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Joseph Henry Blackburne vs Wilhelm Steinitz
Steinitz - Blackburne (1876), London ENG, rd 2, Feb-19
Scotch Game: Horwitz Attack. Blackburne Variation (C45)  ·  0-1



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Given 14 times; par: 122 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-28-05  TedBundy: It's rather pretty and instructive to see how Steinitz deftly sidesteps Blackie's ingenius threats to slowly improve the position of his pieces. Then he wins a pawn and it's all over. While he made it easy, I think with all my modern knowledge of chess strategy, Blackie may have overrun my patzer's 2005 defence anyway.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Sheer tenacity wins out. Blackburne should have won this one. I can imagine the looks of rage he shot at Steinitz as he could find no way to finish off the perpetrator of the maddening Rh8-g8-f8-g8 rope-a-dope strategy.

23 Qa3! is very nice, but Blackburne missed the crowning shot.

24 Ne5?! seems to be the turning point. It is not bad, but slowly lets the advantage slip away. 24 Nd6! or 24 Nxf6 would have ended the game within a few moves.

24 Nd6! cxd6 25 Qxd6 would have overtaxed even Steinitz with threats all over, Qc7 mate chief among them, but also against d7 and b8 very quickly.

Or if Steinitz refused the piece with 24...Qg6 25 Nxb7 Rxb7 26 Nxf6 Qxf6 27 Bxc6 is the straightforward win of a piece because 27...Qxc6 28 Qe7+ mates on the back rank.

24 Nxf6 would win too almost as prettily because of the weakness of d7. If 24...Qxf6 25 Rxd7+! Kxd7 26 Qd3+ quickly overwhelms Black.

Mar-01-05  TedBundy: Wow. Great analysis. Makes me feel better to know while I would lose, Steinitz just missed doing so. Maybe ingenuity and cleverness is too taxing and tiring as compared to simple, practical moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <A central pawn is worth a little trouble> Steinitz

I think Steinitz got more trouble than he bargained for. But Black tenacious defense, and that how he slowly took over the game, that is a real treat.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <tamar> Something seems to be off kilter in the <24 Nxf6 would win too almost as prettily because of the weakness of d7. If 24...Qxf6 25 Rxd7+! Kxd7 26 Qd3+ quickly overwhelms Black.> line. (= OK, I can not figure this one out.)
Apr-04-05  RookFile: Looking at the position before 37. f3, White has excellent practical chances for a draw or a win, because he has the safer king. It's not hard to see a move like a4 at some point prying open black's king position even further.

I imagine Blackburne looked at 37. Re7 and rejected it for some reason. Not sure why, maybe 37... Qf5. If there is a problem with it, the 37. R3e2 suggests itself. White has absolutely no reason to panic, as
long as his king is safer than black's, he has excellent chances.

There is no hurry.

Dec-19-11  offramp: ...But I truly think that if one's opponent plays the scotch then ....Qh4 is the best response by FAR!
Feb-12-18  ColdSong: Blackburne's handling of compensations for the pawn seems nice and convincing to a certain extent,but things go curiously wrong after the critical position (29...d6).
Feb-12-18  paul1959: <ColdSong> Critical position for sure. This was Blackburne last chance for an advantage with 30 Qe6+ Kb7 31 Rxd6 cxd6 32 Rxd6 when Black has to give up its Queen for the Rook. After 30 R5d3 the game was equal until Blackburne blundered his a-pawn
Premium Chessgames Member
  nizmo11: A middle game without any pawns in the center.
Blackburne's missed wins on move 24 were pointed out earlier, but another critical position arose at move 19:

click for larger view

Here computer thinks that Black should have given the pawn back with 19...Re8 20.Qxf7 Ne5 21.Qb3 b5 with a decent play.
But of course playing like this would have been against Steinit's own principles.

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