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Harry Nelson Pillsbury vs Joseph Henry Blackburne
5th Anglo-American Cable Match (1900), London ENG / New York USA, rd 1, Mar-23
Philidor Defense: General (C41)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: If 25...Ng4, then 26. Bf4. If instead 26. Nf4, then 26...Rf2 27. h3 Nxh6 28. Kxf2 Bxf4 29. Rd1 Nf5 30. Rd7 Nd6 31. g3 (31. Re7 Kf8 32. g3 Kd8) Bh6 32. Rd7 Bf8 33. b3 h6 34. c4 b5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: 5th cable match.

Incredibly, Blackburne plays the discredited 3...Bg4 line of the Philidor and is soon down a pawn. Pillsbury's poor cable play continues, however, and he gives away the advantage with 17.Be3? Blackburne pounces with 17...Nxe4! and draws.

Apr-14-13  disasterion: <Calli> Not so incredible, as the variation 4 ... Nd7 5.exd6 Bxd6 is known as the Alapin-Blackburne Gambit.

For example:

W Cohn vs Blackburne, 1899

Bird vs Blackburne, 1899

W Pollock vs Blackburne, 1895

Pillsbury's annotations to the last of these games include the comment (after 4 ... Nd7) "The sacrifice of a Pawn so early in the game, merely to secure a slightly quicker development, should not be sound."

Whether Pillsbury's attitude to the opening had any influence on Blackburne's decision to play 4 ... Qe7 instead is unclear.

Jan-20-15  zanzibar: <The Saint Paul globe., March 24, 1900, Page 5, Image 5>


During the early hours of the contest little was done to give the crowd an opportunity to get rid of any surplus enthusiasm. Such an opportunity appeared, however, when Pillsbury gained a pawn from his fous antagonist. The more sanguine onlookers promptly concluded that the game was all but won, but later on it turned out that the dangerous Englishman had plenty of resources left.

Pillsbury's success in the opening of his game was offset by a misfortune that befell Hampton on board 8. The latter mismanaged the defense of a king's gambit offered by the energetic Jacobs and lost a clear pawn at about the same time that Pillsbury placed one to his credit. The Londoner kept up a steady pressure from then on and succeeded in winning the game. A short time afterward a second game was finished, when Newman and Ward declared a truce. Eight games were left to be resumed tomorrow.

On these, according to expert opinion the Americans have a decided advantage.>

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