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Louis Paulsen vs Joseph Henry Blackburne
Casual Game (1861), Manchester ENG, Nov-25
French Defense: Winawer Variation (C15)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: This is a pretty example of positional play from "romantic" era. White created weaknesses in opponent's pawn structure, attacked them and won a pawn. The rook endgame seems to be very instructive.
Nov-01-04  fgh: I agree, strange there are no comments.
Nov-01-04  SBC: Joseph Blackburne learned to play chess in July of 1861. In November of 1861, Paulsen gave a blindfold simul in Manchester - 10 board (+6-3=1).

Not bad for a 5 month novice.

Nov-02-04  Kean: What a fine game by Paulsen, he simply didnt allow Blackburne to conduct a coherent strategy, and it gives the impression he had a complete and modern understanding of the game: opening idea, positional pressure and knowledge of a winning ending.
Dec-10-07  schnarre: A nicely polished win by Paulsen!
Jun-08-09  David2009: aulsen v Blackburne: the first recorded example of the Winawer variation on the database, and according to <SBC> played by someone who had only learned the moves four months earlier!

Black's last chance to hold the ending seems to be 43..a5 to be followed by 44.. b6 and it is not easy for White to break through.

click for larger view

One variation: 43 ...a5 44 Rc5 b6 45 Rb5 Kf7 46 Kg5 Kg7 47 h5 gxh5 48 Kxh5 Kf6 49 Rg5 Rd3 50 Rb5 Rd6 51 Kg4 Kf7 52 Kg5 Kg7 53 f5 Kf7 54 Re5

click for larger view

and Black can defend with Rd6-d3-d6.

Jul-17-09  Knight13: <White created weaknesses in opponent's pawn structure, attacked them and won a pawn. The rook endgame seems to be very instructive. > The "created a weakness" wasn't intentional. There's no way this guy in 1861 even knew anything about positional play. It just happened that he saw that the pawn on e6 would become weak after trading so he want after it. Even a 1200 rated player today with no positional lessons could figure this out.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Joseph Blackburne learned to play chess in July of 1861. In November of 1861, Paulsen gave a blindfold simul in Manchester - 10 board (+6-3=1).

Not bad for a 5 month novice.>

That Blackburne 'got good' rapidly is true, but not that true. Of which I'm sure User: SBC is now well aware.

From Harding's <Joseph Henry Blackburne - A Chess Biography>, (McFarland, 2015), p.10:

<By today's standards Blackburne took up chess very late, though not quite as late as sometimes stated. In Victorian England there were very few "child prodigies" and (outside the family circle) chess was a game played by adult men. His <British Chess Magazine> obituary mistakenly said he learned the moves in 1860, while in <Mr. Blackburne's Games at Chess>, he said his first blindfold simultaneous exhibition was "when I was only nineteen, and had played chess for a few months only." The earliest reference to Blackburne in connection with chess in fact dates from mid-1859 when he sent in his entry for a postal tournament [...].>

Harding gives the ending as <50.f5 gxf5+ 51.Kf4 1-0>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: It just occurred that <SBC> assumed this was the blindfold simul game; it was actually Paulsen vs Blackburne, 1861.
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