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Serafino Dubois vs Joseph Henry Blackburne
B.C.A. Grand Tourney (1862), London ENG, Jun-30
French Defense: Normal Variation (C00)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-18-16  zanzibar: The story about what happened to the decisive game between this pairing in the tournament is involved.

The bottom line is that the next game between the pair was forfeited by Blackburn, and thus Dubois gained the point.

The story is involved, and nobody tells it better than Tim Harding in his <Joseph Henry Blackburne> book published by MacFarland, on p35:

<[The next game] should have been replayed next day (Tues July 1), when Steinitz beat Barnes and some other games were also played, but only the 5 July article in the <Illustrated News of the World> says what happened:

<"Mr. Blackburne was announced to play against Signor Dubois, but the latter gentleman was too unwell to attend.">

That article was written by Löwenthal, the tournament manager, who evidently was satisfied with the excuse provided by Dubois, but presumably this postponement was not properly communicated to Blackburne or the press. Boden wrote in <The Field> of 26 July that

<"Mr. Blackburne scored one by default of Mr. Dubois">

but ultimately the committee disagreed with that view. Boden had already complained on 12 July that regulations had not been strictly followed in some cases and made recommendations for more strict observance in future tournaments. Then on 9 August, after the committee had made its decisions Boden (while admitting they had acted with perfect impartiality") stated more explicitly that the tournament manager had perhaps mislaid Blackburne's claim document:

<"In the first place, Mr. Dubois is allowed to score a game by default of Mr. Blackburne, although Mr. Blackburne had the prior, and therefore the only claim to that game, he having, as we understood from himself, handed in his printed form at the expiration of the time of the first appointment to play, indicating that he claimed the game by default.">


The tournament book by Lowenthal cryptic alludes to all this when it says that

<On July 21st Mr. Blackburne resigned ; and by the end of the month the Grand Tournament was brought to a conclusion.>

on p lxiii/86. Blackburne's resignation also included the unfinishing pairing with Mongredien (with whom Blackburne had two draws).

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