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Joseph Henry Blackburne vs Jacques Schwarz
"Blackburne Singing in the Dead of Knight" (game of the day Oct-21-2016)
Berlin (1881), Berlin GER, rd 16, Sep-16
French Defense: Exchange Variation (C01)  ·  1-0



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Given 67 times; par: 41 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <optimal play> Sigh. There is nothing new under the sun. Having used the pun before, probably won't use my iteration of it, and I won't be able to submit more puns because I think I'm at 201 unused puns, most of which apparently isn't interested in using. And no, they won't even let you withdraw puns.
Jun-02-13  optimal play: <FSR> <And no, they won't even let you withdraw puns.> I wish they would. That was my only decent pun submission. All the rest of my suggestions are embarrassingly terrible and have no chance of ever being selected!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <FSR> You mean we're getting 201 puns now? I'll have to start submitting again.

Fair warning.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <optimal play> Ah, that was your pun, I see. Good job.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Phony Benoni> Yes, quite a while back (maybe two years or so ago) I complained to Daniel about the inadequacy of the 100 limit. He lifted it to 200, saying that they had a huge backlog of puns that basically weren't going to make it, but since they hadn't formally "killed" them, the 100 limit was unfair. But he didn't change the language on the website or AFAIK apprise anyone other than me. And it's somehow 201 in practice, not 200. Often when I've tried submitting new puns, the site has zapped me, saying that I already have 201 on my list. Anyway, so now you know - it's 201, not 100.

I look forward to your puns. Your <Zapoleon Blown Apart> was sheer genius, way better than my <Control Ault Delete>, which inexplicably took the Caissar last year. I didn't consider the latter one of my better efforts, but for some reason the public loved it. Go figure. I still have many fine puns, by my reckoning, that hasn't used. For example, Hungary Like V. Wolf, Chandler vs V Wolf, 1985, and Short Lopez, Short vs A A Lopez, 2008, a 22-move crush in the Ruy Lopez. And who can forget Your Carr is Readey, J Carr vs J Readey, 2001? and those who vote on its GOTD nominees, that's who. Sigh. There's no justice in the world. Of course, the selection of GOTDs is only the most trivial example of that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Someone was really retching (I mean Stretching) to get this pun...
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The pun is based on the phrase "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire."
Oct-21-16  DiscipleNYC: The pun is based off of The Beatles song "Blackbird". "Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly".
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Did the lads fly pigeons in competition? What do you suppose was the inspiration for the song?
Oct-21-16  Cheapo by the Dozen: For the bilingual among us, this could also have been called

Black Burns Schwarz

Oct-21-16  JimmyRockHound: Still a great pun.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Mate will come on the h-file!
Oct-21-16  clement41: Fantastic combo; that can be seen from time to time in tactics compilations
Premium Chessgames Member
  mjmorri: Quoting Paul McCartney in an interview with Diane Sawyer(ABC news): "I wrote it [Blackbird] in the '60s, when the civil rights movement was at its height," .... "I liked to think of a blackbird as being a kind of symbol for a black woman."
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <DiscipleNYC: The pun is based off of The Beatles song "Blackbird". "Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly".>

That is possible. I doubt it, somehow. I believe I am right with my explanation:

<offramp: The pun is based on the phrase "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.">

That is a far more famous song.

Oct-21-16  morfishine: Another nonsensical play-on-word perverting a player's name, polluting another excellent game, and this monstrosity is passed off as a "pun"

...which it isn't

Jeez, when will this insanity stop?

The World Wonders?


Oct-22-16  Mendrys: <FSR: <optimal play> Sigh. There is nothing new under the sun. Having used the pun before, probably won't use my iteration of it, and I won't be able to submit more puns...>

Take heart <FSR> they've heard you're plea and have used the pun.


A gem of a game that I've missed out on somehow. That's not so bad that Caïssa still many hidden treasures left to discover.

Oct-22-16  Mendrys: <<morfishine:> Another nonsensical play-on-word perverting a player's name, polluting another excellent game, and this monstrosity is passed off as a "pun">

Really now. Perhaps you can just pretend it isn't there and enjoy the game. It's all in good fun and vitriol certainly doesn't add to anything.

Oct-24-16  sfm: <morfishine: Another nonsensical play-on-word perverting a player's name...> "Blackburne Singing due to dead of Knight" would have been preferable.

But still - OK!

Nov-08-16  ASchultz: The French Exchange doesn't have to be drawish, I guess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chess4Him: Another fine combination after 26.Qxf4!!
The lesson is to "see" the mating net.
Sep-12-19  Sally Simpson: ***

This game is given in 'Game Changer' by Sadler and Regen to show the similarity between this and Alpha Zero saccing a pawn (moves 13-16) for an open file v a castled King.

Not for a short term sac-sac attack but to have latent pressure.

A human doing this expects/hopes he can eek out an error from the defender and crash through.

click for larger view

It looks like here Schwarz saw a ghost with Bh6 then Bxf8 and Rxh7 so played 22...h5 and as Sadler notes this is a blunder inviting White in. 23.Rxh5 gxh5 24.Bf6 is good.

Sadler also adds that here instead of 25...Nf4+ allowing the Queen sac.

click for larger view

25...Be7 26.Bf4 Bd6 26.Bf6 Be7 would have been a probable perpetual though I suspect J.H.B. would have played for more trickery with 27.Bxe6.

A.Z. has not discovered a new tactic. Humans have been setting up unclear attacks down a open file v a castled King since day one but A.Z. has practically turned it into a positional ploy.

Mathew links to this game Stockfish vs AlphaZero, 2018 'The Not SO Quiet Attack'. Blacks sac his pawn structure and two Queenside pawns to get at the White King.


Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: This is Game 61 on pages 108-110 in "The Art of the Checkmate" by Georges Renaud and Victor Kahn (Dover edition, 1962).

When the bishop on the long diagonal supports the rook giving check on the outer file, it's known as Mayet's Mate. Here's an example:

As was previously stated, Blackburne's Mate is somewhat similar with three minor pieces (often preceded with a queen sacrifice).

Also, I would argue that when the bishop-supports-rook in the middle of the back rank, and the mated king's own pawn prevents his escape off the back rank, then it's likely an Opera Mate, or Reti Mate. See examples:

Here is a clear, fairly comprehensive list of diagrammed checkmates: (Just one name change suggestion from the bland "10.Corner mate" should be "Mongredien's Knight Mate", IMHO.)

May-15-21  cehertan: A coffeehouse game, if white doesn’t mate he loses. I don’t computer check before I post but 19...f5 looks like an interesting idea. If there’s no tactical refutation it should win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: The game notes by Stockfish indicate a handful of inaccuracies by both sides. Black had a tiny edge throughout much of this middlegame, but was never in a position to win the game.

Joseph Henry Blackburne was tremendous at opening files for kingside attacks. Here JHB executes the gambit of the c-pawn with the positional planning of the raking bishops and rook battery at the opposing castle, and then the decisive combination.

Blackburne conquered (+13 -1 =2) a strong field of 17 other masters, winning the tournament. Berlin was a chess hotbed in the 19th century: Some may wish to have this historical book:

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