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Joseph Henry Blackburne vs William Crane
Blindfold simul, 8b (1885) (blindfold), Sydney AUS, Feb-26
Scotch Game: Meitner Variation (C45)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-27-16  optimal play: 8...a6? A mistake in the opening.

9.Bxb6! Even blindfolded and playing seven other boards, Blackburne doesn't miss that.


12.Be2 is not a bad move, but more threatening might be Qd2 followed by O-O-O


16.O-O Why waste time castling? Just go in for the kill with 16.Ng4!

20.Nc7! In the last few moves, Blackburne had let Crane off the hook to some extent.

Not all that surprising since he was playing eight games simultaneously blindfold!

21.g4?! Not sure is better than the obvious 21.Nxa8

Maybe Blackburne was just toying with him?

Blackburne should have finished this game off quickly, but instead allows Crane an opportunity to salvage a draw with 34...Rxd7 35.Qd2 (obviously not 35.Rxd7?? Qg2#) Qg4+ can force a draw.

Fortunately for the Exhibition, Crane played 34...Kd8 and the audience got what they wanted, another amazing win by Blackburne!

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Blackburne should have finished this game off quickly, but instead allows Crane an opportunity to salvage a draw with 34...Rxd7 35.Qd2 (obviously not 35.Rxd7?? Qg2#) Qg4+ can force a draw.>

This game appears in the <ISDN> of May 30th 1885, p.284, but the score differs with <33.exd7+ Kd8 34.Qd4 h3> instead of <33.Qd4 h3 34.exd7+ Kd8>. That avoids your perpetual, but allows another after <33...Rxd7 34.Rxd7 Qe3+>.

Oct-17-21  optimal play: I don't know what the <ISDN> is, but it does correspond with the Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW), Saturday 4 April 1885, page 31 which lists the ending as follows:-

33. P takes P (ch) ; K to Q sq 34. Q to Q 4 ; P to R 6 35. Q to B 2 ; Q to Kt 5 (ch) 36. K to R sq ; R to B sq 37. R to K Kt sq ; Q to R 4 ; 38. R to K sq ; Q to B 2 39. Q to K 3 ; R takes P 40. Q takes P (ch) ; K to B sq 41. Q takes R P (ch) ; K to Kt sq 42. P to Kt 6 ; R to K 2 43. R to Kt 6 (ch) ; Resigns.

33.exd7+ Kd8 34.Qd4 h3 35.Qf2 Qg4 36.Kh1 Rf8 37.Rg1 Qh5 38.Re1 Qf7 39.Qe3 Rxd7 40.Qxb6+ Kc8 41.Qxa6+ Kb8 42.g6 Re7 43.Rb6+ 1-0

So it seems the 33rd & 34th moves are reversed, although I don't know what the source for the input score is, so we don't really know which is correct.

33.Qd4! is much better, but Blackburne still errs with 34.exd7 anyway.

The end result is the same.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <I don't know what the <ISDN> is>

What a <DUD> (Down Under Dilettante) - it's the <Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News>, of course. See Alphonse Delannoy (kibitz #16).



On February 28th, MacDonnell had published, <[by] the favour of Mr. Blackburne>, the two earlier blindfold games: Blackburne vs Lush, 1885 and Blackburne vs J G Witton, 1885, suggesting they were in regular contact, making him the probable source for this game, too. Although, MacDonnell on that occasion, reproduced some of a report from the Melbourne <Argus>, so Blackburne may have sent clippings rather than transcribing the scores.

Oct-17-21  optimal play: <<NSW> Que?>

What a <GUP> (Geographically Untutored Pom) - it's <New South Wales>, of course.

Anyway, whoever submitted this game may simply have got the 33rd & 34th moves mixed up, so based on both the Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News and the Australian Town and Country Journal, it is most likely that <33.exd7+ Kd8 34.Qd4 h3> is correct.

If you are in agreeance then I will suggest a correction slip be submitted.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Having once been to old South Wales, you're welcome to it!

<If you are in agreeance then I will suggest a correction slip be submitted.>

Leave it with me.

Oct-17-21  optimal play: old South Wales?

Do you mean Old North Wales, as distinct from New South Wales named by Captain Cook?

I doubt they have much in common.

<Leave it with me> Thanks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I mean South Wales. Abergavenny and the Rhymney Valley.
Oct-17-21  optimal play: Oh, okay, the southern part of Old North Wales.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Stop not-picking each other you two.

By the way:

"...from New South Wales named by Captain Cook?"

He was actually 'Lieutenant Cook' when he named it New South Wales in his journal.

He sailed the world attaching his name to pieces of land, rivers, mountains, lakes, glaciers...(there is even a Cook Crater on the moon.)

it is from him we get the computer term 'Cookies'

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