Chess Archaeology HomeChess is a scientific game and its literature ought to be placed on the basis of the strictest truthfulness, which is the foundation of all scientific research.W. Steinitz

1881 Blackburne-Zukertort
London Match
Researched by Nick Pope

27 June 1881—29 July 1881
Game1234567891011121314Total
 Blackburne000001000001002
 Zukertort001110101010017
 Drawn11     1 1  1 5
Format: The winner of the first seven games to be declared the victor, draws not counting.
Time Control: 15 moves every 1 hour.
Purse: 200 (100 a side).

Match Between Messrs Blackburne And Zukertort.

We have great pleasure in announcing that a match has been arranged between the two masters above-named, which is to commence on the 20th of next month. The principal conditions already settled are, that the stakes shall be £100 a side, and the winner of the first seven games shall be declared the victor; drawn games not to count.  Play will generally proceed four times a week; half of the games at least to be played at the St. George’s Chess Club, and the other half probably at some private room.  The time limit is fifteen moves per hour, and Mr Boden will act as umpire.
London Field, 1881.05.21

The Match Between Messrs Blackburne And Zukertort.

Though the conditions of this match are not yet signed, we understand that the stakes will be deposited in the course of next week, and the commencement of the contest will be fixed for the earliest subsequent date.  As a sign of the wide interest taken in the match amongst lovers of the game abroad, who have no opportunity of watching the match personally, and can only become acquainted with the games through the medium of their publication in this country, we may mention that some prominent members of the Paris Cercle des Echecs have offered to back either player, merely for the purpose of facilitating the conclusion of preliminaries.  We learn that neither party has accepted this chivalrous and complimentary offer, for Mr Zukertort’s stakes were already covered at the time the proposition was made, while Mr Blackburne’s subscription list was also far advanced.
London Field, 1881.06.11

The Match Between Messrs Blackburne And Zukertort.

We are glad to announce that all the conditions of this match have been satisfactorily settled.  The stakes were deposited on the 17th inst. in the hands of the hon. treasurer of the St. George’s Chess Club, the Rev. W. Wayte, and the commencement of the contest was fixed for not later than Monday next, the 27th inst.  Both players have been out of town, but we learn on good authority that there is some probability of the first game being played, by mutual consent, to-day at a private room in Simpson’s establishment in the Strand.  We also understand from the same source that, under any circumstance, the place of meeting for Monday’s game, whether in commencement or as continuation of the contest, is fixed at the St. George’s Chess Club, 20, King-street, St. James’s.  Admission for the purpose of witnessing the play will be granted by vouchers signed by both players.  The particular days of play are subject to alteration, but the programme will be fixed each time at the beginning of the week.
London Field, 1881.06.18

Game 1: Monday, June 27, 1881.

The great contest between the two masters commenced on Monday last at two o’clock at the rooms of the St. George’s.  Both players seemed to be in excellent condition, and, as far as good health is a requirement in match play, the friends of either player have apparently no need to fear any break-downs.  The toss for the first move fell in favour of Mr Zukertort, who opened with P to K 4.  His opponent adopted a peculiar form of the Sicilian defence which has never before occurred in any match or tournament, though Mr Blackburne has previously practised it in several toughly contested games against Mr Steel.  The result of the opening manœuvres was an early exchange of queens, and the position of the seven pawns was unbroken on Black’s side from the K R file to the Q B file, with a vacancy on the Q Kt file, and an isolated Q R P, while White’s battle order was divided in two wings, the pawns standing respectively to the number of four on the K side, and three on the other, and the open Q file being occupied by doubled rooks.  White had evidently the best of the development, and Black was labouring under great difficulties to make his retained Q P available.  We believe that Mr Zukertort on the 17th move could have, by occupying K B 2 at once with his B, obtained sufficient increase of advantage to keep the pressure of attack in his favour. Also on the following he would have improved his position by B to K sq. as afterwards proposed by Mr Blackburne; but, having adopted some tardy manœuvres instead, his opponent, after cautious preparations, was at last enabled to advance his Q P under sufficient cover, and thus to release his blocked-up Q R and Q B.  After a little more fencing, which resulted in exchanges of one R and a minor piece, the game assumed a drawn aspect, and by mutual consent it was given up as such on the 28th move, neither side having any advantage.  This is the first draw which occurred between the same two players, though they have altogether, on various previous occasions, contested eight games, of which each party won four.
London Field, 1881.07.02

Date: 1881.06.27
Site: ENG London (St. George’s Chess Club)
Event: Game 1
White: Zukertort,JH
Black: Blackburne,JH
Opening: [B45] Sicilian
Annotator: Wilhelm Steinitz
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Bb4 6.Nxc6
The usual continuation is 6.Ndb5, which leads to the American variation, in which Black replies 6...Nf6, and then moves 7...Ke7, in answer to 7.Nd6+.
6...bxc6 7.Qd4 Bf8
It would be disadvantageous to capture the knight, for White would afterwards obtain a strong post for his bishop at a3.
8.Bf4
8.e5 would at last subject him to an isolation of the e-pawn, if he wished to support it with the f-pawn in case Black replied 8...f6.
8...f6
A very good rejoinder, which gains important time.
9.Bg3
If 9.e5 now, Black would first oppose 9...Qb6 before exchanging pawns.
9...Qb6 10.0-0-0 Nh6 11.Be2 Qxd4
11...Bc5 was of course of no use, for Black could not take the f-pawn, on account of the ultimate Bh5+.
12.Rxd4 e5
Premature.  12...Nf7 was much better.  He could well reserve the move in the text, with the additional option of waiting for a favorable opportunity to play ...d5.
13.Rd2 Nf7 14.Rhd1 Bb4
As he can never venture to exchange the bishop for the knight, the pinning was useless.  We should have preferred 14...d6.  Anderssen did not mind in this opening to keep the center pawns abreast, even while queens were on the board on both sides.  White seemed to have no means of egress against such a plan in the present position.
15.Bc4 Ng5 16.f3 Ke7 [?:??-1:00] 17.Rd3
Feeble.  17.Bf2 instead would have effectually stopped the release of Black’s pieces, excepting at the cost of an important pawn — e.g.: 17.Bf2 Rd8 (if 17...d6, White attacks the bishop with 18.a3, and then either advances up to b5, weakening the adverse queen’s center, or forces a continuation similar to the following) 18.a3 Bxc3 19.Bc5+ d6 20.Rxd6, etc.
17...Rd8 18.Na4
Blackburne justly observed that he was more afraid of 18.Be1, which would have enabled White to advance the pawns on the left wing for an attack, or must have resulted in White keeping the two bishops, with a good game.
18...d6 19.Rb3 [1:00-?:??] 19...Ba5 20.Bf2 Ne6 21.g3
A doubtful sort of waiting move, for it weakens the pawns on the kingside.
21...Bc7 22.Nc3
With the object of attacking the a-pawn at a3, and compelling its advance.
22...a5 23.Na4
The knight is now strongly placed, in view of b6 being assailable.
23...Ba6 24.Bxa6 Rxa6 25.Rb7
25.Rdd3 instead would have gained an important move, and was perhaps sufficient to deter Black from opposing rooks at b8, for White, after exchanging, would then gain time by Rb3; while his king was also near enough to protect the kingside within two moves.
25...Rb8 26.Rxb8 Bxb8 27.Nb6 Bc7 28.Nc4 ½-½
A fair draw.  White has some attack against the a-pawn, but he is not likely to succeed, on account of Black being enabled to effect a diversion by the advance of the d-pawn.
London Field, 1881.07.02

Game 2: Wednesday, June 29, 1881.

    Second game, played at Simpson’s on Wednesday, June 29.—The duel for chess honours was renewed at half-past one o’clock. Blackburne commenced with his favourite Scotch Gambit, and his opponent adopted a defence which will be new to most British players, viz. : 4…Kt to B 3 first suggested and analysed in the Schachzeiting some years ago by Herr von Schmid. It led to a rapid exchange of queens after both centre pawns had been exchanged, White retaining an unbroken row of pawns on each of the two wings, while Zukertort had an isolated doubled P on the Q B file, and an isolated R P ; but Black had apparently relied on the strength of his two bishops as against the adverse Kt and B. On the 14th move Blackburne chose an ill-judged development for his Kt at Q R 3, which reduced his subsequent manœuvres with that Kt to one feasible course, while Kt to Q 2 instead would have allowed him eventually several fair options. His game became cramped, and in his usual dashing style he entered on a counter-attack on the 17th move, most probably only on the chance of extricating himself with a draw, for his game looked too bad to give him any reasonable prospect of winning. Zukertort’s play kept his opponent tight, and Black’s conduct of the attack on the Q side, and respective defence on the other wing, was faultless, excepting that on his 16th move K R to Q sq was stronger, and on the 18th move he advanced the Q R P too soon, instead of first guarding by P to K Kt 3. Blackburne did not avail himself of the opportunity of pushing his K B P at once to the 5th, apparently in fear of the reply P to R 6, which we believe would have only led to an even game. (See note i.) He guarded against the latter advance, and his game then became gradually worse, until Black, on the 23rd move, posted prematurely his R at Q 6, instead of guarding himself first against the entrance of the adverse Kt at Q 5. Blackburne promptly took advantage, and extricated all his forces by a series of ingenious coups, and succeeded in exchanging all minor pieces, with even pawns. After the exchange of one R, a rather languid ending followed, in which Zukertort retained his superiority of a P, with two separated passed pawns on the K side against a passed P on the Q R file. The game was adjourned, according to the rules of the match after four hours’ play, for an hour and a half, on the 43rd move, Zukertort having tried in vain to make any impression with his pawns. After the adjournment, Blackburn [sic] defiantly gave up the last P he had, and thereby forced with his K and R a singular position, which, his opponent had to admit, could only result in a draw, albeit, Black was two clear pawns ahead. Duration five hours.
London Field, 1881.07.02

Date: 1881.06.29
Site: ENG London (Simpson’s Divan)
Event: Game 2
White: Blackburne,JH
Black: Zukertort,JH
Opening: [C45] Scotch
Annotator: Wilhelm Steinitz
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.Bd3
6.e5 seems preferable, and apparently give White a good game without necessitating the exchange of queens.
6...d5
The best answer now, for the apparently dangerous reply 7.e5 has no effect.
7.Qe2
If the e-pawn advanced, the knight would retreat to d7 without minding the attack by 8.e6, in which case Black might return with the knight to f6, or else even capture the pawn, and then move the king to e7, if the adverse queen checks at h5, with a strong center.
7...dxe4 8.Bxe4 Nxe4 9.Qxe4+ Qe7 10.Qxe7+ Bxe7 11.0-0
Mr. Steel afterwards proposed here the strong-looking 11.Bf4, followed by 12.Bg3, should Black oppose 11...Bd6.  We think this leads to an even game, provided that Black castles on the queenside, in order to cover his weakness of pawns on that wing.
11...0-0 12.Re1 Bf6 13.c3 Rb8 14.Na3
An ill-favored post for the knight, which might have been better employed from d2.  He had then the choice of entering at e4 or c4, or else of covering at b3, even if the opponent replied 14...Be6, as Black could not gain a pawn by the exchange, his a-pawn being left afterwards unprotected.
14...Be6 15.Nc2 c5 16.Ne3 Rfe8
Black has contested his game excellently up to this, but here 16...Rfd8 at once apears preferable; he has afterwards to remove this rook to that square.
17.f4
17.Nd1, with the view of bringing out the bishop to f4, was sounder play.  Black could not then retain the pawn if he captured the a-pawn in reply, for White would then return with his knight to e3, either before or after exchaning rooks.
17...a5 18.Kf2 a4
Premature, for it gives the opponent an opportunity of releasing himself.  He should have first advanced 18...g6.
19.a3
Inconsistent hesitation, which ought to have cost him the game. He could have safely advanced 19.f5, and the reply 19...a3, which he apparently feared, could not harm—e.g.: 19.f5 a3 20.fxe6 axb2 21.exf7+ Kxf7 22.Bxb2 Rxb2+ 23.Re2 Bxc3 (this seems best, for if 23...Rxe2+ first, the white king is driven nearer to the queenside, and his rook comes in at f1 with a check.) 24.Rf1 and he certainly has a much better game than the one he obtained by the move in the text. [This is note i mentioned above. -Pope]
19...g6 20.Re2 [1:00-?:??] 20...Red8 21.g4 h6 22.f5 Bc8 23.c4 Rd3
This throws victory away, which could have been secured by limiting the action of the knight on the kingside, where it was of little use.  Either by 23...c6, as afterwards proposed by Zukertort, or 23...Ba6, would have served that object.  If in reply to the latter move the knight nevertheless entered at d5, Black could either take it off with the rook at once, or check with the bishop at d4, followed by 25...Bxc4.
24.Nd5 Bh4+
In reply to 24...Bd4+, White could have safely interposed the bishop; for if then 25...Bxb2, White could answer 26.Rb1, at the same time threatening 26.Ne7+.
25.Kg2 gxf5 26.Bf4
A very ingenious resource.  In case Black should take the b-pawn, White would obtain a strong attack by Re8+, followed by Be5.
26...Bb7 27.gxf5 Rd4 28.Bxc7 Rc8 29.Bg3 Bxg3 [?:??-1:00]
If he withdrew 29...Bg5, White might answer 30.h4; and if then Black took twice without taking the knight checking, White would move the king to g3 and win the exchange, since Ne7+ would remain threatened; while, on the other hand, the exchaning of all the minor pieces would also only leave the game in a newish condition.
30.Kxg3
Best, as he wants to release his knight from the pinning action of the adverse bishop, and compel its exchange.
30...Bxd5 31.cxd5 [2:00-?:??] 31...Rxd5 32.Rae1 Rxf5 33.Re8+ Rxe8 34.Rxe8+ Kg7 35.Ra8 Rd5 36.Rxa4 Rd3+ 37.Kg4 Rb3 38.Rc4 Rxb2 39.Rxc5 Rxh2 40.a4 Kg6 41.Rc4 Rh1 42.Rd4 f5+ 43.Kf4 Rf1+ 44.Kg3 Rc1
If 44...Kg5, White would move 45.Rd8, threatening a series of checks in the rear.
45.Kf4 Rf1+ 46.Kg3 Kf6
Apparently with the object of assisting the advance of the f-pawn from the center, for he perceives that he can do no good with his king on the extreme king’s wing.
47.a5 [3:00-?:??]
He gives up his last pawn gratuitously, which caused much excitement amongst the spectators.
47...Ra1 48.Kf4 Rxa5 49.Rd6+ Kg7 50.Rb6 ½-½
It is a curious and rather amusing position.  The white rook cannot be displaced from the sixth row now, and whenever Black’s h-pawn advances, White will enter at g5, securing an easy draw.
London Field, 1881.07.02

Game 3: Friday, July 1, 1881.

