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NN vs Joseph Henry Blackburne
"Old Kentucky" (game of the day Oct-22-2005)
Casual game (1884), London ENG
Italian Game: Jerome Gambit (C51)  ·  0-1



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Given 105 times; par: 22 [what's this?]

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

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <DarthStapler: "Not to be outdone in generosity" [JHB's annotation to 7. ... d6] - Blackburne is hilarious!>

<perrypawnpusher: Blackburne's 7...d6?! was inaccurate - had he played Whistler's 7...Qe7! (played by Lt. Whistler in a postal match with Alonzo Wheeler Jerome himself) he would have had a different kind of win, although not nearly as flashy.>

Indeed. In choosing 7. ... d6?! Blackburne was playing commensurate to his opponent not only in terms of generosity, but also dubiety.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: With reference to my own recent comment:

<Peligroso Patzer: <perrypawnpusher: ***

Geoff Chandler and Todor Dimitrov (2004), however, have made a strong case that 10.Qd8 should be met by 10...Bh3 and that then the game is drawn.

*** >

I am curious to know how they believe Black can hold after [10. Qd8 Bh3] 11. Qxc7+.>

The following analysis seems to support the conclusion that this line does indeed lead to a draw [after 10.Qd8 Bh3]:

11.Qxc7+ Kf8 12.Qxb7 Qg4 13.Qxa8+ Kf7

and now White must take a perpetual with: 14.Qb7+ (not 14.e5? d5 15.Qb7+ Be7 ) 14...Kf8 15.Qa8+ Kf7, etc.

But not here [after 15. Qa8+] 15...Kg7? (with the tempting but unsound idea of escaping perpetual by running to h6) because of 16.e5 Ne4 [No better for Black is 16...dxe5 17.Qb7+ Kh8 (17...Kg8 18.Qb3+) 18.d4 Bxd4 19.Bh6 ] 17.Qb7+ Kh8 18.Qxe4 Qxe4 19.gxh3 and White should win with the extra material.

Jan-09-10  Frezco: Having researched this opening, I have decided not to include it in my opening repertoire for White.

I will continue to prefer 1 f3.

Sep-16-10  nvrennvren: funny
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Exquisite. I love the delicate understatement of Blackburne's note to his 7th, "not to be outdone in generosity".

Plus a marked absence of those self-awarded screamers (!!) which certain contemporary annotators are addicted to. They could learn from the Black Death.

May-14-12  Llawdogg: Both rooks and then the queen!
Aug-22-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

NN vs Blackburne, 1880.
Your score: 27 (par = 22)


Dec-18-12  Castleinthesky: hence the name Kentucky Opening
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Beautiful mate at the end. Is this called a "perfect" mate or some-such, where each king flight square is covered by a different enemy piece?
Jul-30-13  goldfarbdj: I think the phrase is "model mate".
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The final position:

click for larger view

is an example of a "model" mate, because it is both "pure" and has all of Black's pieces (excepting possibly king and pawns) participating.

In a pure mate, the key is that each square the king can move to (the "king's field") is covered in only one way, whether by an enemy attacker or a friendly blockader. If we move the pieces around a little:

click for larger view

This is still a model (and pure) mate, even though each of Black's bishops cover more than one flight square.

Mar-22-14  chesswar1000: <Not to be outdone in generosity>. Well, what about 7...Qg5?
Aug-08-16  The Kings Domain: Delightful miniature. One could almost feel white's hope and eventual dismay throughout the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: An excellent example of a delayed double-rook sacrifice.
May-22-17  zanzibar: Blackburne annotated this game, so was it from his book w/Graham?

Fine uses a position from this game (p088.d135), after Black's 12th move, but omits the White queen on a8.

According to Fine, Blackburne played this game in a "blindfold seance".


May-22-17  Paarhufer: <z: so was it from his book w/Graham?> I thought that you are a Google books user ...

The game is no. 170 on page 164. It was played in Simpson's Divan. The comment to White's 6th move is originally a note printed after the game without being assigned to a move.

The game belongs to chapter III "Games played off-hand, simultaneously or at odds". It does not belong to one of the two chapters on blindfold chess. Finally, it is not mentioned to be played in a simul (which is done in other cases).

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: White was singing "Carry me home from Old Kentucky"
May-25-17  zanzibar: <Paarhufer: <z: so was it from his book w/Graham?> I thought that you are a Google books user ... >

Thanks for looking that game up.

Yes, I have a downloaded version of the book, but was too lazy/tired to look it up.

Sometimes I'm on late at night, and mostly working off one source - and so, not wanting to get too distracted can only leave a brief note on a sideline avenue.

I should point out that Harding, in his Blackburne book (p404), says this:

<Mr. Blackburne's Games of Chess was published in the fall. He did not do himself justice. The games in the book are not presented chronologically, but arranged firstly by opening and by theme (serious contests; then offhand games, odds games and simuls: then brilliant finishes, and finally blindfold games). This selection and arrangement provides no real sense of Blackburne's mighty struggles against his contemporaries. Annotations are skimpy. Several games are assigned to incorrect years or events, and the finishes of some were altered or truncated.>

This caveat should be borne in mind when using the book as a source. Some collaboration would be welcome, as is always the case anyways.

(But I'll concede that Fine is more likely wrong here.)

May-25-17  zanzibar: I should also add this Harding statement from p405:

<To what extent Blackburne himself was responsible for his book's structure and factual errors is debatable. The involvement of a contributor largely unknown in the chess world [i.e. Graham] was unfortunate.>

I wonder if there's an errata somewhere out there?


Premium Chessgames Member
  Korora: The Immortal Patzer lost Immortal Game style.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...

Tim Harding about this game:

<Early English Jerome Gambit Games>



Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...

<Mr M v Blackburne, London, 1884>


That was "Mr M" v Blackburne, first published in the Illustrated London News on 10 May 1884 (probably played at the Divan when Blackburne was convalescing).

There is also floating around a very similar game Milner-Blackburne supposedly played in Manchester(ending 10 h3 Bxh3 11 Qxa8 Qg4 12 g3 Qxg3+ 13 Kh1 Qg2#) but I have no primary source for that.



Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I've made the switch from 1880 to 1884. It would be nice to have the facility of appending <c.> for <circa> for games of uncertain dates.
Feb-15-19  thisisasign: <Jean Defuse> I was looking for more information on the Jerome (Kentucky?) Gambit, so that link is much appreciated.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Nice game, I play like this in the pub. With both colours.
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