< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 8 OF 8 ·
|May-24-15|| ||TheFocus: <Chess is a kind of mental alcohol… unless a man has supreme self-control. It is better that he should not learn to play chess. I have never allowed my children to learn it, for I have seen too much of its evil results> - Joseph Blackburne.|
|Jul-07-15|| ||zanzibar: The forthcoming Harding book mentioned by Nosnibor above:|
Joseph Henry Blackburne (kibitz #165)
has had its proofs delivered to the publisher and is expected to go to press by September:
|Aug-22-15|| ||WTHarvey: Here's a 12 page, 'no ads', print edition pamphlet with 55 puzzles from the games of Blackburne @ http://wtharvey.com/blacpe.html What's the winning move ?|
|Aug-22-15|| ||offramp: <Tullius> remember what a pig's ear they made of the grave of Johannes Zukertort.|
|Aug-24-15|| ||ketchuplover: Keep up the good work Mr.Harvey :)|
|Dec-10-15|| ||TheFocus: Happy birthday, Black Death!|
|Jan-12-16|| ||zanzibar: From Graham's <Mr. Blackburne's Games at Chess> p3:|
<Two things combined to bring him into this career. First, his fame was ever waxing greater, and in the year 1861 it happened that Herr Paulsen came to Manchester on one of his blindfold itineraries. Blackburne took a board, and was beaten in a very pretty game, which will be found in its proper place in the book. The effect of this was to stir within him a great desire to try blindfold play on his own account.
The very next day he induced a strong player to begin a contest in which Blackburne should not see the board. He came off victorious, and shortly after played three opponents with the same result. That was in the winter of 1861. In the spring of 1862 he engaged four opponents successfully, the games produced being bright attractive specimens that have been preserved: and will repay the trouble of playing over even to-day. After that he challenged ten members of the Manchester Club, and emerged with the fine score of five wins, two losses and three draws.>
(para added for readability)
|Jan-12-16|| ||zanzibar: Harding's <Blackburne> book is now published:|
Harding himself has some additional pages:
Reviews - http://www.chessmail.com/research/b...
Research - http://www.chessmail.com/research/b...
General info - http://www.chessmail.com/research/b...
|Jan-13-16|| ||zanzibar: After demonstrating his blindfold skills in a simul (5-2-3), and doing a knight's tour at the London (1862), on Friday July 4:|
<Shortly after the termination of these blindfold feats, Mr.
Wilson, who had been opposed to Mr. Blackburne at board
Ho. 8, and who had been struck by the talent displayed by
him, placed in the hands of the Committee the sum of ten
guineas, to be used by them at their discretion in promo
ting a match between him and some other player of emi
nence. In consequence of the protraction of the Tourna
ments, the Committee were unable to carry out the donor's
wish until December, when, Mr. Blackburne being again in
London, a match was made between him and Herr Steinitz.
It was played at the rooms of the London Chess Club,
whose members had increased the stakes to £15 ; the result
was, that Herr Steinitz won 7 games, Mr. Blackburne 1,
and two were drawn.>
(Lowenthal p lxiii)
|Mar-27-16|| ||MissScarlett: American Chess Magazine, v. 2-3 (July 1898-Dec. 1899):|
<Few people know, says M. A. P., in the Glasgow Herald, "that Mr. Blackburne, who has once more vindicated his title as the first of the English players, was in earlier life a worker in stone, and that the premises of the Law Life Assurance Society, adjoining the Church of St. Dunstan's-in-the-West, Fleet street, show practical evidences of his skill in that craft.>
The adddress of that building is now (still?) 187 Fleet Street. Impossible to know if any of Blackburne's handiwork survives; the current structure dates from 1834, but Blackburne probably worked on it in the early-mid 1860s.
Here's a present view of the building front:
Seems I struck out completely appealing for owners of the Reshevsky book, but surely someone here will have Harding's recent one on Blackburne. Does it shed any light on this subject?
|Mar-27-16|| ||offramp: I'll try and go there this week. I know the building and it is very pretty.|
|Mar-27-16|| ||MissScarlett: A family member used to work in Fleet St. during its heydays, but I've never been there once. |
I found this page which shows then (1870s) and now pictures of the buildings on the far side of St. Dunstan's:
I'd say it's possible but unlikely that the present front of 187 dates from the nineteenth century. Oh, Joseph, where is thy monument?
|Mar-28-16|| ||offramp: I've just walked past it. I took a load of crappy photos which I've put on Bookface. Link to follow.|
|May-13-16|| ||zanzibar: Still waiting for that link...
* * * * *
Blackburne commenting on the <Ruy Lopez>:
<This, the most fashionable opening of to-day, was in not great favour in the sixties. It is a game I never play in a tournament, except when I feel a little off colour and am content with a draw, and then it means losing half a point. In a match this does not matter, as it leaves the two opponents precisely where they were before, but in a tournament every draw costs something, as the leaders usually win the majority of their games.>
|May-25-16|| ||zanzibar: I haven't scanned all the previous pages, so this might have been noted before...|
Q- What is the shortest game Blackburne played and lost?