Third game, played at St. George’s Club.—The match was resumed yesterday, at two o’clock, at the rooms of the St. George’s.  Blackburne, as usual, adopted the Sicilian, and Zukertort this time resorted to Paulsen’s treatment of this opening by turning it into the K fianchetto.  Blackburne on his part then played the fianchetto on both wings.  At six o’clock, the time for the adjournment, the game presented the position shown on the subjoined diagram.  It was White’s turn to play on the thirty-third move, and Zukertort had consumed 1h. 45min. of his time allowance ;  while Blackburne’s stop watch showed a consumption of 2h. 16min.  The game was to finished last evening, and the match will be proceeded with to-day (Saturday) at Simpson’s Divan.

Black (Mr Blackburne).

White (Mr Zukertort).
London Field, 1881.07.02

The Match Between Messrs Blackburne And Zukertort.

The Third game played at the St. George’s on Friday, July 1st.—There was a slight inaccuracy in our preliminary report of last week in reference to the opening.  The turn into the K fianchetto was given by Blackburne as second player on the second move, but we have nothing to retract as regards the name of the author of this form of opening, for, as it happens, Paulsen first introduced the K fianchetto in the Sicilian, both for the first and also for the second player.  Black seemed to have a fair game up to the 15th move, when Blackburne chose an unfavourable plan of developing his K R in order to bring his K B to the Q side, in lieu of Kt to B 2, which, in our opinion, gave him a fair game.  Zukertort doubled his rooks in a clever manner, and designedly lost a move in accomplishing his object.  The result of his arrangement was that, after the exchange of queens, which was soon offered by Blackburne, the latter’s pieces became hampered, and were divided on the two wings, with little chance of co-operation.  We believe that on the 21st move, by playing K Kt to K 2, White would have been enabled to confine the adverse pieces still move, which avoided the necessity of exchanging, and enabled him to pursue the plan of throwing Black’s pieces back to his own lines, and preventing the adverse K from crossing towards the weakest point in his game, viz., the Q centre, with much required the protection of the K.  On the 33rd move Zukertort did not choose the right R for the attack, and this might have made a considerable difference if Blackburne had not adopted a clumsy defence, which only left him the remote prospect of trying fortunes by the sacrifice of a piece.  This contingency ultimately arose ;  and, owing to want of precision on White’s part, Blackburne seemed to have obtained great relief, and a fair chance of drawing.  But on the 51st move Zukertort pounced upon him with a series of checks, beginning with an ingenious one, which enabled White to keep a well-protected passed P in combination with the piece ahead, while Black’s passed pawns on the K side, which Blackburne had gained in he meanwhile could be stopped in their progress and fell one by one.  Blackburne resigned after about seven hours’ play.

We take this opportunity of adding to our last week’s report, that the first game of the match lasted four hours, and the second five hours.
London Field, 1881.07.09

Date: 1881.07.01
Site: ENG London (St. George’s Chess Club)
Event: Game 3
White: Zukertort,JH
Black: Blackburne,JH
Opening: [B23] Sicilian
Annotator: Wilhelm Steinitz
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 g6
First introduced by Paulsen in a game against Steinitz in the London International Tournament of 1862.  It also occurs in a very fine consultation game played on the same occasion between Kling, St. Bon, and Steinitz (White) against Deacon, Medley, and Walker (Black).  Both games are published in Lowenthal’s Book of the Chess Congress of 1862; but the move has since fallen into desuetude.
3.f4
We prefer reserving this move, as in the fifth game of the match.  If adopted at once, it should be with the intention of developing the knight to f3, and not to e2.
3...Nc6 4.g3 Bg7 5.Bg2 b6 6.Nge2 Bb7 7.d3 Nh6 8.0-0 f5
A good move, though it allows White to block in the g7-bishop, for Black ought to be able to effect its liberation by the advance of the d-pawn to d6 sooner or later.
9.e5 Na5 10.Bxb7 Nxb7 11.d4 cxd4 12.Nxd4 e6 13.Qf3 Qc8 14.Rd1 0-0 15.h3 Rf7
A most awkward development for the rook.  15...Nf7 was the natural move, and he had nothing to fear from the reply  16.g4, for he would then capture, and White would be bound to retake with the queen, or else he would lose a pawn by 16...Nxe5, whereupon the knight might return to a6 with the view of occupying f5.  This plan also gave him facilities of breaking through by ...d6 after due preparations.
16.Be3 Bf8 17.Rd3
Finely played.  Though he apparently loses a move and lets the adverse knight in, he has gained more in position than if he had played 17.Rd2 at once, to which Black might have answered 17...Bb4, while now the latter move would not be good, as White might answer 18.a3.
17...Nc5 [?:??-1:00] 18.Rd2 Rb8 19.Rad1 Qb7 20.Qxb7 Rxb7 21.Nf3
21.Nde2 was preferable.  It would have obtained the necessity of exchanging pieces which liberated Black’s bishop and made room for the king to come to the rescue.  He also then threatened to attack the adverse knight, which could not then enter at e4 without a pawn being ultimately lost.
21...Rg7 22.Bxc5
Black now threatened 22...Ne4, followed by 24...Nf5, and afterwards by ...Bc5, if White exchanged and then entered at g5 with the knight.
22...Bxc5+ 23.Kf1 [1:00-?:??] 23...Kf8 24.a3 Ke8 25.b4 Be7 26.Nb5 Nf7 27.c4 g5 28.Kf2 h6 29.Nd6+ Bxd6 30.exd6 Nd8 31.Nd4 Nc6 [?:??-2:00] 32.Nb3 a6 33.Rc1
Playing the other rook would have left d2 open for the immediate action of the knight, which might have been wanted in case Black adopted a different and better defense.
33...Kf7
33...Rb8 was the correct move, and, if we mistake not, it would have been almost sufficient to deter White from the immediate advance of the b-pawn, for Black might then bring the knight to b7 viá d8; and whenever White’s rook entered at c7, the answer ...Kd8 would immediately threaten ...Nxd6, while Black’s rook had also some good prospects of being made available at a8.
34.b5 axb5 35.cxb5 Na7 36.a4 gxf4
Right enough if done with the view of retreating the rook to g8, and bringing the same to the queenside; for otherwise White would exchange the f-pawn for g-pawn, and then obtain a dangerous passed pawn on the h-file by h4.
37.gxf4 Kf6
All with the object of supporting a very inferior defense.
38.Rdc2 Rb8
If there was any chance of retrieving the game it was only by 38...Rg8, and then ...Rgb8.  If White then pursued the plan of bringing his knight to c4, Black would ultimately defend by ...Nc8, while otherwise Black, after returning with the king to e8, would probably be able to relieve himself by exchanging rooks.  The defense actually adopted leaves him almost no hope.
39.Rc7 Ra8 40.Nd2 [2:00-?:??]
The winning coup.
40...e5
Desperate, but he had nothing better, as White threatened to occupy e5 with the knight, viá c4 or f3 accordingly.
41.fxe5+ Ke6 42.Rg1
Good enough, but he might have settled the affair more quickly by 42.Nc4, which would win a piece soon, while Black would not obtain a perpetual check with his two rooks, even if he sacrificed the knight, for the white king would be able to make good his escape to the queenside.
42...Rxg1 43.Kxg1 Nc8 44.Nc4 h5 45.Kf2 h4 [?:??-3:00] 46.Kf3
Zukertort afterwards pointed out that he ought to have played 46.Ke3, which brought him nearer to the queenside, with the same option of occupying f4 if necessary.
46...Nxd6
What else could he do?  His position was too confined.
47.exd6
47.Nxb6, followed by 48.Nxd7, in reply to 47...Rb8, would have left him with an easier game to win; for Black’s h-pawn would subsequently fall soon.
47...Rxa4 48.Nxb6 Ra3+ 49.Kf4 Rxh3 50.Rxd7 Rb3 51.Re7+
The initiation of an ingenious and surprising maneuver.
51...Kxd6 52.Nc8+ Kc5 53.Re5+ Kd4 54.Rxf5 h3 55.b6 h2 56.Rh5 Rb1
He could not save the pawn by 56...Rb2, for the answer 57.Kg3 would still prevent the king from crossing; while, whenever the knight is attacked, the b-pawn would advance, followed by Nd6, and ultimately Rh8, after getting rid of the pawn.
57.Rxh2 Kc5 58.Rh7 Rb4+ 59.Ke5 Kb5 60.Kd6 Rb1 [?:??-4:00] 61.Kc7 Ka6 62.Kb8 Rd1 63.b7 1-0
London Field, 1881.07.09

Game 4: Saturday, July 2, 1881.

The fourth game, played at Simpson’s, on the 2nd inst.  Blackburne adopted a form of the giuoco piano, which the late Professor Anderssen disparagingly called the “giuoco pianissimo” when first brought to his notice.  But we entirely concur with the opinions expressed by Messrs Blackburne and Zukertort, that justice has not been done to its merits ; for, at any rate, it produces more lively complications than the close openings or some variations of the Ruy Lopez and four knights game.  Special attention has been called within the last few months to this opening by Mr Steel, who practised it against the best metropolitan players during his recent visit to this country, and a fine specimen of this début is published in the current number of the Chess Monthly, occurring in a consultation game between Messrs Blackburne and Steel against Messrs Hoffer and Zukertort, which was won by the former party.

In the progress of the game White did not choose the best post for the Q, which we believe to be K 2, and not Q B 2.  Both parties aimed at reaching K Kt 3 with the Q Kt; Blackburne via K B sq from Q 2, and Zukertort from Q B 3 via K 2, but after having advanced the K Kt P to the fourth, supported by P at K R 3.  The developing manœuvres lasted up to the 24th move, when Blackburne—who had a manifest superiority of position, as the opponent could not castle, by a precipitate exchange of rooks—allowed the adverse K to slip out.  Zukertort then proceeded with his defence in excellent style ; and, assisted by a specially feeble 30th move of Blackburne, apparently adopted under pressure of time limit, he had actually obtained the better game at the adjournment, which took place at that stage.  On the game being resumed, Blackburne made preparations for the sacrifice of a piece, which was all the more unsound as it might have cost him the game under any circumstances; for we believe that on the 32nd move Black might have obtained a positive advantage by Q to B 2 threatening Q to R 7 or Kt 6.  Blackburne, instead of adopting defensive measures, seemed to be bent upon pursuing his attacking plan, which led to his obtaining two passed but weakly supported pawns for a piece, Blackburne fought very ingeniously to make the most of his pawns, and he actually succeeded in recovering his piece, owing to an impetuous and wrong move of the R on Black’s 43rd move.  He had still much the worst of the game with a P behind, and his K unable to cross in order to assist his weak K side, when Zukertort, by a premature advance of the K P, gave him opportunity for developing one of his ingenious resources, and, in the face of a dangerous-looking dis ch, to bring the K to the other side.  However, on the 53rd move, White neglected pinning the Kt with the R, which would have given him a positive draw in a few moves.  Zukertort then promptly, by Kt to Q 4, cut off the adverse K from coming near, at the same time protecting his B P, and White had afterwards no more chance of retrieving himself.  By opposing his R for exchange Black gained entrance with his K to support his passed K P, and White’s K was soon driven into a mating net.  White gave a few checks, and arrived at a curious position, in which he would have had some fair chance of drawing if he could have got rid of his own Kt ; for his K was then stale-mated, and he might have tried to give perpetual ch with the R, even if he had to leave it en prise.  Blackburne, seeing that nothing more was to be done, resigned, after good humouredly remarking that he had one piece too many.  Duration, 6½ hours.
London Field, 1881.07.09

