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Joseph Henry Blackburne
British Chess Magazine Vol 42 (1922)  
Number of games in database: 1,303
Years covered: 1861 to 1918

Overall record: +513 -283 =259 (60.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 248 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 French Defense (90) 
    C01 C11 C00 C13 C14
 Scotch Game (76) 
 Evans Gambit (61) 
    C51 C52
 Ruy Lopez (60) 
    C77 C65 C60 C67 C70
 Vienna Opening (60) 
    C25 C29 C28 C26 C27
 King's Gambit Accepted (57) 
    C39 C33 C38 C34 C36
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (92) 
    C01 C11 C00 C14 C02
 Ruy Lopez (60) 
    C61 C62 C66 C63 C60
 French (41) 
    C11 C00 C10 C13
 Sicilian (36) 
    B45 B40 B21 B73 B44
 Queen's Pawn Game (33) 
    D02 D00 D05 A46 A45
 Scandinavian (25) 
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   NN vs Blackburne, 1884 0-1
   Blackburne vs NN, 1863 1-0
   Blackburne vs J Schwarz, 1881 1-0
   A Steinkuehler vs Blackburne, 1863 0-1
   NN vs Blackburne, 1871 0-1
   Blackburne vs Blanchard, 1891 1-0
   Blackburne vs Leverson, 1885 1-0
   Blackburne vs A Muller, 1894 1-0
   Blackburne vs Steinitz, 1883 1-0
   M Weiss vs Blackburne, 1889 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Berlin (1881)
   Vienna (1873)
   Nuremberg (1883)
   Hamburg (1885)
   Manchester (1890)
   Frankfurt (1887)
   Paris (1878)
   London (1883)
   6th American Chess Congress (1889)
   9th DSB Kongress, Leipzig (1894)
   Vienna (1882)
   London (1899)
   Breslau (1889)
   Ostend-B (1907)
   Hastings (1895)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Anderssen - Blackburne - Charousek - Fredthebear by fredthebear
   Anderssen, Blackburne, Charousek by monet11
   Challenger Blackburne by Gottschalk
   y1870s - 1890s Classic Chess Principles Arise by fredthebear
   Annotations e4 Various Authorities & Fredthebear by fredthebear
   tactics 2 of Blackburne by fredthebear
   tactics 2 by tactics
   Annotations e4 Various Authorities & Fredthebear by Patca63
   Annotations e4 Various Authorities & Fredthebear by mneuwirth
   Blindfold Blackburne by irrawang
   Blindfold Blackburne by ughaibu
   New York 1889 by suenteus po 147
   London 1883 by JoseTigranTalFischer
   London 1883 by suenteus po 147

   NN vs Blackburne, 1884
   Blackburne vs NN, 1863
   NN vs Blackburne, 1871
   A Steinkuehler vs Blackburne, 1863
   Blackburne vs Leverson, 1885

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Joseph Henry Blackburne
Search Google for Joseph Henry Blackburne

(born Dec-10-1841, died Sep-01-1924, 82 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]

Joseph Henry Blackburne was born in Chorlton, Manchester. He came to be known as "The Black Death". He enjoyed a great deal of success giving blindfold and simultaneous exhibitions. Tournament highlights include first place with Wilhelm Steinitz at Vienna 1873, first at London 1876, and first at Berlin 1881 ahead of Johannes Zukertort. In matchplay he lost twice to Steinitz and once to Emanuel Lasker. He fared a little better with Zukertort (Blackburne - Zukertort (1881)) and Isidor Gunsberg, by splitting a pair of matches, and defeating Francis Joseph Lee, ( Blackburne - Lee (1890) ). One of the last successes of his career was at the age of 72, when he tied for first place with Fred Dewhirst Yates at the 1914 British Championship.

In his later years, a subscription by British chess players provided an annuity of £100 (approx £4,000 in 2015 value), and a gift of £250 on his 80th birthday.

In 1923 he suffered a stroke, and the next year he died of a heart attack.

Note: Blackburne played on the teams of Steinitz / Bird / Blackburne, Blackburne / Bird / MacDonnell, Bird / Blackburne, Blackburne / Aloof, Steinitz / Blackburne, Blackburne / Steinitz / De Vere, Blackburne / Potter, Blackburne / Horace Chapman & Joseph Henry Blackburne / Allies.

