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Joseph Henry Blackburne vs NN
Simul (1894), Hastings ENG, Jan-12
French Defense: Classical Variation. Richter Attack (C13)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 60 times; par: 27 [what's this?]

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

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-11-04  Egghead: Beautifully fluid attacking technique. I think Black's only real mistake was in opening lines against his own underdefended kingside with 9. ... f6. A simple misjudgment; it's amazing how powerfully Blackburne punishes it.
Apr-06-04  notsodeepthought: Great attacking flair by Blackburne, but does 13 ... Kf7 allow black to squirm out of trouble (and into a won endgame)?
Sep-25-04  Knight13: I can see that 9... f6?? is a blunder. 13. Rh8!! I would have resigned as black on move 13. Beautiful Game.
Sep-26-04  gogulko: 13. ... Kf7 14. Qh5+ g6 15. Rh7+ Ke8 (Kg8 16. Qxg6) 16. Qxg6+ Kd7 White has three pawns for the piece, Black remains undeveloped. Perhaps simply Ne2 protecting the d-pawn and pushing the pawns will win. (Protecting the d-pawn also allows White to later gang up on Black's e-6 pawn.)
Feb-20-05  schnarre: Love that Knight sac on g5!
Jul-18-05  hippatxu: <gogulko: 13. ... Kf7 14. Qh5+ g6 15. Rh7+ Ke8 (Kg8 16. Qxg6) 16. Qxg6+ Kd7 White has three pawns for the piece, Black remains undeveloped.> sorry, but is 3 pawns for the 2 pieces.
Jul-18-05  FinKing: I think 9...f6 was a mistake.
Nov-09-05  krippp: The most awesome thing about this game is that white's sacrifices seem perfectly sound. I played this game in Chessmaster 10 from move 13, preventing the instantly fatal error of <13. Kxh8> and then following chessmaster's suggestions. Of course, at first, chessmaster gives the score as something between -2.5 to -3.5, meaning that black basically has a won game. But after continuing the game for a while, it turns out that white is the one with the won game, thanks to black's very restricted mobility and the numerous passed pawns white is able to forcefully gain. It will probably be a long time before computers can play games like this.
Nov-10-05  lentil: <krippp> please reveal chessmaster's recommendations!
Jan-12-06  schnarre: <krippp> A won game for Black? How?
Jan-13-06  notsodeepthought: <kripp: It will probably be a long time before computers can play games like this.> Not too clear what you mean by "games like this". But if you are referring to games in which a sacrifice similar to this game's is made without immediate compensation, against the strongest opposition possible, then - no, it won't be a long time, in fact, it's already happened... Kasparov vs Deep Junior, 2003
Jan-20-06  schnarre: <notsodeepthought> I'm not surprised!
Jan-31-06  krippp: <notsodeepthought> Sure, that was a nice speculative sacrifice by Junior. But, it is obvious that Junior will get at least a draw by perpetual checking after the sac, whereas Blackburne's sacrifices lead into a position where White is down in material, and no longer has any direct pressure against the Black king. There's no easy escape by tactics, no obvious/quick/tactical way of regaining the lost material, but still the position is a won one thanks to it's strategical aspects.

<lentil and schnarre> I played the game again from move 13, this time with the positionally superior Fritz 9 (1 min/move). At first, Fritz gave the score as around -2.25, but the score slowly started favoring White more and more. But, the result was only a draw this time, although it was Black who had to force it (otherwise the score would have been over 4.5). I did change the queen-exchanging move 20. Qh6 to 20. Nf6+ because I thought Qh6 was a strategical error. It's possible I could have corrected some other strategical errors so that the draw could have been avoided, but I'm not motivated enough to check for them, as I consider my point about the correctness/safety of Blackburne's sacrifices verified enough (for now).

<[Event ""]
[Site ""]
[Date ""]
[Round "?"]
[White ""]
[Black ""]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C13"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate ""]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Bxf6 Bxf6 6. Nf3 O-O 7. Bd3 Nc6 8. e5 Be7 9. h4 f6 10. Ng5 fxg5 11. Bxh7+ Kxh7 12. hxg5+ Kg8 13. Rh8+ Kf7 14. Qh5+ g6 15. Qh7+ Ke8 16. Rxf8+ Kxf8 17. f4 Ke8 18. Qxg6+ Kd7 19. Nxd5 Qh8 20. Nf6+ Bxf6 21. gxf6 Qh4+ 22. g3 Qh1+ 23. Kd2 Qg2+ 24. Kc3 Qf3+ 25. Qd3 Qxd3+ 26. Kxd3 b6 27. Rh1 Ba6+ 28. Kc3 Rd8 29. g4 Kc8 30. g5 Nxd4 31. g6 Ne2+ 32. Kb3 Nd4+ 33. Kc3 Ne2+ 34. Kb3 Nd4+ 35. Kc3 1/2-1/2>

Jan-31-06  korger: <krippp: The most awesome thing about this game is that white's sacrifices seem perfectly sound.>

I don't know... How about 13... ♔f7? It seems to me that after this move Black could have found shelter for his King: 13... ♔f7 14. ♕h5 ♙g6 15. ♕h7 ♔e8 16. ♕xg6 ♔d7 and White's attack has lost its momentum, which coupled by his material loss, would soon lead to his defeat. Can someone with a strong chess program check this out?