Date: 1881.07.02
Site: ENG London (Simpson’s Divan)
Event: Game 4
White: Blackburne,JH
Black: Zukertort,JH
Opening: [C54] Italian
Annotator: Wilhelm Steinitz
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.Be3 Bb6 7.Nbd2 Ne7 8.Nf1 c6 9.Bb3 Bc7 10.h3 h6 11.Qc2
Not as good as 11.Qe2, which Blackburne adopted in the 6th game.  The present placement of the queen blocks up the bishop.
11...g5 12.0-0-0 Ng6 13.d4 Qe7 14.dxe5 dxe5 15.Ng3 Nf4 16.Ne1 [1:00-?:??]
If he took the knight followed by 17.Nf5, Black, after retaking with the e-pawn and also exchanging the knight, could have safely castled on the kingside.
16...Bd7 17.Nf5 Bxf5 18.exf5 N4d5 19.Qe2 Nxe3 20.fxe3 Ne4 21.Qf3 Nc5 22.e4 a5 [?:??-1:00] 23.Nc2 Rd8 24.Rxd8+
This hasty exchange releases Black’s game, who now brings his king into safety.  The proper move was 24.Bc4 at once.
24...Kxd8 25.Bc4 f6 26.b4 b5
Black defends himself with great skill and foresight.  He could not at once retreat 26...Nd7 on account of the reply 27.Be6, threatening Rd1.
27.Be2
If 27.bxc5, the bishop would be taken, or course, and, though White could gain the far-advanced c-pawn with his knight he would maintain no advantage, for he had no means of defending his own front c-pawn more than once with the queen, while Black would also bring his bishop to bear upon it at a7 viá b8.
27...Nd7 28.Rd1 Kc8 29.Qf2 Kb7 30.a3 [2:00-?:??] 30...Nb6 31.Qf1
White’s two previous moves were weak, for he might have retained a slight pull by taking the a-pawn, followed by 32.c4 instead.  But the last move actually imperils his game seriously.
31...axb4 32.cxb4 Na4
32...Qf7 was much stronger ; and we do not see how White could have mollified its attacking force.
33.Bxb5
While now he might have guarded himself against the effect of...Qf7 by 33.Qf3, followed if necessary by 34.Kb1.  Of course, the sacrifice was unsound.
33...cxb5 34.Qxb5+ Nb6 35.a4 Qe8 36.Qxe8 Rxe8 37.a5 Nc8
Superior to the obvious 37...Nc4.  With due caution he provides against the entrance of the adverse rook at d7, to which he would now reply by opposing the rook at e7.
38.Ne3 Nd6 39.Nd5 Nxe4 40.a6+ Kb8 41.Re1 Ng3 [?:??-2:00] 42.b5 Rd8 43.Ne7 Rd6
A feeble move, which nearly deprives him of an otherwise safe victory.   43...Rd7 was the correct play.
44.Re3 Nh5 45.Rc3 [3:00-?:??]
All this is very fine, considering that he is fighting against the odds of a piece.
45...Nf4 46.a7+ Kxa7 47.Rxc7+ Kb6 48.Rc2 Kxb5 49.Ng8 e4
Premature.  He should have first secured the advance of his h-pawn as far as h4, in order to keep the adverse f-pawn isolated, as White could never advance the g-pawn without leaving his h-pawn to be taken sooner or later at Black’s option.
50.g3 Nd3+ 51.Kd1
Ingenious.  He has now effected the passage for his king, and should have been quite safe.
51...h5 52.Ke2 Nb4 53.Rc8
A routine move for the purpose of cutting off the adverse king, which was inapplicable for the exigencies of the case, and loses him the game.  53.Rb2 was the move, for it was of more importance to prevent the knight entering at d5 before White’s king reached e3, and it would have secured a draw, e.g.: 53.Rb2 Kc4 (if 53...Rd3, with the object of taking off the g-pawn and h-pawn, White would have a chance of winning with the f-pawn after capturing the hostile f-pawn and e-pawn) 54.Ke3 Rd3+ 55.Kxe4 Nd5 56.Rc2+ Nc3+ 57.Rxc3+, followed by 58.Nxf6 with an easy draw.
53...Nd5 54.g4 hxg4 55.hxg4 Rc6 56.Rd8 Kc5 57.Ra8 Kd4 58.Kf2 Rc2+ 59.Kg3 Nf4 60.Ra4+ Kd5 61.Ra5+ Kd6 62.Ra6+ Kc7 0-1
See introduction.  We may remark, that even if White’s knight was off the board, there would be no absolute draw by best play on the other side, e.g. (assuming that White has no knight left): 63.Ra7+ Kd6 best (if 63...Kb6, White checks at b7, and then pursues the king all along on the same file; for the king dare not cross at once to the c-file, or else the rook would check at c7, and either win the rook, or be stalemated) 64.Rd7+ Ke5 65.Re7+ Kd4 66.Rxe4+ (if 66.Rd7+ the knight interposes) 66...Kd5, and the stalemate position is dissolved.
London Field, 1881.07.09

Game 5: Monday, July 4, 1881.

The fifth game, played at the St. George’s on Monday, the 4th inst., was a repetition of the opening in the third game, with some modifications which transformed the position into one similar to those arising from the Indian opening.  As usual when the players have to manœuvre their heavier pieces behind the pawns, they had to grope in the dark.  Zukertort seemed to have the best of the struggle, though he clearly lost some moves with his Kt, and his opponent was reduced to the expedient of creating a block on the K side.  Blackburne soon afterwards castled, instead of opening his centre at once.  White had then the opportunity of shutting in the adverse K B for ever by P to Q 5, which we believe was the strongest course ; but Zukertort pursued another plan, and came out with the better game, though we are not sure he must have secured the victory thereby.  He had to lose a lot of time before he could bring his two bishops into favourable position.  His manœuvres to that effect were, however, conceived in a masterly manner, and Black’s defence at last became difficult.  On the 37th move Blackburne, by a miscalculation, neglected to support once more the weak K B P, and allowed the opponent to effect an elegant sacrifice of the exchange, followed by a fine move of the R to R 6, after which White was enabled to accumulate all his forces without hindrance against the adverse weakened K side, and Blackburne’s game finally broke down after the loss of his Q had been forced.  Duration, 6½ hours.
London Field, 1881.07.09

Date: 1881.07.04
Site: ENG London (St. George’s Chess Club)
Event: Game 5
White: Zukertort,JH
Black: Blackburne,JH
Opening: [B25] Sicilian
Annotator: Wilhelm Steinitz
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 g6 3.g3
Better than 3.f4 adopted in the third game of the match.
3...Bg7 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.d3 d6 6.Nge2 Bd7 7.Be3 Nd4 8.Qd2 Rb8
We do not like Black’s last three moves; he should have aimed at developing his kingside.  He was, however, wise in not attempting 8...Bg4, for Black might then have safely retreated the knight to g1, and would afterwards have gained time by pawn to h3.
9.h3 h5 10.Nd1 Bc6 11.c3 Nxe2 12.Qxe2 Nf6 13.f4 Qc7 14.Nf2
Loss of time.  He should have endeavored to post his knight at e3 after removing his bishop.
14...b5 15.0-0 Nd7 [?:??-1:00] 16.d4 c4 17.Nd1 Nb6 18.Bd2 Bd7 19.Ne3 Qc8 20.f5 [1:00-?:??] 20...g5 21.Nd1
For the third time this knight is moved to the same square, but now with a more tangible object, for it forces his opponent to block in his bishop with his own f-pawn, as he cannot defend the g-pawn with 21...Bf6, on account of the reply 22.e5, now prepared by the removal of the knight.
21...f6 22.Bf3 h4 23.g4 0-0 24.Ne3
We should have decidedly preferred 24.d5, which would have made Black’s g7-bishop perfectly useless.  White’s pieces could be well placed in all directions, and he could well afford to leave a weak spot open at e5 for the entrance of the adverse knight, for he had plenty of scope for operation on the queenside.
24...e5 25.fxe6 Bxe6 26.Be1 Re8 27.Qg2 Qd8 28.Kh1 Nd7 29.Bf2 Nf8 30.Bg1 Ng6 31.Bh2
The movement of this bishop to this important post, where it attacks a weak adverse pawn, was beautifully worked out.
31...Bf8 [?:??-2:00] 32.Bd1 Bc8 33.Bc2
By another clever maneuver he has now posted his bishop more favorably.  Black could do nothing in the meanwhile.
33...Bb7 34.Rf5 Bg7 35.Kg1
Also marked with great foresight.  Evidently he will have to advance the e-pawn sooner or later for the purpose of attack, and he removes the knight at once from the pinning action of the adverse bishop; reserving an option of several places for the queen.
35...a6 36.Raf1 Ne7
Almost unpardonable carelessness in a match game.  It was obvious that White aimed at breaking through in the king’s quarter, and he could, without great difficulty, have reckoned out that the opponent would obtain a clearly won game after the sacrifice of the exchange.  36...Rf8 was the proper defense.
37.Rxf6 [2:00-?:??] 37...Bxf6 38.Rxf6 Nc8 39.Rh6
Most probably this very fine move must have been overlooked by Black in his forecast of the position.  It wins by force (see diagram).
39...Rf8 40.Nf5 Rf6 41.Rh5 Rg6 42.Qf2
Zukertort pursues his attack with his usual vigor and energy.
42...Qf8
If 42...Qf6, the e-pawn would also have advanced, and as soon as the bishop entered at e5 White threatened Ne7+, followed by Rh8#.
43.e5 Nb6 44.exd6 Nd5 45.Be5
The finishing stroke.
45...Nf4 [?:??-3:00] 46.Rh8+ Kf7 47.Rxf8+ Rxf8 48.Bxf4 gxf4 49.Qxh4 1-0
London Field, 1881.07.09

Game 6: Tuesday, July 5, 1881.

The sixth game, played at Simpson’s on Tuesday, the 5th inst.—The same opening as in the fourth game with the improvement suggested in our comments on the latter, namely, that the white Q was developed at K 2.  Black (Zukertort) also made an alteration in his plan by opposing his B at K 3, which must have been a lost move, as it turned out ; for he had afterwards, as in the 4th game, to capture with that B the adverse Kt, which came in at B 5.  It was all manœuvring up to the 24th move, when Black exchanged the first pawn—rather too soon, we believe; and we do not think there was any difference in the respective positions.  Zukertort, with another precipitate advance of the Q P, brought his Kt at Q B 4 into a loose position, which caused him some trouble.  On the 30th and 31st move he proceeded with a similar incautious line of attack with the pawns on the right wing, where he had castled; and, to speak in the parlance of Dr Meitner—who first introduced the joke in criticising some of the games played by Herr Steinitz in the Vienna tournament—“White came out with half a pawn ahead ;” and after that the exchange of queens, which soon followed, Blackburne’s advantage grew in natural course to the extent of a tangible P.  As usual in hard endings, analysis finds that the ultimate winner might have despatched the game quicker; but there was some fine play nevertheless on both sides.  The game was adjourned about a quarter to eleven at night, and finished next day at the St. George’s, when Blackburne seized the right moment for exchanging rooks, and forced victory with B and a passed Q R P against Kt in excellent style.  Duration, seven and a half hours.  Both players seemed to suffer severely from the excessive heat of the weather which prevailed last week; and as they had already played on three successive days, it was agreed that the match should be continued to-day at Simpson’s.

The score stands now: Blackburne, 1; Zukertort, 3; drawn, 2.
London Field, 1881.07.09

Date: 1881.07.05
Site: ENG London (Simpson’s Divan)
Event: Game 6
White: Blackburne,JH
Black: Zukertort,JH
Opening: [C54] Italian
Annotator: Wilhelm Steinitz
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.Be3 Bb6 7.Nbd2 Ne7 8.Nf1 c6 9.h3 h6 10.Qe2
The queen is better placed here than at c2; but the question is, whether she should be brought out at all at this stage, and whether with a move in advance he ought not to try Black’s plan by advancing 10.g4 and entering with his knight at f5 viá g3.
10...Be6
This seems to entail loss of time; and, though both parties can apparently afford delays in maneuvering, yet we think it might make some ultimate difference if the bishop were kept at home in order to proceed at once with 10...g5, 11...Ng6, etc.
11.Bb3 g5 12.0-0-0 Ng6 13.Ng3 Qe7 14.Nf5 Bxf5 15.exf5 Nf4 16.Qf1 0-0-0 17.Bxb6 axb6 18.g3 N4d5 19.c4
Which drives him where he wants to go.  19.Qe2 followed by 20.Rhe1 in order to advance the d-pawn appears to us the better plan.
19...Nc7 20.Qe1 Nd7 21.Qc3 Qf6
Useless.  The queen stood better where she was, and 21...f6 was preferable.
22.g4 [1:00-?:??] 22...b5 23.Nd2 Nc5 24.Bc2
Best, as Black threatened 24...b4.
24...bxc4
This premature exchange liberates White’s bishop and d-rook, and rids the adversary of a weak pawn.  Up to this we were inclined to take Black’s game for choice, though the difference did not amount to much.  The game is now about even.
25.dxc4 d5
Also too early.  He should have prepared with 25...Qe7 in order to be enabled to retake with the knight.
26.cxd5 Rxd5 [?:??-1:00] 27.Nc4 Nd7 28.Qb4 c5 29.Qb3 Rd4 30.Rhe1 b5
30...Qa6 was the right play.  Unless White then exchanged rooks, in which case the c-pawn could retake, he had no better defense than Na3 or Bb3, and then Black could enter either at b5 or d5 with his knight, and afterwards, accordingly, gain for the knight the post at d4 by exchanging rooks or the strong point at f4.
31.Nd2 c4
An error in judgment which compromises his position for the ending.
32.Qb4 [2:00-?:??]
Well played.  If 32.Ne4 at once, the reply was 32...Qe7.
32...Qd6
32...Qa6 was of no use now, as White could afford to give up the a-pawn, and attack with the knight at e4.  Also, if 32...Qc6, the knight would come in at e4, and, if then, Black’s knight would attack at d5 White would capture the b-pawn with the queen, and afterwards recover the queen by 35.Nd6+.
33.Qxd6 Rxd6 34.Ne4 Rxd1+ 35.Rxd1 Ne8
If 35...Rf8, White would check at d6, followed by 37.a4.
36.Rd5 Kc7 37.Rxb5 Nd6 38.Nxd6 Kxd6 39.Be4 Rb8 [?:??-2:00] 40.Rd5+ Ke7 41.f3 f6 42.Kc2 Nb6 43.Rb5 Kd6 44.a4
He could have won here much quicker by 44.Bd5.  The c-pawn could not be saved then, for, in reply to 44...Kc7, White would still capture, followed by 46.Rc5+.
44...Nd7
Black defends himself very ingeniously.
45.Rd5+
As afterwards pointed out by Zukertort, there was no more than a draw now if he exchanged rooks, e.g.: 45.Rxb8 Nxb8 46.Kc3 Kc5 47.a5 Na6 48.Bb7 Nc7, followed by 49...Nb5+, etc.
45...Kc7 46.Ra5 Kd6 47.Ra6+ [3:00-?:??] 47...Rb6 48.Ra8 Rb8 49.a5
He has gained an important move, and chosed the right position for allowing the exchange.  The latter part of the ending is excellently played by Blackburne.
49...Rxa8 50.Bxa8 Kc5 [?:??-3:00]
50...Nc5 would no more save the game, for he can no more reach c7 with the knight, e.g.: 50...Nc5 51.Bb7 Kc7 (best; if 51...Nxb7 the a-pawn goes straight to queen) 52.a6 Kb6 53.Kc3, and, after taking the c-pawn, the king walks over to the kingside.
51.Bb7 Kb5 52.a6 Kb6 53.Kc3 e4 54.fxe4 Ne5 55.Kd4 Ka7 56.Kc5 Kb8 57.Bd5 1-0
If the knight checks at d3, the answer is 58.Kb6.
London Field, 1881.07.09

Game 7: Monday, July 11, 1881.

