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Johannes Zukertort vs Joseph Henry Blackburne
Blackburne - Zukertort (1881), London ENG, rd 3, Jul-01
Sicilian Defense: Closed Variation (B23)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-02-13  optimal play: This was the third game of the Blackburne-Zukertort 1881 London Match and the first win in the contest.

After three games the match score stood at:-

½ ½ 1 [+1 =2 -0] (2/3) Zukertort
½ ½ 0 [+0 =2 -1] (1/3) Blackburne

The victor to be the first player to seven wins.

Feb-02-13  optimal play: <<THE Third game played at the St. George’s on Friday, July 1st...

Black seemed to have a fair game up to the 15th move, when Blackburne chose an unfavourable plan of developing his K R in order to bring his K B to the Q side, in lieu of Kt to B 2, which, in our opinion, gave him a fair game.

Zukertort doubled his rooks in a clever manner, and designedly lost a move in accomplishing his object. The result of his arrangement was that, after the exchange of queens, which was soon offered by Blackburne, the latter’s pieces became hampered, and were divided on the two wings, with little chance of co-operation.

We believe that on the 21st move, by playing K Kt to K 2, White would have been enabled to confine the adverse pieces still move, which avoided the necessity of exchanging, and enabled him to pursue the plan of throwing Black’s pieces back to his own lines, and preventing the adverse K from crossing towards the weakest point in his game, viz., the Q centre, with much required the protection of the K.

On the 33rd move Zukertort did not choose the right R for the attack, and this might have made a considerable difference if Blackburne had not adopted a clumsy defence, which only left him the remote prospect of trying fortunes by the sacrifice of a piece. This contingency ultimately arose ; and, owing to want of precision on White’s part, Blackburne seemed to have obtained great relief, and a fair chance of drawing. But on the 51st move Zukertort pounced upon him with a series of checks, beginning with an ingenious one, which enabled White to keep a well-protected passed P in combination with the piece ahead, while Black’s passed pawns on the K side, which Blackburne had gained in the meanwhile could be stopped in their progress and fell one by one.

Blackburne resigned after about seven hours’ play.>

The Field, London, 1881.07.09>

The game was adjourned after 4hrs at 6.00pm with White to play the 33rd move. Zukertort had consumed 1hr 45min and Blackburne 2hr 16min

It was concluded later that evening.

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