In any case, this game is impressive, but it contained some gambling on Blackburne's side. I wonder if it was another blind simul?

Jan-31-06  whatthefat: <kripp>
I find that result very surprising to be honest. I've looked at the game without a computer and there some ideas that I think could help black's defence.

Why 16...Kxf8? Isn't 16...Bxf8 a lot more sensible? After 17.Qxg6+ Kd7 isn't black just winning? Black can play ...Ne7 or even ...Nxd4. He also has the option of playing ...Qd7, followed by ...Kd8, and the other bishop enters play via d7-e8. For example: 18.0-0-0 Qd7 19. Rh1 Kd8 20. Rh7 Qe8 seems to leave black fine. I'll accept if a computer pokes a hole in my line though!

Black is so far up in material that he can afford to give a little back to defend. There's no reason to play like a computer and try to hold it all.

Feb-01-06  krippp: <korger> I hope you started writing that post before I had posted my second post here.. :p

<whatthefat> <16. ... Bxf8> puts one more obstacle on the way of Black's Queen and Rook, who would probably like to move more freely on the 8th rank. Also, after the Black King has been driven to d7, White will play <18. Nxd5> (take the Knight and it's a draw by perpetual checking), if Black replies with <18. ... Ne7>, White has <Nf6+>, and Black's Queen will be unable to move at all, and there's no fast ways of developing his pieces. If black replies with <18. ... Nxd4>, white'll play <Nf6+> followed by <Qe4+> and <O-O-O>, which will leave White with the won game, as he'll get the Black Knight for free. And lastly, because of the very cramped position of Black, I think the idea of developing pieces through d7 is pretty much impossible to succeed.

Here is the game Fritz9 played after <16. ... Bxf8>. Like you can see, it also ended in a draw, only one move earlier.

<[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White ""]
[Black ""]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C13"]
[PlyCount "68"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Bxf6 Bxf6 6. Nf3 O-O 7. Bd3 Nc6 8. e5 Be7 9. h4 f6 10. Ng5 fxg5 11. Bxh7+ Kxh7 12. hxg5+ Kg8 13. Rh8+ Kf7 14. Qh5+ g6 15. Qh7+ Ke8 16. Rxf8+ Bxf8 17. Qxg6+ Kd7 18. Nxd5 Ne7 19. Nf6+ Kc6 20. Qd3 a5 21. O-O-O a4 22. Rh1 Kb6 23. a3 Nf5 24. c3 Bd7 25. Rh8 Bb5 26. Qe4 Bc6 27. Qd3 Qe7 28. g4 Ng7 29. Qg6 Ne8 30. Nh5 Bd5 31. Rh7 Qd8 32. Rh8 Qe7 33. Rh7 Qd8 34. Rh8 Qe7 1/2-1/2>

Feb-01-06  whatthefat: Hi <kripp>, thanks for the reply on that. I checked out the game with Fritz 8 last night, and I must say that the sac is "surprisingly sound"!

Certainly sufficient to beat NN, but I still believe that black has adequate resources to win. Following your game, I preferred 20...Nd5 and Fritz tends to be evaluating at about -1.0 down these lines. The fact that the games keep producing draws implies that things are very marginal at the moment, and it looks to me like black is the one with all the possibilities for improvement.

Nonetheless, Blackburne himself played the line "twice in a week", and it's not as though he could have missed 13...Kf7. So evidently he counted on at least a playable game.

Feb-13-06  schnarre: Certainly playable.
Jul-20-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: Hey I got 38 on "Guess the Move" game where Par score was 27.

AWHOOGA

Apr-24-08  handle: Clever variation on Greco's position. The Knight sac was necessary.
Feb-11-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Looking at this game with Fritz 12, it would appear Blackburne's 11. Bxh7+!? sacrifice is unsound.

Black turns the tables and is winning after 7...Nc6 8. e5 Be7 9. h4 f6 10. Ng5 fxg5 11. Bxh7+!? Kxh7 12. hxg5+ Kg8 13. Rh8+ Kf7! (not 13...Kxh8?? leading to mate-in-four as in the game continuation).


click for larger view

Here (i.e. after 13...Kf7! ), Fritz 12 indicates strong play might continue 14. Qh5+ g6 15. Qh7+ Ke8 16. Rxf8+ Kxf8 17. O-O-O Bxg5+ 18. f4 Bf6 (not 18... Be7? 19. Nxd5 exd5 20. Qh8+ Kf7 21. Qh7+ Ke8 22. Qxg6+ Kd7 23. Qf5+ Ke8 24. Qg6+ Kf8 25. Qh6+ Ke8 26. Qg6+ =) 19. exf6 Qxf6 20. Nb5 Qg7 21. Rh1 a6 22. Nxc7 Qxh7 23. Rxh7 Rb8 .

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