The seventh game, played at the St. George’s, on Monday, the 11th inst.  This game, which was due to be played on the previous Saturday, was adjourned to the above date in consequence of Mr Blackburne having felt indisposed.  By the rules of the match each player is entitled to claim two days’ exemption within eight weeks ; but we understand that Mr Zukertort agreeably consented not to count this postponement; and thus each player retains his full privilege for two adjournments.

The usual dull and heavy French defence adopted by Blackburn [sic] led this time to early complications of an interesting character.  The first critical situation arose on the eleventh move, when Zukertort left himself open to his K B P being doubled by taking the Kt.  It has always been one of the most difficult points in this opening to decide when such an exchange may be allowed ; for the player who permits his pawns on the K side to be thus weakened, obtains often a strong attack with his rooks on the open K Kt file, and retains two bishops.  When, however, as was here the case, the Q could already gain early entrance on the K R file, and White would have been forced to block one of the two bishops by the compulsory advance of the K B P, we believe that Black would have had the best of the struggle with his two knights, as he could soon bring over the Q Kt to the K side viá K 2.  Blackburne, however, made a strong preparatory move, whereupon White, of course, withdrew the K Kt to R 4, and soon obtained an attack by the advance of the K B P.  The chief crisis then came on Black’s sixteenth move, when Blackburne, in his usual attacking style, decided on giving up a P in the hope of recovering it with an augmented position.  Mr Blackburne’s anti-drawing inclination makes him one of the most dangerous rivals in tournaments where the draws count half ; but the same characteristic places him at great disadvantage in a single-handed match, more especially when he stands already behind in the score.  In such a case it is most dangerous policy to try to force a win at some hazard, for this amounts actually to giving the large odds of the draw, which, in the opinion of some authorities, is equivalent to pawn and move, while it is clearly the wiser plan for the party who stands at a disadvantage in the score to take such odds for himself by keeping on the defensive, and watching for more positive opportunities of increasing his score.  This is proved by the experience gained from previous great contests, and the famous match between Harrwitz and Lowenthal furnishes an extraordinary example.  The winner of the first eleven games was to be declared victor, and at one time Harrwitz had only won two games, while Lowenthal already scored nine.  The final issue was the almost incredible event that Harrwitz won the match, and, in the opinion of good authorities, his victory was chiefly due to his having mostly adopted purely defensive tactics.  Another most remarkable case in point is the match between Kolisch and Paulsen for the first eleven games up, in which the latter stood at once time with five games against one ahead in the score.  Kolisch then contented himself to draw game after game, occasionally adding a victory, until at last the match was given up as undecided, with the final score of—Paulsen 7, Kolisch 6, and 17 drawn.  However, it should be pointed out that the two above-named contests occurred before the introduction of the time limit, and it is difficult to say how far the modern time restriction would interfere with such defensive tactics, which seem also not to be congenial to Blackburne’s style.

Under any circumstances, we do not think that Blackburne’s sacrifice of the P was sound, though we do not approve of the mode which his opponent chose for retaining it, and much prefer the process indicated below in our notes.  For, as it happened, Blackburne had an excellent opportunity on the 24th move of fully equalising the game by P to B 4.  He, however, missed that, and later on, on the 29th move, he became still more flurried under the pressure of time limit.  He had then a fine prospect of saving the game by Kt to B 4 ; but, instead of adopting this salvation resource, he actually committed a blunder in retreating the Kt to Kt 4, at the cost of his protective P on the K side.  Blackburne resorted to Kt to B 4 at the wrong time on the 31st move, and his opponent made a good enough answer with Q to R 3, though he could have won the game more elegantly and in a shorter way by B to R 6.  After one more ingenious but futile attempt to retrieve himself on the next move, by leaving the Q en prise and threatening to recover with the check of the Kt at B 7, to which Zukertort gave the proper repartee Black’s defence broke down completely, and the game ended by Zukertort announcing mate in five moves.  Duration four hours and a half.
London Field, 1881.07.16

Date: 1881.07.11
Site: ENG London (St. George’s Chess Club)
Event: Game 7
White: Zukertort,JH
Black: Blackburne,JH
Opening: [C01] French
Annotator: Wilhelm Steinitz
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.exd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Bd6 6.Bd3 0-0 7.0-0 Nc6
The best theoretical authorities, including Zukertort, consider this the strongest defensive development at this point.
8.Bg5 Bg4 9.Kh1
In order to capture the d-pawn without remaining subjected to the answer of ...Bxh2+.
9...Be7 10.Be3
White has obtained a change of post for his bishop, which, in the opinion of Zukertort, is of some importance for his development.
10...Qd7 11.Qd2
Questionable.
11...Bd6
For we think that Black’s having developed the queen at d7 makes a material difference in enabling him now to capture the knight with advantage (see introduction). The game might then have proceeded thus: 11...Bxf3 12.gxf3 Qh3 13.Be2 Bd6 14.f4 Ne7 15.Rg1 Nf5 with a good game.
12.Nh4
The knight was bound to remove now, and this was the best plan, in order to avoid an offer of exchange by 12...Bf5.
12...Rae8 13.f3 Be6
13...Qd8, though tempting, would have been bad, e.g.: 13...Qd8 14.fxg4 Ne4 (if 14...Nxg4, the answer is 15.Nf5) 15.Nxe4 dxe4 (if 15...Qxh4, the answer is obviously 16.Nxd6) 16.Bg5, and wins; for, in reply to 16...f6, he first checks with 17.Bc4+.
14.f4 Qd8 15.Nf3 Bb4 16.f5 Ne4
See introduction. 16...Bc8 was the proper play. If White then pinned the knight by 17.Bg5, he could reply 17...Be7; and, though his position would have become cramped, it apparently only called for exercise of patience, and he had nothing in reality to fear.
17.Bxe4 dxe4 [?:??-1:00] 18.fxe6 exf3 19.exf7+ Rxf7 20.Rxf3 Rd7
Exchanging rooks, followed by ...Bxc3, and afterwards ...Qd5, would have afforded him no compensation for the pawn lost, for White would retake the knight with the queen, followed by Bg1, and he would have ample time for advancing the a-pawn, and then protecting his f-pawn with the rook, if necessary, when doubly attacked.
21.Rf4 [1:00-?:??]
An awkward sort of defense, which should only have led to an even game while we believe that the advantage gained could have been better secured by 21.Bg1, e.g.: 21.Bg1 Ne5 (This seems best; if 21...Nxd4 the answer is 22.Rd3, followed by Rd1; and, though Black will in the meanwhile protect the knight by ...c5, he will not gain sufficient time to extricate both the e8-rook and the queen from the pinning action of the adverse pieces, and White will ultimately win by the advance of the a-pawn, followed by b4, and ultimately Nb5) 22.Rh3 c5 (best; if 22...Nc4, of course White wins by 23.Qd3 threatening Qxh7+) 23.a3 Ba5 (This seems best; though it apparently loses time, for he gains his object of compelling the adverse d-pawn to advance and loosen it from its pawn support. 23...cxd4 is obviously inferior; and, if 23...Bxc3, the pawn retakes and White then threatens to remove the queen to e2, which will have the effect of compelling Black either to exchange pawns, or else to abandon another pawn on the c-file. White, in the latter case, ought to be able to bring his two pawns ahead to account in the ending, albeit, their being trebled on one file) 24.d5 Bxc3 25.Qxc3 b6 26.Re3, and Black dare not capture the d-pawn, or White will bring the other rook at e1, and afterwards the bishop to bear upon the knight.
21...Ne7 22.Qd3 Bxc3 23.bxc3 Nd5 24.Rf3 Rde7
24...c5 was now the correct move to equalize the game, for we cannot see how White could keep any advantage after that.  25.Qc4 would be bad in reply, as Black could attack the queen by 25...b5.  If 25.Rd1, Black could also reply 25...b5; and, if 25.Bf2, the knight would retreat to b6, followed by ...c5; and, subsequently, as soon as Black’s c-pawn is unattacked or sufficiently protected, the knight would gain an unassailable position at d5, which, in combination with the pressure of the knight against the adverse front c-pawn, would make the game quite even.
25.Bd2 Qd6 26.Raf1 Nf6 27.Bf4 Qd5 28.Be5 Ne4 29.Rf4
29.Rf5 at once would have compelled the advance of 29...g6, which would have apparently weakened Black’s position on the kingside.  But on the other hand it would give Black opportunities of reaching g7 with his knight via e6, after resorting to ...Nc5, which he had always at his disposal, even if his own queen were in the meanwhile to be attacked by c4.
29...Ng5
A flagrant error which loses his most important pawn, and disintegrates his position on the kingside.  29...Nc5 would have enabled him to make a good fight for a draw, whether White offered the exchange of queens at f3 or not.
30.Rf5
Promptly taking advantage. After this Black’s game becomes hopeless.
30...Ne6 [?:??-2:00] 31.Bxg7 Nc5
Much too late now.  White was not likely to submit to the exchange of queens.
32.Qh3
This wins no doubt, but 32.Bh6 threatening mate with the doubled rooks, and also 33.Qg3+, was more precise, and finer style. We give a diagram of the position.
32...Ne4
Just on the chance that White would take the queen at once which led to mere exchange by the answer 33...Nf2+.
33.Be5 Rxe5 (# in 5), 1-0
Commencing with 34.Qg4+.  The knight must then interpose, and the queen takes, followed by 36.Rf8+.
London Field, 1881.07.16

Game 8: Tuesday, July 12, 1881.

The eighth game, played on Monday [sic], July 12, at Simpson’s. This game which lasted somewhat less than two hours requires little comment. The opening was the same, Giuoco pianissimo, as in the fourth and six games, with the modification that Blackburne in his development dispensed with the retreat of the B to Kt 3, and the advance of P to K R 3. The nature of this opening, at least in the form favoured by Blackburne, did not apparently allow the first player to profit much by the gain of those two moves, and the respective positions stood about even when Blackburne instituted an exchange of two minor pieces and the Q, which resulted in Black’s K being temporarily shut up, while White’s rooks were doubled on the K file. Zukertort then promptly opposed his Q R, protected by the Kt, and a few moves after the additional exchange had been effected, the game presented such an even position, with little scope for action on either side, that a draw was declared by mutual consent.
London Field, 1881.07.16

Date: 1881.07.12
Site: GBR London (Simpson’s Divan)
Event: Game 8
White: Blackburne,JH
Black: Zukertort,JH
Opening: [C54] Italian
Annotator: Wilhelm Steinitz
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.Be3 Bb6 7.Nbd2 Ne7 8.Nf1 c6 9.Ng3 h6 10.Qe2 g5 11.0-0-0 Ng6 12.d4 Qe7 13.Nf5
This leads to an even game, though White gains first possession of the open e-file with doubled rooks. Probably Blackburne thought that the latter contingency, which is usually a favorable one, should have yielded him some retainable advantage. However, excepting perhaps 13.h4, the consequences of which required great forethough, we see no other feasible line of continuation for White.
13...Bxf5 14.exf5 Nf4 15.Bxf4 exf4 16.Rde1 Qxe2 17.Rxe2+ Kf8 18.Rhe1 Re8
The proper rejoinder, which completely neutralizes the action of the opponent's doubled rooks.
19.Rxe8+ [1:00-?:??]
If 19.Nd2, Black's king will first move to g7; and should White then attempt to enter at e7, then Black would make himself safe by 20...d5 followed by 21...Bd8. It should be observed that it is necessary to bring the king out first, for if 19...d5, White after retreating the bishop might cause some embarrassment to Black's position by returning with the knight to f3, and fixing himself at e5 without allowing both rooks to be exchanged.
19...Nxe8 20.g4 fxg3 21.fxg3 d5 22.Bd3 f6 ½-½
Black will bring his rook to e7 via R2 to face that of the opponent, and neither side has any means of egress.
London Field, 1881.07.16

Game 9: Saturday, July 16, 1881.

The ninth game of the match, which was due to be played on Thursday last, was postponed till to-day, when the meeting will take place at Simpson’s. The adjournment was this time made at the instance [sic] of Mr Zukertort, and Mr Blackburne in his turn agreed that it should not count as one of the exception days to which each combatant is entitled. We are glad to note the good feeling which exists between the two players, as shown by such mutual consideration.

