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1881 Blackburne-Zukertort London Match
Compiled by optimal play


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.

- The Field, London, 1881.05.21

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.

- The Field, London, 1881.06.11

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.

- The Field, London, 1881.06.18

Source: 1881 Blackburne-Zukertort, London Match; Researched by Nick Pope

FINAL SCORE: Zukertort 9.5 Blackburne 4.5 (5 draws)

Running total


0.5 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 4.0 5.0 5.5 6.5 7.0 8.0 8.0 8.5 9.5


0.5 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 2.0 2.0 2.5 2.5 3.0 3.0 4.0 4.5 4.5

+07 =05 -02 (9.5/14) Zukertort
+02 =05 -07 (4.5/14) Blackburne

The match ran from 27th June to 29th July

Game 01/14
Zukertort vs Blackburne, 1881 
(B45) Sicilian, Taimanov, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 02/14
Blackburne vs Zukertort, 1881 
(C45) Scotch Game, 50 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 03/14
Zukertort vs Blackburne, 1881 
(B23) Sicilian, Closed, 63 moves, 1-0

Game 04/14
Blackburne vs Zukertort, 1881 
(C53) Giuoco Piano, 62 moves, 0-1

Game 05/14
Zukertort vs Blackburne, 1881 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 49 moves, 1-0

Game 06/14
Blackburne vs Zukertort, 1881 
(C53) Giuoco Piano, 57 moves, 1-0

Game 07/14
Zukertort vs Blackburne, 1881 
(C11) French, 33 moves, 1-0

Game 08/14
Blackburne vs Zukertort, 1881 
(C53) Giuoco Piano, 22 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 09/14
Zukertort vs Blackburne, 1881 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 66 moves, 1-0

Game 10/14
Blackburne vs Zukertort, 1881 
(C45) Scotch Game, 77 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 11/14
Zukertort vs Blackburne, 1881 
(A13) English, 44 moves, 1-0

Game 12/14
Blackburne vs Zukertort, 1881 
(C45) Scotch Game, 21 moves, 1-0

Game 13/14
Zukertort vs Blackburne, 1881 
(A13) English, 76 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 14/14
Blackburne vs Zukertort, 1881 
(C45) Scotch Game, 52 moves, 0-1

14 games

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