Wikipedia article: Joseph Henry Blackburne

1 Source: Grantham Journal - Saturday 17 December 1921, p.3.

Last updated: 2020-07-11 05:57:56

 page 1 of 53; games 1-25 of 1,303  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Blackburne vs E Pindar  1-0241861Casual gameC39 King's Gambit Accepted
2. Blackburne vs E Pindar  0-1411861Blackburne - Pindar m(3)C01 French, Exchange
3. Blackburne vs E Pindar  0-1211861Casual gameC36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
4. A Steinkuehler vs Blackburne 0-1241861Casual gameC44 King's Pawn Game
5. Blackburne vs E Pindar  1-0341861Blackburne - Pindar m(2)C01 French, Exchange
6. E Pindar vs Blackburne  1-0391861Blackburne - Pindar m(1)A02 Bird's Opening
7. Blackburne vs E Pindar  0-1291861Blackburne - Pindar m(1)B07 Pirc
8. E Pindar vs Blackburne  1-0201861Blackburne - Pindar m(1)C01 French, Exchange
9. Blackburne vs E Pindar  0-1331861Blackburne - Pindar m(1)C36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
10. E Pindar vs Blackburne  1-0261861Blackburne - Pindar m(1)A10 English
11. E Pindar vs Blackburne  0-1491861Blackburne - Pindar m(2)A20 English
12. Blackburne vs E Pindar  ½-½481861Blackburne - Pindar m(2)C01 French, Exchange
13. E Pindar vs Blackburne  0-1401861Blackburne - Pindar m(2)A03 Bird's Opening
14. Blackburne vs C Stanley ½-½271861Offhand GameC33 King's Gambit Accepted
15. Paulsen vs Blackburne 1-0511861Casual gameC15 French, Winawer
16. Blackburne vs Paulsen ½-½291861Casual gameC60 Ruy Lopez
17. Paulsen vs Blackburne 1-0331861Blindfold simul, 10bC00 French Defense
18. Blackburne vs Jebson 1-0191861Blindfold simul, 3bB40 Sicilian
19. C Stanley vs Blackburne  0-1321862Offhand gameC44 King's Pawn Game
20. Blackburne vs E Pindar  ½-½421862Blackburne - Pindar m(3)C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
21. Blackburne vs A Steinkuehler 1-0211862Manchester CC chC51 Evans Gambit
22. Blackburne vs W Hamilton 1-0161862Blindfold simul, 4bC38 King's Gambit Accepted
23. Blackburne vs W Hamilton  0-1341862Blindfold simul, 7bC38 King's Gambit Accepted
24. Blackburne vs J B Payne 1-0301862Blindfold simul, 10bC45 Scotch Game
25. Blackburne vs G Tegeler 1-0321862Blindfold simul, 10bC66 Ruy Lopez
 page 1 of 53; games 1-25 of 1,303  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Blackburne wins | Blackburne loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Not only was Blackburne a chess professional (one whose main source of income was chess) for several decades - he was that rare bird who didn't rely on journalism or publishing for a substantial part of their income. Was he the only British player before the 1970s of whom that could be said? For this purpose, I exclude foreigh masters like Steinitz, Zukertort or Lasker who spent extended periods living in Britain.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...

<Displacement Chess>

Steinitz in 'The Field':

'The interesting game published below was played at the West End Chess Club between Messrs. Blackburne and Potter a fortnight ago, for a small prize offered by Mr. Ballard.

Both parties agreed to a displacement of the pieces,in order to waive all advantages from the knowledge of the openings, and it was therefore arranged that on both sides the Bishops should be placed on the Knights' squares, and the Knights on the squares of the Bishops.

We have adopted the usual notation, as if the pieces had been placed in the ordinary way.'


[Event "Displacement Chess"]
[Site "London, West End CC"]
[Date "1875.10.??"]
[White "Blackburne, Joseph Henry"]
[Black "Potter, William Norwood"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "

click for larger view


1. Ng3 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf5 Ne6 4. b3 c3 5. d4 g6 6. d5 gxf5 7. dxe6 Qxd1+ 8. Kxd1 fxe6 9. Nd3 c6 10. f4 Bf7 11. Bd4 Rg8 12. g3 Nd6 13. Bxc3 Bc7 14. Ne5 Bh5 15. Bd3 O-O-O 16. Kc2 Ne4 17. Bc4 Rd6 18. Rhd1 Rgd8 19. Bb4 c5 20. Be1 Nf6 21. Bf2 Bb6 22. Rxd6 Rxd6 23. Rd1 Nd5 24. a3 a6 25. Kb2 Nc7 26. Rc1 Rd2+ 27. Kc3 Rd6 28. Kb2 Rd2+ 29. Kc3 1/2-1/2


Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: Steinitz's comments:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...

