. In fact, your opponent could even accidentally play a good move and you are busted.

Many lower-rated players will in fact be caught by surprise, perhaps some even higher-rated ones at faster time controls. You could also teach beginners a lesson on how to develop and defend properly out of the opening.

The Jerome Gambit is a derivation of the Italian Game, specifically, the Giuco Piano. It begins with the move order 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5