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Joseph Henry Blackburne vs Henry Gifford
Casual game (1874), The Hague NED, Jun-??
Scotch Game: Scotch Gambit. Saratt Variation (C44)  ·  1-0



Annotations by Joseph Henry Blackburne.      [148 more games annotated by Blackburne]

explore this opening
find similar games 3 more Blackburne/H Gifford games
sac: 15.Qxh6+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-02-04  Catfriend: it's Edward, not Emanuel! And this DB doesn't have it.. As for similar queen sacrifices.. it isn't exactly the same, but some Morphy's games include queen-sacing to weaken the king
Premium Chessgames Member You don't mean this one, do you? Edward Lasker vs George Alan Thomas, 1921
Jan-02-04  JSYantiss: There is another Lasker too, Catfriend...Emanuel is also correct. Emanuel Lasker was a World Champion for a time.
Jan-02-04  JustAFish: After getting the queen sac I mentally plotted out 17 Rf5+ and then if ... Kg4 18 Be2+ Kh4 19 g3+ Kh3 20 Rh5# if 17 ... Kh4 the path is simply shorter 18 g3+.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: a side question: Did Blackburne once announce a forced mate in seventeen while BLINDFOLD?
Jan-02-04  trguitar: How about 15. Nxh7!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Yes 15.Nh7 <trguitar> must also win, and 18.Rf5 is a mate in one, but what matters is the beautiful Q sac. This was a real tournament game, and with the precariousness of a chess professional's existance who can begrudge Blackburne such a piece of publicity!
Jan-02-04  JustAFish: 15 Nxh7 Qh4 16 Bxh6 Kxh7 ... and nothing happens... can anyone find a better plan after this move?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <JustAFish> Your line wins thus: 15.Nxh7 Qh4 16.Bxh6+ Kxh7 <17.Nf6+> Kh8 18.Bg7+ Kxg7 19.Ne8+ Rxe8 20.Rxf7+ Kg8 21.Qxg6+ Kh8 22.Qg7 mate.
Jan-02-04  JustAFish: <Chessical> Good line. It's any wonder I didn't find it. I'm not too good at visualizing mates in seven. Better start working with the tactics books some more.
Jan-03-04  Calli: 16...Nf4 avoids the mate, but he will be far down in material.
Feb-03-04  m0rphy: I have seen several examples of this white queen sac on H6 follwed by the double check by the knight unmasking the dark square bishop forcing the black king out from h6 towards the white camp and mate in a few moves.There is a game won by G H McKenzie but unless I consult my chess library I cannot remember the exact date (1870s?) nor his opponent.I believe it was played in Paris but there is this same delightful Black king hunt.
Jun-30-04  akiba82: Yes, that was Mackenzie-Mason Paris 1878.
Dec-19-04  sandyobrien: AMAZING
Feb-05-05  Shadow 812: On move 13 for black, instead of Ng6??
How about 13. Bg4 !? counterattacking?
I will need more time to have a closer look at this move:
Mar-20-06  MorphyMatt: A lot like Tarrasch vs Romberg, 1893
Apr-13-06  MorphyMatt: <m0rphy> Mackenzie vs J Mason, 1878
Jun-20-06  MorphyMatt: <Chessical> 18. Rf5 isn't mate
Feb-09-08  sneaky pete: 7... d5 8.Bxd5 Nb4 (Botterill) is the most convincing refutation of white's questionable set-up.
Premium Chessgames Member
  mjmorri: I have always enjoyed Tartakower's comment (in "500 Master Games of Chess") regarding Black's 7th move:

"Assigning to his king a rather storm-swept domicile."

What an elegant description of a bad move!

May-15-09  Trigonometrist: 15.Qxh6!
Mar-18-15  Tullius: Edward Winter C.N. 8127 :
We note, though, that when Steinitz annotated the "beautiful little off-hand game" in The Field, 25 July 1874, he gave a different finish: 16. nxf7+ Kh5 "White announced mate in five moves, viz.: 17.Be2+ Kh4 18.g3+ Kh3 19.Nf4+ Nxf4 20.Rxf4, and mates next move by 21.Bf1".
Premium Chessgames Member
  cwcarlson: 12.Nh7 Kh7 13.f6 wins easily.
Premium Chessgames Member
  master8ch: The rook sac is unnecessary. 18.g3+ Kh3, then one knight checks and the other one mates. (But, since this doesn't shorten the game, Blackburne's final sac is a justifiable alternative.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Bc5 5.Ng5

<Experience shows that 5.c3 is better, where every options are wide open.>

5...Nh6 6.Qh5?