This unknown Blackburne game was published by Bob Jones in 'Chess 2018 No. 06':

[Event "Simultaneous display (circa 1910)"]
[Site "Truro"]
[Date "1910.??.??"]
[White "Blackburne, Joseph Henry"]
[Black "Smith, William C"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C30"]
[Source "Chess 2018 #06"]

1. e4 e5 2. f4 f5 3. exf5 exf4 4. Qh5+ Ke7 5. Nf3 d6 6. Nc3 Nf6 7. Qg5 c6 8. d4 Ke8 9. Bxf4 Nbd7 10. O-O-O Ng8 11. Re1+ Ne7 12. Qh5+ g6 13. fxg6 Bg7 14. gxh7+ Kf8 15. Ng5 Ne5 16. Bxe5 Qe8 17. Qf3+ Bf5 18. Bxd6 Qg6 19. Bxe7+ Ke8 20. Bf6+ Kd7 21. Re7+ Kc8 22. Qf4 1-0

The story about the score-sheet can be found in the PDF example on page 5-6:


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Why are you posting it here? How many more times have I got to tell you people!?
Aug-30-19  Chesgambit: blackburne find exchange sacrfice idea ( in opening) still computer can't solved
Italian game two knight defense , knight attack blackburne varition strong chess player ( but made some blunders :D It's normal)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: <Jean Defuse> maybe the earliest example of a FRC game.
Dec-10-19  Nosnibor: There is no mention in Tim Harding`s biography of a simul given by Blackburne on October 12th 1910 in Leicester where he played 21 players.He lost one game to Dr. H.Mason, the first Leicestershire champion,drew 10 and won 10.Blackburne`s fee was two guineas (2.20) which was confirmed in his letter dated September16th 1910 from his address at39 Stillness Road,Forest Hill,S.E.He was a very busy person because shortly before this he had played some games with Gunsberg and on the 13th October he was playing a simul in Coventry.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Blackburne`s fee was two guineas (2.20)>

2.10, methinks.

Such snippets from the archives are always welcome, but are there any unpublished games scores of, say, Henry Atkins?

Dec-10-19  Nosnibor: <MissScarlett> I have managed to trace an unpublished game from 1911.This was a simul Atkins played against Victor Lovell whilst contesting 21 other boards. The game was drawn following a Vienna Opening in 35 moves. I will submit the game if it is of interest.
Dec-10-19  Nosnibor: <MissScarlett> Since my last post I have discovered another game between the same opponents which was played on the 19th November 1908 whereby Atkins gave the odds of a Rook and won in 46 moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <I will submit the game if it is of interest.> Do it!
Dec-11-19  Nosnibor: <MissScarlett> Below is the game first mentioned which mistakenly I had said was a draw but in fact Atkins won it in 38 moves. ["Event: Simultaneous Display"]
["Site: Leicestershire Chess Club"]
["Date: 29/04/1911"]
["Result 1-0"]
["ECO C26"]
Dec-11-19  Nosnibor: <MissScarlett> Further to the Atkins-Lovell game 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d3 d6 5.f4 Nc6 6.f5 Na5 7.Bg5 Nxc4 8.dxc4 c6 9.Qd2 Bb6 10.Nge2 Qe7 11.0-0-0 Bc7 12.Ng3 g6 13.Rdf1 Rf8 14.Rf2 Bd8 15.Rd1 Qc7 16.c5 dxc5 17.Qxd8+ Qxd8 18.Rxd8+ Kxd8 19.Bxf6 Ke8 20.Bxe5 f6 21.Bd6 Rf1 22.Bxc5 b6 23.Bd6 Bb7 24.e5 fxe5 25.f6 Rd8 26.Bxe5 c5 27.h4 Rfd7 28.h5 Bd5 29.b3 Kf8 30.hxg6 hxg6 31.Nxd5 Rxd5 32.Bc3 b5 33.a3 Rd1+ 34.Kb2 Rg1 35.b4 c4 36.Ne4 Re8 37.Ng5 Rd1 38.f7 Resigns 1-0 [Source: Lovells personal chess records.]
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Have you submitted it?
Dec-28-19  Carrots and Pizza: Blackburne was such a great chess player. What a tactician! He was capable of beating anyone on a given day, had a wealth of experience and a strong will to win. I wonder why he was never world champion, even if just for a little while.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...

Two wins by the "Black Death" against George Alcock MacDonnell from my database - without date and occasion:


[White "MacDonnell, George Alcock"]
[Black "Blackburne, Joseph Henry"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A16"]

1. c4 d5 2. cxd5 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nxd5 4. e4 Nxc3 5. bxc3 e5 6. Bc4 Bd6 7. Ne2 O-O 8. O-O Nc6 9. d4 Qe7 10. f3 Kh8 11. Kh1 f5 12. Bd3 exd4 13. cxd4 Nxd4 14. Nxd4 Qe5 15. Bf4 Qxf4 16. g3 Qh6 17. f4 fxe4 18. Bxe4 Bh3 19. Bxb7 Rab8 20. Bg2 Bxg2+ 21. Kxg2 Rb2+ 22. Nc2 Qg6 23. Rf2 Qe4+ 24. Qf3 Qxf3+ 25. Kxf3 g5 26. Re2 gxf4 27. g4 Kg7 28. Nd4 Rxe2 29. Nxe2 Re8 30. Nd4 Re3+ 31. Kf2 Ra3 32. Nf5+ Kf6 33. Nxd6 cxd6 34. h4 d5 35. Rd1 Ke5 36. Re1+ Kd6 37. Re2 Rh3 38. Re8 Rxh4 39. Kf3 h5 40. Ra8 hxg4+ 41. Kxf4 g3+ 42. Kxg3 Ra4 43. Rd8+ Kc5 44. Rc8+ Kd4 45. Rc2 Ke3 46. Rc7 d4 47. Re7+ Kd2 48. Re4 Ra3+ 49. Kf4 d3 50. Rd4 Kd1 51. Ke3 d2+ 52. Kf2 Rxa2 0-1


