Clipped From The Westminster Budget
24 THE. WESTMINSTER BUDGET NOVEMBER 17, £899, 0« SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11. Mr. Blackburne's collection of games has made its appearance. Reviewing it has been a pleasant duty to us. Amongst the four hundred odd games which Mr. Blackburne has selected from the vast store of his published games we find many that have gone through our hands before, others recalling incidents which occurred when we watched him playing them on memorable occasions both in this country and abroad. We are told that during his chess career, dating back to the early sixties, he must have played over 50,000 games, and in the work before us he gives a selection of those which, in his opinion, are worthy to be preserved as specimens of sound master play, or for the brilliant combination which occurred in others ; but for whatever quality they might have found a place in the book they are useful in affording pleasure to chess players and instruction to the student. The games are divided into three parts : Match and tournament games played against the great masters of all countries; games contested with amateurs in the Metropolis and during his annual tours in the provinces ; and a selection of " blindfold" games. In the first section we find games played in Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Frankfort, Hamburg, Breslau, Leipsic, Dresden, New York, Havana, Australia, and in all these tournaments the English representative was a dreaded opponent and in the front rank of the favourites. The games being arranged according to openings, the student will be able to see at a glance the different styles of the masters, and with the aid of Mr. Blackburne's remarks to salient points in the games he will receive useful instruction. The second division* of the games is useful in other respects, viz., whilst the combinations or "ideas,' as Mr. Blackburne terms them in the standard games, are only discernible if pointed out—since they frequently are only "might have beens " had the opponent allowed it—these "ideas" do come off against the less experienced opponents. From this section the student will be able to stdre up a iund of useful positions which may come in handy against his opponents. The third section consists of Mr. Blackburne's speciality—blindfold games In this part are stored the proverbial ki bits of Mbrphy." Mates in four, five and up to eight moves abound, and although played without sight of board and men, and in series of eight and ten games simultaneously, some of the beautiful combinations which occur are brilliant and sound, and withstand the scrutiny of analysis. Besides the attractions enumerated, the book contains a number of Endings from actual play, and twenty-eight problems composed by Mr. Blackburne. The book is edited by Mr. P. Anderson Graham, who also furnishes an introduction and an interesting biography of Mr. Blackburne. The book is well printed (Longmans, Green, and Co., 29, Paternoster-row, price 7s. 6d.) in clear, readable type, and the notation used by Mr. Blackburne is precisely the same as in the Westminster Gazette. We select two games, a King's Knight Gambit, played over thirty years ago at Dundee against Herr Neumann, one of the strongest players of that period. It was won by Mr. Blackburne in brilliant style. And the second is a game played at Manchester in 1870 against a strong amateur, simultaneously with nine others, and blindfold. DANISH GAMBIT. Mr. Blackburne. White. 1. P to K4 2. PtoQ4 3. PtoQB3 4. P to K5 5. Kt x P 6. Q to R4 ch 7. Bto QKt5 8. PxB 9. PtoKB4 10. Kt to B3 11. Castles 12. B x Kt 13. Q to B2 14. B to R3 Mr. Steinkiihler. Black. P to K4 P x P PtoQ4 PxP, B to QKt5 Kt to B3 B x Kt ch B to Q2 KKt to K2 Castles P to QR3 B x B B to Q2 R to K sq Mr. Blackburne. White. 