<Premature. The calm 6.0-0 obeys the opening principles. It is also possible to go for 6.Nxf7 Nxf7 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.Qh5+ g6 9.Qxc5 d5 10.O-O, or for its counterpart, 6.Bxf7+.>


<6...Qf6 is possible. Black's opening work is better in both cases.>


<In Blackburne vs W R Ballard, 1872 Blackburne opted for 7.0-0? instead of something like 7.h3 Ne5 8.Bb3 d6 9.O-O Bd7 10.c3 d3 11.Nf3 O-O-O 12.Nxe5 Qxe5 13.Qxe5 dxe5 14.Bd5, where White has some chances not to lure himself or herself into a worse position.>


<C W Vitzthum von Eckstaedt vs Anderssen, 1855 and C W Vitzthum von Eckstaedt vs Von Der Lasa, 1853 saw the weak 7...d6. The best is 7...d5! 8.Bxd5 Nb4 9.Qe2 (9.Bb3? Bg4!) 9...Bg4 10.Nf3 Nf5 11.exf5 Qxe2+ 12.Kxe2 Nxd5 with a very good position for Black.>

8.O-O d6?

<Off by one, this is so sad. 8...d5 leads to Black's visible advantage, as in 9.exd5 Bg4 10.Qh4 Nb4 11.Na3 Bf5 you can see yourself.>

9.f5 d3+?

<Probably 9...d5 had more merits.>

10.Kh1 dxc2 11.Nc3 Ne5 12.Nd5?

<The immediate winning was 12.Nxh7! Kxh7 13.f6.>

12...Qd8 13.f6?

<Nice, but better was dropping another bishop into the chaos: 13.Nf3 c6 (interestingly, there is no better move, the queen cannot leave the d8-h4 diagonal - f6 plans will obviously not work because of the pesky bishop on c4) 14.Bg5 cxd5 15.Bxd8 dxc4 16.Be7 Re8, and White's future is extremely bright.>


<Losing instantly. The only option was developing with tempi by 13...Bg4 14. Qh4, and <just now> 14...Ng6, with the following continuations:>

<<15.Qe1 Bd4 16.e5 Bxe5 17.Ne4 c6! (this is super calm) 18.fxg7 Re8! (calmness, calmness) 19.Ndf6+ Bxf6 20.Bxh6! d5 21.Nxf6+ Qxf6 22.Rxf6 Rxe1+ 23.Rxe1 dxc4 with a complicated equality.>>

<<15.Qg3 Bd4, where the options are:>>

<<<16.Nxf7!? Nxf7 17.Qxg4 is a difficult-to-calculate equality, 16...Rxf7 17.Bxh6 seems to be slightly better for White.>>>

<<<16.fxg7?! Bxg7 and now either 17.Nxh7 Kxh7 18.Bxh6, and by winning back the g4 bishop, the situation is equal. 17.Nh3 keeps open numerous possibilities. 17.Nf3 and 17.h3 seem to remain around equality, but they don't seem to achieve too much. 16...Re8? 17.Nxf7! and the g4 bishop falls off. 16.Kxg7? and either 17.Qd3 or 17.h3 guarantees the advantage for White.>>>

<<<16.h3 Bh5? 17.Ne7+! and if 17...Nxe7??, then 18.Nxf7! unleashes hell. 16...Be5 seems to be the best with the idea of Bd1 in the next move (or either the immediate 16...Bd1), else 16...Bxf6 or the strange 16...gxf6 can be calculated.>>>

<<<16.Nf3 Bxf3 17.Rxf3 Be5 18.Ne7+ Kh8 19.Bg5 Ng8 20.fxg7+ Kxg7 21.Qg4 N8xe7 22.Qh5 Qd7 23.Qh6+ Kh8 24.Rh3 Qxh3 25.Qxh3 Bxb2 26.Rf1 is highly complicated, and possibly there is/are blunder(s) in this long line, it is very difficult to say.>>>

<<15.Ne7+!? Qxe7! (only move - do you see why?) 16.fxe7 Nxh4 17.exf8=Q+ Rxf8 18.Nf3 Nxf3 19.gxf3 Bd7 seems to be somewhere around equality.>>

14.fxg7 Kxg7

<Mandatory. Black can do anything else, Ne7+ will come, with checkmate to follow. Black is totally lost, anyway.>

15.Qxh6+ Kxh6 16.Ne6+ Kh5 17.Be2+ Kh4 18.Rf4+ Nxf4 19.g3+ Kh3 20.Nexf4# 1-0

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