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Harry Nelson Pillsbury vs Frank James Marshall
"Blind Harry" (game of the day Mar-07-2013)
Blindfold simul, 10b (1894) (blindfold), Montreal CAN, May-16
Queen's Gambit Declined: Marshall Defense (D06)  ·  0-1


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Given 25 times; par: 62 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-07-13  Naniwazu: Pillsbury could have tried 23. Rg1 as after 23...gxf2 24 Rxg8+ Black has to play Qf8 since both Ke7 and Kd7 quickly lead to mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheTamale: Do you ever misread the final score? For some reason I thought Pillsbury was going to win this one. Then Marshall seemed to be spanking him from the word go. I thought, "Good Lord, how is White going to turn this one around?" And I realized: he didn't... and that's why the score says 0-1, you dweeb.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheTamale: <FSR>, what is the name of your YouTube channel? A voice that sounds like Kermit would be the least of my worries in the crappy wasteland of Google-backed YouTube.
Mar-07-13  RookFile: Win lose or draw, Pillsbury always played interesting chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <TheTamale> fsr1960. btw, the last video I watched was the blundericious but fascinating
Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: <Abdel Irada>

Sure, I get that! But it's not enough on its own; there must be more to the pun as "Blind Harry" simply doesn't mean anything!

Who made up the pun? Stand forward and be recognised!!


Mar-07-13  mwic: <Garech>, an Irish poet of all people should have heard of blind Harry, I think!
Mar-07-13  mwic: Whoops, I didn't see your first comment. I suck, bye
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Sleeping Pills-bury.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <morfishine: For some reason, I always thought Marshall was older than Pillsbury>

I was surprised to see that the age difference was only five years. Of course, poor Pillsbury only lived to 33.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White can guard the bishop and rook-or stop the pawn...but alas,he can't do both.

The black pieces have declared "Marshall Law".

Mar-07-13  morfishine: <FSR> Sometimes, players ages really surprise me. For example, did you know that Tarrasch was born in 1862?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <FSR> <The Marshall is bad because of 3.cxd5 Nxd5 4.Nf3!> Oh yes, you are absolutely right, I remember that variation now. The verdict is, Marshall's Defense isn't much of a defense.

I admit, I can never can bring myself to play 4.Nf3! because I figure if somebody is playing such a weird opening they are probably a patzer who is going to fall for my queen sac line. I play it like Pillsbury here. If the guy ends up knowing the 4...e5 move, well, I guess I've got a fight on my hands.

Mar-07-13  MountainMatt: <RookFile: Win lose or draw, Pillsbury always played interesting chess.>

Aye, ditto for Marshall.

Mar-07-13  IndigoViolet: <there must be more to the pun as "Blind Harry" simply doesn't mean anything!>

Blind Freddy suggests itself:

All we need now is a Fred(erick) partial to blindfold play, or prone to blunders.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: Thanks for the info everyone; indeed it seems that the route for the pun was the Blind Harry who relates to William Wallace. Very unusual to have this as the pun, I have to say, as ostensibly there is absolutely no connection between the 14th century poet and this game.

Anyway, I guess it's all beside the point as we're more concerned with the chess!

Good game!

P.s. <mwic> don't worry; thanks for the pointer!


Premium Chessgames Member Today's pun was submitted by the ever-erudite User: Honza Cervenka as "The Acts and Deeds of Blind Harry". Utterly confused at the meaning, we found a Wikipedia page on the topic ( and then--for better or worse--we decided to shorten it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: Aha! Thank you, <chessgames> for clarifying.

"Clear as an unmudded lake."

Any takers on where that one's from?

Today's pun could begin an entire new thread!


Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Sneaky> You can still play the queen sac from 4.Nf3! I've done it many times in Internet blitz games. 4.Nf3 Nc6 (people who play the Marshall tend to like developing their knights early) 5.e4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bg4 7.d5 Ne5 8.Nxe5! . The same trap also works after 5...Nb6. For variety's sake, you can also play 5.e4 Nf6 6.d5!?, when people like to try 6...Nxe4?, which is busted by 7.Be3! Nb8 8.Qa4+.
Mar-08-13  Abdel Irada: <Garech>: Ah. I see. It's the other end of the pun you were looking for.

It appears that Blind Harry ( was a 15th-century poet/mistrel who wrote about William Wallace, the Scots rebel leader.

Bit obscure, but that's <> all over. :-D

Mar-08-13  Abdel Irada: And now, looking at the final page (which I would have done before this if I'd any sense), I find that the question has already been answered.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Garech>

<Sure, I get that! But it's not enough on its own; there must be more to the pun as "Blind Harry" simply doesn't mean anything!

Who made up the pun? Stand forward and be recognised!!>

Well, long time ago I have proposed this game as GOTD with a pun (if I remember it correctly) "Acts and Deeds of Blind Harry" where the dual reference to the author of the poem on William Wallace known as Harry The Minstrel or Blind Harry and this game where Harry Pillsbury played blindfolded was more apparent.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: <Honza> Sure thing.

<Abdel> You're right!


Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <> <Today's pun was submitted by the ever-erudite User: Honza Cervenka as "The Acts and Deeds of Blind Harry". Utterly confused at the meaning, we found a Wikipedia page on the topic ( and then--for better or worse--we decided to shorten it.>

Just to explain the pun which I had proposed the full name of Harry Blind's poem is "The Actes and Deidis of the Illustre and Vallyeant Campioun Schir William Wallace", in modern English "The Acts and Deeds of the Illustrious and Valiant Champion Sir William Wallace". Of course, "The Acts and Deeds of Blind Harry" was a reference to the poem as well as Pillsbury's play in the game.:-)

May-17-14  ljfyffe: Here's a white to mate in two by Marshall(1894) chess problem that I discovered in the Montreal Herald: white N on f8, K on g7, B on e6, B on f6, N on b5, R on d5, Q on h4; black K on e8, B on g8, N on h8, pawn on f7, B on b6, Q on c6, pawn on a5.
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