"The championship chess match for £120, between Herr Steinitz, the great Austrian player, and Mr. Blackburne, will commence at the West End Chess Club, New Coventry-street, London, on Thursday, the 17th inst. The winner of the first seven games will take the stakes. The combatants have met several times before with varied success." - Worcester Journal, Saturday 12th February 1876. (£120 = approx. £10,000/$16,400 – December 2013)
"The Blackburne and Steinitz match commences on Thursday, the 17th inst., at 2 o'clock p.m." - Bury and Norwich Post, Tuesday 15th February 1876.
The London Daily News of 18th February has a very long article about this match and its background. The time control was two hours for thirty moves, and then an hour for the next fifteen. "Alarm timepieces with a stop" rather than the customary sand glasses were used. The players drank glasses of claret and water and cups of coffee. Steinitz had white in the first game.
The conditions of the match:
"(1) The stakes in the match shall be £60 a side, and either player who first scores seven games, exclusive of draws, shall be declared the victor, and be entitled to receive the stakes of both sides.
(2) Each player shall deposit his stake of £60 with Mr J. H. Walsh, the chief editor of The Field newspaper, at least one day previous to the commencement of the match.
(3) The rooms of the West-end Chess Club, No. 8, New Coventry-Street, W., shall be the place of meeting throughout the contest for the purpose of play. The first game shall commence on Thursday, the 17th of February, at 2 p.m. and play shall proceed on every subsequent Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday, at the same time until the conclusion of the match. After four hours' play either party may claim an adjournment for an hour. After eight hours' play the game shall be adjourned to the next day, Sundays excepted.
(4) Each player shall be allowed two hours for making his first series of thirty moves, and an hour for every subsequent fifteen moves, and the time gained in each series of moves shall be counted to the credit of the next series. This time limit shall be regulated by sand-glasses, and either player exceeding it by five minutes shall forfeit the game."
Chess match between Steinitz & Blackburne, played at the West End chess club, London, February 17 to March 2, 1876; annotated by W. Steinitz. p.7.
London, 17 February - 2 March 1876
An amazing result, comparable to the Fischer - Taimanov Candidates Quarterfinal (1971) and Fischer - Larsen Candidates Semifinal (1971). Blackburne was considered one of the world's best, and had tied for first with Steinitz at Vienna (1873).
Steinitz 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7
Blackburne 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
"In the Blackburne and Steinitz chess match Blackburne lost another game yesterday (Game 3 22nd February - ed.), Steinitz thus scoring three to his opponent's nothing." - Sheffield Independent, Wednesday 23rd February 1876.
"The fourth game of the L. Steinitz and Blackburne chess match was played yesterday afternoon, and won by Steinitz. Blackburne played a Scotch gambit, and on his twentieth move sacrificed a knight which turned out unsound. The game lasted six hours." - Edinburgh Evening News, Friday 25th February 1876.
"On Saturday (26th February - ed.) they played their fifth and on Tuesday (29th February - ed.) the sixth game, Steinitz being victorious on both occasions." - Reading Mercury, Saturday 4th March 1876.
"THE BLACKBURNE AND STEINITZ CHESS MATCH — On Tuesday last Blackburne opened the sixth game in this match with the Scotch gambit. The first eight moves were played so rapidly that the scorers could not follow, and Blackburne, with a desire to assist them, wrote down the scores himself. His attention was thus momentarily diverted from the board, and on resuming play he made a slip, moving the wrong piece. This mishap cost him a valuable pawn at once, besides giving him a bad position. He fought this game, however, better than any in the match, remaining with two rooks against one and three pawns, which latter, however, forced the game for Steinitz, who won, after eight hours' play — 67 moves. On Thursday the seventh and last game was played, and was also won by Steinitz. This last game was opened by Steinitz with another Vienna or Hampe gambit. Blackburne played as if he cared little for the result, and after three hours and a half uninteresting manoeuvring and 37 moves Steinitz made a brilliant finish, winning the game and the match. Blackburne must have been in very bad "form" to be so thoroughly defeated. We give in another place the first three games of this interesting match, and shall publish the remainder in successive numbers." - Bury and Norwich Post, Tuesday 7th March 1876.
"THE GREAT CHESS MATCH. The seventh and last game in the Blackburne and Steinitz chess match was played yesterday, and was won by Steinitz, who has thus won all seven games." - Sheffield Independent, Friday 3rd March 1876.
"In justice to Mr. Blackburne it must be mentioned that during the latter games, and especially so during the last game of the match, he was suffering from a cold as was in no means in such fine "chess condition" as his many admirers would have wished to see him. Mr. Steinitz has not only demonstrated himself to be a consummate master of the "new chess" – the steady, careful, tenacious play for "position" – but has achieved a feat almost, if not quite, unprecedented in the annals of chess – by winning a match of seven games hardly, from the nature of the struggle, "without a check," but without pause or repulse – without losing or drawing a solitary game.” - London Daily News, 3 March 1876.
Steinitz's own summary:
"In Game 1 the adjournment took place three or four moves before the conclusion, which had for some time been a foregone affair.
Game 2 Mr. Blackburne ought to have won, but at move 30 the game was perfectly even. Mr. Steinitz offered a draw shortly afterwards, which the Englishman admits he ought to have accepted.
In Game 3 Mr. Blackburne had much the best of the game, and probably could have won at the 27th move, as pointed out in the notes; but at the time of the adjournment, viz., at the 31st move, the positions were perfectly equal at least, and, perhaps, even slightly in favour of Mr. Steinitz, though he was a P behind, for his opponent's pawns were separated and weak.
In Game 4 the 30th move found Mr. Blackburne with a piece behind and a hopeless game.
Game 5 was adjourned when the Englishman was four pawns behind.
In Game 6 Mr. Steinitz himself made a mistake on move 31, just at a point where he could have won the game easily and in a shorter number of moves.
Game 7 was not adjourned at all."
Chess match between Steinitz & Blackburne, played at the West End chess club, London, February 17 to March 2, 1876; annotated by W. Steinitz. p.9-10 - https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt...
1876 Blackburne-Steinitz, London Match, researched by Nick Pope at http://www.chessarch.com/archive/18...
Chess match between Steinitz & Blackburne, played at the West End chess club, London, February 17 to March 2, 1876; annotated by W. Steinitz.
Original collection: Game Collection: WCC Index ( Steinitz - Blackburne 1876 ), by User: Benzol. Newspaper reports compiled by User: Chessical.