15. Kt to Q4 16. P to B5 17. Kt x Kt 18. QR to K sq 19. R to B3 20. Pto B6 21. Q to QZ 22. R to R3 23. Q to R6 24. Qto Kt5 25. R to R6 26. B to B sq 27. R to K4 281 QR to R4 Mr. Steinkiihler. Black. P to QKt3 Kt to B3 B x Kt BtoKt4 PtoB4 P to Kt3 R to K3 K to R sq Q to KKt sq QR to K- sq B to B5 P to Q5 B to Q4 RxKP Whereupon Blackburne announced mate in five moves. It is evident from the manner in which Black defends the dangerous Danish Gambit that he is a player of no mean ability. After a dozen opening moves he is the gambit pawn still to'the good, with a safe position besides. A player of the late Mr. Steinkiihler's strength would have been a worthy opponent single-handed over the board, yet on this occasion he was one of ten, Blackburne playing without sight of board and men. Black's first weak move occurs with 16...Kt to B3, changing the original plan of shutting out the B at R3 with P to QB4. Blackburne thus secured Bishops of different colour, a sate draw in any case, and a possible win, to which Black gave him the opportunity with 18...B to Kt4, losing a move to drive the Rook to where it would have been played without com pulsion. He had no means to avert defeat afterwards. A curious incident occurred when Blackburne announced mate in five.- His opponent replied, "There is a mate in four," but the blindfold player demonstrated immediately the following mate in five moves: 29. R x P ch, Q x R; 30. R x Q ch, K to Kt sq ; 31. R to R8 ch, K x R; 32. Q to R6 ch, K to Kt sq ; 33. Q to Kt7 mate. KING'S KNIGHT'S GAMBIT. G. R. Neumann. J. H. Blackburne. White. Black. 1. Pto K4 P to K4 2. Pto KB4 PxP 3. Kt to KB3 P to KKt4 4. B to B4 B to Kt2 5. P to Q4 P to Q3 6. Castles P to KR3 7. PtoKKt3 PtoKt5 8. Kt to K sq P to B6 9. P to B3 Kt to Q2 10. Kt to R3 Kt to Kt3 11. B to Kt3 Q to K2 12. Kt to Q3 B to Q2 13. Kt to KB4 P to KR4 14. Q to Q3 P to R5 15. Kt to Kt5 PxP 16. PxP P to QB3 KttoB7ch G. R. Neumann. White. 18. Kt x R 19. KtxKt 20. Kt x B 2L Ktto K6ch 22. Q to Kt6 23. Rx P 24. K x R 25. K to Kt sq 26. K to B2 27. K to K3 28. K to B4 29. KxP " 30. K to B2 31. B to KB4 32. KtoKt3 Resigns , II. Blackburne. Black. Kt to B3 KtxP Kt x KtP PxKt R to R7 P x R Q to R5 ch Q to R8 ch Q to Kt7 ch Kt to B8 ch 1 QxQ Kt to R7 ch K x Kt Q to B4 Q to Kt5 ch 17. Kt to B7 ch K to Q sq In this variation 8. Kt to R4 is generally played, leaving White the option of sacrificing the Knight for the two advanced Pawns, or to play Kt to B5 at an opportune moment, so as to get an open King's file. White lost too much time with 13. Kt to KB4 ; he might have played instead 13. P to R4, preventing the eventual advance of Black's P to R5, or, if 13...P x P e.p., to play 14. Q.x P, which is the logical sequence of the initiative 9. P to KKt3. White thought of stopping the counter-attack with 15. Kt to Kt5, probably not dreaming that Black would allow 17. Kt to B7 ch, and give up a whole Rook, but such was the case ; the finesse in the combination being Black's 16...P to QB3, so as to prevent 17. Kt ;o Q5. This danger being avoided, Black could give up his Queen's side pieces, staking everything on the attack. The game is quite a gem and singularly pretty, beginning with the beautiful 22...R to R7, to which White has no valid defence, PROBLEM NO. 184. By J. H. Blackburne. BLACK (four pieces). WHITE (nine pieces). White to play and mate in three moves. PROBLEM No. 183—The Black K at K4 has been omitted problem ; we therefore withhold the solution till next week. m this SIR HENRY IRVING IN NEW YORK. Long accounts are given in the New York papers to hand of the opening of Sir Henry Irving and the Lyceum company at the Knickerbocker Theatre. The play was "Robespierre," and the vast audience were greatly delighted with the production. Writing on the first night, the well-known] American dramatic critic " Alan Dale " says : We were all on hand early last night to "receive" our illustrious actor, and to give him the vociferous -hand as he appeared in the garbs of " the Incorruptible," wending his way through a glade in the forest of Montmorency. Sir Henry must really have felt all those neat little things that he told us anent his joy at getting back, and the proud knowledge that he was among friends. If he had been a yachtsman come to *'lift the^Cup," instead of an actor bent on illumining the role of a historical bogy-man, his popularity could scarcely have been more vehemently attested. All of which shows that our leading actor is as much a favourite of the Americans as ever.