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Burn - Bellingham Match

George Bellingham5/9(+4 -3 =2)[games]
Amos Burn4/9(+3 -4 =2)[games] Chess Event Description
Burn - Bellingham (1900)

Liverpool and Dudley, England & Llandudno, Wales; 3 September 1894—15 September 1894

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Score ———————————————————————————————————— Bellingham 1 1 1 0 1 ½ 0 0 ½ 5 Burn 0 0 0 1 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 4 ———————————————————————————————————— Format: Best of nine games is victor Prize: Individual game stakes and a small match stake.

This was a match between Amos Burn (Liverpool) and George Bellingham (Dudley) played at irregular intervals at the convenience of the participants. The first eight games were played in Liverpool and Dudley, England in February and perhaps early March 1900. The deciding game was the first of their two games in the Craigside tournament Llandudno, Wales, in January 1901. As such, the match took almost a full year to be finally resolved in Bellingham's favour.

"With the object of having some strong practice for the cable contest of this year between England and America, Mr George Bellingham, of Dudley, and Mr Amos Burn, of Liverpool, recently arranged to play a friendly match, the best of nine games, draws to count one half to each player, and with a small stake on each game, and also a small stake on the match. The earlier games were played at Liverpool and the later were to be played at Dudley." (1)

The 5th Anglo-American Cable Match (1900) took place on March 23rd - 24th. Bellingham lost to Albert Hodges on board 4. Burn himself did not play in the telegraph match and despite his strength, he had not participated in the annual match since 1898.

"In the Llandudno Chess Tournament yesterday (2nd January 1901 - e.d.) Bellingham met Burn in a double event. The game between these two players will also count as the deciding game in a match played at Liverpool last spring, the result which is still pending. The opening was a Lopez, in which the Dudley player adopted an indifferent variation, but obtained a good game, which is still unfinished." (2). The game was drawn, so giving the match to Bellingham by 5 games to 4.

Burn vs G Bellingham, 1900 a county match game in March 1900 was not part of the match.

The players

Neither was a full-time professional player. Burn was a sugar merchant (3) and Bellingham was beginning a career as a solicitor. Burn (aged 51) was considerably older and more experienced than Bellingham (aged 25). His international career had begun in the 1880s and he had played in some of the greatest tournaments of his day, including 5th DSB Congress, Frankfurt (1887), 6th American Chess Congress, New York (1889) and Hastings (1895). Bellingham had only played in three international events, the 2nd Anglo-American Cable Match (1897), 3rd Anglo-American Cable Match (1898) and 4th Anglo-American Cable Match (1899), scoring two draws and a loss. His reputation to date was as a strong county champion rather than a master player.

Progress of the match

Bellingham had white in the odd-numbered games:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Bellingham 1 2 3 3 4 4½ 4½ 4½ 5 Burn 0 0 0 1 1 1½ 2½ 3½ 4

Bellingham won the first three games and by game 5 was 4 to 1 up. It is difficult to account for Burn's poor form, especially as he had otherwise good results in two extremely strong international tournaments in 1900. In May, he came fifth in at Paris (1900) scoring +11 -5 =0. Later in the year, he was fourth at the Twelfth German Chess Federation Congress held in July and August, 12th DSB Congress, Munich (1900) scoring +9 -3 =3. Nor can it be said that he was out of practice. The previous three years had been his most active period since the late 1880s. Chessmetrics calculates his performance as putting him eighth in the world rankings at the time of this match. (4)

The Games

Game 1. Burn defended with the MacCutcheon variation of the French Defence and achieved an equal but blocked position. A long period of manoeuvring behind the lines achieved little.

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Bellingham then sacrificed a Bishop for two Pawns eventually winning a third. Burn should have been able to hold position but blundered by trying for too much

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with 78...a3? seeing the mate on <b2>. Burn was then surprised by the sacrificial interpolation 79.Rb5! This immediately won the game for his opponent by both meeting the mate threat and ensuring that one of White's passed pawns would Queen.

Game 2.

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Burn played the opening poorly by again over-pressing or as Mason put in his notes, "White offers a sort of Gambit, abandoning a valuable Pawn, in quest of some hoped-for extraordinary advantage in opening position. A very doubtful manoeuvre, probably indulged in by way of further experiment." (5) Burn then compounded this by losing a piece with 16. Nd5?, overlooking that his Queen would be trapped on the King-side.

Game 3. Burn, as Black in the Ruy Lopez, played for an early <f5> which compromised rather than relieved the defence. Bellingham played the ending well and Bird had now lost three games in succession against an opponent who was not an established master.

Game 4. In a sharp variation of the Vienna Game, Bellingham captured Burn's <e> pawn in the apparent belief that he would win a piece back due to a pin.

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Bellingham castled but then found himself a tempo short. As Burn's King was still in the centre, Bellingham sacrificed the exchange to try to keep it vulnerable in the centre of the board. His enterprising efforts extended the game, but did not save it.