The score stands now—Zuffertort [sic] 4, Blackburne 1, drawn 3.
London Field, 1881.07.16

The ninth game played at Simpson’s on Saturday, the 16th inst., was opened by Zukertort with his favourite irregular Kt to K B 3. We have already commented on this move, when it occurred in some of the games of last year’s match between Zukertort and Rosenthal. It is an ordinary introduction to the Q P opening, unless Black should be induced to answer Kt to Q B 3, in which case White would gain the advantage by replying P to Q 4. As was to be expected, the game resolved itself into a close one, Blackburne adopting K P 1, followed by the Q fianchetto for the defence, without advancing the Q P until he had castled. We believe that this might have been turned to his disadvantage if Zukertort, on the seventh move, had pushed the P to Q 5. But White adopted the usual developments, and proceeded also with the Q fianchetto after castling. The preliminary manœuvring left no perceptible difference of the respective positions in favour of either side, excepting that White’s K R was better posted than Black’s. The first attack of a real character was instituted by Blackburne, who brought Q and B to bear on the adverse only once defended Q R P. But, instead of preserving his K B, he injudiciously allowed its exchange for a Kt on the fourteenth move, and his game seemed then to become badly cramped by the entrance of the adverse Kt at K 5. However, only two moves later on, he was not alone released, owing to a feeble exchange of knights adopted by Zukertort, but he would have even obtained the better game if he had retaken in the more advantageous way with the Q, instead of with the Kt. Zukertort then pressed for an exchange of queens, though we believe he might have made more of his game by bringing his R up for the attack on the K side, viá K R 3. The exchange of queens having been effected, Blackburne simplified the game still more by a manœuvre with his Q Kt P, whereby he god [sic] rid of both adverse centre pawns, and forced the exchange of rooks, his opponent, however, retaining, in conjunction with two bishops, a passed Q R P, which threatened to become formidable after the exchange of all the pieces. Blackburne directed his efforts to freeing his K P for attacking purposes, and he certainly misjudged his position strongly if he tried to reserve for himself the option of playing to win, as appears to have been the case, for he seemed to be reluctant to allow his Kt to be exchanged and to remain with bishops of opposite colours, with a clear draw. Especially his retreat of the Kt on the 36th move lost him most valuable time, and he had afterwards a narrow escape from a forced lost game, which Zukertort could have obtained on the 47th move by attacking the Kt at Kt 6 with the B, making room for the entrance of his K at B 5, which would have soon enabled him to oppose his White B at Q B 6, with an easy won game. Zukertort, having instead retreated his K to Q 4, gave Blackburne breathing time, and again he could have made his defence good on the 50th move by opposing the K at K 4, so as to threaten to drive the adverse K right back with the ch at Q 4. Again, a little later on, he had an excellent prospect of relieving himself by advancing his R P when attacked, instead of the Kt P. His having fixed the pawns on the K side on white squares, gave Zukertort an opportunity of executing one of his fine manœuvres with the B, whereby he ultimately forced the gain of the K R P. But, even after this, Black’s game was still defensible, if he had pursued the plan of endeavouring to sacrifice his Kt and a P on the K side for the two adverse pawns on the same wing. But at this critical stage Blackburne, apparently under pressure of time limit, committed a gross error of judgment which proved fatal. Instead of allowing the P to be taken by the B, and trying to effect an entrance with his Kt at B 6, viá Kt 4, he advanced the R P, thus allowing his opponent an additional passed P on the other wing. The sally of his Kt at B 5, which he had prepared at the cost of a valuable P, proved utterly useless for defensive purposes, and, with a few powerful and well-directed manœuvres of his two bishops, Zukertort secured the advance and ultimate queening of the K R P, whereupon Blackburne resigned. Duration, seven hours.
London Field, 1881.07.23

Date: 1881.07.16
Site: ENG London (Simpson’s Divan)
Event: Game 9
White: Zukertort,JH
Black: Blackburne,JH
Opening: [A46] Indian
Annotator: Wilhelm Steinitz
1.Nf3 e6 2.e3 Nf6 3.d4 b6 4.a3 Bb7 5.c4 Be7 6.Nc3 0-0
Too soon. We believe ...d5 to be necessary as soon as the adverse b-knight was brought out.
7.Bd3
We prefer 7.d5, thus blocking the adverse light-square bishop, and also making it extremely difficult for the opponent to find a convenient development for his b-knight.
7...d5 8.0-0 Nbd7
This knight is generally better posted in this opening at c6 after advancing ...c5.
9.b3 c5 10.Bb2 cxd4 11.exd4 Rc8 12.Rc1 Bd6 13.Re1 Qe7 14.Nb5 a6
He could not well retreat 14...Bb8, on account of the reply 15.a4 threatening 16.Ba3; but there was really no reason against 14...Bf4, followed by 15...a6.
15.Nxd6 Qxd6 16.Ne5 dxc4 [?:??-1:00] 17.Nxd7
An injudicious exchange, which not alone throws away a fine position, but might have given the superiority to the opponent. 17.bxc4 at once was the right play. Apparently he was afraid of the reply, 17...Nxe5, under the assumption that he was bound to retake with the pawn, whereupon the queen would first threaten mate at c6, and then remove the knight to d7, having weakened White’s center; but as White could in that case retake 18.Rxe5, thus keeping the position of his pawns on the queenside intact, there was no real objection to recapturing the pawn at once.
17...Nxd7
17...Qxd7 was superior, for it would have enabled him afterwards to break the adverse center by ...b5. White was then bound to keep on the defensive, for any attempt on his part to press the attack by 18.d5, must have failed, and might have led to the following continuation: 17...Qxd7 18.bxc4 b5 19.d5 (We suggest this line of play, as it appears tempting for attacking purposes, and looks dangerous for Black, who, however, will obtain the advantage by best play. 19.c5 would give White decidedly the worst of the game; 19.cxb5 is best, but even then we slightly prefer Black’s game) 19...bxc4 20.Bxf6 cxd3 (The only move. Should he take the other bishop, then follows 21.Bxh7+, and if 21...Kxh7 the queen checks twice, followed by Re3, winning) 21.Qg4 g6 22.Qg5 Qxd5, threatening mate should White’s queen enter at h6, with two pawns ahead.
18.bxc4 Qf4 19.Qe2
With the view of offering the exchange of queens, in reliance on the strength of his two bishops for the ending. But we believe he would have made more of his superior position by keeping his full forces and entering on an attack against the adverse kingside with his rook via e3.
19...Nf6 20.Qe3 Qxe3 21.Rxe3
Better than retaking with the pawn, in which case Black might have fixed his knight in at e4, protecting it afterwards by ...f5, producing a drawn position, as the knight could not be got rid of without leaving bishops of opposite colors.
21...Rfd8 22.f4
With the intention of advancing this pawn to the 5th, which could not be stopped by 22...g6, on account of the immediate reply 23.d5.
22...b5
This was best now. He was bound to get rid of the adverse center, in view of the dangerous advance pointed out in our last note.
23.cxb5 Rxc1+ 24.Bxc1 axb5 25.Bxb5 Rxd4 26.Rd3 Rxd3 27.Bxd3 [1:00-?:??] 27...Bc6 28.g3 Nd5 29.Kf2 f6 30.Ke2 Kf7 31.Kd2
He could not take the h-pawn, for obviously his bishop would have been shut out by 31...g6. But we see no object in this move, which blocks out the dark-square bishop. 31.Bc2 at once, in order to enter at d3 with his king, seems preferable.
31...h6 [?:??-2:00] 32.Bc2 e5 33.Kd3
Waste of time. He ought to have exchanged pawns at once.
33...Bb5+ 34.Kd2 Bc6
As a draw was the only possible result by best play on both sides, and he could only compromise himself by playing to win, it was his best plan to capture the pawn, whereupon the game might have continued thus: 34...exf4 35.Bb3 (Best; for if 35.a4, Black would take 35...fxg3, threatening 36...g2) 35...Bc6 36.gxf4 g5 37.fxg5 (If 37.f5, Black’s king would retreat, and then attack the pawn by ...Ne7, unless the knight be exchanged, which leads to a clear draw) 37...fxg5, with an even game.
35.fxe5 fxe5 36.Kd3 Nb6
A bad move. 36...Ke6 at once would have actually given him the same position as he obtains for his side on the 40th move, with the enormous difference that the adverse a-pawn could not advance on account of 37...Nb4+, and White’s dark-square bishop was not in such good play.
37.Be3 Bb5+ 38.Kc3 Nd5+
He could not allow the king to enter at b4.
39.Kd2 Ke6 40.a4 Bc6
Compare note to Black’s 36th move.
41.Bc5 Nf6 42.Kc3 g5 43.a5 Nd5+
43...Ne4+, was, we believe, preferable on the whole, though he would lose it if he afterwards exchanged for the bishop, e.g.: 43...Ne4+ 44.Kb4 Nxc5 45.Kxc5 Kd7 46.Bb3 (Threatening 47.Bd5) 46...e4 47.Kd4, followed by 48.Bc2, and wins; for White’s king will be earlier in crossing over to the kingside and gaining the pawns.
44.Kc4 h5 45.a6 Nc7 46.a7 e4 [?:??-3:00] 47.Kd4
Zukertort rightly considers that he could have forced the game here by 47.Bb6. Wherever the knight went to, the white king could come up to c5; and then the other bishop could soon be brought to oppose at c6, via a4, which settled matters.
47...Nb5+ 48.Ke3 Kf5 49.Bd4 Nc7 50.Bc5 [2:00-?:??] 50...Nb5
It was obviously much stronger to oppose the king at e5, with the view of driving the king still further back by ...Nd5+. We believe he had then a sure drawn game.
51.Bd1 g4
Also provoking useless trouble. The h-pawn becomes now weak, and it was obviously better to advance the other pawn.
52.Bb3 Nc7 53.Bf7 Nd5+ 54.Kd4 Nc7 55.Bb6
Which leaves the opponent some more chance, while 55.Bxh5 would have won immediately; for the resource of 55...Nb5, which he had at subsequent stage, would have been unavailable, on account of the rejoinder 56.Be8, followed by 57.Bd7+. On the other hand, if 55...Ne6+, followed by 56...Nxc5, the king would retake, attacking the bishop; and White would then either queen first, with a clear piece ahead, or return with the king to d4, stopping the pawn.
55...Ne6+ 56.Ke3 h4
A gross blunder. It was easy to foresee that the extra passed pawn on the other wing would win. On the other hand, if he allowed the pawn to be taken by the bishop, he had still some prospect of a draw, for he could gain the adverse h-pawn, e.g.: 56...Ng5 57.Bxh5 Nf3 58.Be8 Ba8 59.Bd7+ Ke5 60.Bxg4 Nxh2 and though, by proper play, White should win, Black retained still a chance of sacrificing his knight for the only adverse pawn on the kingside, and then to draw by bringing his king over to the queenside; for if he only succeeded in exchanging the hostile light-square bishop for his own, and to reach b7 with his king, White could not win with the passed pawn at a7 in conjunction with the dark-square bishop. This is a well-known book position. Black’s king moves alternately to a8 and b7, and White’s king can only come near enough to effect stalemate.
57.gxh4 Nf4 58.Be8 Nd5+ 59.Kf2 Bb7 60.Be3 Nf6 [?:??-4:00] 61.Bf7 Nd7 62.h5 Ne5 63.Bg8
After this it is all over. Zukertort has played the greatest part of this game in masterly style.
63...Nf3 64.h6 Kg6 65.h7 Kg7 66.Bc1 1-0
London Field, 1881.07.23

Game 10: Monday, July 18, 1881.

The tenth game of the match was commenced on Monday, the 18th inst., at the St. George’s Chess Club. The opening was the same sort of Scotch Gambit as in the second game of the match, with the alteration of P to K 5 on the sixth move, suggested in our note (a) to that game, which line of play seemed to give Blackburne the best of the development, while his opponent laboured under the disadvantage of a doubled P on the Q side. Blackburne, however, lost time in placing his R at Q sq on the 11th move; and again on the 15th move he blocked his B uselessly with his Q, instead of retreating to B sq. His pieces on the Q side became so much hampered, that his opponent might have obtained the superior game on the 18th move by attacking the Q B P at R 4 with the Q as soon as White’s Q Kt was developed; instead of which, Zukertort advanced the K R P for an attack on the K side, and this far-advanced P ultimately proved a source of weakness. The manœuvring on both sides presented most interesting phases, and virtually lasted up to the 31st move, when Blackburne, by the entrance of his Kt at K Kt 5, obtained two bishops against B and Kt, at the same time preparing a strong attack with his pawns on the K Kt and K B file, which compelled Zukertort to leave his advanced R P undefended. Blackburne ought not to have hesitated to capture it, though it apparently exposed his K side; for there was in reality no danger, and the adverse Kt would have been imprisoned, unless Black gave up another P. However, his game was still good enough, and he could afford to place his two rooks in a very awkward position; but, to the surprise of connoisseurs, he relieved Black on the 36th move from his greatest weakness on the Q side, the doubled P on the Q B file, for no other reason than to give a useless check. This involved besides subsequent loss of time by retreating the B; but he retained still sufficient superiority to be able to sacrifice the exchange for a P on the 42nd move. At this point the fight became most exciting, and both parties had an extremely difficult game to conduct. On the 45th move Blackburne offered the exchange of rooks too soon, while he could have gained a most important move by finessing with the K to Kt sq. Zukertort then released himself from the more immediate danger by exchanging pawns, which left the opponent with two dangerous passed pawns in the centre, and then, by a beautiful attack on the Q with the B, he forced the exchange of Queens. After one move more made by Zukertort, the game, which had already lasted seven hours, was adjourned till the following Wednesday, Mr Blackburne giving his reply in a sealed envelope. On the resumption of the game at Simpson’s, Zukertort executed a manœuvre with his R forming part of a combination for stopping the adverse pawns which he may well be proud of from the practical point of view, for it appears that the only other feasible line of play, viz., R to R 5, would have lost, while the move adopted raised a great number of difficult complications, and actually a draw was effected. But we have devoted great care and attention to the study of this position, and, though we may cause some disappointment, it is our duty as faithful analysts to pronounce, contrary to the opinion of both players, that the process to which Black resorted ought not to have succeeded in averting defeat. We produce below some analytical proof as far as our space will permit, following chiefly the line of play proposed afterwards by the two opponents. The rest must be a matter for position judgment, and for our part we believe that the white pawns should have won against the exchange. As it was, the parties kept bishops of opposite colours. Blackburne’s superiority of two pawns being divided on the two wings, and, though he tried various dodges, he could not dislodge the adverse K and B from the commanding positions which stopped the progress of both pawns. The game then declared drawn. Duration, nine hours.
London Field, 1881.07.23