[White "MacDonnell, George Alcock"]
[Black "Blackburne, Joseph Henry"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C32"]

1. f4 e5 2. e4 d5 3. exd5 e4 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. d3 Bb4 6. dxe4 Nxe4 7. Qd4 Qe7 8. Be3 O-O 9. Bd3 Nxc3 10. bxc3 Bxc3+ 11. Qxc3 Qxe3+ 12. Ne2 Re8 13. Qd2 Qc5 14. O-O-O Bg4 15. Rde1 Nd7 16. h3 Bxe2 17. Rxe2 Rxe2 18. Bxe2 Nb6 19. Bf3 Qa3+ 20. Kb1 Nc4 21. Qd4 b5 22. Rd1 Rd8 23. Rd3 Qb4+ 24. Kc1 Qe1+ 25. Rd1 Qa5 26. Kb1 Qb4+ 27. Kc1 c5 28. Qa1 Ne3 29. Qe5 Qa3+ 30. Kb1 Nxd1 31. Bxd1 c4 32. c3 Kf8 33. Qd4 Qd6 34. Bf3 Qb6 35. Qxb6 axb6 36. Kb2 Ra8 37. d6 Rd8 38. Ka3 Rxd6 39. Kb4 Rd2 40. Kxb5 Rxa2 41. Kxc4 Ra5 42. Bd5 Ke7 43. Kd4 f6 44. g4 Kd6 45. Be4 h6 46. h4 g5 47. hxg5 hxg5 48. fxg5 fxg5 49. Bf5 Ra4+ 50. Kd3 Ke5 51. Bd7 Rf4 52. Bc8 Rf7 53. Ba6 Rc7 54. Bc4 Rh7 55. Ba6 Kf4 56. Bc8 Rc7 57. Be6 Rc6 58. Bf5 Ke5 59. Kd2 Rf6 60. Bc8 Rf3 61. Kc2 Kd6 62. Kd2 Kc5 63. Bb7 Rg3 64. Bc8 Kd5 65. Kc2 Re3 66. Kb3 Kc5 67. Kc2 Kc4 68. Ba6+ b5 69. Kb2 Re2+ 70. Ka3 Re6 71. Bc8 Re8 72. Bd7 Re7 73. Bc6 Kxc3 74. Bxb5 Ra7+ 75. Ba4 Ra8 0-1


<Does anyone know when and where these games were played?>


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Why do I get the feeling this is directed at me?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: Not only - but yes ;-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I shall submit both games with the requisite data.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Here you go: G MacDonnell vs Blackburne, 1887

G MacDonnell vs Blackburne, 1886

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: thanks a lot!
Nov-22-20  Nosnibor: In Harding`s excellent biography of Blackburne there appears to be a mistake with the death certificate. It states his age at date of death 83 years but this of course should be 82. This was not picked up by Tim Harding who is usually so meticulous in his writings.
Jan-04-21  ColdSong: Blackburne is an heavyweight in chess history.Just look at these wins with the best players(Imo) of his time.Anderssen,+3,Steinitz,+9,Neumann,+1,Paulsen- ,+6,Zukertort,+15,Gunsberg,+17,Chigorin,+6,Weiss- ,+4,Tarrasch,+4,Burn,+3,Schlechter,+3,Janowski,+- 2,Teichmann,+3,Lasker,+2,Pillsbury,+5,Marshall,+- 3,Nimzowitsch,+1.I apologize if I (most probably)only repeat it,but it can be useful for everybody.
Mar-22-21  Nosnibor: According to Harding Blackburne played a simultaneous at the Victoria Coffee House in Leicester on the 24th November 1893 where he states that he played 20 players. Of these he lost two to Dr. Mason and Dr.Finch and drew one against E.H.Collier. However he won 11 games and not 14. The victims being A.A. Cooper, A. Pickard, A.A. Allnutt, T Carter, T.Underwood. Councillor W. Stanyon, J. Coy, A.F.Atkins, Israel Hart ( Mayor of Leicester ), Alderman R. P. Swain, and Councillor H.P. Rogers. (Source: "Leicester Mercury" 25/11/1893.)
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