Game 5. Burn's Berlin Defence to the Ruy Lopez led to a double rook ending. Burn allowed his opponent two powerful passed Pawns on the King-side which through Bellingham's accurate play quickly proved decisive. Bellingham had probably benefitted from his experience of this variation in G Bellingham vs C Newman, 1899. Burn was now four games to one down in the match. There was nothing to indicate that his poor form would quickly dissipate.

Game 6. Burn played the first Queen's opening of the match. Having established an advantage he twice failed to find the winning continuation.

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"The obvious 25.Qf6 would preserve if not increase White's advantage. Against that, Black would have to take care of his Rook, somehow; and then the opportune Qxe5, if nothing better, would be good enough for winning. Black could not venture on the check which Mr Burn apparently apprehended; 25. Qf6 Qb1+ 26. Rd1, and whatever the continuation, White easily come off with a winning superiority." (6)

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With 36.Rf6 Bxc4 37.Rxf8 Qd6 38.Re1, Black's passed <e> pawn is insufficient compensation for the exchange.

Game 7. Bellingham was slowly pushed back playing White in a Ruy Lopez. Eventually, most probably exhausted by the demands of a difficult defence, he lost a piece by a straightforward blunder with 46.Kf1??

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Game 8. In another long game of manoeuvring, Bellingham lost the exchange and was finished off by

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54.Rxf5! With this second win in succession, Burn had pulled back to a one-point deficit. With a win as Black in the final game, he could still draw the match.

Game 9. Burn's Berlin defence to the Ruy Lopez led to a rapid exchange of material. Burn's play thereafter seemed to be predicated on the hope he would outplay Bellingham in an ending. Burn played sharply and took risks particularly on the King-side which could have easily rebounded on him. Bellingham either played safely or did not see several advantageous continuations. The resulting draw secured the match for Bellingham.

Contemporary reaction

"Mr Burn evidently rated his youthful antagonist too lightly. He will most probably play a return match with the opposite result. But he will find that he has no easy task to accomplish. Mr Bellingham is a high-class player, and after the present contest he may fairly claim to rank as a master." (7)

The first seven games were annotated by James Mason. Unfortunately, the remaining games never appeared in the magazine. Instead, the British Chess Magazine found space for an abstruse and lengthy article about the algebraic description of the "The 'n' Queens Problem".

(1) The Australasian (Melbourne, Australia), Saturday 24th March 1900, p. 67. See also: "A match, the best-of-nine games, is now in progress between Messrs. Burn and Bellingham, the latest score being Bellingham 4½, Burn 1½. By winning the balance of three games Burn can only draw." - Westminster Gazette, Saturday 24 February 1900, p. 3, and "A match progress between Messrs. G. E. Bellingham, of Dudley, Burn, of Liverpool, best of nine games, draws counting, with a small stake on each game and on the match." - Northern Whig, Thursday 15 February 1900, p. 7.
(2) Lancashire Evening Post, Thursday 3rd January 1901, p. 5.
(3) Tim Harding, Eminent Victorian Chess Players: Ten Biographies, p. 263. The 1901 census records him as a retired sugar merchant.
(4) and
(5) British Chess Magazine, March 1900, p. 108.
(6) British Chess Magazine, March 1900, p. 114.
(7) W. H. S. Monck, Common Sense, April 1900, p. 64. (8) British Chess Magazine, March 1900, p. 107. (Game 1) (9) British Chess Magazine, March 1900, p. 108, Pall Mall Gazette, Friday 9 February 1900. (Game 2)
(10) British Chess Magazine, March 1900, p. 109, The Field, Saturday 17 February 1900, p. 223. (Game 3)
(11) British Chess Magazine, March 1900, p. 110, The Field, Saturday 17 February 1900, p. 223. (Game 4)
(12) British Chess Magazine, March 1900, p. 111, The Field, Saturday 24 February 1900. (Game 5)
(13) British Chess Magazine, March 1900, p. 113, The Field, Saturday 24 February 1900. (Game 6)
(14) British Chess Magazine, November 1900, p. 465. (Game 7)

User: MissScarlett - original collection. User: Chessical - text.

 page 1 of 1; 9 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. G Bellingham vs Burn 1-0811900Burn - BellinghamC12 French, McCutcheon
2. Burn vs G Bellingham 0-1261900Burn - BellinghamC67 Ruy Lopez
3. G Bellingham vs Burn 1-0521900Burn - BellinghamC66 Ruy Lopez
4. G Bellingham vs Burn 1-0491900Burn - BellinghamC67 Ruy Lopez
5. Burn vs G Bellingham ½-½451900Burn - BellinghamD60 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense
6. Burn vs G Bellingham 1-0461900Burn - BellinghamC29 Vienna Gambit
7. G Bellingham vs Burn 0-1461900Burn - BellinghamC67 Ruy Lopez
8. Burn vs G Bellingham 1-0541900Burn - BellinghamD21 Queen's Gambit Accepted
9. G Bellingham vs Burn ½-½421901Burn - BellinghamC67 Ruy Lopez
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: I changed site for Game "9" to Llandudno WLS. Which game was played in Dudley?

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