Date: 1881.07.18 & 1881.07.20
Site: ENG London (St. George’s Chess Club)
Event: Game 10
White: Blackburne,JH
Black: Zukertort,JH
Opening: [C45] Scotch
Annotator: Wilhelm Steinitz
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5
In our first note to the second game of the match we proposed this move in lieu of 6.Bd3 then played.
6...Ne4 7.Qf3
A very good move, and superior to 7.Bd3, to which Black might have replied 7...Nc5.
7...Ng5 8.Qg3 Ne6 9.Bd3 d5 10.0-0 c5 11.Rd1
Loss of time. He violates for no purpose the elementary rule of development, holding good with very rare exceptions, escpecially in open games, viz., not to move one and the same piece twice before all the pieces are developed.
11...c6 12.b3 Be7 13.f4 Bh4 14.Qf3 Nd4 15.Qe3
An inconvenient post for the queen. 15.Qf1 was ever so much superior.
15...Be7 16.c3 Nf5 17.Qf2 [1:00-?:??] 17...h5 18.Nd2 h4
He could have taken a stronger initiative for attacking purposes by 18...Qa5—e.g.: 18...Qa5 19.Bb2 c4 20.b4 (best) 20...Qc7 and we prefer Black’s game.
19.Nf3 g6 20.Rb1 Rb8 21.Rb2 h3 [?:??-1:00] 22.g3 Nh6 23.c4 Bg4 24.Re1
24.Be4 looks tempting, but we believe Black could have given up the queen safely in that case—e.g.: 24.Be4 dxe4 25.Rxd8+ Rxd8 26.Ne1 (if 26.Nd2 , then follows 26...Nf5) 26...Rd1 27.Rc2 Bf3, followed by 28...Ng4, and 29...0-0, and we prefer Black’s game.
24...Be6 25.Rd2 Qc8 26.Qf1 Bd8 27.Rc2 Nf5 28.Bd2 Bb6 29.Kh1 Qd8 30.Ng5 [2:00-?:??] 30...Qe7 31.Bc3 Rh6 32.Nxe6 fxe6 33.g4 Nh4 [?:??-2:00] 34.Ree2
An ugly arrangement of rooks, more suitable for the defense, while he had evidently the attack in hand. He could take the h-pawn safely, and the knight had no move; for if 34...Nf5 the queen would play to f3, and afterwards to g3, should the knight return to h4. If 35...Nd4, White would exchange, followed by 37.g5, winning another pawn.
34...Kd7 35.Be1 Qf7 36.cxd5
Very feeble. He only obtains a uselelss check thereby, and has again to retreat with the bishop.
36...cxd5 37.Bb5+ Ke7 38.Bg3 Kf8 39.Bd3 Ng2 40.Qc1 d4 41.f5 Ne3 42.Rxe3
Excellent play. He retains sufficient to win.
42...dxe3 43.Qxe3 g5
This pawn cannot be taken, on pain of mate after 44...Qb7+.
44.Bc4 Rd8 45.Rd2
Too early. The finessing move 45.Kg1 would have compelled Black to protect the g-pawn, and White could then oppose the rook with greater advantage. Black could not reply 45...Qb7—e.g.: 45.Kg1 Qb7 46.Qxg5 Rd1+ 47.Kf2 Qg2+ 48.Ke3, and wins, for if 48...Qxc2 White mates in a few moves after 49.Qxh6+, following it up, accordingly to where the king moves, either by 50.Qg7+ or 50.Qh8+.
45...Qb7+ 46.Kg1 Rxd2 47.Qxd2 [3:00-?:??] 47...exf5 48.gxf5 Ba5 [?:??-3:00]
A splendid move. The exchange of queens is forced now; for if the queen does not oppose at d5, 49...Bc3 follows, threatening the fatal 50...Bd4+.
49.Qd5 Qxd5 50.Bxd5 Bc3 51.Kf2
At this point the game was adourned till Wednesday.
51...Ra6
Zukertort deserves the highest credit for this very fine resource as regards actual play; but it is our duty to give our opinion that it would not succeed in saving the game against analysis. He had, however, nothing better. For instance, 51...Rh4 would have lost—e.g.: 51...Rh4 52.Bxh4 gxh4 53.e6 Ke7 (best) 54.Kf3 Be5 55.Kg4 Bxh2 56.Kxh4 and after getting rid of the other h-pawn he maneuvers the king over to b5, leaving his own a-pawn untouched (which is most important). He will then win either one of the pawns on the queenside, and afterwards proceed by playing a3 and b4, or else he will effect an entrance with the king at c6, and ultimately win by playing f6+.
52.a4 c4 53.Bxc4
We give a diagram of this fine position before White’s last move:
53.bxc4 was the right play. It is impossible to exhaust all variations, and we can only give a few moves of a modification of the main line of play as tried afterwards by the two players, feeling sure, however, that the pawns ought to have the best of the struggle against the exchange in any case. Supposing: 53.bxc4 Rxa4 54.Kf3 Ra1 55.e6 (threatening to win at once by 56.Bd6+, followed accordingly by the advance of the e-pawn, or by 57.Bc6+) 55...Ke7 (or 55...Bf6; or 55...Bb4 56.f6 Rf1+ 57.Bf2 a5 [This seems best; if 57...Bc5, White checks at once with the pawn at e7, and Black has only lost a move] 58.Bc6 Rc1 59.c5 Rxc5 60.Bxc5+ Bxc5 61.Kg4, and wins both pawns, afterwards advances the h-pawn, winning easily) 56.c5 and the consistent advance of this pawn ought to win.
53...Ra5
After this beautiful move the game is forced drawn, and White’s subsequent attempts to win could make no impression by proper play on the other side.
54.Kf3 Bxe5 55.Be1 Rc5 56.Bb4 Bd6 57.Bxc5 Bxc5 58.Kg4 Bd6 59.Kxh3 Kg7 60.Kg4 [4:00-?:??] 60...Kf6 61.Ba6 Bxh2 62.b4 Bd6 63.b5 Bc7 64.Bc8 Ba5 65.Kf3 Bc7 66.Kg4 Bd8 67.Bb7 Ke5 68.Bg2 Kf6 69.Bh3 Ke5 70.Kh5 Kf6 71.Kg4 Ke5 72.Bf1 Kf6 73.Bg2 Ke5 74.Bh3 Kf6 75.Kf3 Ke5 76.Ke3 Kd5 77.Bg4 Ke5 ½-½
London Field, 1881.07.23

Game 11: Friday, July 22, 1881.

The eleventh game played on Friday, the 15th [sic] inst., at the St. George’s Chess Club. Our report of this game in our last weeks issues was necessarily brief, as it was only finished a short time before our going to press. We have to correct a misstatement in reference to its duration appearing in our last number, owing to a clerical error, for the game only lasted four and a half hours.

As regards the progress of the game, we notice a feature in the play of the two parties, which is also strongly marked in several previous games of this contest. So long as the placement of the heavy pieces is masked by the movements of pawns, it requires great delicacy of judgment to place especially the rooks, on posts whence they may ultimately be brought into proper action. Though we have never observed it before, we find, from the present and other games of the match, that Blackburne’s play seems to suffer from a peculiar weakness in handling the rooks, and he often shifts then about on different files and rows in a helpless manner. On the other hand, Zukertort posts his rooks generally on squares on which they become soon useful, and rarely changes their position, even for purposes of manœuvring.

Blackburne’s fatal recapture of the R with the Q on the 21st move seems to have been the result of a miscalculation, in which his opponent had reckoned deeper. Most probably Blackburne had left himself open to the advance of P to Kt 5, and on the misapprehension that he could capture it, and if the opponent took the B he would regain the piece by Q to B 2, after exchanging rooks. If we are right in this assumption, it is quite clear that he overlooked the force of the answer Q to Q sq, which kept the piece. Black’s game was lost after that, though he tried to retrieve his fortunes by some clever schemes, which were, however, frustrated by the adverse deep manœuvres. Notably there was a great deal of meaning in the advance of P to K R 3 on both sides on the 24th move, as will be shown below ; and White’s 32nd move comprised a very ingenious trap, which Blackburne saw through and avoided. Blackburne fought the game out tenaciously on some chance of an error ; but he had to resign when his opponent had placed his K out of all possible danger, and doubly attacked Black’s last passed P on the Q R file, which would leave White with a piece and several pawns ahead.
London Field, 1881.07.30

Date: 1881.07.22
Site: ENG London (St. George’s Chess Club)
Event: Game 11
White: Zukertort,JH
Black: Blackburne,JH
Opening: [A13] English
Annotator: Wilhelm Steinitz
1.c4 e6 2.e3 Nf6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 d5 6.d4 Nbd7 7.b3
7.b4 would be premature, on account of the reply 7...a5.
7...Bd6
We think that the f-bishop should be placed at d3 for the attack, and at e7 for the defense. As remarked last week, the respective positions of the bishops were reversed in this game.
8.Bb2 0-0 9.Be2
He might have gained a move here by 9.b4, which would have compelled the adversary to capture the c-pawn.
9...Re8
In conjunction with the pursuance of the plan of advancing the e-pawn after exchanging c-pawn for d-pawn, this would be feasible. But his subsequent hesitation to adopt that measure makes the move of the rook useless.
10.0-0 Nf8
The maneuvering of this knight to the kingside has no object in this opening, where the battle is usually fought on the other wing. Consistent with his previous placement of the rook, he should have taken 10...dxc4, followed by 11...e5.
11.Rc1 c6
Worse than unnecessary. We fail to see any object in blocking up the bishop.
12.b4
Promptly getting the best of the position. Black must now capture the c-pawn, which threatens to advance to c5 with a powerful attack on the queenside.
12...dxc4 13.Bxc4 Ng6 14.Bd3 Qe7
Even now we should have preferred an attempt to open the game by 14...e5. If White then took 15.Bxg6, and drew the rook into the center by subsequent exchanges, it would only lead to an exchange of queens; and Black would suffer no inconvenience from the withdrawal of the adverse c-knight, though it unmasked the bishop. It also prevents f4, for the bishop could now take if that pawn advanced.
15.Ne4 Nxe4 16.Bxe4 Rac8 [?:??-1:00] 17.Qb3
This is high-class judgment, besides a clever finesse. He spots the weak point on the other side, and prevents the advance of the c-pawn, against which he means to direct his attack. It is obvious that, if Black were now to push the c-pawn, White would exchange bishops first, followed by 19.bxc5, winning a clear pawn.
17...Rf8 18.Ne5 Nxe5
Which causes him loss of important time. 18...Bxe5, followed by 19...Qc7, was the proper play. If White then protected the e-pawn, without capturing the knight with the bishop, the knight could be brought into good play immediately, viá e7. In the other alternative, bishops of opposite colors remained, with an even game.
19.dxe5 Bb8 20.Rfd1 Rfd8
This costs a pawn under any circumstances.
21.Rxd8+ Qxd8
A gross miscalculation apparently. Retaking with the rook would have given up the inevitably lost pawn in a much less dangerous way, and he would have had a fair prospect in playing subsequently for a draw by ...Qd7, followed by ...Qd2 in reply to the rook retreating to f1. The move in the text enables White to fix a passed pawn at c6.
22.b5
We give a diagram of this most interesting position.
22...Qe8
In all probability he had previously speculated on now capturing the b-pawn followed by exchanging rooks and ...Qc7. On discovering that White will in that case retain the piece by the ultimate answer Qd1, he injudiciously desists from that course, which, in our opinion, was still the best under the circumstances, e.g.: 22...cxb5 23.Bxb7 Rxc1+ 24.Bxc1 Qc7 25.Qd1 f6 (better than 25...f5 in some contingencies where the king requires room to come out at g6, viá f7) 26.Ba6 Qxe5 27.f4 Qc5, and, with two pawns for the piece, he ought to have been able to make a much better fight for a draw than he did in the actual game, which was hopeless after White’s pawn entered at c6.
23.Qd1 [1:00-?:??]
Correct and precise. To prevent Black from relieving himself by 23...Rc7, in which case White would still capture the pawn, and Black could not capture thrice on account of the impending mate by Qd8.
23...h6
23...g6 would have served his object better; for he would then obtain two passed pawns for the piece by ...Rc7, as will be explained in our next note.
24.h3 Rd8
White’s last move was, we believe, also best against 23...g6 proposed in our last note, and he could then obtain some compensation at this juncture by 24...Rc7, while, as it stands, this plan is not available, as White will ultimately win another pawn, either on the kingside or on the queenside, e.g.: 24...Rc7 25.bxc6 Bxc6 26.Bxc6 Rxc6 27.Rxc6 Qxc6 28.Qd8+ Kh7 (it would make all the difference now if the g-pawn had advanced on the 23rd move, and the king could play to g7) 29.Qxb8 Qc2 30.Bd4 Qc1+ 31.Kh2 Qxa3 32.Qb7 Kg8 33.Qa8+ Kh7 34.Bxb6, and wins easily.
25.Qc2 Bc8
25...Bc7 or 25...Ba8 would have gained a move which might have been of some importance.
26.bxc6 Bc7 27.f4 a5 28.a4 Ba6 29.Ba3 b5 30.axb5 Bxb5 31.Bd6 Bb6 [?:??-2:00]
Obviously he could not take twice, for White would advance c7, followed afterwards by Bb7, in case the queen tried to stop the pawn at c8.
32.Qb3 f5
32...a4 might have led to the following fine variation: 33.Qxb5 Bxe3+ 34.Kh1 Bxc1 35.c7 Rc8 36.Bc6, and wins the queen.
33.Bxf5 a4 34.Qxe6+ Kh8 35.Qxe8+ Rxe8 36.Kf2 g5 37.fxg5 a3 38.c7 Ba6 39.c8Q Bxc8 40.Bxc8
Black makes the most of his defense, though, owing to the nature of the game, this does not amount to much. It is obvious that White could not retake with the rook, or Black would exchange, and queen his a-pawn without obstacle.
40...a2 41.Bb7 Bc7
To prolong the fight by 42...Re7, recovering the piece if White takes.
42.Ra1 Rb8 43.Bd5 Rb2+
Just on the last chance that the king might retreat to the last row, whereupon the rook would check at b1.
44.Kf3 1-0
London Field, 1881.07.30

Game 12: Monday, July 25, 1881.

