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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 (C50)  ·  0-1



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Given 114 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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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).

May-22-17  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.
Nov-04-18  Jean Defuse: ...

Tim Harding about this game:

<Early English Jerome Gambit Games>



Dec-31-18  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.
Jan-20-20  perrypawnpusher: zanzibar writes "Fine uses a position from this game (p088.d135), after Black's 12th move, but omits the White queen on a8." Which book by Fine, please? I checked in his BCE, with no luck. Thanks.
Mar-17-20  gambitfan: Wrong ECO number

C51 4 b4 Evans Gambit

It should be C50

May-30-20  TheaN: This game is the only example of 6....g6 as defense to the Jerome/Kentucky Gambit which is today's OotD.

Interestingly, the fast SF9 analysis has trouble with certain incredibly tactical lines (which typically computers never do). The biggest example is this one on a certain points: 10.Qd8 Bh3 11.Qxc7+ Kf8 12.Qxb7 Qg4 13.e5? d5 -+.

It already goes wrong on 10....Bh3 which evaluates +4 after 11.Qxb7 Nd7? (why?) and corrects itself to +0.8 after 11....Kf8. Next slip up is +5 after 12.Qxb7 Qg4 13.e5?? Ne4?? (again, why?!). After 13....d5, all of a sudden does it go to -10 which is probably why this line is rather famous. I don't get how Stockfish can misjudge an attack this greatly.

Whereas I'm confident 7....d6 <is> a mistake (at least ±) White's in a minefield, especially if even one of the strongest computers of the day can't make everything from it on 18ply.

Aug-27-21  rwbean: 10. ♕d8 ♗h3 11. ♕xc7+ ♔f8 then...

12. gxh3 ♕xh3 13. d4 or

12. ♕xb7 ♗xg2 13. ♕xa8+ ♘e8 14. ♔xg2 ♕g4+ 15. ♔h1 or

12 ♕xb7 ♗xg2 13. ♔xg2 ♕g4+ 14. ♔h1 or

12. ♕xb7 ♕g4 13. ♕xa8+ ♔f7 14. ♕b7+

all draws ...


so 9. d4! was the winning move, 9. O-O only draws. ... and 7... ♕e7 safely wins

Sep-16-21  Nina Myers: That's the way the cookie crumbles!
Oct-01-21  VerySeriousExpert: The trivial move 9.d4! was winning. Rick Kennedy wrote about it long ago, he was right.
Oct-01-21  VerySeriousExpert: Wikipedia's article on the Jerome gambit should be updated strongly in a lot of places! And I can't understand why has Wikipedia chosen THIS GAME as the "illustrative" one for its article. Thus, both opponents have made blunders during this game. Moreover, J. H. Blackburne isn't the strongest player who has ever played the Jerome gambit or against it. Thus, for example, GM Hikaru Nakamura has played several games with the Jerome gambit and against it without his blunders after 4.Bxf7+. The following won game against GM Dmitrij Kollars is well-known due to GM Nakamura's several videos, first of all.
Oct-02-21  VerySeriousExpert: In this game GM Nakamura - GM Kollars (2020, August 28) after 6.Qh5+ Ke6 White played 7.Qf5+. Now we know that 7.Qh3+! is much stronger: , etc.
Oct-30-21  VerySeriousExpert: The recent very beautiful game Bukayev - Golshev, 2021 ( , ), shows the force of 7.Qh3+!. Black's play was not bad, but White's long attack caused Black's tiredness and missing opponent's winning combination.
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