(Wonder if Harding has this story?)
|Jun-12-16|| ||diagonal: Kingpin review on Harding's Blackburne biography: http://www.kingpinchess.net/2016/05...|
|Jun-14-16|| ||TheFocus: Today's Quote:
<Whiskey stimulates the imagination--but eating a big meal before the game is equivalent to giving knight odds> - Blackburne.
|Sep-02-16|| ||MissScarlett: Acting on a lead from the <ACB>, Sept-Oct 1918, p.179. I found this in the <Falkirk Herald>, May 29th, 1918, p.4:|
<Huns raid J. H. Blackburne: Readers will be sorry to hear that the Huns have treated the veteran chess-master's residence as a "fortified place" (!) and glad to know that their bomb did no personal damage to the aged player and his wife. Mr H. W. Butler, of Brighton, sends us these particulars :- "Mr J. H. Blackburne and Mrs Blackburne have had a most dangerous and nerve-shattering experience. In the last air-raid of Sunday night a bomb dropped close to their residence, damaging the house very much, but, fortunately, neither of them were personally injured. But both have suffered such a shock that it has been deemed wise for them to go into the country to recuperate." British chess players fully sympathise with Mr and Mrs Blackburne in their trying experience, and are delighted to know the "present from Germany" missed its mark.>
The account in the <ACB> had the additional information that <Mrs. Blackburne was thrown down by the force of the explosion and the veteran international player was rendered temporarily deaf>, but their source for this remains unknown.
Having the proximate date of attack, and the knowledge (http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...) that Blackburne lived in Lewisham, London, at the time, it wasn't difficult to locate the details:
<The last and largest aeroplane raid of the war took place on the night of 19 May 1918, when 38 Gothas and 3 Giants took off against London. Six Gothas were shot down by interceptors and anti-aircraft fire and a seventh aircraft was forced to land after a protracted close quarters engagement with a Bristol fighter of 141 Squadron from Biggin Hill, crewed by Lieutenants Edward Eric Turner and Henry Balfour Barwise. This was the first victory of the war for Biggin Hill, for which Turner and Barwise were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The British estimated that 2,724 lb (1,236 kg) of bombs were dropped, although the German figure was 3,200 pounds (1,500 kg). 49 people were killed, 177 injured and damage was £117,317.>
More info on the general damage in Lewisham: http://lewishamwarmemorials.wikidot...
|Dec-10-16|| ||WorstPlayerEver: Happy birthday, Joseph Henry!|
|Dec-10-16|| ||zanzibar: The grand man gets a grand day from <CG>.|
He was the embodiment of Victorian chess and its history.
Joseph Henry Blackburne (kibitz #188)
We're all indebted to Harding for his wonderful biography.
PS- still waiting for those links from <offramp>
|May-25-17|| ||zanzibar: Harding, via Graham's son Stephan, relates this anecdote where Blackburne imitates Steinitz:|
<That is the back story of the
semi-autobiographical novel Lost Battle (1934), written by his son
Stephen Graham (born 1884), in which his father is called John Rae
Belfort and Blackburne appears as a drunken acquaintance. The author
probably exaggerated his early memories of the chess master, writing a
quarter of a century later. In an early chapter Blackburne joins the
Belforts for Sunday tea. The veteran champion "with the big red face"
is also described as "vinous, swollen-veined, dead-featured, but with
back of his head colossal." When Belfort tells Blackburne he has
played over all Steinitz's games, Blackburne closes his eyes and
parodies the ex-world champion's fractured way of speaking English: "I
do not vant to vin a pawn. It is enough if I only veekens a pawn."
They play chess in Belfort's study after tea. The more whisky
Blackburne drinks, the better he plays and he leaves only in time to
catch the last train.
Harding - Blackburne p404
|May-25-17|| ||zanzibar: And, from ibid p405, we have Harding quoting Buckley's review of Blackburne's book, specifically commenting on Graham:|
<In the Birmingham Weekly Mercury, of 18 November 1899, Buckley first praised
the games, the collection of which "must be an endless pleasure to
amateurs of many succeeding generations."
Then he wrote:
The editor's work is less satisfactory, though Mr. P. Anderson Graham
has at least one requisite for the task. He possesses enthusiasm, and,
moreover, is a sincere admirer of his hero. But his biographical
sketch is lamentably incomplete and unsatisfactory, The sketch of the
history of blindfold chess is little more than a pretence, and both
sketches have the painful air of amateurishness which is the almost
invariable characteristic of chess lucubrations. We cannot but regret
that a subject so interesting should have been given to the world so
imperfectly. The opportunity was a great one. The record of
Blackburne's career presented incomparable opportunities; but the
editor has derived little of interest there from, and largely contents
himself with writing of the catalogue-type mingled with his own
inconclusive opinions and doubtful statements.
|May-27-17|| ||MissScarlett: Does Harding estimate how many simul exhibitions Blackburne gave over the years? The number of times one sees references to him in newspapers, one could be forgiven for thinking he played chess non-stop for 50 years. And yet there are less than a thousand of his games here. |
The only masters who come to mind who might challenge him on this front are Alekhine, Koltanowski and Marshall, but I can't speak about the Continental scene.
|May-27-17|| ||zanzibar: I'm not sure about general simuls, but for blindfolds, Harding gives a listing in his appendix V |
< ~2444 total (excluding just a few exceptions) W-L-D = 1552-202-660 >
Harding must give an estimate of Blackburne's total, but I couldn't readily find it.
|Jun-19-17|| ||zanzibar: Blackburne interview excerpt:
Edward Pindar (kibitz #12)
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