The twelfth game, played at the St. George’s on Monday, the 25th inst. At the request of Mr Blackburne, who felt indisposed on Saturday last, the match stood adjourned to the above date. The game under notice turned out a poor performance on the part of both players. The opening was the same as in the tenth game, with the alteration that Zukertort this time protected the Kt against the advancing K P by pinning the latter with Q to K 2, whereupon White was naturally bound to defend also by Q to K 2, whereupon White was naturally bound to defend also by Q to K 2, both sides having thus their K B blocked up by the Q. Black’s Kt then entered at Q 4, and, on being attacked by the Q B P, Zukertort pinned with the Q B and castled on the Q side. At this stage on the 10th move, Blackburne had the choice of two good moves, viz., Q to Kt 2 or B to Kt 2, which would have given him a fair game, but he committed a regular blunder, which allowed the opponent to form an attack against the advanced K P; but instead of pressing it by P to Q 3, which must have ultimately gained the P, Zukertort advanced this P two squares, which gave Blackburne time to develope his Q side, and ultimately to castle on that wing, albeit his Q R P could then be taken by the Kt, with ch. We believe that this would have been Black’s best course after all, for White had then hardly sufficient attack worth fearing against the apparently exposed K, and it would have taken him some time to recover the P, while, the way Zukertort played, he ought to have lost a clear P on the twentieth move by B to K 4.

Blackburne adopted instead the weaker advance of P to B 5, which by best play would have only left him with a slight advantage, chiefly on account of the confined position of the adverse Q B. But there would have been still much room for a long and difficult struggle if Zukertort had not on the next moved relieved his opponent from all further trouble by a gross blunder, whereby he left a clear piece to be captured at Q Kt 4, which he could not retake, on account of a mate being threatened by Q to R 8. Black thereupon immediately resigned. Duration three hours.
London Field, 1881.07.30

Date: 1881.07.25
Site: GBR London (St. George’s Chess Club)
Event: Game 12
White: Blackburne,JH
Black: Zukertort,JH
Opening: [C45] Scotch
Annotator: Wilhelm Steinitz
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4 Ba6 9.b3 0-0-0
Zukertort considers this defense, which has not been sufficiently tested in practice, sound.
10.Qe4
By this trap he only endangers himself. He probably intended to induce the answer 10...Nb4, whereupon he would attack with the a-pawn; and if Black answered 11...d5, he would check with the queen at f5. Either 10.Bb2 or 10.Qb2 would have given him a good game. But it may be observed that 10.Ba3 might, at Black’s option, only lead to an exchange of queens; for the queen might capture, followed by 11...Bb4+, whereupon White’s queen would be bound to interpose at once, or a piece would be lost by 12...Nc3+.
10...Nf6 11.Qe2
The queen could not retreat to e3, or a pawn would be lost at once by the answer 11...Ng4.
11...Re8 12.f4 d5
12...d6 must have ultimately gained a pawn for Black; for White could not capture the knight on account of the reply 13...Qd8, followed, if the bishop interposed, by 14...Qxf6, winning the rook.
13.Nc3 Qd7 14.Bd2 d4 [?:??-1:00] 15.Na4 Nd5 16.Qf3 [1:00-?:??] 16...Nb4 17.0-0-0
Bold. We should have preferred 17.Bxb4, followed by 18.Kf2 if 17...Bxb4+; for he threatened afterwards 19.a3, driving back the bishop, which was bound to guard against the entrance of the knight at c5.
17...Qf5
He comes out with the inferior game from this sally. We see no danger in capturing the a-pawn, and, on the contrary, if White afterwards attempted an attack on the a-file, he would most likely find it premature, and involve himself in difficulties which we believe would have been to Black’s advantage, e.g.: 17...Nxa2+ 18.Kb2 Nb4 19.c5 (if 19.Bxb4 first, Black ultimately defends the bishop by ...a5) 19...Bxf1 20.Qxf1 Nd5 21.Qa6+ Kb8 22.Ra1 Re6, and he will soon break the force of the attack by ...Qc8.
18.Bxb4 Bxb4 19.Bd3
Better than 19.Rxd4, in which case Black would have obtained a fair attack by opposing rooks at d8.
19...Qd7 20.c5
He obtains a good game by this, but raises unnecessary complications. 20.Be4, threatening to win the c-pawn and the exchange, would have left him with a plain superiority, for the game would mostly have proceeded thus: 20.Be4 Bb7 21.Qd3 (threatening 22.Bf5) 21...Kb8 22.Qxd4, with a pawn ahead and an excellent game.
20...Bb5
An extraordinary blunder to make in a match game. Of course 20...Bxd3 was the only move. White, we believe, would by best play have still retained some superiority of position, but it was by no means an easy matter to make much of it. The game might then have proceeded thus: 20...Bxd3 21.Qxd3 Rd8 22.Qc4 a5, followed by 23...Qd5, etc.
21.Bxb5 1-0
London Field, 1881.07.30

Game 13: Wednesday, July 27, 1881.

The thirteenth game of the match, played at Simpson’s on Wednesday, the 27th inst.

This game will be one of the most memorable match games on record, owing to its extraordinary curious termination, as well as it vicissitudes in the middle part, and taking into consideration the state of the score at the time, which, as our readers are aware, has been most precarious for Blackburne since the end of last week. The opening, 1. P to Q B 4, resolved itself into a Q gambit declined, with the fianchetto on the Q side for both parties. Blackburne chose the questionable post at Q R 3 for his Q Kt, and made it positively unfavourable by omitting to exchange his Q B P for the adverse Q P, which enabled the opponent ultimately to form a strong centre. Another weak advance of the K B P, to the 4th instead of to the 3rd square, gave Zukertort an opportunity of fixing his pawns strongly from K B 4 to Q 6, with a formidable passed Q P, at the same time blocking up the adverse K B uselessly at K R 3. Instead, however, of securing his position on the K side by P to K R 4, Zukertort placed his Q into inactivity at K R 3. On the 33rd move Zukertort allowed his pawns to be broken up unnecessarily on the K side, instead of moving the K into the corner, which would have kept his fortified position intact. He only gained a doubled P temporarily thereby, and we believe Blackburne could then have obtained the superiority by Kt to B 2, in lieu of Kt to B 3, actually played. Blackburne then tried to relieve himself by liberating his Q B P, and actually succeeded in exchanging queens, and breaking up the adverse centre by a fine sacrifice of a R, the full value of which he immediately recovered. But instead of retaining his Kt on the 45th move by Kt to Kt sq, which would have secured his getting rid of the adverse dangerous passed P at Q 7, he allowed it to be exchanged for the R, and his game then became hopeless to all appearance, for that P was bound to cost a clear piece, while Black’s passed Q B P could be stopped by the K. The match seemed to be virtually over, and Blackburne’s best friends must have considered him fully justified in resigning the game at that stage. But he held on with his defence in a most stubborn manner, and bodly [sic] accepted the exchange of rooks, which left him only to fight with the K and a P, against the adverse Kt and two pawns. Zukertort could have won easily at several subsequent points—namely, on the sixty-fifth move, by Kt to B 6, getting rid of Blackburne’s last P, for if that P advanced to R 3, he could capture, giving up the Kt, and his Kt P was in time to effect the support of the R P. Again, three moves later on, he might have forced a win by bringing his K immediately to B 4, instead of to B 3, with the view of abandoning the Kt ultimately, but only after forcing the adverse K up to B 8, where the Kt should have been posted, while in the meantime White’s K could cross over to the K side and fetch the R P. But, by a singular infatuation, he ran into the very position which Blackburne had been aiming at as a last resource. The manner in which Black draws this game with a clear piece behind will be a most instructive lesson to the students of endings. Mr Blackburne informs us that he first hit on this ingenious resource, which he also succeeded in carrying out here, in a similar position which he had against Mr M‘Donnell about fifteen years ago. He then effected a draw with a piece minus, though there were two pawns left on each side. Zukertort tried in vain to get the opposition, with the object of dislodging the hostile K and of abandoning the Kt, and then to gain the P. Had Black’s P been pushed one step further, the game would have been won for White by that process; but Blackburne wisely refrained from touching that P, and on finding, after several dodging attempts, that Blackburne judiciously persisted in only manœuvring his K, Zukertort gave up the game as drawn.

Duration, eight hours.
London Field, 1881.07.30

Date: 1881.07.27
Site: ENG London (Simpson’s Divan)
Event: Game 13
White: Zukertort,JH
Black: Blackburne,JH
Opening: [D37] Queen’s Gambit Declined
Annotator: Wilhelm Steinitz
1.c4 e6 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.a3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb7 5.e3 d5 6.d4 Be7 7.b3 0-0 8.Bb2 dxc4 9.bxc4 c5 10.Be2 Na6
We repeat that the natural post for the b-knight is at c3.
11.0-0 Ne4
This causes him only loss of time, and gives the opponent the desired opportunity of liberating his f-pawn for the eventual advance.
12.Nxe4 Bxe4 13.Nd2 Bb7 14.Qc2 Qc7
It was now the highest time to exchange the c-pawn for the d-pawn, in order to have a convenient square at c5 for the knight should the hostile d-pawn advance. 14...Nc7 was also better than the move in the text.
15.d5
Excellent play, whereby he establishes the superiority of position for his side. Obviously Black cannot capture twice, as the knight would be left en prise of the bishop.
15...Rad8 16.e4 f5
Bad. 16...f6 was the right defense, for White would gain nothing by taking the e-pawn, as he could not subsequently support it sufficiently.
17.Qc3 Bg5 18.f4 Bh6 19.e5 Nb8 20.d6 Qf7 21.Qh3
An ill-favored post for the queen, which might have been made much more useful on the queenside. 21.h4 followed soon, if necessary, by g3, was the right plan for the purpose of blocking the adverse dark-square bishop and keeping his own kingside secure against the eventual advance to the g-pawn, more especially as it was always left open to him of getting his king into safe quarters, viá f2, in case of emergency.
21...Nc6 22.Rad1 Kh8 23.Nb3 Rg8 24.Bf3 Rd7 25.g3 Qf8 26.Rd3 [1:00-?:??] 26...Nd8
This offer of exchange is ill-judged, as it only gives additional scope of action to the adverse queen, which naturally would try to get into play next at g2. 26...Qc8 at once was preferable.
27.Bxb7 Nxb7 28.Qg2 g6 29.a4 Bg7 30.Bc3 Qc8 [?:??-2:00] 31.Nd2 Nd8 32.a5 g5 33.fxg5
We believe his capture compromises at least his advantage, if not his position altogether. 33.Kh1 left his position on the kingside unbroken, for obviously, after exchanging pawns, Black could not capture the e-pawn with the bishop, as it would be retaken, with a check.
33...Nc6
An error of judgment, of which his opponent avails himself cleverly. 33...Nf7 was the right move, which would have either recovered one of the pawns on the kingside, or would have given him time, if White defended both by 34.Nf3, to attack the c-pawn by 34...Qa6.
34.axb6 axb6 35.Re1
An important, fine move, and of course much superior to 35.Nf3 at once, as Black has no time now to attack the c-pawn with the queen, since his knight remains undefended.
35...Qb7 36.Nf3 Rf8 37.Nh4 b5 38.cxb5 [2:00-?:??] 38...Qxb5 39.Rd2 c4 40.Rb2 Qc5+ 41.Qf2 Qxf2+ 42.Rxf2 Rxd6
Most ingenious. Black conducts the defense admirably.
43.exd6 Bxc3 44.Rxe6 Bd4 45.d7 Ne5
A gross error, which causes a serious relapse in his position. It was quite evident that he required the knight, in order to catch the dangerous passed d-pawn on a white square, and the black bishop was of no use to him for the defense. 45...Nb8 was the proper move. If, then, 46.Rd6, he would take the other rook 46...Bf2+, followed by 47...Rd8; and, after getting rid of the d-pawn with the knight, he could struggle for a draw on the merits of the position with more legitimate hope.
46.Rxe5 Bxe5 47.Rxf5 Bd4+ [?:??-3:00] 48.Kf1 Rd8 49.Rd5 Bb6 50.Nf3 Kg7 51.Ne5 c3 52.Ke2 Bc7 53.Nc6 Rf8 54.d8Q Bxd8 55.Nxd8 c2 56.Kd2 Rf2+ 57.Kc1 Rxh2 58.Ne6+ Kf7 59.Nf4 Ke7 60.Rd2 Rh1+ 61.Kxc2 Ra1 62.Kb3 Ra5 63.Rd5 Rxd5 64.Nxd5+ Ke6 65.Ne3
Good enough still, but 65.Nf6 was immediately decisive; for, if Black answered 65...h6, White would capture it, followed by 67.g4 and 68.g5. On the other hand, if 65...Kf5, the game must have proceeded thus: 65.Nf6 Kf5 66.Nxh7 Kg6 67.Nf6 Kxg5 68.Ne4+; and, if the 68...Kf5, the winning answer is 69.Nf2. On the other hand, if 68...Kg5, the white king comes up.
65...Ke5 66.Kc3 Ke4 67.Kd2
Even now he could have won by force, if he had retreated 67.Nf1, e.g.: 67.Nf1 Kf3 (if 67...Kf5, White will cut off the king by 68.Nh2, winning easily afterwards by brining his own king to the kingside.) 68.Kd4 Kf2 69.Ke5 Kxf1 70.Kf6, and wins.
67...Kf3 68.g4
Neither 68.Nf1 nor 68.Nf5 would have availed him anything now by best play, e.g., in the first place: 68.Nf1 Kf2 69.Kd3 Kxf1 70.Ke3 Kg2 71.Kf4 Kh3 72.Kf3 Kh2 73.Kg4 Kg2 and he must draw if he keeps always near this pawn at g3, and only follows it up whenever it advances. Secondly: 68.Nf5 Kg4 69.Nd6 Kxg3 70.Ke3 Kg4 71.Nf7 Kf5, followed by 72...Kg6, and draws.
68...Kf4 69.g6 hxg6 70.Ke2 Kg3 [?:??-4:00]
We give a diagram of this remarkably fine position. Black’s last move was the only one to secure the draw, for if 70...Kg5, the white king would come near at f3; and if 70...Ke5, the knight would cut him off from future entrance by 71.Ng2.
71.Ke1 Kf3 72.Kd2 Kf4 73.Kd3 Kf3 74.Kd4 Kf4 75.Kd3
It would be useless to try to win by abandoning the knight, e.g.: 75.Kd5 Kxe3 76.Ke5 Kf3, and of course 77.Kf6 draws, but if White now advances the pawn, he actually loses thus: 77.g5 Kg4 78.Kf6 Kh5 and wins. As already noticed in the introduction, if Black’s pawn stood now at g5, White could win by 75.Kd5; but Blackburne, with fine insight into this beautiful position, did not advance his pawn, and only moved the king, thereby securing the draw.
75...Kf3 76.Kd2 Kf4 [3:42-4:11] ½-½
White’s third hour was not marked on the scoresheet handed over to us, but we are informed by Zukertort that the exact time used by the two players 3 hours 42 minutes for White, and 4 hours 11 minutes for Black.
London Field, 1881.07.30

Game 14: Friday, July 29, 1881.

