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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Joseph Henry Blackburne
Steinitz - Blackburne m (1862), London ENG, rd 3, Dec-??
Sicilian Defense: French Variation (B40)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <The first issue of the German chess history magazine Caissa (2016/1) included an article by distinguished grandmaster Robert Hübner about the first match between Blackburne and Steinitz, including a claim to have found a missing game in a long-lost manuscript.

Unfortunately Hübner had not seen my book when he wrote his article and has not stated where this MS exists. Until Hübner (or the manuscript's owner) makes the source available for verification by third persons we are somewhat sceptical about admitting it to the Blackburne canon. However, we have included the game score, with our reservations, in the final chapter of Tim's latest book Chess Literature to 1914: A Handbook for Historians.>

Mar-01-19  zanzibar: <Missy> as a courtesy to your adoring reader public you might consider helping orient them with some helpful introductory setup.


<Unfortunately Hübner had not seen <my book> when he wrote his article and has not stated where this MS exists.<<>>>

Who's book is referenced as <"my book">? (Emphasis added in both)

Maybe <Missy>'s? Or are we assumed to recognize <chessmail> is Tim Hardings site?

OK, I know some of you esteemed wizened old researchers like to put everything at the bottom of the quote, and let us fend for ourselves, but still...


Mar-01-19  zanzibar: This is the nut of Harding's comment.

<Until Hübner (or the manuscript's owner) makes the source available for verification by third persons we are somewhat sceptical about admitting it to the Blackburne canon.>

Now, I like Harding's work, and his presentation (he generally puts useful lead-in info before extensive quotes, etc.).

This is an important point, and one I share with. <Missy> often nicks me for being cheap, but I do like utilizing open-sourced documents for my research. Not only as it does fit within the restrictions of my expense account, but also because it allows others to freely utilize primary documents, for their own purposes, as well as to check my own work.

Two other problematic works have entered the canon - but their lack of availably give me pause.

One is Gaige's 1994 (privately published) revised edition.

The other is Townsend's 2011 <Notes on the Life of Howard Staunton>, which Harding has no problems citing:

Of course, unlike Hubner, we know the actual source. But, Townsend's work was a pressing of only 100 copies: (not listed) (it once was though)

And if a source is no longer available, then even having the citation isn't so useful as it should be.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Not only as it does fit within the restrictions of my expense account...>

What's this supposed to mean!? Deep pockets but short arms? #americantightwad

Mar-01-19  zanzibar: <Missy> you have a beautiful soul, somewhere...
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Tim Harding, <British Chess Literature to 1914>, McFarland, 2018, p.282:

<In this author's biography of Blackburne, published during 2015, we explained that several games of his first match with Steinitz (played from December 1862 to January 1863) could not be included because they were never published. The first issue of the historical magazine Caissa, published in Germany in 2016, had as its "headline act" an article by Robert Hübner about the first match between Blackburne and Steinitz.

It was certainly interesting to have the eminent grandmaster's annotations to the known games but his article sprang one big surprise. Hübner had seen a manuscript notebook which included the score of the only game in that match which Blackburne had won. Hübner hinted that this manuscript had changed hands in a large sale in the 1920s. It is plausible that the game score was recorded by J. W. Rimington Wilson, or perhaps by Löwenthal, whose manuscripts were acuired by Wilson in 1876. The present author sought, in vain, more information from the Caissa editor, pointing out that it is normal in academia for anyone citing an unpublished manuscript to say in whose possession it is, and to provide provenance to show its authenticity.

This manuscript may be one from the late Lothar Schmid's collection which has not in 2017 come on the market. There are concerns that the same manuscript book, or others like it from the same collection, may contain further unpublished games by Steinitz or other notable players. Whoever has this manuscript, or who eventually acquires it, is urged to make the contents available to chess historians. The game score in question is printed below, though of course without Hübner's notes. It would have been number 62 in the Blackburne biography; internal evidence strongly suggests that the score is probably authentic. One guessed that editors did not consider it worth publishing because Steinitz made a bad blunder; this turns out to be confirmed.>

Mar-02-19  zanzibar: <<Missy> Deep pockets but short arms? #americantightwad>

Should we do a little research of your financial solicitations here on <CG>?

Seems to be a clear case of the kettle calling the pot black.

But thanks for that last post from Harding all the same.


Premium Chessgames Member
  enog: When I first saw this I thought 30 Bb4+ looks good Engine said +7.17
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