The winner of the Paris tournament has achieved another brilliant victory. The fourteenth game, published below, ended in favour of Herr Zukertort, who has carried off the honours of the contest with the excellent score of 7 to 2 and 5 draws. This must be regarded even as a greater success than the one he obtained last year of M. Rosenthal, who, it will be remembered, was defeated by 7 to 1 and 11 draws, for 6 more draws ought to weigh heavier in the balance than the one victory which stands to Mr Blackburne's credit in the score. This comparative inferiority in reference to the draws may, however, in a great measure, be accounted for by Mr Blackburn's [sic] style, which is of a more initiative character, and challenges complications in a higher degree. But Herr Zukertort's victory remains well deserved in every respect, and must be attributed to his mastery in the arrangement of his forces when conducting the close game, and his patent superiority in the endings.

The match was productive of some interesting novelties, which are capable of further development. The kind of Giuoco pianissimo which Mr Blackburn [sic] adopted several times during the contest will, we believe, not be so easily disposed of if the first player takes the initiative of advancing P to KR3 and P to K Kt 4 in the manner suggested by Mr Zukertort's defence. Nor will analysis shrink from recommending the Scotch gambit, on account of the peculiar defence which Herr Zukertort favoured in the twelfth and last game of the match, if the position arrived at on both occasions on White's tenth move is its legitimate issue. As regards the close games which occurred in the match, the first Sicilian has added a new feature, worthy of great attention, to the knowledge of openings; but the games, which turned in the Q gambit and fianchetto on both sides, ran their usual already well-known course on the part of the attack, which Herr Zukertort conducted with consummate skill; while the modifications introduced for the defence, like Q Kt to R 3 or Q 2, did not produce any favourable impression. The character of the play in the majority of the games was of high standard, and notably does the fifth game stand out as a masterpiece of strategy on Herr Zukertort's part. The movements of his two bishops in that game until he had planted them in opposite directions from their respective original stand-points, and the arrangement of all his forces against the weak point in the enemey's camp, combined with the fine finish, belong to the finest examples of chess tactics. Not will the conduct of his defence in the tenth game be easily matched for development of resources in actual play, which ultimately succeeded in averting a defeat which for some time appeared almost inevitable. On the other hand, the peculiar mode of drawing the thirteenth game reflects great credit on Mr Blackburne's ingenuity under difficulties, which seemingly left no room for hope. In conclusion, we have great pleasure in stating that the progress of the match was not disturbed by the least dispute, and the two combatants showed towards each other the utmost courtesy and good feeling during the contest.

The fourteenth and last game of the match, played at the St. George's on Friday, July 29. As already stated in our brief preliminary notice of this game in our last week's issue, the opening was the same as in the twelfth game of the match. Of course Blackburne did not repeat his mistake of Q to K 4 on the 10th move, but proceeded with B to Kt 2, already mentioned by us in note (b) to the twelfth game. Zukertort's clever reply, Q to Kt 4, was difficult to parry; and though we should have preferred P to K R 4 at once, or P to K Kt 3, what Blackburne did, viz., Q to K 4, left him a good game after the exchange of queens, which seems to have been the natural result of his attacking the adverse Q with the R P subsequently. But he moved his K out too early, instead of preventing, by B to Q 3, the adverse Kt from coming in at B 4, and he was thus forced to give up the R P. Yet he had still a fair game, as the opponent's position was much hampered by a doubled P on each wing. On the 18th move Zukertort subjected himself, by an apparently careless slip, to the loss of the P plus, which his opponent might have recovered, with the better game, by advancing his K Kt P on the Kt, and exchanging rooks. But Blackburne overlooked it, and proceeded with manoeuvring his K R to the Q side, via K R 3, in pursuance of an attack which he intended to pursue by the advance of the Q Kt P. On the 22nd move he had another opportunity of gaining a P by R to K Kt 3; but he adopted the inferior advance of the K Kt P, which gave the adverse R a strong post at K R 7, pinning the B P. At this stage we believe White might have kept the game well in hand in spite of the P minus, by playing the K to Kt 3, for the chief difficulty under which Black laboured was his being unable to advance the Q P, which opened the door for the development of all his forces. But at this critical juncture, on the 23rd move, Blackburne chose just the very plan of attack by B to Q 4 which allowed the adversary to open the game by P to Q 4. His attack at Q R 3 with the R followed by the ch of the other R at Kt sq, only dislodged those heavy pieces in a manner which furnished another illustration of our remark in our last week's issue, that Blackburne manouvres his rooks badly. He had soon to beat a retreat with his B and Kt, and he lost another valuable P on the K side. Instead of assuming at once a defensible attitude and securing the co-operation of his two rooks by R from R 3 to Kt 3, Blackburne still tried to make something of the position of his rooks, which, superficially judged, seemed to be well placed, as they held the black K confined, but in reality were out of play, since the quarter in which the black K was located was unassailable. He attacked, on the 31st move, the hostile R at once by B to R 5, and thereby gave his sharp-witted opponent an opportunity for executing one of his fine sacrifices. Zukertort gave up the exchange, which he was sure to recover at once, for it would have been useless for White to attempt retaking with the K, since, in answer to Kt to K 4, the K could not seek refuge on either of the adjoining black squares, on account of the fatal reply R takes Kt, winning a piece ultimately by Kt takes B P, ch. All the threatened complications clearly demonstrated the clumsiness of the position of White's rooks; and Blackburne had no other option but to retake with the R, which caused his R and Kt to be kept in a nailed position for a half a dozen moves longer. On the 36th move Zukertort could have won more easily by R to Kt 7. At this juncture Blackburne could have come out by K to Q sq with even pieces, though two pawns behind, of which one, however, was doubled. But he elected a line of play which entailed his giving up two minor pieces for a R. On the 42nd move Blackburne missed his last chance of making matters more difficult by K to K 3. Zukertort then manoeuvred his superiority in excellent style, and especially the movements of his K on the Q wing were admirably executed. He obtained a passed Q B P, and supported its ultimate winning advance by bringing the K up, in conjunction with well-timed manoeuvres of the two minor pieces. Duration, seven hours.
London Field, 1881.08.06

Date: 1881.07.29
Site: ENG London (St. George’s Chess Club)
Event: Game 14
White: Blackburne,JH
Black: Zukertort,JH
Opening: [C45] Scotch
Annotator: Wilhelm Steinitz
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4
It seems that White could gain a move here by 8.b3, but the answer 8...Qb4+, followed, if 9.Bd2, by 9...Qb6, would prevent White from advancing 10.c4 immediately, on account of the rejoinder 10...Qd4.
8...Ba6 9.b3 0-0-0 10.Bb2
We suggested this move in note (b) to the twelfth game. As regards the other alternative, 10.Qb2, which we proposed, the following is a likely continuation: 10.Qb2 Nb6 11.c5 Bxf1 12.cxb6 Bxg2 13.bxa7 Kb7 14.Rg1 Bd5 15.Be3; and the pawn at a7 will be somewhat troublesome in the middle game, though for the ending it, no doubt, stands weak. But then, even if Black wins this pawn, he will only have a doubled pawn plus on the c-file, while White will remain with a passed pawn on the a-file. On the whole, we are, however, inclined to pronounce in favor of the move in the text, which seems to leave more initiative to the first player.
10...Qg5
Best under the circumstances. We still question whether Black's defence is right on principle, but he evidently makes the most of the position in detail.
11.Qe4
Again too early, though one move later than on the previous occasion in the twelfth game. 11.h4 at once was better, for, in reply to 11...Bb4+, 12.Kd1; and if then 12...Qg6, White could oppose 13.Qc2 with advantage.
11...Bb4+ 12.Kd1 Ne7 13.h4 Qg6
This seems to have been his best course. In order to avoid the exchance, he must have retreated 13...Qh6, where the queen would have stood badly. White would then gain time for development by 14.Kc2, since Black could not answer 14...d5, on account of 15.exd6, followed, if 15...Rxd6 by 16.c5.
14.Qxg6 hxg6 15.Kc2 [1:00-?:??]
There was no necessity for this, and he should have first attended to the danger of the adverse knight entering at f4. 15.Bd3 was safe enought, for if Black replied 15...d5, he would take 16.exd6, followed by Kc2 and Rd1.
15...Nf5 16.Nd2
It was now best to give up that h-pawn, and any attempt at saving it by 16.g3 would have involved him in other difficulties and in the loss of the e-pawn, e.g.: 16.g3 Bc5 17.Rh2 Nd4+ 18.Kc1 (if 18.Bxd4, of course the e-pawn is lost at once.) 18...Nf3 19.Rg2 Rhe8, etc.
16...Nxh4 17.Ne4 Be7 18.Rd1 Kb8
This was clearly a slip, which subjected him to the loss of the pawn gained with inferiority of position. He should have first advanced 18...g5 to gain a retreat for the knight at g6.
19.Rh3
Strangely enough, White also overlooks that he could now recover his material force with advantage by 19.g3, followed by exchanging rooks, and Rxd7.
19...Bc8 [?:??-1:00] 20.Rhd3 g5 21.b4
21.c5, with the object of blocking the adverse d-pawn still more, would not have given him a good game, if Black answered immediately 21...Ba6, though he might recover the pawn, e.g.: 21.c5 Ba6 22.Rxd7 Rxd7 23.Rxd7 Bxf1 24.Rxe7 Bxg2 25.Nxg5 Bd5; and should White now capture 26.Nxf7, the answer 26...Rf8 will give Black the opportunity of recovering it with the better game, for it would be useless to support the knight by 27.e6, on account of the reply 27...Nf5.
21...Ng6
21...Nf5, for the purpose of preparing the advance ...d6, was now the correct play; the move in the text gives the opponent another chance of recovering the pawn.
22.g3
22.Rg3, with the object of equalizing forces, was preferable to this advance, which, though it prevented the adverse knight from coming in at f4, was not advisable, as it subjected the f-pawn to the attack of the hostile rook.
22...Rh2 23.Bd4
White is still bent on his useless attack on the queen's side, and he most likely overlooks the force of the defence with the c-pawn, which his opponent subsequently adopts. 23.Kb3 was the proper move now to keep everything well defended, and retain the pressure against the adverse d-pawn, the advance of which he should have hindered as long as possible, in order to keep Black's pieces confined.
23...d5 24.exd6 cxd6 25.Ra3 c5 26.bxc5
He could not retreat 26.Be3, on account of the reply 26...Bf5, followed by 27...Ne5, if 27.Bd3; Black then threatened ultimately to break through with ...d5.
26...dxc5 27.Rb1+
By this ill-considered check he compromises his game. The proper move now was 27.Be3. It should be observed, however, that he could neither take 27.Bxc5 nor with 27.Nxc5; for in the former case he would lose a piece by 27...Bf5, and in the second alternative by 27...Rxd4.
27...Ka8 28.Bc3
Now, of course, he could not protect the f-pawn any longer, for he was bound to guard against the ultimate entrance of the adverse knight at e5, as he had no other defence for his own knight, excepting by Bd3 when attacked by ...Bf5.
28...f5 29.Nd2 Rxf2 30.Bd3 Bb7 31.Ba5 [2:00-?:???]
An error. He should have concentrated first by 31.Rab3.
31...Rxd3
Taking advantage in masterly sytle. We give a diagram of this position.
32.Rxd3
32.Kxd3 was of no use, for Black would answer 32...Ne5+ and the king would have to retreat to c2; for if he moved to any black square, the answer was 33...Rxd2.
32...Be4 33.Bc7 a6 34.Rb6 Bf6 35.Re6 Kb7
This gains an important move, and is much stronger than 35...Re2.
36.Bd6 Re2 37.Rxe4
His most promising defensive resource. 37.Kd1 would have lost, without affording any chances of complications, e.g.: 37.Kd1 Bxd3 38.Rxe2 Bxe2+ 39.Kxe2 Kc6 40.Bb8 Nf8 41.g4, and Black may even take 41...fxg4, and would win.
37...fxe4 38.Rb3+ Kc6 39.Kd1 Rxd2+ 40.Kxd2 Kxd6 41.Rb6+ Ke5 42.Rxa6
42.Ke3 was his best chance. The only winning move for Black was then 42...Kf5, threatening ...Bd4+, followed by ...Ne5; for, if ...Ne7, the g-pawn would advance, and the knight would be stopped from checking. In any case, he had time to capture the a-pawn later on.
42...Kd4 43.Rd6+
Not to give him time to fetch the pawn with the knight, via e5.
43...Kxc4 [?:??-2:00] 44.Ke3 Ne7 45.Kxe4 Kb5 46.Rd7 [3:00-?:???] 46...c4 47.Rb7+ Ka4 48.Rc7
He could gain nothing by keeping on checking, e.g.: 48.Ra7+ Kb4 49.Rb7+ Ka3 50.Ra7+ Kb2 51.a4 Kb3 52.a5 Kb4, and Black will be enabled to stop the adverse a-pawn, while his own c-pawn will ultimately win.
48...c3 49.Kd3 Nd5 50.Rb7 Ka3
This wins without difficulty. Black has conducted the ending in the highest style.
51.Kc2 Nb4+ 52.Kb1
This is equal to resignation; but of course 52.Kc1 would have only put Black to the trouble of taking 52...Nxa2+ ; for he could not advance 52...c2, on account of the rejoinder 53.Ra7+.
52...c2+ 0-1
London Field, 1881.08.06

[Archive] [Excavations] [Gallery] [Journal] [Library] [Links] [Legend] [Market]
© 1999-2017 Jacques N. Pope. All Rights Reserved.